Ultimate Buying Guide for Laptops: How To Choose the Best Laptop?

Although, every laptop is somehow perfect for a certain set of users depending upon its applications. While selecting a laptop, you need to consider how you are going to use your laptop. Here are the most common applications for a laptop:

Light use: All of the applications that do not require a lot of resources to run fall under the light use category. Light usage of laptops includes basic tasks such as surfing the internet, paying bills online, social networking, handling work emails, digital backup of photos and personal data, etc.

Medium use: Medium use includes a lot of necessary operations such as official work on various office-based applications as well as considerable media consumption like watching movies and TV shows regularly.

Heavy use: Heavy laptop users are mostly hardcore gamers or professional workers that deal with heavy software like AutoCAD, Photoshop, Blender, etc. Although, keep in mind that for a high-performance laptop, you will surely have to spend a few extra bucks.

Here, we will thoroughly explain all the important aspects of laptops. To get the perfect laptop, make sure you read our ultimate buying guide until the end so that you do not miss any important factor.

laptops for heavy use

Processor

The processor is the brain of every electronic product. Similarly, each laptop is powered by a certain processor that is responsible for its overall performance capability as well as decides its purpose. These processors are generally manufactured by 2 major brands that are Intel and AMD.

As it goes without saying, a faster and more powerful processor will surely make the laptop superior in terms of performance and keep your laptop reliable for a longer period of time. While selecting a laptop with a certain processor, you need to check following processor properties so that you get the best option for you:

laptops Processor

1. Base clock

The base clock of a processor is the designed clock speed of a processor at which the processor operates under typical utilization. While the processor is operating at base clock frequency, it does not get heated up as all of the cores are not being utilized.

The base click generally refers to the processor’s capability to carry out static tasks. In most modern laptops, you can get a SpeedStep feature that can automatically underclock the CPU while it is ideal so that it does not consume battery while no tasks are running in the background.

2. Boost Clock

The boost clock is another operating frequency of a processor that is attained when there is a high load on the processor. In simpler words, your processor will operate at a boosted clock in case you are playing a demanding video game or running software that requires a lot of resources.

Keep in mind that the processors cannot operate at boosted frequency permanently as it requires all cores to operate at once that generates a considerable amount of heat. But, the boost clock surely defines the capability of a laptop, considering it represents the peak performance capabilities of the processor.

3. Cores & Threads

While we are discussing the processors, let’s talk about the most important factor of a processor, which are the cores and threads. In both Intel as well as Ryzen processors, there are dedicated cores and threads on each processor that defines its capability to perform any task.

While cores represent the physical processing units embedded in a single processor, the threads represent the fractional parts of the core, which are capable of performing certain tasks at the same time. While buying a laptop, make sure you go with the one that is powered by a processor that has both a high number of cores as well as a high number of threads. Here are some common processors in the market:

4. Intel Processors

ProcessorsCoresThreadsBase ClockBoost Clock
Core X-seriesUp to 18Up to 363.30 GHz5 GHz
Core i9Up to 10Up to 202.40 GHz5 GHz
Core i7Up to 8Up to 162 GHz4.50 GHz
Core i5Up to 6Up to 122 GHz3.60 GHz

5. AMD Processors

ProcessorsCoresThreadsBase ClockBoost Clock
Ryzen 7Up to 8Up to 163.9 GHz4.7 GHz
Ryzen 5Up to 6Up to 123.8 GHz4.5 GHz
Ryzen 3Up to 4Up to 83.8 GHz4.3 GHz

6. Lithography Rating

Different processors use different manufacturing methods that include variations in the lithography rating. As a result, you can see a difference in terms of the “nm” rating. The nm stands for a nanometer and represents the lithography rating of a certain processor.

As this defines the distance between the processor’s logic gates, you should consider buying one that has the minimum nm rating available. As you can expect, a smaller distance between multiple layers of a processor’s logic gate results in faster data transfer as well as power consumption, which is a highly important factor when it comes to laptops.

