Updated: Jun 17
As the staple for both business and entertainment, the laptop is also a go-to for many specialised tasks. Combining, and often surpassing, the power of the desktop with portability, laptops are indispensable to many professionals, gamers, programmers, and Internet addicts. Depending on your computing needs, there are several factors to consider before deciding which laptop is best suited for you.
Performance should be one of your key criterions when looking for a laptop. The key is to match your computing needs with the kind of the power you’re looking for. The performance capability of your laptop depends on the following aspects:
(i) PROCESSOR Selecting the right processor would depend on the kind of applications you wish to run. Here’s a quick reference guide to help you select the right processor.
The amount of RAM decides on how smooth and lag-free an experience you get on your laptop. The higher the amount of RAM the better it is. However, here’s an indication of what you can expect from laptops with varied RAM configurations
We suggest a minimum of 4GB RAM for a lag free experience across daily used applications like office apps, browsing, video viewing, etc.
This is where you get some extra headroom for smooth multitasking, using heavy applications like image editors and even running the latest games
From high resolution video editing to intensive gaming and graphics designing. 16GB of RAM will let you do it all without any stutters.
(iii) GRAPHICS AND GAMING
When looking for gaming laptops, the graphics processor (also referred to as GPU or graphics card), plays the key role. Having the latest series of a dedicated graphics processor ensures the best gaming performance.
STORAGE TYPE Selecting the right amount of storage capacity for your laptop depends on storage space requirement and speed of storage. Here’s a quick guide on the various storage capacities and how much content they can store.
WHO SHOULD CONSIDER SSDs
SSD-storage-based laptops offer low storage capacity, but they offer 5x the performance benefits in comparison to standard HDD based storage. Consider SSDs when:
Working with large files (>1GB)
Want a laptop that boots up quickly
Don't need a lot of storage space
Looking for a pure performance laptop
HDD vs SSD
Stores data on magnetic discs Stores data on memory chips
Available in higher capacity Comparatively available in lower capacities Moderate in data transfer Faster in terms of data tranfer More power consumption Less power consumption
Cheaper when it comes to per GB cost Expensive on per GB cost.
3. FORM FACTOR
Should you get a lightweight laptop or opt for a fully loaded (and heavy) performance machine? Well, it all depends on your primary usage. Here’s a quick look at various types of form factors and what they bring.
WHAT THEY OFFER
Balance of performance and features
Good value for money
WHAT THEY OFFER
Premium design and materials
Slim looks & light weight
WHAT THEY OFFER
WHAT THEY OFFER
15.6-inch and above display size
Weighs 2.7 kg and above
Powerful discrete graphics processors
When it comes to laptop displays, the display size and resolution are the key factors that one needs to consider. RESOLUTION Higher resolution allows you to fit more content on the screen while making content (text and images) sharper and more pleasant to the eye.
Offers 1280 x 720 pixels
Found in entry-level laptops
Good for basic tasks
FULL HD RESOLUTION
Offers 1920 x 1080 pixels
Found in premium and gaming laptops
Good for entertainment and productivity apps
Offers 3840 x 2160 pixels
Found in high-end laptops
Consider it if you watch a lot of 4K content
DISPLAY SIZE Finding the sweet spot which offers the desired level of portability while offering an adequate amount of screen real estate is the key to determining the screen size.
CONSIDER 13.3-INCHES OR LOWER DISPLAY SIZE
If you plan to travel frequently
When looking for a lightweight laptop
Primarily use the laptop for office applications
CONSIDER 14-INCH DISPLAY SIZE
Perfect balance between screen size and portability
Mixed usage of office applications as well as entertainment
Optimal performance and storage space
CONSIDER 15.6-INCH DISPLAY SIZE
Portability is not too important for you
More USB ports and an optical drive
5. OPERATING SYSTEM
An operating system manages the hardware and software resources of a computer, while also providing common services that are essential to all software on the system.
Great user interface
Applications run without lag
UNIX-based code makes the OS more secure
Apps are malware and virus-free as they are curated by Apple; limited choice of apps
Compatible with most hardware and software
Supports third-party programs
User interface can be customized
Easy to multitask using multiple windows
Try apps and software before buying them
Share data across all synced, compatible devices
Enhance, edit and organise photos
Access systems using virtual desktop
Features Cortana, the personal assistant with voice recognition
UBUNTU & DOS Laptops that ship with Linux-based, open-source, operating systems or DOS operating systems are suitable for programmers and coders. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux-based operating system that has an appealing graphical user interface. Laptops that come with Ubuntu can be used for basic applications like web browsing and media consumption.
Available only on Chromebooks
Apps can be added through the Chrome Store
Mostly free applications
Google has announced Google Play Store will be added to all Chromebooks by 2016
Features Google’s built-in malware and virus protection
6. OTHER FEATURES
Touchscreens make computer interfaces simpler. Just as you would on a smartphone, you can tap to select, hold and drag to move items, swipe to scroll and pinch to zoom. This feature is currently available on a few Windows laptops and on a few Chromebooks.
Useful feature when you need to charge your laptop in the least amount of time.
Makes typing easy when using the laptop in low-light environments.
ULTRA SLIM BEZEL DISPLAY
Provides a larger screen in a smaller form factor. It looks good as well.
USB TYPE-C PORTS
Latest connectivity makes for fast data transfers with external storage devices.
Fingerprint-based login is useful when laptop access and security is a concern.