Buying a new Laptop? Congratulations. Buying a new laptop feels really good but, if you are buying your very first laptop, it can be a confusing task. There are a lot of laptop in the market and their number is ever growing. Sometimes, those who think they are expert get distracted by the specification on the paper as looking at the specifications on paper is not an appropriate way to buy a laptop.
Most of the people when to go to the store to buy a new laptop, they asked for Processor, RAM, Graphic card. When you are purchasing a laptop processor, RAM is not the one you should consider. They are always same in every laptop. Two laptops having same Intel i5 Processor and 8 GB of RAM are way different in many aspects may it be build quality, weight etc.. One can be the best and other can be below average in quality. Are you getting the point?
How to buy a Laptop
“What kind of laptop should I buy?” or “What should I look before buying a laptop?” These are some of the questions that keep on striking whenever you enter in the laptop store.
Let me tell you one thing, you will never get everything on the same laptop. You have to sacrifice some of your wishes in your dream laptop, especially when you are buying a laptop keeping in mind the budget. But you can get the best one and that within your budget. This is an ultimate guide which surely going to help you in buying the best Laptop in your budget. I tried my best to include everything you should consider before buying a laptop. You really don’t need any technical skills to look for the best laptop for you.
Just go through this list before taking the final decision. Okay, let’s begin
#1. Build Quality
Just tell me one thing. Would you buy a Laptop having i7 processor and 8GB of RAM, 4GB of the graphic card and other high-end specs but having a plastic body, flexing screen, non-durable feel? Obviously not. Before buying a laptop must consider the build quality of the laptop.
It should be solid, durable. Do not choose a laptop which looks a piece of plastic. If your budget allows you then go for a metal body. But, if it not, you can definitely buy a laptop having a plastic body but it should have solid, clean finishing, heavy-duty and looks sturdy. The screen of the laptop should not be swinging while picking it up.
#2. Display Quality
The display or screen quality of the Laptop indeed plays a vital role in providing the best computing experience. The display is something which is always in use no matter what program you are running. A good display would enhance your web browsing experience, entertainment experience and off course gaming experience. Most of the budget laptop have 1366×768 resolution and it ranges to 3200×1800 Quad HD display such as in Dell XPS 13. There is also Retina display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 which ranges to 5,120 x 2,880 (in iMac only) which is available on Apple’s MacBook only. If you are buying a MacBook then there is no need to think about display.
Before buying a laptop, take some High-resolution videos with you in a storage stick and play it on your potential laptop. Make sure, full HD videos seems sharp and crisp. Open a window with a white background or wallpaper, make sure, there should not be any yellowish shade blending with the white background. Also, watch videos from different angles to make sure viewing angles are satisfactory. The screen should also not flicker while touching the back panel of the laptop. If you are from those who work in natural light or outside, make sure the brightness of the screen is good enough. Go outside with laptop with 100% brightness and check if the display is visible or not.
Another aspect of display quality is the display size. If you are a traveller or a businessman who have to work during traveling, then you should go for 13’ display. They are small and compact in size as compared to 15’ display laptops. MacBook Air and Microsoft’s Surface Pro are highly recommended to such kind of users or you can buy any Dell, Lenovo Ultrabook available in the market. If you want 15’ display, then it is advisable to buy a laptop having 1920 x 1080 or more resolution such as HP Spectre 13. Playing a 1080p video on 720p display especially on 15’ display would definitely ruin your experience. It’s all upon user and user’s requirement.
Photo Source: Apple
Most of the users don’t use laptop speaker much. But some does. Before buying a laptop, you should check the sound quality produced by the laptop speaker. Play some movies, YouTube videos, music and check the sound output. Set volume at 100%. It should not produce burst sound or the sound with so much treble. Lenovo has Dolby Digital Plus speaker which are quite good in sound quality. Obviously, you will never get the woofer sound with the deeper bass on your laptop speaker but at least there should be right ratio of bass and treble which give you pleasure not a headache.
