The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide and Essential Tips

Are you a student or a businessman, working and learning from home on a laptop during this pandemic time?

You must have desired to have a laptop that can handle all your routine computing tasks without getting stuck between application tabs with hanging and heating problems!

No worries, this all-inclusive laptop buying guide will help you make the perfect balance between performance, power, portability, and features.

So, the question remains — What sort of laptop should you buy that is specifically designed to work smoothly as per your requirements?

Before you purchase a new laptop, make sure you read this complete laptop buying guide and consider the following configurations to avoid making costly and arid decisions!

Contents

Laptop Buying Guide

Dive deep into all the laptop configurations so that you can make an informed decision through this laptop buying guide without a hitch.

Before discussing the detailed laptop specifications, let’s list out the primary features of a laptop that provides excellent value for money.

Here’s each factor you should consider before buying a new laptop:

  • Laptop Usage
  • Brand
  • Processor
  • RAM
  • Storage
  • Graphics Card
  • Display
  • Design
  • Ports and Connectivity
  • Operating System
  • Battery Backup
  • Sound Quality
  • Additional Features and Accessories 
  • Price, Warranty, Reviews, and Service

Let’s explore these features in detail to help you find the best laptop that’s in line with your budget and usage.

1. Laptop Usage

Everything starts with a direction and purpose, so it’s of utmost importance to pick the right machine that aligns with your day-to-day computing tasks.

And that’s the reason we have given the first priority to ‘laptop usage’ in this thoroughgoing laptop buying guide.

Light Use (Documents, Data Entry, Movies, Internet Surfing)

For simple, day-to-day activities like web browsing, preparing documents, or watching movies, don’t waste your money on high-configuration laptops.

You will find many laptops under 30000 rupees for light use. Entry-level laptops are the best choices for your next gadget hunt if you plan on just surfing the web, watching movies, playing graphically lightweight games, and doing conventional business work.

Medium Use (Office Work, Conference, Multitasking, Light Gaming)

If your work needs more computing power, you should opt for a laptop that has a balanced configuration.

Working and researching through a browser with so many open tabs, editing multiple documents, playing basic level games, or streaming high-quality content requires a laptop with some necessary features.

Heavy Use (Heavy Gaming, 3D Animation, Video Rendering, Mining)

Are you a video or animation creator working on rendering software? Does your work include graphics-intensive applications, heavy programming, animation development, and applications like AutoCAD?

Are you a pro-gamer looking to dominate the world of online gaming? You should probably go for a laptop that involves high configuration.

2. Laptop Brands

Laptop brands

The essential thing about a laptop brand is that you will get a genuine product with a warranty. Always consider a reputed laptop brand that dominates the computing industry for at least 8 to 10 years!

Another advantage of choosing a branded laptop is that most brands provide on-site or online support if anything happens to your laptop.

Paying a little extra for a reliable brand won’t hurt more than when your laptop starts malfunctioning in the middle of your important project.

3. Processor

laptop processors laptop processors Intel AMD

What would humans do without using their brains? Exactly! The processor (or Central Processing Unit) is the brain and the most crucial component in laptops and computers.

It’s the most important accessory you need to consider before buying a new laptop. The more powerful it is, the better it can render installed OS, software, and applications.

The good specifications of the processor are what make your laptop runs smoother and faster. 

Intel and AMD are the two most reputed names for manufacturing processors. However, choosing the right brand won’t make your decision right as there are other essential factors you need to consider, such as processor generation, cache size, speed, and technology.

Processor’s Generation

Processors come in different generations. Intel has launched many generations of processors, as given below.

  • Atom
  • Pentium
  • Celeron
  • Core series (i3, i5, i7, i9)

Pentium is the first generation of processors launched in the early days, which provides low performance compared to other generations.

Core i9 is the latest generation (in 2020) of Intel processors, providing the highest performance. 

AMD has launched many processors with generations mentioned below:

  • A series
  • FX series
  • Ryzen series

‘A series’ processors from AMD are basic-level processors. On the other hand, Ryzen processors run much faster and smoother.

Clock Speed

A processor needs a specific time to complete the processing cycle, which we call a clock speed. We can check the clock speed of a processor written in either megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz).

When you buy a laptop with a processor speed of 2.3 GHz, it means that the processors can complete 2.3 billion cycles per second, which is obviously faster than the 1.8 GHz of clock speed. The more the clock speed, the quicker your application process.

Processor Cores

The processor’s performance depends on how many cores are there in it. A core receives instructions and performs operations as per the set of rules.

A laptop, desktop, or workstation can have two or more cores. Dual-core processors have two cores, while Quad-core, Hexa-core, and Octa-core have four, six, and eight cores, respectively.

You might have come across workstations that have 48 cores to process more instructions in less time! Always look for a higher number of cores in your preferred budget.

