Laptop Buying Guide 2023: How to Choose the Right Laptop
Buying a laptop can be an infuriating experience. We're here to guide you through the mess of jargon and find a great Windows laptop
If you are planning to buy a new laptop, you have reached the definitive guide on the best laptops on the market and How to Choose the Right Laptop that suits you best. Compact and versatile enough to take with you yet versatile enough to run demanding applications, a laptop is the ultimate tool for serious work or play both at home and on the go. While tablets and smartphones are always popular, most people find that everything from writing an article to creating videos to playing games works better on a laptop. So what type of laptop should you buy, Here is our complete Laptop buying Guide.
There is a wide variety of sizes, features and prices, which makes choosing the most suitable laptop and brand quite a challenge. Therefore, you need to find out what your needs are.
To make the right decision, pay attention to our selection of the best laptops based on the use you are going to give it or your budget. Keep in mind that not all laptops, even with the same components, work as fast, so it is important to know which one to choose.
How to choose the right laptop for you
Laptop components like the processor, hard drive, RAM, and graphics card can confuse even laptop enthusiasts, so don’t feel bad if spec sheets look like alphabet soup. In fact, it will be good for you to know in case you are looking for custom and customizable laptops .
Here are the main components to consider while buying a new laptop:
Which processor is better for laptops?
It is the fundamental part of the computer and it is convenient to choose correctly between the most recommended laptop processors to avoid falling short in tasks that we usually carry out.
In the computer market, both desktop and laptop, there are two manufacturers that lead the market: Intel and AMD, the first being the one that enjoys a greater part of the pie. Like the other components, these are distinguished based on their power and performance.
Quick Tips · Get a good GPU: Most games are GPU-dependent, and you can’t upgrade these in laptops.
Within the highest range of laptops, we can find the latest generation Intel Core i9 processors such as the Intel Core i9-12900H, Intel Core i9-11980HK and the Intel Core i9-11900H. On the AMD side are the Ryzen 9, standing out in the ranking AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX and AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS.
If we compare the two most powerful, we see that the i9-12900H is 20% more powerful than the Ryzen 9 5900HX .
Really, you can settle for other processors a little lower but still remain in the high-end of laptops. Intel Core i7s offers high-end performance for PCs and workstations, while AMD Ryzen 7s like the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H are more widely used and offer the same or more power than, say, an Intel Core i7-11800H.
If you’re looking for a mainstream laptop with the best combination of price and performance, get one with an Intel Core i5 CPU. The models that end in U are the most common. The ones with a Y in the name are low-power and have worse performance, while models with an HQ offer four cores.
The low power consumption and low temperature of the Intel Core M / Core i5 / i7 “Y Series” allow notebooks to run without a fan. This allows much lighter and more versatile models to be manufactured but also results in lower performance.
In the mid-range of the best laptops, we can settle for an Intel Core i3. The performance is a step below the Core i5, as is its price, too. As long as you can go up to a Core i5, it’s recommended as overall performance will improve.
On the AMD Ryzen 5 side, the latest processors like the Ryzen 5 5600H outperform Intel models like the Intel Core i5-11400H. With this range of processors you will get an all-terrain equipment but without reaching the height of those dedicated to exhaustive performance in tasks such as editing, gaming and more.
Simpler processors like the Intel Atom are found in modest laptops, $250 or less. Atom offers basic performance but with longer battery life than Celeron or Pentium.
In the case of Intel Pentium / Celeron, usually found in cheap laptops, they are slightly faster than Atom but offer worse battery life. If you can pay more to get a Core i3 or i5, don’t hesitate.
On the other hand, AMD A or E Series processors are found in budget laptops. AMD processors (the company calls them APUs instead of CPUs) provide good enough performance for browsing and office work.
In workstations, we often find high-end, extremely powerful and expensive processors for large portable workstations. If you do professional-grade engineering work, 3D modeling, or video editing, you may need an Intel Core i7-12700H or i7-11800H.
How Much RAM is Needed?
More RAM means that web pages load faster, being able to have more files or programs open and ultimately more simultaneous tasks. Knowing how much RAM you need depends on the use you are going to give it and also on the operating system (in Windows we will normally need more memory).
More RAM allows for more applications to be run at the same time and for more data to be quickly accessible by the system at any one time
The ideal is that they incorporate at least 8 GB for normal use and 16 GB if we are going to make more intensive use. If instead you do video editing or you are going to use it mainly for gaming, the ideal is 16GB and up.
HDD or SSD?
The hard disk is one of the points that is often not taken into account since most models incorporate a mechanical hard disk (HDD), much cheaper and with a higher capacity. The problem with these disks is that they create a bottleneck that does not allow you to take advantage of all the features of the computer. It does not matter if we buy the latest processor on the market if later we do not opt for an SSD or solid state drive.
A solid state drive (SSD) runs silently and offers a lot more speed than a hard drive,
For us it is independent that you are going to use the PC for office automation than for games: choose one with SSD. Especially since it will start much faster, it will go much more smoothly and it will consume less battery than a mechanical disk.
How much storage do I need?
The mechanical hard drives that we can usually find are usually 500g or 1000gb, while SSDs are usually mounted in sizes of 128 and 256GB. Depending on the use you are going to make of the computer, you will need more or less space. If it is for office use, with 128GB of SSD it can be used since we can store data such as photos or documents in the cloud. If we are going to use it to play, it is best to opt for a model that mounts an SSD of at least 256GB or a combination of both types of disk.
Keep in mind that the cheapest laptops, which are usually around €250 or less, usually have a capacity of 32-64GB, which will greatly limit their intensive use. In addition, many of them do not have the possibility of expanding said storage space.
