Things to consider before buying a laptop in 2022 (Buying guide)

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Topic: Things to consider before buying a laptop


The technology of the laptop has evolved over the years, especially in the last decade there are many types of laptops that came into the market.

As there are many new streams available to pursue your career you need handy little computer laptop for sure though the pc still a good choice yet since it does not provide portability, therefore, the laptop is must nowadays.

This post is all about what are the specifications of a good laptop? We are going to discuss in-depth about features of the laptop to consider while choosing a machine for you.

However, below are some of the quick guides on things to consider before buying a laptop for your device if you are a student or business owner looking for normal usage you can consider these specs for you.

Note: even if you are a student there are a lot of things that come into consideration if you are into designing or any kind of heavy task the requirements, change according to your work.

What are the specifications of a good laptop?

  • Processors- 10th gen intel i5, AMD Ryzen 5 or it’s equivalent (at least 4 cores) 
  • Ram- 8GB DDR4 with upgradable slot 
  • Storage capacity- 256GB SSD minimum- 512GB SSD is recommended.
  • A Graphics card- Integrated video card is ok for basic use, for a gaming laptop you must consider 4-6GB, and for video editing, graphic designing, or animation, blender you should consider a dedicated GPU.
  • Display size- 13 inches is pretty good for portability, 14-15 inches is recommended.
  • Battery Life- Above 7- 10 hours.

Things to consider before buying a laptop 2022

Things to consider before buying a laptop

 

Processor 

The CPU that is the central processing unit is the most complex part to select in the laptop as your performance and speed of the machine going to rely on it so basically, you have to understand this in detail so you can take a firm decision on what is the best CPU according to your profession.

 

Intel vs AMD

There are 2 types of processors that are widely popular in the market right now, yet there is an Apple chip as well that is only found in apple Macbook models, but these two brands are leading and competing with each other.

 

Intel Laptops:

The Intel processors have widely used even today many consumers prefer Intel over other options however again intel CPU is in various ranges, therefore many get confused about Intel so let us discuss in depth Intel processors.

There are a few options for you i3, i5, i7, and i9 which are right now available in the market, there are also dual-core and Pentium CPUs that are cheaper and outdated which you should not consider as they have very slow processing units.

So we have 4 options now from Intel most of the users do prefer i5 and i7 as they perform nicely and in above 500 dollars laptop, you will easily get i5 and i7 processors.

However, on a very low budget for basic work, you can prefer choosing intel i3, but I highly recommend it for students and work i5 minimum as you get good processing power in this CPU.

The next important aspect for intel is the generation of the processor every year or two Intel comes up with a new generation, there are 7th gen, 8th gen, 9th, and 10th,  now the latest is the 11th gen, in fact in newly released laptops, especially for gaming you can see 12th generation laptop as well.

If you have a low budget and going with intel i3 I suggest you go with 10th or 11th gen processors, however furthermore 10th and 11th gen is highly efficient right now with i5, i7, or i9, moreover, the 9th gen is pretty ok for intel i5 or i7 these are specifically available in gaming laptops.

 

AMD Ryzen:

A few years back AMD is not the most recommended laptop but in the last 2-3 years AMD Ryzen has done a great job in producing the best CPU in the market that is economical at the same time provides good multi-tasking performance in your laptop.

If you have a very low budget then instead of intel 3 with 7th or 8th gen, I suggest you choose a laptop that has an AMD Ryzen processor specifically Ryzen 3200U, Ryzen 5 3500U, and Ryzen 7 3700U laptop.

For a budget of 500-800 laptops, there is an option in AMD Ryzen CPU such as 4800, 5800, and 5500, 5600 these are great options in mid-budget.

Overall AMD is best for those who have a limited budget as it offers superb options, yes you have limited options but they have a few strong processors even a few of them are better than Intel.

The conclusion on Intel and AMD is if you have a very high budget and can spend on a laptop then I recommend going with Intel CPU but for a limited budget, AMD Ryzen is the best processor in a laptop.

 

What is “U” and “H” label in the processor

This is confusing for many but very simple, you must have noticed that after generation there will be few numbers written on the laptop, and at last, there is alphabet U or H now what this indicates you let understand.

 

U label processors

This is basically called as low power processor which is mostly working on 15 watts you can use it for office work or student laptop which requires low processing power, these types of laptops also consume less power which gives you better battery back up but as it suggests you, cannot use it for high power task.

 

H label processors 

This is High power processor which works on high power mostly on 45 watts, this is highly used in gaming laptops where you need high processing speed as it operates on heavy software yet nowadays brands are using this on productive laptops as well.