Lithography Rating

7. Cache

You might have seen a certain cache that is pre-allocated to every processor and has ~6 MB capacity. This cache is a hardware part of the processor that acts like a smaller but faster memory and located very close to the processor cores. While performing any action, the processor has to read or write data from the main memory, which takes more time.

Hence, CPUs have a dedicated memory where it can store recent data so that it can be accessed quickly. If you get a higher cache capacity on a processor, you will see faster operating speed. Most CPUs offer different independent caches that are arranged in a hierarchy such as L1, L2, L3, L4, etc.

8. U vs. H series

In Intel CPUs, you can see an “H” or “U” suffix at the end of its name. The “H” series processors come with a more powerful graphics support. Generally, gaming oriented laptops and notebooks whereas “U” series processors are rated for low power consumption and best for great battery life.

You can also see similar series in Ryzen’s lineup of processors too, where the suffix “G” stands for integrated high-end graphics in the processor that will allow you to have casual gaming on the laptop without needing a dedicated GPU.

9. Power Consumption

Power consumption is a very important factor in every portable electronic device as it has a dedicated battery, and overall power consumption affects battery life drastically. Similarly, every laptop has a different power consumption rating that differs based on the specifications available with the laptop.

As CPU is one of the most important hardware of a laptop, it needs considerable power to operate efficiently. There are a few things that you should keep in mind, such as the base clock, boost clock, number of cores and threads, and performance capability of the processor that has a drastic change in terms of power consumption.

RAM

Every application or process that you run on a laptop is stored in the RAM first before you can see the operation on your display. RAM is the bridge between your storage and your processor and works as a continuous storage device for seamless performance.

While buying a laptop, you can see a variety of different RAM options with the difference in the capacity and speed that will affect your overall performance, Hence, to get the best performance out of your laptop; you should also go for the best RAM that comes with a laptop. Take a look at following RAM properties to pick up the best RAM variant available under your budget:

ram

1. Capacity

As mentioned earlier, the RAM is basically a storage device, and similar to any other storage device, it has a dedicated memory capacity. While you are working or gaming on a laptop, every software or game occupies a certain amount of storage on your RAM and keeps it occupied until the task has not finished.

As a result, a larger capacity RAM will allow more processes at a single time as compared to smaller capacity RAM and unlock greater potential for multitasking. RAM capacities are mentioned in Gigabytes, where at least 4 GB RAM is necessary for basic tasks, and if you are planning to game, you need to go with 8 GB RAM variant or higher.

2. Double Data Rate Version

Almost all memory modules used nowadays in laptops or PCs have double data rate RAMs that are more commonly known as DDR RAMs or SDRAMs. The double data rate version has changed in the past few years as every year, the technology moves forward, and all electronic components, including RAM modules, get faster and more efficient.

In the current time, you can find 2 double data rate RAMs most commonly on laptops, which are DDR3 and DDR4 RAMs. The DDR3 ram can be found on budget-oriented as well as older models of laptops, whereas DDR4 RAM is seen more frequently in high-end laptops.

While buying a laptop, you need to carefully choose the RAM variant that you are going with to suit your budget as well as your application. Take a look at the following comparison table to get a better idea about DDR3 and DDR4 RAMs.

DDR3 RAMsDDR4 RAMs
DDR3 RAMs or much older variants of RAM modules.DDR4 RAMs are comparatively recent.
DDR3 RAMs are available under a lesser budget when it comes to laptops.DDR4 RAMs are included in mid-tier and high tier laptops only.
DDR3 RAM modules use auto-refresh and self refresh both to refresh the content.DDR4 RAM only uses self-refresh to refresh the content.
The power consumption is higher on DDR3 RAMs that have a negative effect on a laptop’s battery life.You will get considerably longer battery backup if DDR4 RAMs are installed on the laptop instead of DDR3 RAMs.
DDR3 RAMs are slowerDDR4 RAMs are faster
The peak bandwidth of a DDR3 RAM goes up to 14900 only.The maximum peak bandwidth available with DDR4 RAM is up to 25600.
You can only find up to 16 GB capacity RAM sticks for DDR3 memory.DDR4 memory has no storage limitation, and there are up to 1 TB DDR4 RAM modules available in the market.
DDR3 RAMs can only attain clock speed of up to 2133 MHz.DDR4 RAMs have a minimum clock speed of 2133 MHz, and there is no limit on the clock speed of a DDR4 RAM.
DDR3 RAM has lower latency in data transferDDR4 RAMs have slightly higher latency in data transfer

