10 Practical Tips for Choosing a Laptop

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According to one study, 89% of households had a computer or new laptop at home.

If you need to buy one, there are a few things to consider when choosing a laptop. Thankfully, we’re here to help you make the best choice.

Keep reading for our perfect guide on buying a laptop.

1. Operating System

This might not be the easiest question to answer, especially if you’re not familiar with Windows or macOS. But this is the most important part of how you’ll interact with your computer. 

Most laptops will have either of those two operating systems, but you could also have a Chrome OS. While some people have a personal preference, you’ll have to figure out which option is best for you.

Windows 10

Windows 10 is one of the most common operating systems, and it runs on many more laptop models than macOS or Chrome OS do. 

Finding a Windows laptop could range from $150 to thousands of dollars. They offer all kinds of different features, like fingerprint readers, facial recognition, and touch screens. 

Windows 10, and soon to be 11, are Microsoft’s newest operating systems, but you may be able to still find versions of Windows 7 or 8.

Windows 10 has launched in 2015, and there have been many improvements since then. One of the improvements is included Cortana, which is your own virtual assistant. This makes Windows great for researchers, business users, students, and especially gamers.

macOS

If you want the macOS, you have to get a MacBook. Right now, the latest updated operating system is macOS Big Sur. 

This operating system is similar to Windows 10, but the interface is different, and you will have Siri instead of the Cortana digital assistant. 

You’ll also be able to sync everything with your Apple ID, so you can use features like Apple Pay, iMessage, and FaceTime.

macOS doesn’t offer touchscreens, so if you want that, you should use Windows. 

Chrome OS

The Chrome Operating System is popular on Chromebooks. This is Google’s Operating System, and it’s secure and simple. However, it’s very limited when it’s compared to macOS or Windows. 

The interface looks more like the Windows operating system. There is an application menu and a desktop where you can drag windows around.

However, the main app is the Chrome browser. This is one of the web apps that doesn’t really work well when you’re not connected to the Internet. However, Google is trying to change that. 

If you want to just use a laptop to check your email, your social media, and surf the web, then you should definitely look into a Chromebook.

They’re very portable, and they have a decent battery for the low price that you can find them at.

Many schools and parents use them because it’s hard to get a virus or malware on them. Some of these laptops even come as a 2-in-1 so that you can use it as a laptop or a tablet. 

2. Form

You’ll also need to figure out what kind of laptop you want. Do you want something that’s portable? Then you might want to get a thirteen or fifteen-inch screen.

If you want something that doesn’t weigh a lot, try and find something that is three pounds or less. 

You could also get a 2-in-1 laptop. This lets you turn the screen all the way around and also use it as a tablet. However, these can be kind of expensive. 

3. Size

There’s no best laptop overall, but it will depend on what size you want to get. 

Laptops are categorized into the size of their screen. The screens are measured on their diagonal size. A big laptop will be 17 inches, and this is great for work or gaming. 

However, it will be a lot heavier. If you want a 13-inch model, these will be lighter, and you could take it anywhere you wanted. It may not be as great for gaming and might have less room to fit specs in it. 

If you want a good compromise, you should get a 15-inch model. This will give you a good-sized screen while also making it easy to use and portable. 

4. Storage

You’ll also want to consider how much storage you’ll need on your laptop. The smallest ones come with a few hundred GBs, but the operating system will take up some of that space.

A larger one will give you a few terabytes of space. It’s all dependent on how much you’re planning to store on your computer, and how much you’re going to store on an external hard drive or in a cloud. 

Regardless, you should always back your files up in case something happens to your laptop.

5. RAM

RAM is also important because it will affect how much work you can do on your laptop at once. How much you need will be dependent on what you’re going to be using your laptop for.

4GB of RAM is a good baseline for a Windows PC. It will give you enough power to check your email, watch Netflix, and check the web. If you want to play video games or use photo or video editing software, you’ll need at least 8GB of RAM.

However, keep in mind that the more RAM you have, the faster your battery will drain faster as well.

6. Budget

You should also set a budget for your laptop before you start shopping. If you can afford a more expensive laptop, then you’ll have better build quality, better display, and a stronger performing laptop. 

For up to $250, you can get a notebook, like a Chromebook or a laptop running Windows. However, you probably won’t be able to get much storage, and you’ll have to have a slower processor. 

If you’re willing to pay up to $600, then you could start to get some laptops with decent specifications. However, these notebooks probably don’t have a full HD display, a long battery life, or an SSD storage system. 

If you’re willing to spend up to $900, you’ll start to have laptop options that have a metal finish. You may even be able to get an SSD or a higher-resolution display. 

For those willing to pay over $900, these laptops will be portable and powerful. You’ll have a screen with a higher resolution, faster processor, and better graphics. 

These will also be great for gaming and have good battery life. If you want a good gaming computer, then you may want to pay between $1,500 and $2,500.

7. Functionality

What are you going to be using your laptop for? Are you going to be doing basic things like browsing the web, using Word or Excel, or checking your email? Then you can find something that doesn’t have a lot of specs. 

If you are going to be doing something intensive, like graphic design or video editing, try and find ones that are great for your industry. 

8. Battery

You should try and find a battery that has at least eight hours in it. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time away from the outlet, then you’ll want a laptop that has more than eight hours. 

If you’re going to find a gaming laptop, you’ll likely need to always be plugged in because they use a lot of power. 

9. Connectivity

If you want to plug a lot of stuff into your laptop, then you’ll want to consider the number of ports it has. Whether it’s a thumb drive or an external display, that’s something to consider.

You can always get an adapter, but this can lead to connectivity problems, and then you’ll have to buy more things to use. 

You should get a laptop that has at least three USB 3.0 ports. This way, you can hook up an external drive or a display.

10. Brand

If the brand is important to you, there are some top ones out there, like Apple, HP, Dell, or Lenovo. 

You should check to see what the top-rated brand is for that year, and then start looking at what their laptops are like.

If you’re interested in the Lenovo brand, here is an overview of the brand and its processor. 

Discover More Practical Tips When Choosing a Laptop

We know that choosing a laptop and laptop shopping can be overwhelming at times, but these are a few factors to narrow down your search.

When comparing laptop options, you don’t have to do it on your own. We’re here to help you out.

Explore our website for even more great tips like you found in this article!

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