Saturday, August 15

Laptop Buying Guide (2020) – 5 tips for a simpler way

hp laptop
(Image credit: CHUWI)

Going to buy a laptop?

When thinking to buy a laptop, often we get confused as to which one to buy. The first thing to consider is your budget.

What are the things that need to keep in mind while buying a laptop?

you would have noticed that when buying a laptop in the market, you are told that this laptop has core i3 or i5 or i7 processor or written in the specification of HDD or SSD, DDR3 or DDR4 of 4GB or 8GB RAM, DOS or Windows or Linux OS, Integrated or Dedicated graphics, etc.
Or these types of questions are asked by salesmen when buying a laptop?

Laptop configuration

Wait, Wait, Wait, if you are a non-technical person, you would probably ask, what are these? 

Do you know the answer to these questions?

If you know these things or have a piece of knowledge regarding these. You are easily able to decide a better and suitable laptop according to your budget and need.

First, “think of” why you are going to buy a laptop.
You want to watch movies, or for playing video games, or surfing the internet, study purpose, or official purpose.

Exactly, do you want to buy a laptop or a desktop?

#Desktop life lasts longer, even the same configuration desktop will be cheaper than a laptop.

 In desktop, you can easily upgrade in the future, and performance will be better compared to the laptop.


In case of a laptop, you will be having a 4-8 hrs. battery backup and it’s portable.

So, if you have determined to buy a laptop. Let’s get started with what you need to be known before buying.

1. Processor

The first most important component of any laptop or desktop is a processor.

So, to those who don’t know what exactly a processor is?

“Processor is the brain of a computer” and it does all the calculation work.

The latest processor will run the computer smoothly and without lag. An outdated or old generation processor will have a slow application load, will take more time to open, and not run current or new software smoothly.

Two main company manufacturers processor laptop and desktop are:

  1. Intel
  2. AMD

Intel current models are core i3, i5, i7, i9. (old models like Pentium, Celeron, dual-core, core2duo)

AMD has models Ryzen, Athlon for laptop and AMD processors are cheaper compared to Intel.

When buying a laptop, you will see core i3 or i5 or i7.

So, don’t get confused with a generation. i.e., core i3 doesn’t mean 3rd generation

These are model names and has been designed for different types of work with different power.

Processors have generation and cores.

1.1. So, let’s know cores.

Currently, the entry-level processor is core i3, then core i5, then core i7 respectively.

Processor comes with dual-core, quad-core, octa-core, hexa-core, etc.

What is core? To understand the core, take an example of having a single brain. if we have two brains side by side it would do more work compared to a single brain, likely if we have four, it would be more powerful.

“more number of core, more work can be done faster”

dual-core means 2 core
quad-core = 4 core
octa-core = 8 core etc.

Which one to choose?

Core i3 has 2 cores and it’s an entry-level processor.

Sufficient and good for the regular task, like 

  • office work (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Playing movies, listening songs, viewing pictures
  • surfing internet
  • data entry work etc.

(if you don’t have too many works like only browsing internet, watching movies or to run small application like office, then go for i3)

and are cheaper compared to i5 and i7.

Core i5 comes in 2 or 4 cores.

 Better for heavy apps, heavy software, HD video editing, Playing games etc.

(If you have work like video editing, photo editing, software like AutoCad or Other Academic software, then don’t buy i3, i5 would be better for it.)

Better performance and costlier than i3. 

Core i7 comes in 4 or 6 cores.

If you need a more powerful system, like playing heavy games, have to work on animation, high-end games that require high graphics and processing, then go for i7.

Core i9 comes in 6 or 8 cores.

*** Unbeatable performance ***, Used in high-end laptops, able to work on 4k videos, Heavy software. 

1.2. So now let’s know generation.

Despite core i3 or i5 or i7, Processor comes with generations like 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th.

New generation will be improvedutilizes less power (power efficient give more battery backup), and faster performance over previous generation.

