There are several laptop categories, manufactured with a certain use or audience in mind. When shopping for a laptop, decide what you primarily intend to use the laptop for and seek out a category that aligns with those interests. Here are some broad categories and a couple of our favorites for each. In general, budget laptops are ideal for people who may not know a lot about computers and simply want a device that can carry out standard tasks. This is a category where Chromebooks excel, as they ditch some of the fancier features of Windows and MacOS laptops, but there are options from Windows as well.
This price range is arguably the best in terms of bang for your buck. These laptops are truly excellent. You get much better internal hardware than the entry-level offerings, but at the cost of premium features, high-powered graphics chips, and fancy materials.
The fact that this section is such a sweet spot for the industry means that you have plenty to choose from. There are laptops with great displays, laptops with powerful processors, beautiful laptops, and ones that are light and portable with great battery life. This bracket contains some of the best laptops you can buy today.
For a little extra money, you gain longer battery life, improved performance from more powerful internal hardware, larger and higher-resolution displays, and overall better build quality. Despite the inflated cost of the premium laptop category, there are still plenty of choices.
You can pick up stellar laptops in the inch form with plenty of general computing power and connectivity options. This category even contains our favorite laptop of the past few years, the Dell XPS If you want something a little heftier and more capable of content creation, the Dell XPS 15 is worth considering too.
The 2-in-1 laptop combines the convenience and ease of a tablet with the utility of a keyboard. This category includes two most common designs: Convertible and detachable. The convertible can serve as a tablet by flipping the keyboard under the screen. The detachable is essentially a tablet with a removable keyboard but looks and feels like an ultra-thin laptop when combined.
Two-in-ones can provide a lot of versatility but are not necessarily the best devices available. The uniqueness of their design can come with some notable drawbacks, such as weight especially from the metal hinges on the keyboard and price. These 2-in-1 laptops are often more expensive than clamshell laptops with comparable hardware.
When it comes to buying a 2-in-1, some are better laptops than they are tablets, and some are better tablets than they are laptops. Our favorite 2-in-1 laptops for include the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and the HP Spectre X 14 , always a reliable line for professionals. You can find some good examples in our list of the best inch laptops. Business laptops offer some intriguing features for the average buyer despite targeting professionals.
Sure, they might not always offer the looks of more mainstream systems, but they tend to pack exceptional battery life and have more rugged and tough shells. They are also much more likely to offer better protective systems like biometric validation and professionally oriented software packages due to their greater emphasis on security and privacy. One of the most iconic laptop lines in the business category is the Lenovo ThinkPad, and the latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 is a fantastic entry in that range.
Gaming laptops must be built to keep up with the unceasing march of progress. The best tout high-end processors and graphics chips, as well as enough RAM to run modern games. Anything less can render the hottest titles unplayable. High-tier gaming laptops tend to be bulky, typically to accommodate better desktop-like hardware and larger screens. As with any computer, hardware determines what a laptop can do. As with any computer, the CPU is the brains of the notebook and does most of the general work.
When the computer needs to access or change data, the CPU executes that task. Better CPUs will be able to process more data at quicker speeds. The current offerings from Intel are its Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 series in 11th-generation models. For instance, the iH is an 11th-generation CPU. There are more cores than in current Intel CPUs, with a mix of performance and efficiency cores that are meant to provide both faster and more efficient performance.
When it comes to picking a laptop based on its CPU, newer is almost always better. The four cores available in the Core iG7, for example, offer enough performance for almost anyone. Most lower-end laptops ship with integrated graphics, which means the component is mounted inside the main processor. For instance, nearly all Intel laptop chips include integrated graphics, namely the Intel Iris Xe in higher-end models and Intel UHD graphics at the lower end.
Nvidia and AMD are the primary vendors of these chips. These will be in the most expensive, most powerful gaming and business-class laptops, though some recent models may be using the GTX Series or the older GTX Series. Laptops based on the RTX Series are increasingly common and provide excellent gaming and creative application performance. Again, AMD will be offering faster integrated graphics in its upcoming Ryzen line.
Most laptops provide ports to connect headphones or external speakers if you want a more immersive listening experience. RAM, often referred to as system memory , refers to dedicated hardware for temporarily storing and accessing information for immediate use. All current tasks store data in RAM, like the web browser currently displaying this guide. Essentially, the more RAM, the more information a computer can call up at any given time, and thus the more things it can do at any time.
However, unlike storage see below , RAM does not store data indefinitely. Once RAM loses power, all held data is lost. How much RAM do you need? All data, from installed programs to downloaded music, reside on an internal storage device.
These devices either rely on traditional platter-based hard drive technology or NAND Flash technology. Chromebooks tend to use the latter in small amounts. In contrast to RAM, data in storage does not necessarily need to be in use. An installed program that is currently not active takes up storage space but not memory. Many modern laptops now use solid-state drives SSDs which are faster and more reliable than traditional hard drives, but more expensive when comparing identical capacities.
It offers a dramatic performance boost over a conventional hard drive — which does have moving parts — and can provide the most dramatic improvement in laptop usage when buying a new system. Make sure your next purchase has an SSD as the primary drive. If you need more space, grab a big external drive too. Ports can quickly become confusing on a laptop due to a complex labyrinth of terminology. Make sure to focus on the USB ports that you need. Older laptops tend to offer USB-A ports to support legacy devices, like peripherals and external drives.
This interface supports USB 2. This interface is smaller, narrower, and more rounded than USB-A. Chat on WhatspApp. Our Products Offering. Recent searches. Preferred Language. Cancel Save. Laptop buying guide Choose the best laptop Whether you are planning to buy a laptop to work from home or attend online classes, finding a good laptop requires proper insight of must-have features and specifications.
Operating system Choosing the right Operating System OS is the first and the most important step when buying a new laptop as it determines the environment you will work in. Tips for buying a laptop Category Tip Screen size How to determine the storage capacity.
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