These are also good for those who have to do heavy video editing, photography, animation, or graphics designing, and as it gives you high processing power it also consumes a lot of battery thus the battery life on this type of machine is average of around 3-4 hours.

 

What is clock speed in processors?

Now, this indicates how much speed your CPU generates, if you check the specifications of the laptop there is the base frequency and boost speed or turbo speed.

The laptop overall runs on the base frequency and very few times uses the laptops max speed, here the higher the speed better for you overall as I said it works on base speed on day to day use but if you do video editing and gaming then your CPU does use clock speed as well.

Here the biggest question is which is the better speed in your laptop, we have tested many laptops till date and found that low-frequency machine around below 1.5Ghz runs really slower so here I suggest try to choose laptop 1.8Ghz or above the safest option is 2Ghz to 2.5Ghz in base frequency.

Yet base frequency around 1.8Ghz is still a decent option for day-to-day use, next is boost speed always choose a laptop with above 3.8Ghz, highly recommended is definitely 4.0Ghz to 4.5Ghz, Overall higher frequency laptops definitely going to cost you more so yes it depends on your budget as well.

Another thing is cache data this also determines the efficiency of your machine so you have options such as 4MB, 6MB, 8MB, and 12MB in some cases, here again, the higher the cache in your machine the price of the laptop is going to increase.

 

How much core require in a laptop?

The cores play a vital role in multi-tasking there are 4,6 8 cores CPU available in a laptop, if your laptop has high cores means you can do more work on your machine.

However, in intel in budget-friendly options you get 4 cores laptop whereas 6 cores or 8 cores laptops are quite costly you have to spend on laptop around 800-900 dollars or even above for Intel CPU.

Here AMD Ryzen doing great as they have budget laptops around 500-600 which offer 6 cores CPU which also has incredible performance in multitasking additionally if you can spend on a laptop above 600 then 8 cores laptops are also available in Ryzen variants.

Therefore AMD is doing great when it comes to multi-core performance however Intel is doing good when it comes to single-core performance so in case you want a gaming laptop then I suggest you choose Intel CPU with the “H” label as most of the games are single-threaded and not multi-thread.

 

Ram (Random-access memory)

The random-access memory is the next important element on your list of things to consider before buying a laptop as the higher ram is better for multi-tasking, this actually helps to run multiple applications, tabs, and files which increases the efficiency of your work.

The 8GB ram is a must in your machine even if you have a low budget this is a minimum requirement however if you are looking for a laptop under 450 there are chances you will get 4GB memory in your device.

Now in this case it’s okay to go with 4GB only if you do very basic work but make sure it is upgradable so you can always extend the memory in the future if needed.

There is also 16GB ram available in laptops which is a little costly in case you do a lot of photo editing, video editing, designing, or play any latest games then 16GB is recommended for a smooth working experience.

Additionally, the memory technology must be DDR4 which is the latest and faster than DDR3 moreover there are a few newly released laptops that come with DDR5 which is great but DDR4 is enough.

 

Storage capacity

There are 2 types of drives that are must in your laptop not only to store your data but also to make your laptop faster, however, there are Solid-state drive and a Hard disk drive which is available on the market.

However, HDD is not very recommended in laptops as they are very slow, and SSD is 10 times faster than HDD which you must consider when buying a laptop for you, if you want to know about SSD in-depth then you can read our post on what is a solid-state drive-in laptop.

This is the most tricky element while things to consider before buying a laptop at times so let us simplify this we have 3 types of storage options available in the latest market.

  • Laptop with HDD which as I said not preference as though they provide you high storage capacity mostly 1TB HDD yet runs very slow.
  • Now many modern laptops come with SSD only which is a great choice to keep your machine faster if you are choosing this 256GB SSD is decent in budget but the recommendation is always 512GB SSD.
  • The third option is nowadays brand makes laptop with dual storage option where you get both SSD and HDD in your laptop which is again a nice option to have if you have to store heavy data you can consider it but make sure the HDD has a higher RPM that is 7200RPM instead of 5400.

Note: in dual storage, you get 2 options 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD which is pretty much fine but few brands also make a laptop that has 1TB HDD and 512GB SSD which is an overkill yet powerful option for designers, photo or video editing professional.

Additionally, there are 2 types of SSD in the laptop you can see first is SATA which is a good option but NVMe SSD is more highly efficient than SATA, as NVMe makes sure there is no big issue in memory and speed is incredibly fast.