#4. Storage Type
The storage of your laptop is for storing the data in your laptop may it video, sound, program, document or say almost anything. New laptop boots up in 15 seconds and gradually, it starts taking time as there is new program installed. There was a time when there was HDD in our PCs. HDD is Hard Disk Drive which has a physical arm rotating on a disk having a magnetic coating on it. No one uses HDD these days. HDD are slow in speed, bulky in size and more chances of losing data if damaged physically.
Most of the laptop these days have SSD or Solid State Drive which uses a microchip to store data. Same as a pen drive. It is fast as compared with HDD, compact in size and power efficient. But their storage capacity is low.
There are now SSHD that is Solid State Hybrid Drive. They have high storage and high performance. SSHD also increase the bootup speed of the laptop. You can have 1TB or more of SSHD in your laptop if you are going to store the high volume of data. SSHD is the best option for high storage and performance. You can also buy external Hard disk as a storage extension.
Having large storage drives would definitely give you more storage space but it will also lower your laptop speed and performance in later time. That is why Apple’s MacBook and Microsoft’s Surface Pro have embedded storage drive ranging to 128 GB to 512 GB which make them ultra-responsive and increases the overall speed and performance of the machine.
Before buying high volume storage laptop, keep in mind your requirement and need. You can store your movie collection in an external Hard disk. It is advisable to not buy too much storage space. Make sure your laptop has a good amount of RAM and powerful processor for better performance and overall optimization.
#5. Keyboard & Trackpad
Whether you are a writer or a gamer or just a normal user, you will use the keyboard. The keyboard of the laptop plays an important role in computing experience. Give proper attention on the keyboard. See if the special keys like shift, alt, control key are properly placed and have big in size. Also, give proper attention to the material of the key.
Don’t buy the laptop having slippery, extra glossy and too plastic key. If the keyboard is based on a single base, press the “H,J,G,F” keys and make sure that keyboard doesn’t trickle. Also, check if the keyboard has backlight sensor or not. If you work late night and need this then give attention to it. Most of the budget laptops don’t provide a back light sensor. Don’t get sad, buy a USB LED light which costs you ₹150 -200.
The trackpad is yet another important input device for your laptop. Trackpad always used more than the keyboard. Use trackpad and check, is the cursor is moving smoothly. You can also go for the glass trackpad like MacBook have. If you are spending 60-70K for a laptop, make sure trackpad have multi-touch gestures and pressure sensing capabilities. If you are going to buy a budget laptop, make sure the build quality of Keyboard and mouse is satisfactory and does not feel cheap and you have enough space to place the palm of your hand.
No one wants to sit near power socket every time with the laptop. Unfortunately, you have to if you are working for longer hours. There is no specific laptop manufacturer which reviles battery life other than Apple. Yes, Apple claims the MacBook battery life of 10 hours. But, it may give you a battery life of around 7-8 hours which is pretty good as compared to other laptops. So, you can go for the laptop, whose manufacturer claims longer battery life.
The weight of laptop doesn’t matter to you if you are going to use it on home, office. You just placed it on the table and start working. No bothering movements or placements. But if you are someone who travels with laptop or student who carries it in college or school then you need to consider the weight of the laptop. A normal laptop can weigh ranges to 2 kilos to 2.5 kilos. They are bulky. If you are buying a laptop with a limited budget of 25k-30k. There are some laptops which claim to be slim. They look slim only like edged corner but actually they are not lighter in weight.
If you are spending above 50k or more for a laptop, then you should consider towards Ultrabook. They are super slim and have weight from 780 gm to 1.5 kilos. The ultra-super slim laptop is Apple’s MacBook Air and it weighs around 920 gm. For Windows lover, there is Microsoft’s Surface Pro which is lighter than MacBook air and weigh around 760gm. These 2 are super lighter and portable laptops. Apart from these, there are many other laptop by Dell, Lenovo, HP which weigh around 1 to 1.5 Kgs. They are expensive, though. Buy a lighter one if you usually carry it.
