There is no doubt that Laptops are the best companions of the travelers, businessman, students, programmers, and geeks. The laptop now becomes an essential part of many people actively involving in tech-related applications. When comparing to a desktop, the laptop offers more privacy and individuality. The ease of use, mobility, and convenience makes it an essential travel companion. Notebooks and Ultrabooks are intended for such people who want a decent lightweight machine at an affordable price.
Choosing a laptop is not a brain-squeezing decision if you have a good budget. But selecting the right laptop for your need becomes tricky as the market flooded with the different type of laptops having different designs! Just look at the picture below, there are three laptops having good configuration, one is a normal type another on is 2 in 1, and the last one is a thin, lightweight one. It is not the processing power, but the design’s matters. In those old days, our duty is to pick the right laptop with sufficient performance with good battery life. Now almost all systems have these features, but there appearance and usage are different.
Now check at configuration, features, and display. A normal user requires a standard display and decent performance, he doesn’t require a powerful configuration. An advanced user, say a programmer requires a moderate configuration and a gamer requires a more powerful configuration with a Full HD display. So finding the best configuration for your budget becomes a time-consuming task.
In this article, we are looking into different types of device based on its usage. Before that just check the essential components of a laptop.
Essential Components of a Laptop
Laptop Processor – Which CPU Is Right For You?
The laptop processor has a lead role in the performance of a laptop. All the laptop don’t have the same CPU in it. There are different types of CPU’s available for a different purpose. Intel has a series of laptop processors from Intel Atom to Intel Core i7 and AMD have AMD C series to AMD A10 APU’s. Desktop processors are not identical to the laptop, laptop processors are meant for power-optimized use. So laptop processors may carry names with the letter ‘M’ which means for Mobile, some have the letter ‘T’ with it meant for power optimized. So the performance of a desktop processor is better than a laptop processor.
Intel Core i7 processor: Intel Core i7-7500U, Core i7-8550U, Core i7-8705G: These are high-end processors offering faster gaming performance.
Intel Core i5 processor: Intel Core i5-7200U, Core i5-8250U: These processors offer decent performance for an affordable price.
Intel Core i3 Processor: Intel Core i3-8145: These are suitable for normal usages as it can handle all operations with an affordable price limit.
Intel Celeron, Pentium: Celeron N3050, Pentium N4200: these are low-performance budget laptop processors.
Intel Atom Series: Atom Z3735F, Atom x3, Atom x5: Performance is very low and the laptop will get a ta cheap price. Ideal for internet, emails, documents viewing and editing and for watching movies. But it offers 7 to 12 hours of barry life.
The first word in the processor is the brand name, ‘Intel Core, Intel Xeon, Intel Celeron, Intel Pentium, Intel Atom, etc. Next is the brand modifier, i3, i5, i7, etc. Core i3 is basic processors, i5 is mid-range processors and i7 is a powerful processor. Next, are a group of numbers, the first letter indicates the processor generation. In Intel Core i7-8550U, in which 8550, the first number tells the generation, here the 8th generation processor. Intel Core i7-7500U is a 7th generation processor.
AMD’s naming conventions are a bit different, Ryzen Mobile CPUs names are Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7 etc. The Ryzen 5 competes with Intel Core i5 series and Ryzen 7 competes with Intel Core i7 series.
Nowadays most of the CPU comes with a GPU processor in it, for most users its enough for their daily graphics use. A separate graphics card is required for those are working on high graphics related works. Also, a high-end graphics card is essential for playing the latest games in high resolutions. There are NVIDIA GeForce GTX or AMD Radeon GPU’s are included in high-end laptops. You have to check if the laptop contains an additional graphics processor or only an inbuilt GPU with it. An integrated high-end additional graphics card from NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon is essential for powerful gaming and video editing applications.
Integrated Graphics Processor: Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel HD Graphics 630, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650, Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580 are Intel’s range of integrated graphics processors.
Now almost all laptops come with a 4GB RAM, which is essential. For gaming or multimedia purpose an 8GB or more RAM is required. Most of the laptop has a single slot RAM slot, so if you want an upgrade you have to replace with a higher RAM. So buying a laptop with higher RAM saves time and money.