 

Graphics card

If you are looking laptop for day-to-day use for regular office work, or as a student, where you have to make presentations or normal projects then an integrated Graphics card, is pretty much ok for your task.

But if you are into photo editing, video editing, or designing then you should consider a dedicated graphics card for better performance as it gives good visuals and since it is not attached to the CPU or lets the motherboard it works independently which enhances your performance.

Moreover, if you like to play games on a laptop then you must consider a dedicated graphics card of 4GB, for basic games, it’s fine to have an integrated GPU yet the regular laptops are not made for tasks such as gaming so I always suggest spending on gaming laptop in this case.

Additionally, for basic video editing, you do not necessarily need a laptop with a dedicated GPU you can do editing with integrated ones as video editing software requires more CPU power than GPU yet if you do 4 editing or heavy editing then GPU is a must.

There are quite a few options for integrated graphics cards which I have listed below for your reference, but before that let’s talk about the brands which are available in the market.

The Nvidia is ruling the market for dedicated GPU also AMD makes dgpu but mostly you find very few laptops with dedicated AMD GPU, therefore, Nvidia is always the top choice and brand.

For integrated you have Intel and AMD, here AMD is slightly better than Intel but both are fine you can see the below table.

Moreover, if you like to play basic games which are released before 2018 then GTX 1650, 1650ti with 4GB is a good option also GTX 1660ti with 6GB is another choice you have but they are a little costly or available in mid-budget.

In this case, your budget is around 900 to 1200 should consider 30 series GPU which is the latest also 20 series GPU too doing good but again 30 series is excellent right now, so let us see a few options in the below table.

 

Operating system

Choosing an operating system is the very trickiest part but it all depends on you there is 3 operating system you will see in laptops let us see them below in detail.

 

1. Chrome operating 

Chrome is largely found in google laptops as it is developed by Google, this is Linux based free open source cloud-based operating system which means you do not have to purchase this system just download it and start using it.

Though this is released somewhere back in 2009 it is becoming popular nowadays specifically in schools, this is very easy to use Os this is a type of browser that 

Under this OS you can operate web surfing, and social media and can watch videos similar to google chrome however this needs good internet also you get the google play store features which are optimal for laptop settings.

Though it’s not necessary that you will run mobile apps on Chromebook, moreover in the new chrome-OS you get access to a few Linux features, the drawback of this system is you can not use third-party applications such as windows and it comes with very limited features.

The biggest benefit of Chromebook is in case your device stops working you can access your data in another system just by signing up in your account, another thing is you get auto-update and a sandbox feature that ensures very fewer chances of viruses in your system.

There are drawbacks of this operating system firstly you can not use software like photoshop, video editing work is also not suitable for windows games, you can have access to google play games only and through cloud gaming services you can access the games but you should have good internet.

The storage capacity is very limited when compared to windows and mac so you have to manage it with external sources which is quite a headache sometimes and not flexible, also if you do not have internet then you lost access.

 

2. Windows Operating

The most widely used operating system all over the world is windows as it is very user-friendly, easy to use and most of the software and games work efficiently on windows.

This is highly recommended for beginners and for any kind of work due to its flexibility on all the platforms additionally the Windows os is available in budget windows laptop to most expensive machine this is another reason why it’s very popular.

With various software available you can moderately customize it with many options of wallpapers and you can optimize the taskbar according to your needs, however, the biggest drawback of windows is you can get a lot of virus problems in the system to counter all this you have to use antivirus.

 

3. macOS

Next is Mac operating system this is invented by Apple and it is used on apple laptops only, overall the operation is similar to Windows but very restricted, the software availability is average when compared to windows.

The good thing about the Apple MacBook is the security is greatly better than windows, simply because you have to use their software from the apple store, the speed is excellent and quite lightweight yet not many customization options.

It is quite more expensive than other options in the market, secondly, it is not optimal for gaming overall it is a great choice for those who want to have a lightweight laptop for traveling and business.

Note: there is also a Linux operating system which is one of the best options yet it’s quite tricky to use so if you are a pro user you can go with the Linux operating system and it provides safety as well.

 

Conclusion on the operating system:

Well Though the Linus system is better than all I do suggest Linux for sure but it’s very tricky to use, and if you want to have an economical option with lots of usabilities then windows is a great pick and MacOS is fine as well but again you have limitations using it so windows and Linus is preferred choice in the operating system.

