Laptop Buying Guide – Read Before You Buy

11 Min Read

Laptop Buying guide 2020: Today, laptops are preferred more than desktops. There was a time when laptops were not given much importance and desktops were leading the world of personal computers. The reason was the bulkiness and awkwardness of laptops at their initial life in the market. But with time, technology became more advance. Laptops are now light, thin, easy to handle, delivering desktop-level performance.

So, laptops are getting more attention nowadays. As there are many options, varieties available in the market, it has become quiet difficult to first time buyers to choose the correct laptop for them. This is a simple buying guide which will help in choosing the correct laptop accordingly.

There are many factors to consider while selecting a laptop. The main and important factor are as follows:

  • Type
  • Performance
  • Storage size
  • Display
  • Features
  • Operating System
  • Budget

Different Types of Laptops

There are many types of laptop such as 180 degree and 360 degree rotatable laptops, ultrathin laptops, detachable screen laptops, twist-able screen laptops, Touch screen laptops, etc. These types of laptops will be priced high to the similar specs common type laptop.


The performance of laptop computers (not only laptop but also the desktop computers) depends upon a number of things like cpu speed, ram size, graphic cards, and storage types.


This everyone knows that it stands for the central processor unit that means it’s the heart of the laptop. There are different CPUs available on laptops. But it’s good to choose the right one. The two major companies of CPUs are Intel and AMD. The name is familiar to every one of us.

Entry level CPUs

Processors like Intel Atom, Intel Celeron, Intel Pentium, AMD A6, etc are the entry-level processors that offer basic performance for applications like web browsing, emailing, and watching videos. These processors are not recommended and will not offer suitable performance for playing games and watching FHD videos. As said, just basic usage.

For normal day to day usage, and for using basic applications like Office, watching HD movies and video calling, and normal web browsing Intel Core i3 (From Intel) and A8 or A9 (From AMD) is best suited. For these processors, it would be more than enough for the described above usage without spending extra money.

If you are looking for laptops for Gaming purposes, multitasking, using coding software, and image processing & video editing, Intel core i5 (From Intel) and equivalent is suitable. These processors are best suited for mixed purposes. Here mixed purposes mean it will do a high-end job dependently, with prices being moderate.

For heavy gaming, very heavy multitasking, high-level video editing, and high-quality image processing, and FHD quality seamless graphics, Intel Core i7 (From Intel) and equivalent are suitable. These are the processors that are loved by hardcore gamers and high-end video editors. These processors use more energy than the above ones.

Things to keep in mind before purchasing laptop

  1. For instance, Intel 8th generation processor will be inferior to the 9th generation Intel processor. So always look for the latest generation processor.
  2. Cores of processor also play an important role in performance. There are dual cores, quad cores, octa cores available.

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RAM (Random Access Memory)

RAM is an important part which also decides performance. More the RAM size, greater will be lag-free experience on a laptop. 4GB is the entry-level now. 4GB is suitable for Office apps, movie playback, music playback, internet surfing.

8GB is suitable for Gaming, graphics editing, music streaming, coding, high-quality movie, and video playback.

12GB/16GB/24GB/32GB is suitable for every type of basic to high-level usages which include 4K video playback and editing, heavy gaming, 3D graphics editing and rendering, high-level coding.

Graphic Cards

This is important for playing games, watching 4k videos, and also enhances the visual appearance of the laptop. For gaming, entry-level gaming laptops offer NVIDIA Geforce MX150, GeForce 960M, 940M, AMD Radeon R7 series. They offer 30FPS gaming at moderate settings.

For heavy gaming, premium gaming laptops offer Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050, 1070Ti, etc. They offer 30FPS or more at high settings.  For high-end gaming, laptops offer Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080/equivalent/ or more. They offer 60FPS or 120FPS at high and ultra settings.

Things to keep in mind (Laptop buying guide):

  1. Atleast 2GB is necessary for entry level gaming and video editing. More than 2GB depending upon usage like high end gaming, animation work, video editing.
  2. Dedicated or shared graphics does not fullfill the requirements of gaming and video editing. Its just for everyday basic work.

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Storage types

The type of storage affects performance. So there are usually two types of storage types available. Hard drive and Solid-state drive. The hard drive is cheaper and economical but offers less speed than SSDs while SSDs offer high speed, faster boot speed, less operational noise, low risk of failure but it is much costlier than hard drives. Also, there are options available for both SSD and HDD.

Storage Size

There are different sizes available. Sizes start from 500GB nowadays and go up to 4TB. Choose according to your usage 500GB, 750GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB. You can also choose less size on laptop and also buy portable drives which will keep your data more safe and secure as data backup is every time recommended.


Display enhances the visual experience of the laptop. More pixels in screen translates to more clarity. Understanding more clearly, these are the following types of displays

High defination resolution offering 720p i.e., 1280 X 720 pixels , 1366 X 768 pixels on some laptops. It is found on entry level laptops.

HD+ resolution was available earlier offering resolutions of 1600 X 800 pixels. Found on entertainment and gaming laptops.

FHD resolution offering 1920 X 1080 pixels. It is found on premium and gaming laptops.

High-quality crystal clear display offering 3840 X 2160 pixels. It is found on high-end laptops. It is the highest display quality found on the laptop.

Display size

There is a variety of different display sizes when we look for laptops. Some of the sizes include:

Lowest size of the screen is 13.3 inches. It is best suitable for the frequent travelers to carry effortlessly,  found on a lightweight laptop.

14 inches is the best between the size 13.3 and 15.6 inches. The Numpad on the keyboard is not found on this screen size. The laptop is portable and light.

15.6 inches: Most selling laptops have this screen size. It is the best-suited screen that is neither too small nor too big. Laptop portability is still not a problem (maybe a problem of frequent travellers). More physical features available such as more number of  USB ports, HDMI port, etc. The laptop is overall entertainment-oriented and features packed.

17 inches or more: For best screen view on laptops, enhanced gaming experience. Portability is an issue as the size of laptop is big. Best suited if laptop is used mostly at home or office.

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Operating System

Many options are available such as Windows, Linux, Ubuntu, macOS, Chrome OS. The widely used OS is Microsoft Windows. Almost every computer user knows about Windows and its features. The latest version of Microsoft Windows is Windows 10. The majority of laptops are pre-installed with Windows 10.  

Another OS like Chromebook is lower at a cost but it will not have the functionality like Windows OS. The system with Chromebook will be cheaper than the competition. Though users will have to stay connected to use the most out of Chromebook, as most of the apps in ChromeOS requires an active internet connection.

macOS has its pros and cons. macOS is a simple and clean OS with a powerful user interface. The security here is good and there will be fewer threats to the system. Apple manufactures both Software as well as the hardware so there will be good compatibility and best integration between the macOS and the Apple hardware. On the other side, they are expensive and lack support for most of the advanced games.


The budget is also an important part while choosing a laptop. Select After making a list of laptops that suits you the best, the final task is to select the laptop which fits right to your budget. Laptops are now available at EMI with 0% interest. So you can also buy a higher spec laptop if paying by EMI is not a problem for you. 

So, this is a complete laptop buying guide for choosing and purchasing the best one.

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