Laptop Buying Guide

Laptops offer many advantages. They are small and light enough to be portable, yet powerful enough to run complex, demanding programs. They offer features and a level of utility that even the best tablet or smartphone can't match.

Due to the availability of more powerful and relatively inexpensive mobile components, computers have become much more mobile in recent years. In both the business and consumer markets, laptops have grown in popularity, surpassing traditional desktop PCs since 2008. Desktop models now account for less than 20% of all computers sold. Even with the massive influx of tablet PCs, traditional laptops account for about 40% of all computer sales.

Laptops offer many advantages. They are small and light enough to be portable, yet powerful enough to run complex, demanding programs. They offer features and a level of utility that even the best tablet or smartphone can’t match. With an almost unlimited number of options for a variety of use cases, outfitting and buying the right laptop, tablet or mobile device can be a daunting and confusing challenge.

Choosing the Operating System

Before you start looking for laptops, you need to figure out which operating system is best for you. Figuring out what software you need and what operating systems that software runs on will help you determine the hardware you need. There are four major computer operating systems. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Here is an overview of each


Microsoft Windows is by far the most popular operating system for computers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. It is popular not only because it is very powerful and because Microsoft gives licenses to third parties who want to make their own computers.

The latest version is Windows 11, which Microsoft updates regularly. This robust operating system is not much publicized anymore, but it gets the job done. It is the best choice if you need Microsoft applications such as MS Office, Access or Outlook. In addition, you can choose from more Windows laptops than any other operating system.


Apple’s macOS is a bit more beginner-friendly than Windows, but it is closely tied to the company’s hardware. It is probably not your first choice if you do not own an iPhone or iPad, and your options are limited to MacBooks. Using a macOS computer has a number of advantages over other laptops.

For starters, macOS is a bit more user-friendly than Windows and works very well with other Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad. With the latest version, macOS Catalina, for example, you can use your iPad as a second (or third) screen for your Mac, giving you at least one reason to dust off that aging tablet in your nightstand drawer.

Chrome OS

Chromebooks run Chrome OS, Google’s sleek and fast operating system based on the Chrome web browser. Although Chromebooks have storage and can run applications locally, they are actually designed for use with cloud-based applications like Google Docs, Google Sheets, Gmail, YouTube, and so on. Since Chrome is so lightweight, it doesn’t need as much power as Apple or Windows PCs, and since most of the work is done by Google’s servers, your Chromebook won’t slow down over time.


Linux is usually free, as are most Linux programs, and it can be used on a wide range of PCs as an alternative to Windows. There are many Linux variants, with Mint and Ubuntu being among the most popular. While Linux is the operating system of choice for servers, mainframes and supercomputers, it is only used on about 2% of desktop PCs and laptops.

If you don’t need MS Office and don’t mind a bit of a learning curve, you can install Linux on just about any laptop hardware ever designed. The catch is that popular applications like MS Office and Adobe’s Creative Suite won’t run.

Selecting the Processor

Once you know what operating system you want and have an idea of the software you want to run, you can determine the minimum hardware requirements. The first thing we suggest is the processor, also known as a chip or CPU. There are basically two companies that make processors for laptops: Intel and AMD.


Intel has made a name for itself with innovations like Ethernet, USB and the development of the microprocessor. The Intel Core i5 processor family is the ideal choice for general computing, while the Core i7 and Core i9 processors are better options for more demanding environments with heavier workloads. Select business SKUs also offer Intel’s Remote Management Technology (vPro), which uses hardware-based authentication to provide the most stable and secure PCs.

Many of the latest Intel processors (8th generation to date) support Thunderbolt 3, Intel Optane Memory and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). With these, Intel continues to push the boundaries of performance and reliability in both desktop and thin-and-light devices.


Although Intel has a higher profile, AMD is a very strong competitor in the market. AMD has out-of-the-box features that Intel does not. One example is overclocking, which is the ability to increase speed once the processor is up and running. AMD also offers better onboard graphics. The Ryzen 5 and 7 processors are AMD’s competitive counterparts to Intel’s i5 and i7.

Choosing the Ideal Size

When it comes to size, it depends on how portable you want your laptop to be. You can usually find laptops with a 15.6-inch screen, and that is a good option for most users. However, if you plan to take your laptop with you and use it a lot on the go, you should consider laptops with smaller screens. Here are some of the common screen sizes.

11-12 Inches

They are the lightest laptops. They are usually thin and weigh about 2.5-3 kilograms. These laptops are suitable if you do not care about large displays and want to focus only on work and performance.

13-14 Inches

It is one of the most stable solutions if you are looking for high usability and portability. The weight of this laptop is usually between 3.5 and 4.5 pounds, making it a good choice for travelers. Some pretty good laptops can be found in this display range.

