Laptop Buying Guide: 8 essential tips to know before you buy

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Laptop Buying Guide

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Modern technology has descended beyond our wildest imagination. When first made, computers used to take up entire rooms just to support a few KBs of data, whereas now, you can fit the entire world’s information, right in the palm of your hand. Laptops are now an essential part of our lives. It’s a no brainer to buy a new laptop, whether it is for work, play or school. If you don’t own a laptop, consider investing in one. Its portability and functionality make it an irresistible product.

Whether your loyalty lies with Mac, Windows or you want to explore your options and try something new, you need to know what to look out for in your search for a new laptop. There is a wide variety of laptops present in the market that fulfil a certain purpose. Therefore, to find the perfect laptop for you, you need to look at certain aspects of the device as GearWisdom Recommends.

The following details such as:

1. Choosing The Right Operating System For You

The first major consideration when buying a laptop is, choosing the operating system that your laptop will run on. For the longest time, Apple’s macOS and Microsoft’s Windows have dominated the market, however, some competitors have emerged such as Linux, or more recently Google’s Chrome OS, which is available on much more affordable laptops.

All these platforms have similar hardware and features, however, there’s a drastic contrast when it comes to their User Interface(UI).

macOS

Apple has always been very tedious with the release of their products. They follow a certain code due to which all products follow a certain monotony. They are all part of the same ecosystem. Apple products portray a certain charm and elegance to their build and feel. Their operating system is rather straightforward and highly intuitive. Therefore, Macs are considered user-friendly.

Windows

PC’s present a remarkably diversified variety in their laptops. Multiple manufacturers create PC’s, and the pricing and quality vary depending on which brand or model you plan on purchasing. PC’s are in an upper-echelon performance-wise. Thus, they are tailored and marketed for specific purposes, such as business or gaming. PC’s provide the customer with a far greater choice in hardware and specification, when compared to Apple’s limited array of hardware.

2. Figuring Out The Right Type

There are many laptop categories, all designed to facilitate a particular audience in mind. Before shopping, decide what purpose your laptop intends to fulfil. Here are some categories:

Entry-Level

These laptops are considerably cheap due to a reduction in the quality and quantity of the hardware. These are the most basic variants, for basic purposes. These laptops are also light on graphics and RAM. They typically cost $600 or less. Some laptops worth considering in this category are Acer Chromebook 15 Spin or Microsoft Surface Go 2-in-1.

Mainstream

These laptops are kinda in the middle; you get what you pay for. The hardware is much better, you may have to sacrifice some odd features such as fewer USB ports, etc. However, at this price range, they truly are remarkable pieces of technology. Some honourable mentions include the ZenBook 13 UX333 and the Dell G3.

Premium

These are found in the premium bracket. They possess highly efficient versions of features present in mainstream laptops. This level contains very powerful and highly efficient laptops, therefore, this level should be considered the most if you have a flexible budget. This category contains the best variety. For example, the Dell XPS 13, or if you require something to create content with, go for the Dell XPS 15. Apple fans can rejoice, as the Macbook Air and the Macbook Pro are present in the same category. Though, they tend to be less powerful than their competitors.

3. Understanding the Hardware

The hardware is the main component that can either make or break your product. The better the hardware, the more costly it can be. Therefore, it’s essential to choose hardware that is useful for you. For example, a laptop used for basic functions such as browsing the internet does not require a high-end processor or graphic card.

4. The Processor For Your Needs

The CPU is the single most important part of your laptop. It carries all the data and processes conducted by your laptop. Better CPUs process more data in less time. Intel was once considered the premier CPU manufacturing brand, with its latest offerings of the 10th generation of its Core series. Nowadays, however, AMD takes the cake. They offer a large variety of CPUs that support all functions, from gaming to video editing. Currently, AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is considered the best high-performance CPU available in the market.

5. Picking the Right Graphic Chip

A Graphic card generates the images programs use to display material on screen. Laptops generally come with graphic cards built-in to the motherboard and replacing them is very hard and rare. Therefore, it’s necessary to purchase laptops with your choice of graphic chips.

AMD and NVIDIA have the largest market share. NVIDIA offers the Quadro RTX 6000 and   GeForce RTX 2080 in its high end and high range. Whereas, the regular users should opt for something in the Mid-Range such as NVIDIA Quadro P4200 and the  NVIDIA Quadro P5000.

AMD on the other hand is a bit different. Their Vega chips are bundled with their CPU’s, AMD calls them an accelerated processing unit(APU). These chips are highly powerful and are on the same grounds as NVIDIA, depending on the hardware.

6. How Much RAM Do You Require?

RAM is considered the memory of a computer. It is a direct reference to a laptop’s potential to access and store information. All tasks conducted on a laptop require the use of RAM. The more the computer has, the more data it can call up. For intensive purposes, 16GB of RAM is required. However, for most power users, 8GB is more than sufficient.

7. Your Need For Storage

The storage amount refers to the capacity present in the laptop’s internal hard-drive for holding data. All programs are stored on the internal drive. However, the storage does not need to be accessed all the time. Nowadays, most laptops contain solid-state-drives(SSD’s), which tend to be sturdier and faster than conventional hard drives. They offer a higher performance boost and provide a drastic improvement in storage.

8. Making Sure Enough Ports are Available

One thing that is frequently overlooked when purchasing a laptop is the number of ports it contains. Here a few essential ports a laptop needs to contain:

  • USB-A
  • USB-C
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • Displayport
  • HDMI

These ports are essential for making your laptop more accessible to other devices. For example, connecting a monitor or transferring data using external drives. Apple is known to be stingy in the matter as it contains a lesser number of USB ports and now, they are only compatible with Thunderbolt 3.

Bottom line

Always choose a laptop that fulfils and satisfies your needs. It would be useless to purchase a product that has no use for you. Therefore, there is no need to buy super expensive laptops, if you’re only going to use them for browsing the internet and office work such as writing or spreadsheets.

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