4. Laptop RAM

RAM chips

RAM is the short name we use to classify Random Access Memory. If you need to run multitasking projects on your laptop, choose the one that has more RAM.

When you surf the internet, edit documents, and play games simultaneously, it requires more RAM to handle all the open applications. RAM chips are made primarily in two forms:

  • SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)
  • DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)

SRAM

The architecture of SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) is more complex to design and implement, making it costlier than DRAM.

SRAM uses less power and does not require a constant electric charge. Moreover, the CPU can quickly retrieve data from SRAM, making it faster than DRAM technology.

DRAM

DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) requires constant power to retain the stored data. DRAM is slower than SRAM and can be manufactured at a lower cost than SRAM.

Besides, DRAM requires more electric charge than SRAM.

The most usual types of RAM varieties available in the market are:

  • SRAM
  • SDRAM
  • DDR SDRAM
  • DDR2 SDRAM
  • DDR3 SDRAM
  • DDR4 SDRAM

What is DDR RAM?

DDR SDRAM is the acronym for Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory. DDR4 is the latest variant of computing RAM with higher efficiency and speed that runs on low voltage.

DDR4 is a better version of RAM than DDR3 as it can adapt battery-saving and power-saving features. Usually, you will find laptops with 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, or 16 GB of RAM.

However, you can upgrade RAM if your laptop has additional RAM slots, or you can simply replace your old RAM. It’ll assist you in boosting your laptop performance when applications and operating systems upgrade over time.

If you plan to work on heavy applications like video rendering, Photoshop, or AutoCAD, buy a laptop with 16 GB of RAM to ensure smooth performance.

5. Storage Capacity & Technology

laptop storage drives HDD SSD SSHD

Hard drives are what store your data on a laptop. All of your songs, movies, documents, applications, and photos are stored in internal storage. Usually, internal storage comes in three categories:

  • HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
  • SSD (Solid-State Drive)
  • SSHD (Solid-State Hybrid Drive)

HDD

HDD has a mechanical arm that moves to retrieve and store the data. Thus, it requires movement to read or write your data, making it relatively slow compared to modern technology flash drives.

You will often find HDDs that operate at a speed of 5,400 rpm or 7,200 rpm. The more rpm (rotations per minute), the faster the hard disk is.

SSD

The SSD read and writes your data on non-volatile flash memory chips (like USB flash drives). It means that it doesn’t have any moving parts.

SSDs can work much faster than HDDs as it runs on the fundamentals of flash drives. Modern generation laptops usually come with this high-tech SSD storage, which comes at a relatively higher price.

SSHD

SSHD combines the technology of both SSD and HDD. It offers the speed of SSD technology and the storage mechanism of HDD. Thus, you can load the operating system and applications faster and store more data on the HDD unit.

Buying 1 TB of SSD can cost you higher, so it’s a simple solution to get the advantages of SSD and HDD combined. You can have 256 GB of SSD storage and 1 TB of HDD storage, for instance.

PRO TIP:

You can go for HDD if you are on a budget, but it’s better to choose the laptop with SSD storage if you are into heavy graphical applications or gaming.

6. Graphics Card

Graphics card

A graphics card is a chip inside your laptop that can effectively render visuals, graphics, and animations on your laptop screen. You will come across two types of graphics cards when looking for a new laptop:

  • Integrated
  • Dedicated

Integrated Graphics Card

Integrated graphics cards use the laptop’s RAM to process visuals. They can be used for light video editing and basic-level gaming.

Don’t expect much from integrated cards because they cannot efficiently render complex AutoCAD applications and graphically-demanding games like Farcry 5, Battlefield, or Assassin’s Creed.

Integrated graphics cards need less power which lowers the amount of heat generated, and improves your laptop’s overall battery life.

The integrated unit can render some basic-level video editing software, but it’s best suited for surfing the web, watching movies, 2D (or even some 3D) gaming, and conventional business work.

Good thing?

These days, even entry-level laptops come with an integrated graphics card that can handle all your traditional work unless you are a professional gamer or a 3D-building model creator.

Dedicated Graphics Card

Dedicated graphics cards have the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), composed of CPU and VRAM (Video Random Access Memory), to efficiently renders your laptop screen’s visual performance.

They can perform far better when you render graphically-heavy games, 3D software, content creation tools, and cryptocurrency mining. 

However, laptops with a dedicated graphics card cost way more than laptops with an integrated graphics card. If you have a budget above 40000 rupees, you can hope to buy a laptop with a dedicated graphics card. 

You will usually find two companies making dedicated graphics cards for computer systems, servers, and laptops. They are:

Other companies also make graphics cards for laptops and servers, allowing you to choose the best one that precisely matches your needs. Have a look at some of those prominent names in the market:

You’ll find a range of graphics card models from a brand. For instance, Nvidia has GTX 1050, GTX 1050Ti, GTX 1080, RTX 2080, and RTX 2080Ti in its line of products.