Double Data Rate Version

3. Channels

The RAM channels are the slots available on the motherboard where you install a RAM. A laptop always comes with a RAM stick pre-installed on the board, but you need to check if it’s a dual-channel or a single channel RAM setup. If you decide to go with a single-channel RAM, you can install only a single RAM stick on the motherboard.

The dual-channel setup, on the other hand, offers a lot more advantages. First of all, the overall performance is better on a dual-channel setup, even if the total storage capacity is the same. Also, you should always prefer dual-channel RAM as it allows higher memory capacity for the long run and highly suitable for gaming.

4. Speed

Each RAM has a certain speed that allows it to receive a request from the processor and then read or write data on the storage device under a certain amount of time. The RAM speed is represented in MHz or million cycles per second, where you should always choose the fastest RAM available under your budget so that you can rely on your laptop for a large experience.

If you are going with a dual-channel RAM option, you need to make sure that both of the RAM has an identical speed; otherwise, it will result in numerous crashes and BSOD errors. A high-speed RAM is also necessary to use your processor at its full potential to get the maximum performance speed.

Double Data Rate Version speed

GPU

The GPU stands for graphical processing unit, which is more commonly known as a graphics card. The graphics hardware on a laptop is somewhat similar to desktop computers as you will get extended support for display if your laptop has a dedicated GPU.

Although, you need to thoroughly consider your usage with your laptop as there is a chance you might not even need a dedicated GPU if you plan to use the laptop for official work. But, it is always good to have decent graphics support on your laptop for a more versatile performance.

GPU

1. Integrated vs. Dedicated vs. MaxQ

In most of the laptops, you will find an integrated graphics support that includes a wide range of processors that has a built-in GPU that carries out all the functions that are expected from a graphics hardware. But, if you browse the category of gaming laptops, there is mostly a dedicated GPU installed on the laptop to provide desktop-level performance on a portable device.

Although, you need to consider the power consumption as a dedicated GPU will consume a lot more power as compared to an integrated GPU and also need considerable cooling performance as it gets heated easily. There is a new lineup of gaming laptops recently released in the market that provides a MaxQ graphics card that gives a perfect balance between power consumption and performance that makes it the most efficient GPUs available on a laptop.

2. Chipset

The chipset of a GPU is completely responsible for its performance and overall capacity. You can find two major vendors for GPUs in the market that are Nvidia and AMD. While both brand’s GPUs are great for all purposes, each brand has a series of chipsets that differ a lot in terms of performance. Here, we have a couple of most popular GPUs available on the laptop from both AMD and Nvidia and its use case scenario.

3. Nvidia Graphics Cards

Graphics CardsPreferred Application
GTX 1050Casual gaming and general use
GTX 1050 TiCasual gaming and general use
GTX 1060Casual gaming and general use
GTX 1650Casual gaming and general use
GTX 1660Casual gaming and general use
GTX 1660 TiCasual gaming and general use
GTX 1070Hardcore gaming with demanding AAA game titles
GTX 1070 TiHardcore gaming with demanding AAA game titles
GTX 1080Hardcore gaming with demanding AAA game titles
GTX 1080 TiHardcore gaming with demanding AAA game titles
RTX 2060Most advanced GPU series for hardcore gaming and content creation
RTX 2070Most advanced GPU series for hardcore gaming and content creation
RTX 2080Most advanced GPU series for hardcore gaming and content creation
RTX 2080 TiMost advanced GPU series for hardcore gaming and content creation