The newest generation will be expensive compared to the old generation. Currently the running generation in market are 8th,9th and 10th. 

So, if it fits in your budget go for the newer generation for better performance.

2. RAM (Memory)

Laptop RAM

RAM is Random access memory.

When software is started it will be loaded in RAM.

While what is coming for processing in processor, like started playing games, started photo editing, started browsing internet on computer, work would first reside somewhere on RAM before going to Processor for processing.

RAM stores data, Processor reads data from RAM, process it and store it in RAM.

More the RAM and processing power, will let you work on multiple application at same time. i.e., multitasking.

Question arise how much RAM is needed?

So let’s understand basic fundamentals.

            In Core i3 minimum 4GB to 8GB

Generally, Core i3 laptop in market equipped with 4GB RAM.

            In Core i5 minimum 8GB or more

            In Core i7 minimum 16GB or more

            In Core i9 minimum 32 or more

RAM also has generation and current generation is DDR4, previous is/was DDR3

DDR4 utilizes less power, have high data transfer rate, i.e., faster read and faster write compared to DDR3

3. Display and Graphics

What is the resolution of screen?

We already know a display quality like

  • 720p for HD (1/2 HD)
  • 1080p for FHD (Full HD)
  • 2160p UHD (ultra or 4K)

Plays a vital role on your screen, Graphics card is used to display higher quality image/graphics, it is used in playing high performance games, editing HD videos, high end application where there is a need to display complex objects.

If it is full HD Display, see there is graphics card present or not.

Normally laptops are equipped with Integrated graphics or Dedicated graphics.

  • If found 2GB Integrated graphics, means it will use 2GB of RAM as graphics, so software application will hang or lag on screen due to insufficient memory.
  • If found 2GB dedicated graphics, that means it has its own processor call GPU (i.e., Graphics processing Unit) and dedicated RAM for storage and are expensive than Integrated graphics

Graphics card generally found are ATI and nVidia.

Generally AMD processor comes with ATI Graphics.

Laptop ATI and nVidea
(Image credit: PNGKey.com)

4. Harddisk (Hard Drive)

Everything on computer is saved on harddisk for future use. It is same as mobile Internal storage, memory card used in mobiles.

Question:

  1. What is the size of harddisk?
  2. What is the type of Harddisk?

First type is HDD (Harddisk drive) and another is SSD (Solid State drive).

HDD are found in low budget laptops, are cheaper and Read /write speed are normal. Suitable for normal work.

In HDD you can get large storage of 1TB, 2TB at affordable price. Data are store on disk similar to CD/DVD, made with metal, coated with magnet called platter. Platter rotates and read/write are performed on it.

In SSD, data are store on chip, so no moving parts.

So, SSD have faster read/write speed, probably double the speed of HDD.

SSD are pretty expensive, so buying 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD would cost near around.

            1TB= 1024GB

Conclusion: Want better performance go for SSD as you can buy external HDD of large size to store data or can use cloud storage to store your files.

5. Software

Preinstalled Windows laptop will be costlier. Why so, actually, you are also paying for Windows license.

Beside same configuration laptop with same hardware without windows, you will have to pay less.

(Merchant or Seller will ask you, if you don’t want to go with it, they will install DOS or Linux. i.e., free OS,

(So, you can save your budget here.)

Afterwards if you are willing than you can buy windows license from online or retail store, or pay small amount and get pirated installed.

So, what other things need to keep in mind are:

Different brand laptops price will vary.

After sales support is available in your city or not.

Is it providing extended warranty, you can think of getting one?

Touch screen gimmick will increase you budget.

My Last tip would be, always check different online shopping site review and rating for particular laptop models.

More reviews and rating on laptop will guide you to do more better decision.

Laptop buy Review rating

I hope you have learned so many things from this tutorial video, Subscribe for Next tutorial, Like, share to others, and comment and let me know, if you have any question or queries.

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