 

Screen size

things to consider before buying a laptop

This is more of a personal choice yet a very crucial point to consider while buying a laptop, as a student you have to carry the machine with you most of the time so in this case, 13 inches to 14 inches is highly recommended.

However, if you are a student where visual appearance matters a lot then a 15.6″ laptop is always a great choice as there are many regular laptops available who has lighter weight around 1.7kgs with 15 inches of display.

This is also applicable to professionals if you are a designer or into editing videos and photos then 14 to 15″ is fine for your work.

Moreover, there are 17-inch screen laptops available in the market but they are quite heavy which keeps portability away if you operate only from the office or home you can consider a large screen but honestly it’s not needed for most of the tasks.

 

Screen quality 

After the display size, the resolution of the screen is also an important element in your device, in case you have a low budget you have to settle with an HD quality laptop which is ok for very basic use like writing or data entry.

In case you have a budget to spend above 400 then I highly suggest full HD resolution 1920 x 1080p is a must for basic work to other stuff like video editing, photo editing or designing, gaming FHD is a must in your laptop computer.

However, there are other options also available such as OLED or QHD resolution which gives better visuals but then you have to raise your budget to get this type of higher resolution machine.

 

IPS vs TN panel

The IPS panel is always better as it has the capacity to deliver vibrant color accuracy especially if you have a low budget and can not afford to get a laptop with higher color accuracy IPS is a decent choice for good visuals.

The TN panels are ok for gaming but not ideal for day-to-day use as it does not give good viewing angles, especially from the side where IPS technology is best, in fact nowadays most gaming laptop comes with an IPS screen rather than a TN panel.

Lastly, color accuracy also matters especially if you are a designer or do any kind of work where color accuracy requires then 100% sRGB or 72% NTSC color gamut will ensure accuracy in colors.

There is a laptop with a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut that delivers better color reproduction than sRGB but in this case, you have to have a higher budget for laptops 700 to 1000.

 

Connectivity and ports

The connectivity options such as USB type A, USB type C, HDMI is necessary yet basic connections that you will get in a laptop, also for internet connectivity RJ45 Lan and for wireless support wifi-5 or wifi6 is the fastest option which your laptop must-have.

Another thing is SD card reader is handy if you are a creator, also if you are spending on an expensive machine then options such as thunderbolt, and DisplayPort also come into consideration.

 

Battery life

If you have to travel a lot then a higher battery backup is definitely needed so you can go will the apple Macbook as these are highly optimized for long battery back up but in case limited to budget then try to choose a laptop that has around battery back up between 5.7 hours.

Moreover, the battery life is always dependent on how you use your machine even if you are using it on normal use if you run multiple tabs, files, etc then battery backup may vary also if you go with a gaming laptop then it takes a lot of power so battery life will be around 3-4 years.

Note: if you want to prolong battery life some of the tricks are to try not to use the backlit option on your keyboard and keep the brightness at a low level this helps to increase machine battery backup capacity.

 

Keyboard quality:

Most of your work is on the keyboard so make sure it has a nicely built take feel of typing experience once you get a laptop check the responsiveness of the keys if it is working fine and try to choose a laptop with a keyboard that has 1.5mm key travel distance as it ensures good tactical use.

Also if you like to have a backlit keyboard which is again a good option for your laptop then you need to spend about 500$ or above yet always check if it has backlit support as not all the machine in this budget provides backlit keyboard.

Another thing is the keyboard with Numpad support however the numeric keypad is available almost on 15-inch laptops and in 13-14 inches you will not get this option, this is pretty much important only if you have a lot of work with numbers like banker or accountant.

 

Budget 

This is the most important thing to consider before buying a laptop to decide on how much you are willing to spend on the laptop, however, this is largely dependent on your task as well, so if you are looking for day to day work like data entry, working on basic software to fill in data then anything around 500-600 dollars is fine.

In case you have a very low budget then you can go with 400-450 dollars but then you have to compromise on CPU, also if you do editing work, designing, or gaming then higher range laptops are needed.

So in this case, though I have covered many points below regarding you should always check the software you going to use on your system and read the system requirements on the official site but do not follow the minimum requirements always go with recommended settings and then decide the budget.

 

Brand 

Though I never suggest going with a Brand name as the hardware determines how your laptop going to perform and not the brand yes there are a few good brands in the market some of them are below.

  • HP 
  • Apple
  • Acer
  • Asus
  • Dell
  • Lenovo 
  • Samsung 

Note: if you are considering a gaming laptop then its cooling system also matters a lot however some of the top brands for gaming are Acer, Lenovo, razer, Alienware, and Asus.