4. AMD Graphics Cards

Graphics CardsPreferred Application
AMD RX 550Casual gaming and general use
AMD Radeon RX 560Casual gaming and general use
AMD Radeon RX 570Casual gaming and general use
AMD Radeon RX 580Casual gaming and general use
AMD Radeon RX 590Hardcore gaming with demanding AAA game titles
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56Hardcore gaming with demanding AAA game titles
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64Hardcore gaming with demanding AAA game titles
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid CooledHardcore gaming with demanding AAA game titles
AMD Radeon VIIMost advanced GPU series for hardcore gaming and content creation
AMD Radeon RX 5700Most advanced GPU series for hardcore gaming and content creation
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th AnniversaryMost advanced GPU series for hardcore gaming and content creation

5. VRAM

Similar to the RAM, dedicated graphics cards also come with a certain memory capacity called Video Ram or VRam. This video RAM is used by the GPU to store graphical textures, 3D models, and other display items temporarily while it is being rendered on the display of your laptop.

Higher VRam is the basic need to be able to play any game from the newly arrived game titles as they are pretty massive in size and contain lots of lots of graphical details. Also, in many games, you can see the amount of VRAM being used on your GPU at a certain quality setting where a higher quality preset generally consumes more VRam.

Graphics memory usage

6. Clock Speed

As the graphics cards are somewhat similar to other memory devices, it also has a clock speed. Similar to RAMs, this clock speed represents the operating frequency of the graphics card that is customizable in a lot of cases. You will find the GPU speed mentioned in the MHz unit, where a higher rating represents faster graphics cards that are capable of higher performance.

If your GPU supports overclocking, you will be able to overclock your GPU to get more performance out of it by overclocking the GPU by using software such as MSI Afterburner. You will also have the option to underclock the GPU in case you are not doing anything significant on your laptop to get a longer battery backup.

Storage

No matter how fast a processor, RAM, or GPU is available on your laptop, it still has to wait for data transfer from the storage device to perform any action. Also, the booting speed depends upon the storage device as it reads information from the Windows installation directory while booting up.

In simpler words, a slower storage device will greatly bottleneck your system, and you will not be able to use your system at its peak potential. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind while taking a look at the storage device available on the laptop.

1. Capacity

The first thing you should check is the capacity available for storage. Generally, you can find 1 terabyte HDD in almost all mid-range to high-end laptops, whereas the storage capacity available on low range laptops falls under 500 GB.

Higher storage capacity is always better to have as it allows you to store more content on the drive without needing to clear up space every now and then. This includes storing movies, music files, images as well as installing various software and games. You will need larger storage, especially when it comes to gaming, as recent games mostly occupy more than 20 GB space on the drive.

2. HDD vs. SSD vs. NVMe SSD

In laptops, you can find 3 types of storage devices that include SATA SSD and NVMe SSD. The HDD is the most common storage drive that is considerably slower as compared to other options. But, you can find a large-capacity storage option if you go with an HDD storage option.

On the other hand, SSDs are marginally faster storage drives and best suited for high-end gaming and software used as the read and write speeds of an SSD go as high as 3 Gbps. You can also find NVMe SSDs on laptops that are much faster than SATA options while being compact and offer lesser power consumption. We will recommend you to go with an SSD plus HDD storage laptops so that you can get both high-speed operation and vast storage capacity altogether.

HDDSSD
HDD is a mechanical hard disk drive.SSD is short for solid-state drive, and it does not contain any moving parts
HDDs are available at much cheaper rates and provide more storage capacity under a budget.SSDs are comparatively expensive, and you need to make a considerable investment for a terabyte of SSD.
As HHD relies on mechanical motion to read and write data, it is comparatively slower than SSDs.SSDs offer a significant increment in read as well as write speed.
General system boot-up time on HDD is around 3 to 4 minutes.When the operating system is installed on an SSD, system boot-up takes less than 10 seconds.
Loading time on demanding software and games is pretty long when it is installed in an HDD.Any program or game loads faster on an SSD, but you will need to get a high capacity SSD to install games and various software

HDD vs. SSD vs. NVMe SSD

Upgradability

Upgrading a laptop might seem a little unfamiliar but is surely possible, and a lot of modern laptops are aimed for future upgrades so that it does not get old with time. Typically, you can upgrade the following things on your laptop: The RAM, Storage drives, and GPU.