Laptop screens come in a range of resolutions (measured in pixels, horizontal and vertical). The more resolution we can choose, the better. The standard resolution is 1366 x 768 on lower-mid-range laptops, and it’s good for most everyday tasks. Above is the HD + (1600 × 900), designed to have more quality in movies and games.
Then we have the Full HD and QHD standards, 1920 × 1080 and 2560 × 1440. These are included in high-end laptops, especially gaming ones. Is it worth opting for a model with this resolution? If we are going to do video editing or play the latest titles, it is worth paying the premium.
At the current top, we have QHD + and 4K resolutions, 3200 × 1800 and 3840 × 2160, which can be found in video editing models or high-end gaming laptops.
As for Macs, we find 2304 x 1440, 2560 x 1600 and 2880 x 1800 resolutions found on Apple’s 12″, 13.3″ and 15.6″ screens, respectively on their retina displays.
Go with Touch screen?
Touch screens are very interesting if you are going to do presentation work or even use it as a tablet, but otherwise, do not choose it. It will reduce battery life and you will also pay more for functionality that you will not take advantage of.
If you won’t be using the laptop for gaming or high-resolution video editing, an integrated graphics card will suffice. If you have any of the above needs, you will need a dedicated graphics card. As with CPUs, there are high-end and low-end graphics chips.
If you’re buying a big, bulky laptop that you’ll only use at your desk near a power outlet, you don’t have to worry about battery life. However, if you plan to use the laptop on your lap, even at home or at work, you will need at least 6 hours of endurance, with more than 8 hours being ideal. To determine the expected battery life of a laptop, don’t take the manufacturer’s word for it. Instead, read third-party reviews from objective sources, like our reviews.
One of the points that we also have to take into account is connectivity. With the new USB-C and USB 3.1 taking over the market, we have to think about what ports we need: Do we need HDMI? Do we need Ethernet port (for wired Internet connection?
Most ultrabook and convertible models do not include HDMI, Ethernet or VGA, in many cases relying solely on conventional USB and USB-C ports that are much smaller in size and offer more speed and video transmission possibilities.
If there is something that has become quite obsolete today, it is optical drives: almost everything we currently use is downloadable or by USB. Unless you use it in your day to day, you do not need to look at a model that incorporates this unit. In any case, if you are going to use it later you can opt for an external one via USB.
keyboard and touchpad
You can always go for an external one if you’re not convinced, but these items should be of decent quality. Brands (in this order from best to worst) such as ASUS, Microsoft, Lenovo, Acer and HP have good qualities in terms of keyboards. If you look at touchpad quality (in this order) it would be Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, ASUS and HP. That is, Microsoft and Lenovo would have the best average quality of these controls.
best laptop brands
As in the case of keyboards and touchpads I have mentioned some brands, for the rest of the finishes and the quality of the laptop, it will also have an influence. If you look at the flaws that a model can give in 2 years of analysis, the Samsung, Dell Microsoft, Lenovo, ASUS, Acer and HP brands are among the best.
Mac, Windows or Chrome OS: Which laptops are better?
Each one has its peculiarities and we cannot say that one is better than the other in all aspects. Most laptops run Windows or Mac OS (in the case of Apple brand models) and Chrome OS, based on Linux. Let’s see a brief summary of what are the advantages of each of them.
Windows 11 vs. Windows 10: main differences
With the arrival of Windows 11, the most widely used operating system in the world is renewed and presents some differences compared to the old version, Windows 10. The first big difference is its new design, with a new interface more similar to Mac inside in a very clean style with rounded corners and pastel tones.
Plus, a bonus PC users have been waiting for: Android apps are available for Windows 11 through the Microsoft Store. You can also set up virtual desktops just like on Mac and access new widgets from the taskbar.
For those who work with monitors, with Windows 11 it is easier to group different windows and applications to move between a desktop and a monitor thanks to Snap Layouts and Snap Groups.
The Apple ecosystem allows interconnection with all the brand’s devices, it is very stable and its functionalities are similar to Windows, although the usability is different. It also has a virtual assistant, Siri, and there is specific software that is not available in Windows. Historically, Macs have far fewer problems with viruses and malware. However, its price is much higher and there are some options that are not yet available, such as touch screens.
Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system that extends the functionality of Google’s own browser. Chromebook laptops are designed above all for tasks that we usually carry out in the browser, and they stand out mainly for their low resource consumption (they can consume half the ram of a Windows laptop in a similar task). Since the Chrome operating system is free and open source, the hardware requirements are lower than Windows, so models are usually around $250-300.
They are mainly based on their use in the cloud and allow you to use all the options of Google. This is its main advantage but also its weakness: because it is a web-centric platform, almost every major application is either a browser extension or a web tool. Some tools like Docs can work locally, but most require an Internet connection. Recent updates have added native Android apps, but it’s still quite a ways from the number of apps that exist on Windows and Mac OS.
If you need a device to surf, watch Netflix, check email, or visit your social networks, Chromebooks are cheap and comfortable, as well as offer good battery life. If you are going to do more advanced tasks, they are not for you.
Finally, how do you know if a laptop is good?
When analyzing whether the best laptops are worth it, the main thing is to take into account the use that we are going to give it and compare if the technical requirements of that model you want meet your objectives. In addition to that, taking into account all the parameters that we have told you about and deciding which operating system is the best for us, can help us avoid errors in our selection.
In addition here a video Guide on 15 Laptop Buying Mistakes you must avoid.
- Windows 11 is out! Here are the New Features and Innovations
- Laptop battery drains very fast after windows update? Apply these tips
- How to Install Windows 11 on your computer/Laptop
- PC mouse hangs every few seconds? Here are the solutions
- Solved: No internet after windows 10 version 21H2 update
- New laptop: what do you need to upgrade to Windows 11 for free?