The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide for 2020


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When you try to buy anything, there is a sea of options available. This is true for most of the commodities, be it some grocery items or electronic gadgets. There are so many brands selling mobile phones and other electronic devices with amazing features within a variety of price ranges. This leads to a lot of confusion and chaos in the whole process of picking a product.

With so many different types of laptops available in the market, it becomes difficult for the consumer to choose which laptop will be best for them. Technology is changing constantly from the 5G network to Virtual Reality. Therefore it is very important to be aware of technological advancement before buying a new laptop. 

So for anyone who wants to buy a laptop in 2020 but confused as to which one to buy, we are here to help you find your perfect laptop.

1. Choose Your Budget and Usage Pattern

The two most important things you need to know are what is your budget and for what purpose you will be using the laptop. Ask yourself, what do you want to use your laptop for. Is it for watching movies and web shows, is it for programming and other related activities or is it for gaming? Also Question yourself what amount you ideally want to spend on a laptop and what amount you can afford to spend at the moment.

2. Operating System

The first significant technical consideration to make when it comes to picking your new Laptop is what operating system you want to run. There are mainly three operating systems that are popular. These are Windows, macOS, or Linux. Now what operating system you choose should depend on your usage pattern. 

Most of the laptops come with windows except MacBook. Windows is most versatile of them all, great for gamers, and is much more customizable. However, when it comes to malware, it is most prone. macOS is great for programmers and productivity work and is not much prone to malware. However, macOS is not for gamers as of yet and is quite expensive. Linux is free to download but is only limited to programming. 

There is also a new google chrome OS. It powers the "Chromebook" laptop and is based on google's chrome browser. This means it can't run desktop applications like Windows or macOS. That's great if you only need your laptop to read email, browse the web, and watch movies. It is not great if you want to play intensive games or want full functionality offered by the desktop platform. 

So choose your Operating system wisely according to your needs. 

Read more about the various types of software available

3. Form Factor

There are laptops with different sizes and weights. So, it's essential to decide what form factor will best suit your needs the best. If you are a student you would like to have a laptop that is portable and easy to carry around. We would suggest that for students laptops should be less than 1.5kgs and not more than 14-inch screen size. The same goes for programmers, 

However, if you are a gamer then automatically the weight of a gaming laptop will be at least around 2kgs and we would suggest you have a screen of at least 15.6 inches for a better screen view. Note that if you want to have a gaming laptop go for Windows OS and nothing else.

 4. CPU

The CPU decides how fast will the laptop perform. As of now, there are two types of CPU in laptops: Intel-Based and AMD Based.

Intel generally upgrades their processor every year as a new generation. Currently, in 2020 10th generation processors is the latest. Our recommendation would be that do not go lower than the 8th gen intel processor. Now to choose between i3, i5, and i7, we would recommend you to choose based on your use case. For simpler tasks such as web browsing, PowerPoint presentation, video conferencing, or even for programmers who are just starting out, the i3 processer would be just fine. However, if you are a veteran programmer which is into app development or a gamer, then you should at least go for i5 or i7.

Now for AMD chips, AMD Just like intel upgrades its processer every year. The latest AMD chip is a part of its ryzen 3000 line currently. If you want a gaming laptop and have a tight budget then you can go for ryzen processer as they are much cheaper and meant for gaming.

 5. RAM

Computer memory or random access memory (RAM) is your system's temporary data storage. It stores the information you are actively using so it can be accessed quickly. Now the question arises that how much RAM do you need. Before answering that you should know that there are various types of DDR (Double data rate) RAM. 

The latest is DDR4 RAM. This can transmit data faster than DDR3. So always prefer DDR4 over DDR3 RAM. In today's general use case, 8gb RAM in a laptop is a must. 8gb RAM will be sufficient for most of the students and programmers. We would only suggest 4gb RAM in a laptop if you are on a tight budget and have a minimal usage case. However, if you are into professional app development or a gamer then you will need at least 16gb of RAM.

6. Storage

In terms of storage, always prefer SSD( Solid State Drive) over HDD( Hard Disk Drive). This is because SSD is way faster than HDD. HDD Also generates noticeable heat and noise which are not desirable. You may have the best of processer in a laptop but that won’t be of much use if storage itself is slow. In terms of size, it depends on your usage pattern. We would recommend at least 256gb of internal SSD for students. You can always buy external storage if you feel the need to.

7. Screen Quality

Screen Quality is finally becoming important in laptops. We would recommend you have IPS (In-Plane Switching) display. This will not strain your eyes much and will also give you better viewing angles.

Another factor to consider is resolution. The resolution decides the clarity and sharpness of the screen. The higher the resolution better the screen clarity of your laptop. We would advise you to avoid 1366 X 768 displays which are still shipping in budget laptop and go for at least 1920 X 1080 or full HD screen.

8. Battery Life

If you are buying a gaming laptop, then you will mostly use it while charging as gaming laptops sucks a lot of battery because of the discrete GPU. However, if you are planning to use the laptop on your lap, and carry it everywhere, you'll want at least 7hrs of battery backup. Now beware, don't blindly believe the battery life of a laptop based on what manufacturer specifies. On most Windows laptops battery life specified is nowhere near the actual battery life of the laptop. Our recommendation would be to check the reviews of the laptop you are interested in to get a real idea of the battery life of that laptop.

9. GPU

This is the most important factor to consider in the case of a gaming laptop. Gaming laptops can only run AAA titles if they have a discrete GPU inside. High-end GPU can also be good for creating 3D objects or doing high-resolution video editing. So if you have any of the above needs, then, a discrete graphics processor from AMD or Nvidia is essential. As with GPU, there are both high and low-end chips. 

Low-end gaming or gaming or workstation system today usually have Nvidia MX250 or GTX 1650 GPU. Mid-range models have RTX 2050 or RTX 2060. High-end models have RTX 2070 or 2080 GPUs. 

Nvidia maintains a list of its graphics chips from low to high end, so choose according to your budget. Read more about the list of graphic chips from Nvidia

As for AMD, it is suitable for budget gaming as it is cheap. So check out AMD if you are in a budget and want a gaming laptop. 

Conclusion

All the above factors are important to consider while buying a laptop. But as you observed, many of the factors depend upon your usage pattern. So give a good thought to this particular factor. Also, the budget is also equally important. Please prepare a budget and see how much you can actually afford to spend as overspending is never a good thing to do.


Written By - Siddharth Shankar

Edited By - Neha Kundu 

 

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1 Comments

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