When it comes to the RAM, many laptops come with an empty RAM slot alongside a pre-installed RAM so that you can run a dual-channel RAM setup by installing an identical RAM for greater performance. Upgrading the RAM on a single channel setup, on the other hand, is not as efficient as you will have to replace the stock memory and buy a higher capacity RAM as the upgrade.

The same goes for the storage devices as you might find an empty NVMe slot on the laptop motherboard to install an NVMe drive. Or, you can simply replace the SATA SSD if your laptop has a built-in SATA SSD instead of an NVMe drive. It is best to go with an empty slot and a built-in HDD on a laptop as you can use the laptop and check if you need an SSD before buying one for your laptop.

Display

The display should hold the highest importance while buying a laptop as it is the sole parameter that shows all of the operations you are performing on the laptop. Whether you are watching a movie, playing a game, or finishing an official document, you will need a crispier, sharper, and bright display so that you can see everything without any problem and does not cause any strain after prolonged sessions.

The display consists of many aspects such as size, resolution, refresh rate, and many more that make it a perfect display. Let us discuss all of these display properties briefly.

laptop dispaly

1. Size

While using a laptop, all of the visuals must be clear and properly visible while maintaining enough distance from the laptop so that it does not strain your eyes. For that, you need to get a larger display on the laptop.

The display size is mentioned in inches, and the size is measured from one corner to another diagonally opposite corner to give you a perfect idea about the screen size of the laptop.

The majority of laptops fall under 15 inches to 17 inches of screen sizes that are suitable for almost all applications. But, if you are looking for a more compact option, you can get a laptop from 11 inches to 14 inches display size.

3. Resolution

Resolution tells about the clarity of display you can get on your laptop. There is an array of pixels or dots on the display that changes colors dynamically to form an image. As the number of pixels available per unit area increases, the image quality also increases. In a high-resolution display, you can get a sharper image output for all media output.

Also, keep in mind you can only render or play the media that at a resolution that matches the native resolution of your display. For example, you can only play games on 4K resolution if your display has 4K 2160p resolution. You can find various resolution and its pixel arrangement ratio in the following table:

Laptop Display TypeResolution
High Definition1280 x 720
HD Ready1366 x 768
Full HD1920 x 1080
Ultra HD3840 x 2160

Resolution HDR

4. Refresh Rates

Refresh rate refers to the number of times your display refreshes or updates to match the changes in the source image file. The refresh rate is described in the “Hz” unit that stands for the number of times your display updates every second. Almost all display panels in any laptop have a 60Hz refresh rate capacity that allows you to fully perceive any content up to 60 FPS on your laptop.

But, you will always have the option to choose a higher refresh rate display that is the major requirement for FPS gaming. On high-end gaming laptops, you can get up to 165Hz refresh rate display that is best for games like Apex legends, CSGO, HyperScape, etc. as they can run at a very high FPS on gaming laptops.

Having a higher refresh rate on your laptop display gives a competitive advantage in gaming and overall smooth video output.

refresh rate

5. Colour Accuracy

There are a lot of things like HDR, contrast ratio, and brightness that affects the image quality produced on display. Although, the most important factor is the color accuracy and the number of colors produced on your display as the rest of the factors can be changed and personalized according to your need.

Similar to any other digital display, the color accuracy of a laptop display can be found in the form of color gamuts. There are multiple color gamut options to measure the color accuracy produced by the display, such as sRGB color gamut that gives results in an 80%, 90%, or 100% sRGB format.

It is the percentage of the colors a display can produce compared to an ideal sRGB color pallet. In high-end laptops, you can find up to 265% sRGB rating that gives the best and accurate color production.

6. Panel Type

Even with a high-resolution display, you will not see a sharper image unless you get a better display panel. There are different kinds of panels available for laptop displays such as IPS, TN, or in some rare cases, even OLED. Each display panel type is better for a certain use.