 

Types of laptops 

things to consider before buying a laptop

Now after this long discussion on things to consider before buying a laptop we have covered many points but it’s also necessary to understand different types of laptops.

For instance, they’re a variety of options in the market some of the common laptops are as below.

 

1. Chromebook

In a very short span of time Chromebook became very popular among consumers this is largely invented by google making it a very fast and reliable option for day-to-day use.

In this system, you get the Google Chromebook operating system which can be utilized for the google web store and is also optimal for android apps but very limited with features when compared to a windows laptop.

 

2. Notebook

This is a very sleek form of laptop that performs decently but is not meant for the heavier task you can use it for very basic tasks like writing.

Overall, the formation of the notebook laptops is similar to other laptops in the market 

 

3. Ultrabook

The ultrabooks are highly popular in the market this is introduced in the market first by intel, this is quite popular for business traveling laptops due to its capability of strong battery back up and Lightweight machine.

This ultrabook completely comes with all features of a regular laptop, these are available in the budget to most expensive options.

 

4. 2 in 1 laptop

These are also known as touch screen laptops or convertible laptop as almost all the devices come with a touch display.

Additionally, the hinge adjustability is awesome in the machine you can adjust it in many ways providing ultra comfort.

If you are a designer or digital art professional the 2-in-1 laptop is a great choice if it matches the hardware requirement also a good option for presentation but sometimes touch screens do not respond efficiently so always check the device properly.

 

5. Desktop laptop

This is kind of computer only you will get large display around 17 inches with very powerful hardware but it is slightly heavy so portability is a concern for you, can prefer only if you have work in your office only and do not have to carry outdoors.

 

6. Gaming laptop

This is highly popular in the 21st century you can do anything with this from the photo, and video editing to designing or any task as it has made with powerful hardware the cpu, gpu, ram, and good storage capacity.

However, choosing a laptop for gaming depends on which game you want to play and for graphic designing color accuracy needs yo checked in a budget gaming laptop you do not get a 100% sRGB color gamut you need to spend more than a normal laptop.

There are a few drawbacks as well the gaming machines are slightly heavy due to powerful hardware and it runs on high power so battery backup is average on these type of laptop.

 

Online vs offline 

With time we have options to buy a laptop online as well, though many still prefer offline to shop yet online sell have increased incredibly over the years

The question here’s for many either it is safe to get the laptop online, the answer is definitely yes you can get the laptop from the online platform as it’s a very convenient process you do not have to go anywhere and the product reaches your home.

However, the thing that benefits from online shopping is there is a lot of competition, therefore, you can get laptops at lower prices as sellers intend to keep changing prices and another thing is there are always discount offers which you can avail yourself the opportunity.

The facilities like refunds and returns are always there and you do not have to go anywhere to return them, however, there are a few drawbacks of the online market.

Firstly you do not get to see the physical product in front of you, so you can test them after receiving but offline you do not see many offers you will mostly get discounts during festivals.

 

New vs refurbished (renewed)

This is another thing that many of the users are concerned about either getting a refurbished laptop or a new one, well I definitely suggest new laptop yet refurbished also good options nowadays.

There is a big misconception among many consumers that refurbished means a used laptop, even though it holds true but it’s not like it is used for months and years by someone.

Basically, due to online shopping, many users prefer buying online but in case they found any lack in the laptop let’s say sometimes they open the product and they are not happy with the look, or any small issue so they return the laptop to the manufacturer.

In this case, since the box is opened the warranty of the product claims with billing and they can not add the product again in fresh stock, this is basically a loss for both brand and seller so what they do is they inspect the product.

After inspecting by the Expert they try to make it sellable by improving its flaws, there might be small scratches in the laptop, therefore, they minimize the price and you get a warranty but not a Brand warranty.

The warranty is depending on the product to product you can get anything between 3-6 months warranty.

So is it safe to buy it? well sometimes you can get a good quality product and it is mostly inspected so yes you can get it but make sure to check thoroughly once receive it?

 


Final words on Things to consider before buying a laptop

So here it is I have covered all the points in-depth to give you a complete idea of things to consider before buying a laptop, the 4 components are crucial in a laptop that is CPU, Ram, SSD, and graphics card.

Now graphics card is not required for everyone if you play games or do heavy work such as editing, graphics designing, animation, etc then you should consider it, also display size is depending on your need but Full HD resolution is a must for better visuals.

I am sure this laptop buying guide helps you to know everything yet if you have any queries post your comments our team will be happy to guide you.

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