GTX 1080 is better than GTX 1050.

The simplest way to understand the graphical-heavy terminology is by observing the GTX and RTX series at the end of their names! The term ‘Ti‘ refers to the more enhanced version of their counterparts.

These versions improve framerates and provide faster graphical processing. It’ll thus increase the price of a laptop. 

7. Display

Laptop display

Screen Size

Before you check the price and configuration, make sure how compact you want your laptop to be. You’ll find laptops with different display sizes, and you need to find the compact and productive one for you.

The light and thin laptops have nearly 11-inch to 12-inch screen that is good for portability

If you need a somewhat bigger screen than that, go for 13- to 14-inch laptops that bring the balance between weight and portability

Whatsoever, you’ll mostly notice laptops with a 15.6-inch screen size, providing a larger screen, but somewhat difficult to carry around all day. 

Graphics editors may want to try their hands on 16- to 17-inch screens for a broader viewing experience. 

Lastly, choose a laptop with 17- to 18-inch screens if you are a pro-gamer and don’t plan to move your laptop from your desk. With bigger size laptops, you’ll have high-end configuration and processing power for workstation-level efficiency.

Resolution

More pixels on your laptop screen can generate amazing visuals on the screen. Unfortunately, most standard laptops these days come with only a 1366×768 display.

However, you can get your hands on a laptop with a Full HD (1080p or 1920×1080) display with a little extra budget.

If you wish to put in a few extra bucks, go with an Ultra HD screen that looks sharp and illustrates fantastic picture quality.

Here are some regular laptop screen resolution terms:

Number of Pixels (width × height)Resolution
852 × 480SD (or 420p) Standard Definition
1366 × 768HD (or 720p) High Definition
1600 × 900HD+
1920 × 1080Full HD (or 1080p)
2304 × 1440 Retina (Apple only)
2560 × 1440QHD (Quad HD) / WQHD (Wide Quad HD) or 2K
2560 × 1600 Retina (Apple only)
2880 × 1800Retina (Apple only)
3000 × 2000PixelSense (Microsoft Only)
3200 × 1800QHD+ (or 3K)
3840 × 21604K UHD (Ultra High Definition)
7680 × 43208K UHD

Resolution is an essential thing to consider before buying a laptop for graphical work or heavy gaming that requires high resolution.

Finding an entry-level laptop with a Full HD or Ultra HD display is difficult, but you may get it by compromising other features on a limited budget.

So, it’s up to you to make a balanced decision after evaluating each factor.

Display Type

Laptop display technologies LED OLED Retina MiniLED
LCD

As LCD screens don’t produce light, it requires fluorescent lights from behind the screen. This light shines through the glass and lightens the screen crystals.

You’ll find some laptops with LCD screens at a lower price as LCD technology remains on the market for a long time. However, LCD screens consume more power and may get hot if you spend hours working without rest.

LED

LED (Light Emitting Diode) screens are also developed with a liquid crystal display technology, but they use LEDs instead of fluorescent lamps to produce the backlighting.

If you need better color combinations, sharpness, and contrasts, LED is the way to go instead of LCDs.

You can even play graphically demanding games on 4K LED screens without concern about hot screen and choppiness. However, LEDs come at a relatively higher price than LCDs.

OLED

The astonishing thing about OLEDs is that they produce fantastic contrast and picture quality, even better than LEDs. OLED is one of the latest display technology that emerges with pixels producing its own miniature LED light and color.

Thus, OLED doesn’t have any backlit light arrangements to illuminate pixels. It means that if a portion of pixels doesn’t get any electricity, that part of the screen will be completely dark. 

Moreover, playing games on OLED displays can allure your user experience as OLED’s response rate is relatively low, just around 0.1 ms.

QLED

If you often need to work near a window that receives a lot of sunlight, you can choose to buy a laptop with QLED technology as it renders brilliant details with 100% color volume. QLED displays use millions of quantum dots (or nanoparticles) to produce vibrant light and colors with full saturation.

However, you might need to lower the brightness to inspect the dark color graphics precisely. You can avoid QLED display if your work requires a wide viewing angle as QLED tends to provide the best view if you watch it from the exact center.

Mini LED

Mini LED display flaunts vibrant visuals with a brightness of 1000 nits that can render the darkest black and the lightest white portions. Stream, browse, play, and work fluently by dimming and brightening your Mini LED screen with much more brightness accuracy settings.

Mini LEDs use smaller LEDs (less than 2mm) that illuminate the screen from the back. Mini LED displays are better at executing HDR content with accuracy. You’ll find only a few laptops with a Mini LED display, such as MSI Creator 17 laptop.

Display Interface (Touch, Regular)

You will not unlock the feasibility of a touchscreen if you go for a regular clamshell laptop. Traditional laptops are standard for usual typing, working on spreadsheets, and playing games.