For example, an IPS panel gives a sharper image, so it is great for general purpose laptops. In contrast, TN panels have a great viewing angle and often come with a higher refresh rate that suits the needs of a professional gamer. OLED panels, on the other hand, are great for media consumption as it can provide the most realistic black levels as well as great color production.

7. Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio of any display is the ratio of the horizontal length of the display to the vertical length. The most common aspect ratio available globally is 16:9, which is called widescreen display and suits almost every single program and application flawlessly. But, in some productivity-focused laptops, you can find various aspect ratios such as 16:10 or even 3:2.

Keep in mind that these aspect ratio laptops are solely intended to carry out productivity tasks as they allow a lot more content to be visible at the same time as compared to a 16:19 aspect ratio display. The most common display resolution on 3:2 laptops is 2160×1440 and 2560×1700 pixels while 16:10 aspect ratio can support 1280×800 and 1920×1200 pixels resolution.

Software

The software part of a laptop is as important as the hardware part. While the hardware specifications of your laptop decide its capability for certain applications, the software specification refers to the compatibility towards various applications.

The software specification mainly includes the operating system along with some other extra software that comes with your laptop. To get higher compatibility with market standard programs, follow our guide given below to get the perfect balance of software specifications:

1. Operating System

The operating system is the main source of communication between the user and the laptop as it carries the input given from the user towards the hardware and vice versa. It is also responsible for managing all hardware and software resources available on your laptop.

The most popular operating system in the market, as of now, is Microsoft Windows, and it comes pre-installed in a lot of laptops. But, if the laptop comes with DOS (direct operating system), you will have to purchase Microsoft Windows OS separately and install it manually on your laptop. There are a few other operating systems such as macOS, Linux, and Android that you can get with a laptop.

2. Additional Software

If you are planning to get a laptop for official work, make sure you find an option where the manufacturer has included various additional software that comes pre-installed with the laptop. Software such as MS Excel, Powerpoint, and Word is the market standard software for all official paperwork and documents and must be available on your laptop.

If these software are added to your laptop by the manufacturer, you will not have to purchase them separately, which results in quite a bit of cost-saving.

Input Methods

In a typical desktop computer, the mouse and keyboard are the most common input methods as they are the most efficient and accessible options for a desktop.

But, if you take a look at laptops, you can find certain other input methods that add up to the overall portability and versatility of a laptop. You can also find a 2 in 1 laptop that offers a tablet plus laptop experience packed into a single device. Here are a few input methods that you should take a look at while buying a new laptop.

1. Touchscreen

Touchscreen displays are getting more and more popular on laptops as the screen is easily accessible for the user, and the screen size is mostly perfect for touchscreen use. You can find touch screen panels on 2 in 1 laptop that are designed for higher portability as well as on a lot of regular laptops that increase the overall productivity.

We can assure you that it is one of the best input methods for various purposes, such as drawing that eliminates the need for a separate drawing tablet. Also, it is great for watching movies and TV shows, and you can simply swipe for navigation rather than using the media keys.

2. Keyboards

Keyboards that are available on laptops are generally more fragile and get damaged easily after a year or so. There are a lot of reasons that do not allow a robust quality keyboard on a laptop as compared to a physical keyboard like the thinner form factor of a laptop as well as weight reduction.

In previous generation laptops, you would also need a separate keyboard to tag along anywhere you go. But, this is slowly changing with the latest generation of laptops as there are better keyboards available on high-end options. To check the quality of the integrated laptop keyboard, look for any flexes as it ruins the overall typing experience.

Also, you can get the butterfly keyboard on many laptops for silent operation. There are also a few laptops that have a semi-mechanical keyboard to give the mechanical keyboard feel on a laptop.

3. Touchpad

For navigation, you usually have a mouse on your desktop setup. But, a mouse is not always ideal for a laptop as it becomes 1 extra thing that you will need to carry along with your laptop. To counter that, you should take a look at a better touchpad on a laptop.

While the touchpad is not a solution for FPS gaming on a laptop, it can surely replace the mouse for all other day to day usage. The touchpads with a glass finish are generally more accurate and sensitive to movement as compared to the plastic ones. Also, having dedicated left and right-click buttons below the touchpad allows better operation as compared to tapping on the touchpad.

