Welcome to of our Laptop Buyer’s Guide. In this post we will discuss how to buy a laptop and answer your question: “What is the best laptop to buy ?”. My goal in this laptop buyer’s guide is to provide you with as much information as possible, so you can make the most informed decision when buying best laptop for the money.
5 Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a New Laptop
Popularity of laptop is increasing every year with more variety to pick from. This contributes to countless amount of options, which makes it harder and harder for us to pick the right computer. However, there are ten universal things that you should keep in mind while looking for the best laptop brand:
1. The Brain of the Computer
There is not much of a difference between PC and laptop when it comes to the importance of it’s hardware. In laptops, as well as regular PCs, the most important component is the processor. This being said, you should always go with the fastest processor you can afford. Why? Mainly because all the work performed by your computer is performed directly or indirectly by the processor. Also, unlike RAM or CD-ROM you can’t upgrade the processor.
Generally speaking, two companies are the leading manufacturers of the processors: Intel and AMD. Intel’s processors are usually faster and enable greater battery life than AMD’s. However, they are usually more pricey. Just to keep things simple, processors produced by Intel are usually better but if you can’t afford it then go with more affordable option such as AMD.
2. The Form Factor
There are different types of laptops that serve different purposes. It is essential to know what type of lifestyle the laptop is going to serve. For example, if you plan to have a laptop that will be used mainly for traveling purposes, the best option for you is a ultra portable laptop. These laptops have very small screen sizes – ranging from 10 to 12 inches – and their keyboards very tiny as well. However with smaller size comes sacrifice such as lower speed and less storage. In general ultra portables are just the essential while on the road.
Another type of laptops are mainstream which are basically good for general tasks. They are usually not small but not big as well and have 14-inch screen size. On average mainstream laptops are faster and have a better performance than ultra laptops, however, they are heavier and bigger.
The last type of laptop serves the purpose to replace normal computer – the desktops. This is where the name of desktop replacement comes from. On average these are the fastest and most powerful laptops to choose from. However, they are big – weight up to six kilograms and their screen size range from 15 inch to 17 inch – and not for people on the go.
3. Screen Size
Screen size should be very important step when choosing a laptop and should not be omitted. If you are able to decide what type of screen size you want, it will make the process of buying your laptop much easier and faster. It will cut down all of the available options by at least a third.
Notebooks with an aspect ratio of 16:9 offer better image quality than 4:3 standard-screen cousins. 17-inch screen laptop on the other hand, gives the user the best quality possible but again they are not suited for people who frequently travel.
One aspect that laptops lack is definitely not enough memory for the optimal system performance. Having lots of RAM lets you run more applications at the same time, it keeps your computer run faster, and is necessary for 3D gaming, graphics work, and image or video editing. Whenever you are in the process of buying a laptop make sure that it has sufficient amount of memory. If it doesn’t, check whether there is a possibility to add additional memory in the future.
In order to enjoy small size of the computer, great sacrifices are being made to the size of the keyboard. Before buying a laptop make sure that you feel comfortable in using small keyboard and check whether the spacebar, shift, ctrl, and backspace keys feels comfortable for you to use.
Other thing to keep in mind is to check whether you feel comfortable with touchpad. Remember that laptops do not come with the mouse (you could buy one and connect it via USB), but with the tiny touchpad that lets you move around throughout the screen. Remember to check touchpad’s comfort and responsiveness before making your final purchase.
What Laptop is Best for Me
This post will answer this question : “What is The best laptop for me?”. If you are wondering what should you buy and what should you do before you decide. Well, I have some tips for you.
First, you need to know your budget and what exactly do you want when you search for a new laptop. To choose the best laptop, you must realize how old are you, what your desire is, and what your priority is. Usually a buyer’s guide provides you the latest information about laptops for home user, for young people with tight budget, and for hardcore gamers.
However, you must understand that sometimes you don’t need to buy a new notebook at all. Even if you are a hardcore gamer but if you’re very busy with your job, why should you buy a new laptop? Got what I mean? You must consider many factors outside your budget and your desire before you choose to buy a new laptop.
Which Laptop is Best For Me?