Choose a laptop with a touchscreen if your task requires less keyboard-centric work. 2-in-1 laptops convert to tablets with a flip and will have touchscreens to make your work convenient.

 

8. Designs

Laptop designs

‘Look’ has never been out of style! There must be many enthusiasts who choose a laptop with the best design and style. Nonetheless, we recommend users choose the one that can suit their computing requirements. 

Form Factor (Regular, Workstation, Ultrabook, Tablet, 2-in-1)

After all, we buy a computer to perform tasks that require more processing, be it documenting, gaming, editing, web surfing, or mining. Designs let us feel stylish, but they should not come with the cost of other crucial features like processor, RAM, or storage technology.

Instead, you can choose from different form factors on which the device is built, such as tablet version, 2-in-1 convertible laptop, and regular workstation.

Keyboard (Layout, Media Keys, Backlit)

Laptop keyboard design

Choosing the design of the keyboard depends on your personal preference. In a laptop with a 14-inch screen, you’ll not get a numeric keypad. Some gamers demand an additional set of keycaps and media keys.

You can choose the layout, media keys, and style of a keyboard as per your preference. However, you should consider other essential keyboard features that most users neglect.

Go for the keyboard with an excellent spread of keys to support your typing style and satisfy each stroke. Always look for high-quality keystrokes and key responses

Dimpled keys are necessary for writers as it allows users to rest their fingers on them even when they’re not typing.

In our personal experience, keyboards with backlit keys are super necessary. The backlight illuminates the numbers, symbols, and letters on the keys to let users type in low light conditions. 

Keyboards come in various styles, shapes, and features. These days, you can also find a keyboard with a mobile phone holder and wrist rest removable keycaps to accommodate PC Gammer for long playing hours.

Touchpad

laptop touchpad

The touchpad should be reasonably large and multi-functional to accommodate excellent sensitivity, scrolling horizontally or vertically, resizing images, and switching between apps. However, one can always change the sensitivity settings to make scrolling faster or slower.

When you plan to buy a smaller laptop, make sure you get enough room on the touchpad to scroll from the top-left corner to the bottom-right corner in one swap. 

What more can you expect from a touchpad? Well, a lot can happen over a good, functional touchpad!

Many laptops have touchpads that offer multi-touch functions, such as horizontal scroll, moving two fingers for rotation, two-finger scroll, three-finger scroll, swipe up or down, and pinch-to-zoom.

Make sure the touchpad is seamless and offers a smooth transition of these functions. 

You can also choose a touchpad with three-fingers or four-fingers gestures and double-tap zoom in and zoom out features.

Moreover, you can also switch between apps, minimize all open apps by a downward hand gesture, or swipe through pages with the help of the Synaptics touchpad.

Moreover, if the laptop’s keyboard doesn’t have a numeric pad, you can still use those keys (virtually) with a backlit touch numeric pad on a trackpad.

Build Quality (Material, Screen Bezels)

Most laptops are built with ABS plastic that is strong enough to sustain for a long time. They are also cheaper and lighter than metal body laptops.

You can choose a metal body laptop if your priorities lie in the toughness of the rigid body.

While a metal-based laptop body allures you for style and look, we recommend users buy a laptop with a solid plastic body case. ABS plastic doesn’t generate as much heat as metal does due to its energy-absorbing characteristic.

Thus, your laptop’s internal components will not receive much heat from the body, which helps the gadget to survive longer.

A bezel of the screen is the frame surrounding the screen. The bezel provides structural integrity to your laptop’s screen.

The width of bezels has gotten smaller with evolving technology over time. And the apparent advantage of lessening the bezel width is getting a bigger screen size.

Thin bezels can enhance the viewing experience of laptop users. Otherwise, there’s no particular benefit to choosing thin or thick bezels.

Lid Rotation (180 degrees, Convertible 360 degrees)

Laptops are designed to work with comfort in all ways, and 180 degrees of screen bending is more than enough to grant easy accessibility.

If you need portability and productivity in one gadget, you can choose to buy a laptop that flips its screen at 360 degrees

2-in-1 convertible (hybrid) laptops can settle your needs if you can’t decide whether to buy a tablet or a laptop.

Some folding laptops exclude a keyboard but offer excellent portability and the convenience of flipping the lid back and forth.

Most laptops that flip around 360 degrees have touch screens, granting you an additional advantage. 

Dimension

You can check the dimensions of your desired laptop from the technical specification sheet. The width, height, and length of laptops vary on the model and their design.

However, a regular laptop typically has a height of up to 1.25 inches and a depth of nearly 11 inches.

Most workstations and high-configuration gaming laptops are big and bulky due to their specialized hardware unit for intensive graphical demand. 