#8. Customer Care Support
Customer care support is one of the important parts of effective marketing and companies these days are trying their best to provide after sale services. Do not buy a laptop if they don’t provide you onsite warranty. If there is no local customer care center, ask how they will provide you customer support. There are policies of the companies for repairing, warranty and replacement.
There was a scenario when there was a problem in Dell speakers. The speaker gets damaged and gave bursting sound output as soon as you raise the volume to 100% but Dell refuses to replace the speaker even within the warranty period. Dell says that you must have used third party applications like VLC. It is not in our policy. So, get clear with the vendor regarding replacements, warranty and all these before buying a laptop.
Before buying a laptop, ask yourself, why do you need one? If you are hardcore gamer means you literally buys GTA V from the vendor and plays on your machine then you have to consider important things like Graphic Card, RAM and processor, and storage, liquid cooling. You can consider Dell Alienware series. But if you are buying for normal usage like movies, web surfing, music, writing etc. then you don’t need to consider such things.
If you want to update yourself with the market trend then you can consider 2 in 1 laptop also. Lenovo has its own series called Yoga series. 2 in 1 laptop basically are Laptop as well as tablets. You can buy those with a detachable keyboard but I definitely not going to recommend that molded laptops in which screen get flipped. They are not so durable. But, if there are no money constraints and you need a change, go for it. If you are a coder or application developer or anyone who required special software to work, then consider the Operating System as some applications works on specific OS.
If you want to update yourself with the market trend then you can consider 2 in 1 laptop also. Lenovo has its own series called Yoga series. 2 in 1 laptop basically are Laptop as well as tablets. You can buy those with a detachable keyboard but I definitely not going to recommend that molded laptops in which screen get flipped. They are not so durable. But, if there are no money constraints and you need a change, go for it.
If you are a coder or application developer or anyone who required special software to work, then consider the Operating System. There are some software which runs only in Ubuntu or in Linux. Maybe your program is not compatible with Mac OS or Windows. Consider this also.
Moreover, if you are a YouTuber or in video production, then you need to render your videos. Rendering videos produced on Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premier, Final Cut Pro on a machine having basic specifications can be an irritating and time-consuming task. So, buy a laptop with good CPU, processor, RAM and graphic card for smooth and faster video rendering.
#10. Number of Ports
Ports available on the laptop also a point to be considered. You should see if there are enough USB ports. Also, look for HDMI port, MicroSD slot, LAN slot, VGA slot, 3.5mm Jack. Some people needs HDMI, VGA ports for their professional tasks. The normal user also needs USB port on regular basis. USB slot should be USB 3.0 slot which is blue in color. There should be at least one or two 3.0 USB slots.
But these days, a new technology is replacing all these ports named as USB Type-C port. Type C port is a single port for everything. But you need to buy a separate adapter for that. In a premium laptop, you will get type C port and soon it would replace all the ports in budget laptops also. Look for the DVD drive also. Almost every laptop have DVD writer these days.
This laptop buying guide covers all the important aspect which you should consider before buying a laptop. Do not rely only on specifications. Companies distract the buyers by showing them specifications on the paper. The first thing you should do is to look at the physical aspect of the laptop as mentioned above. After you get satisfied with the above points then asked for the i3, i5 or i7 processor.
Neither you can replace the keyboard, trackpad of the laptop nor can you change the display. Emphasize on those things which cannot be upgradable. One more thing, buying a laptop on a limited budget is more difficult and challenging. Anyone can buy a good laptop with 60-70k in the pocket. So consider this Laptop Buying Guide and research carefully then buy the best one. Don’t look for cheap laptops deal and buy the best you can afford.
One more thing, buying a laptop on a limited budget is more difficult and challenging. Anyone can buy a good laptop with 60-70k ($1000) in the pocket. So consider this Laptop Buying Guide and research carefully then buy the best one. Don’t look for cheap laptops deal and buy the best you can afford.