15-16 Inches

The market is flooded with 15.6-inch notebooks, and this is the perfect choice if you can get your work done without having to carry the notebook around. From simple configurations to powerful beasts, you’ll find everything in this screen lineup.

17-18 inches

If your laptop will stay on your desk most of the time, you may consider a laptop with a 17-18 inch screen. It is suitable for users who want to capture more content on the screen. This screen size is preferred by graphic designers and programmers.

Specs (Hardware)

Specifications determine what your laptop can do, such as play games, run software, write codes, or surf the Internet. Here are some specifications you should pay attention to:


The GPU or graphics card chip is responsible for producing high-quality images on the screen. Low-end laptops have enough integrated graphics card to run basic applications and use reasonable functions. However, if you want to play high-end games and run graphics design/video editing software, you should consider Nvidia and AMD chips. There are different versions, such as Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 1080 or Radeon RX 6600. To compare them, Google two GPUs and look for benchmark results.


RAM is responsible for storing all the programs and tasks that are currently running. So, the larger your RAM is, the more programs you can run simultaneously without any delays. Generally, 8 GB of RAM is sufficient for most users. However, if you run intensive applications or games, you can opt for 16 GB or more, depending on the requirements of your applications.


Memory is the laptop’s internal drive that determines how much data the laptop can store. This includes everything from installed applications and downloaded videos to games and music on the laptop. Generally, 1 TB of storage is sufficient for most users. You’ll also have to decide between an HDD and an SDD hard drive. An HDD drive will cost you less money, but if you choose an SSD drive, you can get higher speed.


Some laptops are more portable than others – and the more you travel, the more important this is. The 17-inch display may look brilliant, but you’ll have trouble opening it in an economy airplane seat; and the high-performance notebook will feel like a lump of lead after a few hours in a shoulder bag.


The laptop display consists of a few elements. First, you need to consider the desired pixels, such as HD, Full HD, 3K or 4K resolution. The greater the number of pixels, the clearer and sharper the content on the screen will be. Then there is brightness and color accuracy. IPS screens are ideal for graphic designers. However, if you want the best possible image quality, consider an OLED screen. Next, check the refresh rate. Anything above 120 Hz is fine for gamers, while 60 Hz is fine for designers.


Ports allow multiple devices and accessories to be connected to the laptop to facilitate data transfer. Typically, multiple USB-A ports and a USB-C port are needed to quickly connect miniature drives and your cell phone. If you want to access the Internet directly via an Ethernet cable, make sure your laptop has an Ethernet port. Also look for a card reader port and an HDMI port if you like to take and edit photos.


Choose a laptop where the case will not break or bend when you put it in a corner. Otherwise, the laptop may not last long. More expensive laptops are indeed of better quality, and a metal case is more durable than plastic. But even inexpensive laptops have issues with sturdiness and quality.

Basic Laptop

Two parts are connected by a possession. In the upper part are screens, and in the lower part are connected other computing devices. Its design is based on the clamshell form factor. The performance of a laptop computer depends mainly on the following six factors: processor, memory, storage, graphics card, battery, and operating system. Simply put: performance = processor + RAM + memory + graphics + battery + memory.

Gaming laptop

For gaming laptops, you have to open up a bit more. There is only one operating system option for games, which is Windows. Since these are powerful machines that you can easily make out of materials, we always recommend the combination of HDD and SSD for gaming. SSD is a high-speed storage with no moving parts. If you don’t use SSDs, your laptop may not be able to reach its full capacity and have a bottleneck.

The battery life of these laptops will be subpar because you will always have to use the power adapter for gaming and power consumption. After all, the components are powerful. You get a much more powerful i5 / i7 processor, unlike its counterpart with the same designation: the H-grade for the powerful i5 / i7 and the U-grade for the less powerful i5 / i7. H-Grade processors have a higher clock frequency and a higher TDP, which makes them significantly more powerful, sometimes they also have more cores and threads.

Thin and Light

While being lightweight and space-saving devices, many thin laptops today are equipped with high-resolution displays. The screen decision on some models goes up to 4K, even when the size is at most 14 inches. Of course, reliance on Full HD has been the minimum decision on laptop displays and when the size is more effective than thirteen inches. Thin bezels are not the most productive element in favor. Even a 10-20% discount on laptop bezel length could make a big difference in laptop size and weight.


Elegant touch display laptops add a whole new look that non-touch computers cannot provide, and they are activated using hand, arm and stylus gestures. Whether it’s jotting down notes or drawing a masterpiece or just quickly zooming in on a photo, excellent touchscreen laptops always add great versatility to your laptop.

2 in 1 laptop

Nowadays, the trend of 2-in-1 laptops is in vogue. Users like similar laptops with detachable design, whose screen can be removed and works as a tablet.

  • Detachable 2 in 1 laptop

Detachable designs: This means that a laptop and a tab can be used separately and together. It also offers customers a full keyboard. It offers customers both the features of a tablet and a laptop. It is usually slim and lightweight so that someone can write and work quickly.