On the other hand, Notebooks and Palmtops don’t usually incorporate a CD drive and are the smallest of all models, with diagonal screen sizes ranging from as little as 7-inch up to 12-inch. Thus, it’s all up to your work preference to choose between a tiny tech or a hulky machine.

Weight

You can go for a laptop that is comfortable to carry around. If you are a marketing executive or a student who travels much with a laptop, buy a lightweight and slim laptop.

You can always find laptops that weigh around just 1.4 kg, while bulky laptops above 2.4 kg can be laborious to carry around all day long.

Laptops having a dedicated graphics card, cooling system, CD writer, and big screen size tend to become heavier. The equation is simple; the more hardware it fits, the more it weighs.

9. Ports & Connectivity

Laptop ports

Wi-Fi Standards (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)

Many customers ask for guidance on which WiFi standard would be best for their next laptop buying needs. Wireless connectivity has a set of standards with protocols and versions to govern the relative transmission speed.

Thus, you can examine the evolution of WiFi standards to assess your choice. WiFi standards are available in various versions as follows:

802.11 (1997): 802.11 protocol carries a maximum network bandwidth of 2 Mbps, making it too slow for most internet applications.

802.11a (1999): 802.11a protocol supports up to 54 Mbps bandwidth and works on a frequency spectrum of 5 GHz.

802.11b (1999): 802.11b protocol supports up to 11 Mbps bandwidth and utilizes the unregulated radio signaling frequency of 2.4 GHz.

802.11g (2003): 802.11g protocol allows a data transfer rate of up to 54 Mbps and utilizes the frequency of 2.4 GHz.

802.11n (2009): 802.11n protocol supports a bandwidth of up to 300 Mbps. It uses MIMO technology (Multiple Input Multiple Output) for multiple wireless signals and offers backward compatibility with 802.11b/g versions.

802.11ac (2014): 802.11ac protocol is the latest WiFi generation that utilizes dual-band wireless technology. This version supports backward compatibility to 802.11b/g/n and allows simultaneous connections on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi bands. Moreover, it supports bandwidth up to 450 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.

You will see the latest updates on the 802.11 protocol every few years. Many of these protocols are being used widely. Make sure to choose the right laptop with the latest connectivity (802.11ac) protocol to enjoy the fastest and most reliable connection.

USB Ports

USB ports are the most versatile ports found in most laptops and are useful for transferring files between laptops and mobiles. It also assists various peripherals, such as an external mouse or keyboard. There are three types of USB ports, as mentioned below:

  • USB Type-A
  • USB Type-B
  • USB Type-C

USB-C provides faster data transfer and has a smaller charger than USB-A. Besides, You can use a USB-C adapter both ways; that’s not the case with conventional USB adapters. Moreover, the higher number (or version) of the USB refers to the faster speed. USB 3.1 offers a faster data transfer rate than USB 2.1, for instance.

There are likewise other variants of USB that comes in micro and mini dimensions. You won’t find many laptops with Micro USB and Mini USB ports, so it’s best to consider these factors if you frequently need to attach your cameras, headphones, mobile phones, and power banks.

Thunderbolt 3 Port

You can find Thunderbolt port in most modern laptops, such as MacBook Pro and Dell XPS. There are enough features of the Thunderbolt port to make you go for it. Thunderbolt is a fast and flexible port that lets you connect your mouse, keyboard, 4K displays, or even external hard drives with your laptop.

Thunderbolt offers a faster data transfer rate of up to 40Gbps, four times faster than the advanced USB 3.1 technology. Thunderbolt 3 has adopted the standard USB-C format. Thus, you can use USB-C cables with a Thunderbolt 3 port. 

Bluetooth Connectivity

You can connect your earbuds or mobile phones with your laptop with Bluetooth connectivity. Make sure to look for this wireless networking standard to establish a wireless connection between devices in a low range. You can even tether your phone’s internet connection with Bluetooth connectivity. 

Cellular Connectivity

If you need to work on an internet where there’s no availability of WiFi, you can utilize the power of cellular (or LTE) connectivity. Some tablet category laptops have a cellular card to allow wireless internet connectivity from your phone’s active data plan.

Ethernet Port (RJ-45)

The RJ45 (Registered Jack) port is wired onto the network adapter inside the laptop. The RJ45 interface holds a twisted-pair connector for networks and Ethernet cables, allowing you to connect to a network directly by a network cable. Even if you use WiFi most time, it’d be best to have an Ethernet port to get internet connectivity with cable where there’s no WiFi available.

Headphone (Audio Out) Port

You will find Audio Jack in most laptops as it serves the essential requirement of connecting speakers or headphones to your laptop. 3.5mm Audio Jack (Audio Out) is the widely accepted jack that supports most audio devices.

Microphone (Audio In) Port

The microphone allows you to transfer audio input to your laptop. If you plan to use your mic and audio jack separately, make sure you buy a laptop with an Audio-in and Audio-out jack.