Looking to buy a laptop in the near feature but still not quite sure which laptop is for you? Then you’ve come to the right place. This laptop buying guide will help you decide which type of laptop is for you.
You’ve probably seen the myriad of options that are available and the price you can pay is huge. You can get laptops under 500, laptops under 400, laptops under 300, laptops under 200 and even laptops under 100 dollars.
However, you can also get laptops over 2000 dollars. This huge range in prices usually leads to people paying way to much for too much computer for their needs. The hope is that you will be able to figure out exactly which computer is right for you.
The basic layout of the rest of this guide is as follows. You can scan down to find the user that best fits what you will be using the computer for and read about the things to look for in which computer you will want to buy.
Then some price estimates of what you should expect to pay. Then finally some recommendations of computers that will fit your needs.
- Web Surfer
- The Gamer
- Movie and TV Addict
- The Multimedia Guru
- Commercial and Industrial users
1. Web Surfer
The web surfer is the typical parent or high school girl who uses the computer to read and send emails, look up the latest stock prices, update their Facebook status, find a new recipe online, watch the occasional funny Youtube video someone forwarded you, or blog stalk people you’ve never met in real life.
This category fits most people who use the internet today. Which type of computer should this person buy? The web surfer has a couple options based on some other factors they need to think about.
- Is mobility something you want in your laptop?
- How good are your eyes?
- Is this laptop just a desktop replacement?
In actuality these are just three different questions that address the same issue. What size of laptop do you want. You can get laptops that are smaller than a pad of paper or almost as big as a desktop. So how much computer do you need or want?
Well if you are on the go, a salesman, a kid, or someone else in the need of great mobility a new generation of small laptops called netbooks may be perfect for you. However if you are mom at home surfing blogs, or a high school student or work in an office and need to be writing reports and various papers then maybe a the largest of laptops, the 17″ is what you want.
Maximum viewing space, largest foot print, and heaviest by far. But perhaps you aren’t in one of these two extreme categories you say, which laptop should you chose then? Well then you can pick from the middle of the pack, either the 13 or 15 inch laptops.
Some of the other decisions you will need to make when you buy a computer from an online vendor, such as Dell, HP, or Apple is what processor to get, how much RAM you’ll need, and what size hard disk to purchase. For the Web Surfer you don’t need the top of the line in any of these three areas.
For a processor pretty much anything that has an i on the front of the name, like an i3, i5, or i7 will all likely provide what you need. Of course the higher the number the faster the processor and the more expensive it will be.
Generally speaking a Intel i5 processor is probably still more than what most Web Surfers require. Many of the laptops in the lower price ranges will come with Intel Celeron processors that are more than capable enough to deal with whatever the internet can throw at it.
The RAM amount you’ll need to perform most of your tasks is likely to be less than the salesmen will try to sale you. New laptops can come with up to 8 GBs of RAM. But web surfers will likely never even get close to using that much unless they try to open ten pictures that are huge and have very high resolution.
Other than that browsing, listen to music, watching Youtube, streaming video, writing a paper, and just about anything else you can throw at it won’t go about 3 GBs. So you can choose the 4 GB option to be on the safe side, but you can get away with 2 GB without ever noticing that you didn’t get 4.
Picking the hard drive capacity is the last area where people can pay for something they have no need for. For most people 500 GB is enough to store thousands of songs, thousand of pictures, and hours of video without ever reaching the limit of the hard drive.
Most programs are small and won’t take up more than half a gig on the large side ( games may take up to as much as a gig), so personal files like music, pictures, and movies are the main things you have to consider. If you want to be storing a lot of home movies (or any type of movie for that matter) then you may want to look for something a little bit bigger.
Video files are significantly larger than pictures or songs, so if the number of videos is substantial you may need over 1 terabyte of space. If the laptop doesn’t come with a large enough hard drive built in you can easily purchase an external hard drive and hold your video archives on it. External hard drive prices are getting extremely cheap so can expect to find deals on 2 TB hard drives for under $90.
So you’ve decided that you are in the Web Surfer and want to know how much you should expect to pay? Ball park figures range from $300 to $600. But be careful because all the little extra bells and whistles that manufacturers try to get you to buy can add up quickly and turn your bargain computer into and over powered and over priced beast.