  • Convertible 2 in 1 laptop

New convertibles had a hinge that rotated around a single factor. Today, however, the preferred design is a multi-point hinge that can guide the monitor in any perspective from laptop mode (around 100 to 20 degrees) to full 360-diploma tablet mode (with the keyboard facing outward). In between, there are orientations that the manufacturers call marquee and presentation modes.

Check that Keyboard and Touchpad

The most impressive technical specs are of no use if the notebook you choose doesn’t have good ergonomics. If you plan to do a lot of computer work, make sure the keyboard offers solid tactile feedback, a large key travel (the distance the key goes down when pressed, usually 1 to 2 mm), and enough space between keys. If you buy a Windows notebook, make sure it has Precision touchpad drivers.

Look for a precise touchpad that doesn’t produce a jerky cursor and responds consistently to multi-touch gestures like pinch-to-zoom. If you’re buying a business notebook, opt for a model that has a pointing stick (also known as a nub) between the G and H keys so you can navigate the desktop without taking your fingers off the first row of the keyboard.

Battery Life

One of the main reasons for purchasing a laptop is the ability to use the computer in a very mobile state. This makes the battery an important part of the laptop. You don’t want to be tied to a power outlet or worry that your battery will give up the ghost and you won’t be able to continue working. Regardless of the quality of the battery, there are a number of factors that cause it to drain faster, such as the size and amount of RAM and the level of processor usage. There are three main features to look for in a battery:

Number of Cells

A cell is a compartment within a battery case that generates electricity. The larger the number of cells, the more reliable the battery is to keep a laptop running continuously. A battery can consist of up to 12 cells. The higher the power requirements of a laptop user, the higher the number of cells.

Watt Hours

This is a measure of battery capacity. Wh ranges can vary just assume that you are aiming for the highest possible value. The higher the Wh number, the less often a user working outside the office will need to charge the battery.


Some batteries are fully integrated into a laptop’s case, so they cannot be replaced without professional assistance or void the manufacturer’s warranty. However, some laptops are designed so that the battery can be quickly removed from the laptop, allowing users with heavy workloads to carry extra batteries to extend the duration of charging.

Webcams and Hinges

Your laptop computer should have a webcam. For some reason, in 2021 there are still laptops that do not have one. Most webcams are still 720p, especially on low-end laptops. This is fine if you don’t use them often or if, like me, you like to hide behind the 720p blur. Since zooming is still an important part of working life for many people, it would be better to have a 1080p camera.

How is the hinge of the laptop? This is difficult to test when buying over the internet. If possible, go to a local store like Best Buy so you can hold the model you’re interested in. Try opening it with one hand. This may sound silly, but believe me, if you can’t open your laptop with one hand, it’s annoying.

Mind the Brand

Your laptop is only as good as the company that supports it. Accurate and timely technical support is critical. That’s why Laptop Mag ranks all the major brands in our annual Tech Support Showdown. Last year Apple took the top spot, followed by the year’s big newcomer, Razer, while Dell rounded out the top three.

Support is only part of the value of a notebook brand. One must also consider how the manufacturer compares to its competitors in terms of design, value and selection, performance in testing, and other criteria.


For all your understanding of performance features and operating systems, the most important aspect of buying a new laptop is your budget. It’s easy to recommend all the high-end components and features, but if you can’t afford them, it doesn’t matter.

You want a functional laptop that won’t break your budget. Fortunately, laptops today are more affordable than ever, with some costing less than $200. So, regardless of your budget, you can find a laptop that meets your needs.

$150 to 250

The cheapest laptops on the market are in this price range. These include Chromebooks and low-priced Windows systems. The performance and features are lower than in higher-priced models. This price range is great for finding a second computer or a simple laptop for children.

$250 to 600

A laptop in this price range offers you the components you expect from a computer: Intel Core i5 or AMD A8 CPU, 4 GB RAM and 500 GB hard drive. Perfect for typical work requirements. However, you will have to do without an SSD, a Full HD display or a long battery life in return. If you can upgrade to the next level, it is worth it.

$600 to 900

This is the happy medium between price, performance and function. You’ll see premium features and designs, such as metal finishes. You’ll also find better resolutions, displays, battery life, and SSDs. You will own a notebook in this price range for a long time.

Over $900

If you want top-of-the-line performance in the areas of processing power, graphics, memory, and display, you’ll find it in these laptops. Apple MacBooks start here, along with high-end Windows computers. These should only be an option if you can afford them.


Whether you’re looking to buy one or more laptops for business or personal use, our guide to buying laptops will help you make a smart and informed buying decision. A laptop computer is a personal computer that can be easily moved and used in different places. Most laptop computers are designed to have all the functionality of a desktop computer, which means they can generally run the same software and open the same types of files.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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