HDMI Port

HDMI port is essential when you frequently need to attach your projectors, monitors, or Televisions to your laptop. The port sends audio and video signals from your laptop to an external device. It can also render videos of up to 4K resolution if your laptop is equipped with a high-end graphics card.

SD Card Reader

An integrated SD card reader is useful to transfer data between your laptop and memory card. Make sure to look for the SD card reader slot if you are a photographer and need to transfer your photos to a laptop too frequently. You can also look for the MicroSD Card Reader as it supports smaller-sized cards as well.

Display Port

The display port offers a digital audio and video interface. You’ll find it in two varieties — standard port and mini port. It’s easy to connect a monitor or projector with your laptop’s video card to take video content on the big screen. Moreover, you can also use a converter to connect the Display port to an HDMI port. 

VGA Port

You can usually find a VGA connector on many laptops. It is used to transmit the video or image from your laptop to your TV screen or projector. However, it doesn’t send audio signals, so your laptop needs to have a separate audio connector for that. The standard 15-pin D-Sub connector can support standard-definition and high-definition video transmission.

10. Operating Systems(OS)

Laptop OS windows10 MacOS ChromeOS Linux DOS

Most laptops come with pre-installed operating systems from any of the below-given lists:

  • Windows
  • macOS (for MacBooks only)
  • Chrome OS 
  • Linux
  • DOS

You can choose the right OS as per your personal preference and adaptability. Let’s have a look at their differences. 

Windows OS

Windows is the most popular and flexible operating system. Windows 10 is the latest version launched by Microsoft. You can also find laptops with Windows 7 and 8 for comparatively low prices.

However, Windows 10 offers a range of improvements over its earlier versions, making it faster, better, and more secure. If you are a pro-gamer, buying a Windows laptop can provide fun with flexibility.

With Cortana voice assistant, you can search for anything by voice input from almost anywhere, whether it’s on your laptop or the internet.

Mac OS

macOS is Apple’s most advanced desktop operating system that presents a somewhat different user interface. Mac users can find anything by an audio input with the help of its voice assistant — Siri.

Apple’s ecosystem is one of the best in the world. So, if you plan to make your iPhone, iWatch, MacBook, and AirPods in synchronization at all times without losing a single notification, you’ll enjoy using Mac OS for sure.

The latest macOS Catalina allows you to draw your iPad apps over your laptop screen. So, you can also use it as a secondary display with this trademark feature. Moreover, Mac OS users can also pay or receive money with the help of Apply Pay.

PRO TIP: Windows laptops are best for those who like doing experiments by installing new apps, trying different content creation software, and troubleshooting with utility software. On the other hand, Macbooks (that work only on macOS) are best for professionals and business users.

Chrome OS

Google has launched Chrome OS which comes inbuilt into many laptops. If you’re a fan of Google’s simple-to-use and secure operating system features, consider buying a laptop with Chrome OS that comes in many laptops like this Hp Chromebook X360.

However, there are some cons to using Chrome OS. You cannot work offline efficiently on some apps that require an internet connection. You can also go for the latest Chrome OS laptops, such as Pixelbook Go, to help you run your android apps on the laptop.

Chromebooks are more portable, flexible, and popular among students and are hard to infect with viruses.

Linux OS

Some laptops have many great features such as touchscreens, card readers, fingerprint readers, and much more. They all work hassle-free with the pre-installed operating system. However, not all Linux laptops are compatible with all these features.

If you want to use all these features, make sure that the OS is compatible with them. Ubuntu is a well-known Linux operating system that supports touch screens and fingerprint readers. Other than that, you may need to install drivers to work with other features.

DOS (Disk Operating System)

If laptop brands don’t provide any Windows, Linux, or macOS to sell laptops at a lower price, they pre-install DOS OS in them. Users can then install Windows or Linux OS over it to get the full-fledge OS functionalities.

Moreover, a DOS laptop can have some pre-installed software to let different hardware work properly with optimal functions. If you need a laptop on a very tight budget, you can choose to buy a DOS laptop and install your preferred licensed OS.

DOS-based laptops are not compatible with multitasking as they can only render one software at a time. Thus, technical IT persons or core developers prefer to use DOS-based laptops.

11. Battery Backup

Battery backup - Laptop buying guide

You can find information regarding the battery model, type, part number, and required voltage. The lithium-ion battery is mostly used in modern laptops. However, some older models do have nickel-metal or nickel-cadmium batteries. 

If you are a travel person, you would probably know the importance of battery backup. You should give priority to battery life in such usage. You can settle with 4-6 hours of battery life if you are a desk jockey. Still, many high-end models provide an uninterrupted power supply of 8 hours.

Some laptop batteries can run even much longer, like this Samsung Galaxy Book Ion laptop that offers fast charging and longer battery life of up to 22 hours!