2. The Gamer
The Gamer is a person who looks for two things in a laptop, speed and graphics. The two things drive gamers to spend vast amounts of money on the newest processor and most powerful graphics card. Gamers are usually on the bleeding edge of technology and they pay the big price tag that comes with that.
Gamers will typically stay away from laptops entirely because they don’t have the ability to keep adding more and more graphics cards and solid state drives like desktops do. But when the gamer is forced/wants to game on the go the standard they look to is the Alienware brand, which has been purchased by Dell.
The Alienware computers don’t sacrifice very much in the move from desktop to laptop. They are basically a slightly lower power draw version of what you can get in a desktop. In a gaming laptop you can get the i7 mobile processor, which is basically a tuned version of the standard i7 that requires less power, enabling the battery in a laptop to last a semireasonable amount of time.
In fact, if you want the i7 processor you are required by Alienware to purchase a 9-cell battery so you don’t run out of juice just turning the computer on. The graphics card, a GTX 460M, is similar to the i7 in that it is the lower power version of the desktop GTX 460. Its still a beast of a graphics card, just in a tinier package.
Another costly upgrade that will speed up your system considerably is a solid state drive. They have no moving spindles that need to spin up, seek, and then read. They function kind of like RAM, in the fact that they can pull a file from any location on the disk almost instantly.
But because they are only a few years old you can’t get as big a drive as a standard hard drive and on top of that you will pay around twenty times the price/GB of a standard disk drive.
If you are a true die hard gamer and price is of no consequence to your desire for speed and graphics then you can get all that your heart desires, but will pay up over $3500 for that pleasure.
Laptops for students (including engineering laptops) don’t have to be the fastest laptops out there. They can be middle of the road laptops. However, because part of school is about being social and meeting other people, many students will want their laptops to look good on the outside.
This is one of the main reasons why Apple computers, such as MacBooks or MacBook Pros have gained a lot of ground on college campuses. But students should be aware that they don’t have to buy an overpriced Mac to get a sleek looking laptop.
Sony has made itself to be the Mac of the PC world. There laptops are more expensive than the Acer or the HP laptops, but they make up for it with their killer stylings and top notch performance.
For People Who Often Spend Their Time at Home
If you always go straight to your home every time after you finish your work, maybe you want a comfortable PC in front of you to play games. Even if you need it for something else, let’s say to browse the web, sometimes you feel you want something new.
Well, these days people are starting to change their current PC to laptop. Maybe because they feel laptop is easier to be moved anywhere. If you think you are one of a kind, then you should set up your budget and find the right PC to you. Between all sizes, usually ‘family guys’ choose midsize laptop.
For People Who are Very Busy with Their Job
If you are a very busy person with your job, you need a laptop for work or business that is light, ultraportables, and thin laptop. Check your budget because if it is limited, you should spend less money for the memory and graphic card. What you need is the portability of the laptop.
Prioritize the design and not the performance because you simply do not have time to play games. Choose a laptop which is optimized for software, tools, and such things. My job for software development services also becomes easier if I use a thin and ultraportable laptop (such as MacBook Air).
If your laptop is expensive, probably you will get tempted to play games and you know it’ll be risky for your job. Dell XPS M1530 maybe is the best answer for you. HP Presario is another option.
Now, let’s see…Are You a Hardcore Gamer ? Or Does Your Job Need The Latest Multimedia Software?
Some kinds of people are still playing games although they are not young anymore. This is normal in the 21st century. You can’t expect to see them live a life with a limited budget.
For hardcore gamers, you must know the balance between maximum performance and your budget. At least, you need 2 GB memory and high quality graphic card.
But again, you must realize your budget. Usually Dell XPS M1770 and HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment are the best laptops for gamers.
Beside gamers, people who work in multimedia things also need the best laptops. You should find great processor, good hard drive, and better graphic card. I think you even need better specification than gamers because this is about your job and not only about entertainment.
Have you found the answer for your question : “What Laptop is Best For Me..” ? or “What is the best laptop for me..?” Now you probably want to see what product is the best for you.