Connectivity

To get the most out of your brand new laptop, you might have to connect it to various output devices. This includes external storage devices, USB peripherals, external display, streaming devices, and many more.

The connectivity offered by a laptop must be looked into so that you can always get compatible devices that can be plugged into the laptop. Here are a couple of connectivity-based features that need to be checked before buying a laptop.

1. Peripherals

Most of the external devices that needed to be connected to the laptop have a USB connection. This includes external hard drives, mouse, keyboards, and even WiFi receivers. Hence, you need to make sure that you have enough USB ports on your laptop so that you can plug all of the peripherals on your laptop without needing a separate USB HUB.

Also, it is important to notice that not all of the ports have identical transfer speeds. For example, USB 3.0 ports are much faster than USB 2.0 ports. Also, you can find lightning ports and USB 3.1 ports too on certain laptops that allow much faster data transfer. So, make sure you take a look at all available USB ports and its type before buying a laptop.

2. Video Ports

The video ports available on a laptop can be used for transporting your screen on a larger display. Also, you can use these video ports to use your laptop for a dual-screen setup. The most popular and commonly used video port nowadays is the HDMI port, where a DisplayPort is more commonly seen in gaming laptops as it is needed for higher refresh rate displays.

Therefore, make sure you get these display ports on your laptop so that you can plug it into any of your other displays such as a desktop monitor and Smart TVs. Make sure you do not get an older video port such as a VGA, as it will surely need a converter cable that affects the overall output quality.

3. Audio Ports

Audio quality and output are as important as the video for an overall experience. Whether it’s watching movies or playing games, you will find a need to plug in your headphones on your laptop. Many laptops come with a dedicated 3.5 audio jack that is essential for media consumption.

But you will need a combo I/O jack on your laptop that provides an option for both outputs as well as input if you have an input device for multiplayer gaming and online meetings.

4. Card Slots

Many users use a memory card instead of pen drives, as it is more handy and compact in comparison. But, connecting a memory card to a computer is troublesome if you have to plug it in via a card reader.

This problem is resolved by laptop manufacturers as they have introduced card readers built into the laptop. This is a great feature if you own a DSLR or similar camera and constantly need to transfer images back and forth. You can find both MicroSD card readers as well as the larger SD card readers on laptops that are used in some cameras.

5. Wireless

As laptops are aimed for portable usage, it should have a wireless connectivity option to remove the hassle of carrying cables around. 2 main wireless connectivity options are highly necessary for laptops that are WiFi and Bluetooth.

While WiFi is necessary to access any remote internet connection, Bluetooth comes in handy for quickly transferring data from a smartphone or a camera. Certain laptops also offer NFC features that allow quick pairing without needing any passkey or pin code.

If your laptop also supports screen sharing or casting over WiFi, you will be able to transfer your display to any Smart TV without needing any video cable.

Webcam

The webcam on a laptop is needed for a lot of applications such as video conferencing and many official meetings. Now that device security is getting more and more important, you can also use the webcam for facial recognition so that only you can access your laptop.

Similar to any other cameras, the webcam available on laptops have a similar sensor used for image capture. You can check the megapixel capacity of the sensor to get a vague idea about the webcam quality and whether it is suitable for your needs. There are a few laptop manufacturers that include a shutter over the camera that covers the camera when it is not in use.

Login Security

As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to look into the security offered by a laptop to avoid anyone else apart from you to access your laptop as it contains all of your personal files and data. You can use the default password or pin code options available in Windows OS for basic login security.

But, for a more advanced security measure, you can go with a built-in fingerprint reader available on some laptops that grant access upon successful fingerprint verification. Make sure the fingerprint reader is located on the power key or the touchpad so that you can easily access it every time.

There is also an advanced security measure in Windows OS known as Windows Hello that uses an infrared imaging camera (webcam) to verify your identity and is supported on a few laptops.

Size & Form Factor

Most of the laptop owners have to carry their laptops around for various purposes. In such a case, the size and form factor plays an important role. The size of the laptop is a major factor and affects the overall portability of the laptop. If you decide to go with a larger screen size, it is possible that it might not fit in the carrying bag properly and cause trouble while carrying around.