A laptop’s power supply unit incorporates three essential parts:

  • Batteries
  • Adaptor/Charger
  • Power Cord

Taking care of these three components will eventually improve your laptop’s battery life, and you don’t have to replace your batteries for a long time. There are three primary aspects to be looking for in your new laptop’s battery specification:

Watt-Hours (Wh)

Watt-Hours is the measurement of a battery’s capacity that can vary from 30 to 80 or more. You need to pick the one with a comparatively high number of Wh power than your other choices. A laptop with high Wh does not need to be recharged more frequently than those with low Wh capacity.

Number of Cells

A cell is a component outfitted in a battery that generates power. If you buy a laptop with a higher number of battery cells, you can have long working hours without a recharge. You can also find a laptop with a battery having as many as 12 cells, allowing you to keep working seamlessly for 8 to 10 hours.

Nonetheless, the battery’s performance also depends on RAM usage, screen brightness, graphics applications, and many more factors.

Battery Replacement

You can go for a laptop with replaceable batteries if you plan to carry a few extra batteries on your business trip. Thus, you can quickly replace the battery yourself and continue working with your laptop without worrying about finding a charging point.

However, some batteries are integrated into the laptop’s internal structure and cannot be detached from the laptop without voiding its warranty or having expert assistance. 

12. Sound Quality

Sound quality - Laptop buying guide

If you don’t prefer to use headphones and still want to enjoy the music, look for a particular laptop’s sound quality. You won’t find satisfactory speakers on most laptops due to the limitation on sound cards, but it will be enough loud and clear to entertain you when you play games or watch movies.

Most laptops have a Headphone Jack (Audio-Out port) that can let you connect your speakers or headphones to have a pleasant music-listening experience.

If you are a soundtrack composer and need to buy a laptop that qualifies your music editing software requirements, choose wisely between Windows and Mac OS. Some composing tools only work with either Mac or Windows. However, you can also find many editing tools like Ableton Live and Bitwig that run on Windows and Mac.

13. Additional Features

Camera

Web camera - Laptop buying guide

Having an integrated web camera on a laptop allows you to make video calls, shoot videos, live streams, and other video-based activities. If you want to keep hackers away from peeping on you, make sure to have a webcam cover for privacy protection. If you can’t find a webcam protection cover on your preferred laptop, buy it online from Amazon for just 300 to 400 rupees; that’s totally worth your privacy.

Fingerprint Reader

Fingerprint reader - Laptop buying guide

The fingerprint reader works through a sensor that is placed on your laptop. This technology has been in the computer industry for a few years now. While buying a new laptop, look for one that offers a fingerprint reader to unlock your laptop without entering a password or a pin.

You can also use a fingerprint scan while the system asks you to grant access for installing new software or while anyone tries to access safeguarded information. You can get a fingerprint reader in a high-end laptop like this new Apple MacBook Pro.

Facial Authentication

Most of our data is stored digitally, and to protect that data is the fundamental concern for privacy. Many laptops come with facial authentication that utilizes the face recognition system by precisely mapping the geometry of your face. You can use it to unlock your laptop, grant access to make payments, or allowing OS to install new software.

CD R/W

CD drives (or optical drives) and CD writers are becoming extinct as you can now download almost everything from the internet, be it your favorite game or a web series.

With the advancements of pen drives and flash drives, laptops with CD R/W have become outdated. Still, if you need to write a CD or DVD or have a collection of movies on CDs that you prefer to watch, make sure your laptop has a CD/DVD drive.

Performance Boosting Key on Keyboard

Performance boosting switch - Laptop buying guide

When you play a graphically-demanding game, it requires adequate power from RAM and processor to work smoothly. With modern gaming laptops, you can achieve that performance by just a stroke of a performance-boosting key

It works by intensifying processor speed, removing unnecessary RAM data, and momentarily terminating unnecessary background processes. The game booster key makes it easy to unlock your system’s true potential and lets you enjoy your game to a whole new level.

Cooling Mechanism

Thermal and Cooling technology - Laptop buying guide

You probably know that your laptop needs to remain cool to grant the best performance. Gaming laptops are precisely designed with cooling accessories like fans, Piezoelectric pump, a heatsink, and cooling liquid.

When you work on heavy graphical applications, mine cryptocurrencies, or play high-configuration games that require boosting performance, your laptop tends to generate heat. That’s the reason you should buy a laptop with a cooling mechanism. 

Color

When you buy a new laptop, you’ll probably be going to use it for 3 to 4 years. So, prefer a color that looks attractive to you; otherwise, black is the best bet! Color also varies according to the type of material being used to build a laptop.

Some find a metallic finish more appealing than a simple, plastic body. You’ll find silver, space grey, gold, and rose gold colored laptops in Apple’s latest line of laptops.

Moreover, you can also go for colors like Midnight Blue, Coral Red, Matte Gray, Rose Pink, Cosmic Purple, and so many others with a wide variety of laptops.