The data are permanently stored in the hard disk. Normal users require a 500GB hard disk, gamer’s and graphic’s editors need a 1TB or more hard disk. Solid state drives are the latest addition in computer storage technology. The Solid State Drive (SSD) is costlier than HDDs, but SSDs are much faster than HDDs. SSD requires less time to boot and it is lightweight. For travelers those who need not need that much storage look for an SSD based laptop, which give more battery life and lightweight to carry.
Last but not least, Display. Laptop display may vary from 13 inches to 17 inches. 14 inch or 15.6-inch displays are ideal display sizes. 13 to 14 inches offer a good balance between portability and usability. The most laptop comes with these figures. If you are using a 2 in 1 laptop, an 11.6 inch or 13.3-inch display is an ideal choice as it is easier to handle in tablet mode. when comes to the screen resolution 1366X768 is the common resolution, Full HD (1920X1080) is good for watching HD movies. 4k supporting laptops are available for 4k video editing and for playing high-end movies.
Laptop’s for All
For normal users, the essential requirements are viewing or editing documents, web browsing, social networking and listen to music. For you, a basic lightweight laptop with decent performance is enough. A 13.3 inch or 14-inch display with a mid-range processor, a 4GB RAM, and 500GB HDD or 128GB SSD is enough. HP OMEN laptops, DELL INSPIRON series, Dell XPS 13 series, HP PAVILION X360 series, Lenovo IdeaPad’s are good for average users. HP Pavilion X360 is a convertible 2-in-1 laptop offering a touchscreen display and can be used as a tablet computer.
Advanced Users and Programmers
For you a multitasking laptop is essential. A 15.6-inch display or higher with a good a mid-range processor, a 4GB/8GB RAM, and a 1TB HDD is essential. Those who are looking for ultimate performance a dedicated graphics card and an SSD is a boost.
Travelers & Business People
I clubbed these two categories into one, as these people’s requires a lot of travel. The laptop that needs is essentially a lightweight one having a day-long battery life. An 11.1 inch to 13.3-inch display and a battery life of 7 hours or more is essential. The laptop is to be thin and lightweight to carry with you always. A Mac book air or similar ultra-books are sufficient for travelers. Those who need the freedom of a tablet wants to invest in 2 in 1 flip type or detachable type laptop, as it is convenient to use it as a tablet while on traveling. I’m personally using a 2 in 1 detachable tablet, it’s worth every penny as I don’t want to carry a laptop and tablet separately. If I need to read something I can detach and use it as a tablet and when I want to work it as a laptop, I can attach with the base, where having a keyboard, all those USB ports and card readers. Nice invention, a highly useful product!
Gamer’s, Graphic Designer’s & Video Editors
For you a high-end laptop with powerful hardware required to do your works or play your games smoothly. You need a Full high-definition or a 4K display, more memory- more than 8GB, and essentially a dedicated powerful graphics card. You have to look for the best in the market has a powerful processor, maximum RAM, and SSD+HDD combination or a large SSD. But for battery life, you have to adjust with the beast.
After reading this long article you may get an idea about what you need and what not. You have to pick up the right CPU, Graphics Card (need or not) RAM and hard disk capacity. First, think of your intended purpose, do you need a traditional laptop or a detachable laptop or a 360-degree flip type laptop or an ultra lightweight laptop. Once you reached an answer choose the screen size that you expect, chose the right processor, RAM, storage space and so on. Don’t forget to pay enough attention to battery backup, as laptops are primarily intended for portability. You can choose the color, feel the material, plastic or metal body. You can check the trackpad, speakers, and Webcam. You can test the keyboard as the keys are good for typing or ugly loose type. Is it spill resistant or not? You can check the connectivity, ports available, etc. It is better to visit a store to check the item directly before buying because you will get the look and feel of an actual product. Then you can buy the same product online otherwise you don’t have any idea about the size, weight or body condition (slippery/rugged) of a laptop. Go to a shop and check the laptop, Final choice is yours!