The form factor also varies depending upon the laptop. For example, the professional laptops have a thinner and slim form factor that is not seen in the heavy-duty gaming laptops that are thicker in comparison. Also, there are dedicated cooling systems on heavy-duty laptops that increase the overall size and weight of the laptop.

Build Quality

Build quality of a laptop is based upon a lot of factors and must be checked before buying one. As laptops are mostly used outdoors, the laptop must be durable in terms of build quality and capable of sustaining rugged usage so that it can be used for a very long time. The first thing you should check is whether the laptop has a plastic body or metal body.

While a plastic body reduces the weight, the metal body makes the laptop highly durable and less prone to damage upon sudden impact. The build quality is generally higher on standard laptops. As you move towards more portable options like 2 in 1 laptop, you will find lesser durable build quality.

Battery Life

As mentioned earlier in the article, any portable device is useful only until it’s the battery has charge left. After that, it just becomes a useless brick until you find a power outlet. Similarly, laptops also have a limited battery life; you have to keep an eye out for remaining charge constantly.

The major factor that affects battery life is most of the power consumption by various hardware installed on the laptop. The most power-consuming peripherals of a laptop are CPU and GPU. The power consumption levels of a CPU depend upon many factors, such as the number of active cores, performance load, lithography rating, etc.

If your laptop comes with a dedicated GPU instead of an integrated one, the power consumption is much higher as a dedicated GPU is a separate hardware that is powered separately. Apart from this, storage devices such as SATA SSD, HDD, and NVMe have varying power requirements.

The battery life on high-end gaming laptops is generally lower as the performance rating is much higher in comparison. On the other hand, you can find a very high battery life on compact and a few 2 in 1 laptop options.

1. Capacity

The battery capacity available on the laptop decides its battery life. The battery capacity on laptops is designated in the milliamp-hours (mAh) unit, where a typical notebook battery has a 2000 to 6000 mAh battery. For a powerful laptop with a lot of heavy-duty components, you will need a similarly powerful battery to provide enough charge to last for a long time.

Choosing a low capacity battery laptop will result in compromising a list of performance features as the power consumption should also be lesser. But, if you get a high battery capacity laptop, you can surely get a lot of heavy-duty components on the laptop as it might be capable of providing charge up to 6 to 7 hours without any problem.

2. Fast Charging

In case you are willing to buy a high battery capacity laptop, make sure it has fast charging capability. As high capacity batteries drain slower, it also charges pretty slow as compared to the smaller capacity ones. This is countered by introducing a fast charging option so that you can fully charge the laptop under a couple of hours and get ready for a day’s usage.

Fast charging is very helpful when you are traveling and cannot find charging stations as often. Even in general use, fast charging reduces the need to keep your laptop plugged in for a long time at a single location, allowing higher portability.

3. Included Chargers

The charging cables that come with laptops vary with different products. Typically, the laptop chargers have a barrel plug, which is not as safe as a few other options, as you might get a slight shock if you come in contact with it.

The best charger available on any laptop is the Type C charging port, as it allows fast charging along with various other usages apart from charging, such as data transfer and video output. The power brick that comes with the laptop also affects its portability as it should not be large-sized and heavy for easy transportation. Also, power bricks are generally very heavy if you consider a high-performance laptop, which makes the total weight even more and makes it harder to carry.

Warranty

Buying an ideal laptop that covers all of your needs completely requires a significant investment. Hence, you must make sure that you always get the best product possible in your budget range. The easiest way to verify the durability of any laptop without physically accessing it is to take a look at its warranty program.

Almost all laptop manufacturers give a certain warranty duration on its laptops that allows you to get free repairs or even replacements in case of severe internal hardware failure. The warranty period on a laptop generally covers any hardware failure that is not caused by any external damage.

We will recommend you to go with a longer warranty period as you can always have a peace of mind while using your laptop and get free of cost repairs at the manufacturer’s service center in case you run into any problem.

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