14. Other Asspects to consider

Price

The price of laptops ranges from a couple of thousand rupees and reaches up to 8 lakh rupees. Buying a laptop with the cheapest possible option can make you frustrated later as most low-priced laptops might slow down multitasking and end-up hanging frequently.

If you need a comparatively powerful laptop on a strict budget, consider using your money on the processor, RAM, and graphics card instead of wasting it on that fancy look, unnecessary storage, touchscreens, and extra ports.

You can also check the availability of EMI on a particular laptop purchase if it’s difficult for you to pay out all at once. But make sure to check the bank conditions and interest rates before opting for one.

Accessories

No laptop comes with all the primary accessories right in the box! For that matter, you can buy an extra set of laptop accessories that are available in various forms, from rugged cover and display cables to cooling mats and antivirus packs. Here’s a list of attachments that can come in handy with your hot new gadget.

Guarantee/Warranty

Guarantee and warranty are subject to the policy of the individual brand. Most manufacturers provide a 1-year or 2-year warranty on a new laptop. Besides, many brands offer a 1-year guarantee on laptop parts and labor. Nonetheless, you can check the guarantee and warranty information on the seller’s website or product description. 

If you use your laptop in risky places, you can opt for an extended warranty that might come in handy. However, you can spare your money as the cost of a single service is almost equal to the price you pay for an extended warranty. 

Ensure the length of coverage, and shipping cost details before buying a new laptop. Also, check whether upgrading your laptop voids the contract or not. Some brands offer 1-year assurance on manufacturing defects. Thus, you also need to ensure on what parts you’re getting the warranty.

Availability of Parts

Laptops are flexible in terms of upgrading some components like RAM, internal storage, or battery adaptors. However, some parts like the display, keyboard, and motherboard are prone to be manufactured for a specific model. The availability of such components will make it easy for you to replace any damaged part in case you need it.

When you buy products from renowned brands like Apple, Dell, Asus, Acer, HP, Lenovo, and Sony, odds are you’ll get most parts to replace on your faulty laptop. Make sure to check the availability of laptop parts before making an informed decision on your desired laptop model.

Service Centers (On-site, Online Support)

In case your laptop stops working in the middle of your important project, what will you do to repair it? In such cases, you can contact the technical team online if you register with the brand’s website and opt for the same. Thus, you’ll get free support from the tech team if your device is under warranty.

Tech teams from most brands give support by phone, remote web control, or social media presence, depending upon the company’s service arrangements. In case of a major breakdown, you can send your laptop to the service center to get it repaired. Find out which brand offers the most reliable tech support before buying a new laptop.

It is recommended that all laptop users understand the terms and processes of after-sales service that you can utilize when the chips start malfunctioning.

Reviews

Laptops come in a wide spectrum of models and features, and ‘reviews’ are the place to track their ratings and progress. When you dig deeper into what’s new in modern laptops, you’ll come to know how useful it is by reading user reviews. Thoughts of laptop users are essential to speculate how a particular laptop is performing in the market among a different set of users. Make sure you read the pros and cons of a laptop that you wish to buy.

Future Use of Laptop

If you expect to keep using your laptop for 4 to 5 years, look for all the required specifications that can benefit your future use of the laptop. Maybe you’re just a student learning basics of graphics designing now. But if you’re planning to make a career in that domain in 2 years, look for a laptop that can handle graphics-intensive applications.

Resell Value

Last but not least, you can choose to buy a long-life laptop that counts for a good resell value. Resell value is mostly estimated through the laptop’s brand, the processor in it, and how well you handle your gadget. If you try to resell your old laptop that is powerfully configured but has damaged hinges and a cracked body, the price will undoubtedly come down drastically!

The first thing you could look for a good resell value is the laptop’s brand, then comes the processor and other specifications. Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Asus are renowned brands, and you will get a good return when you bid adieu to that laptop.

Final Words on the Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide

Unearthing the best laptop that suits your work requires insightful eyes on must-have configurations and features. Here in this comprehensive laptop buying guide, we’ve scoped out the researching part and put everything on the table for you to choose the perfect blend between hardware, features, and performance.

To streamline your search, we’ve made this comprehensive laptop buying guide. Whether you’re a student, pro gamer, entrepreneur, homemaker, data scientist, or businessman, we hope this ultimate laptop buying guide helps you buy the best laptop that entertains your daily computing needs and budget.

Are you excited already after reading this laptop buying guide and looking forward to getting the best laptop with a specific budget in mind? Explore our genuine, unbiased, and expert reviews on the —

– Best laptops under ₹30,000₹40,000, and ₹50,000 for entry-level laptops

– Best laptops under ₹60,000 and ₹70,000 for elegant, powerful, and all-round laptops

– Best laptops under ₹80,000 and ₹100,000 for workstation-level, ultra-modern, multifaceted laptops.

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