As seen in a post by comparison between laptops and fixed computers, notebooks are also more compact objects, which once bought are unlikely to be improved within them or to replace a piece. This means that choosing the right laptop is important and even more difficult.
In this complete guide, I will show you how to choose the right laptop suitable for our needs, so as not to spend money unnecessarily (considering that laptops have a higher cost than fixed PCs, having an eye on will help a lot).
READ ALSO: How to choose the new Notebook
Features of a laptop
In this part of the guide, we will show you the generic features to consider before buying a laptop. We will not talk about technical terms that are difficult to understand, but we will show you the features that we can immediately check in the laptop’s technical data sheet before purchasing.
Size of the laptop and screen
Buying the right size laptop is important not only for a larger or smaller screen but also for a more or less wide keyboard and touchpad. Choosing a notebook that is too small can be tight to work with, but if it is too large, it becomes more difficult to carry it around; the choice is clearly subjective.
Those who travel a lot should prefer a smaller size, on 12 or 13 inches while those who use the laptop especially at home can go on 15.6-inch models. Those who want a medium-sized computer can choose 14 inches. Don’t think that the bigger it is, the heavier it is, because weight and thickness are independent of size. Ultrabooks, for example, are more compact, flat and light, even with 15.6-inch screens.
Number of doors and sockets
The new laptops should have all the basic ports and connectors:
- At least 3 USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0
- SD card reader
- Headphone and microphone jack
- Ethernet socket
- Video outputs for the monitor or TV (HDMI or DisplayPort)
We, therefore, check that all these elements are present so that any additional peripherals can be connected and the laptop can be used to its full potential in all scenarios of use.
Hybrid or classic laptop?
In addition to the classic laptops, we can also find small hybrid PCs, which are actually tablets with a small keyboard connected able to work with Windows 10.
The hybrid solution, very recently, can become a rip-off in commercial and technical terms. If you spend little in fact you risk buying a laptop/tablet that is absolutely unsatisfactory. If you then choose a quality hybrid laptop, you run the risk of having a great computer, but uncomfortable to use as a heavy tablet.
Our advice is, therefore, to avoid hybrids if possible and focus only on “pure” laptops; if we want a tablet we should buy an iPad directly, in our opinion the only model on which it is worthwhile to aim.
Alternative operating systems
Many people think that a laptop means choosing between Windows or Mac PCs. Despite the optimized system for touch screens, Windows 10 is used as a classic PC, with mouse and keyboard (touch screens were not very successful). On the other hand, MacBooks cost no less than 1500 euros which is a figure not for everyone. Here then we can experience a new class of notebook, the Google Chromebooks, which cost very little and are based on Chrome OS, the Google operating system. These laptops have the particularity of working above all connected to the internet, with very limited functions if there is no connection.
The Chromebooks they are cheap, they are light, they are very fast and are based on web applications to be launched via the Chrome browser such as, for example, Google Docs (similar to Office), Google Drive, Google Keep, Dropbox, and many others.
The Chromebook may not be a good choice as the main PC, but it can be a real bargain and have a great performance if you already have a fixed or portable PC with Windows or Mac and a Chromebook as a secondary computer.
In this regard, we advise you to learn more about it by reading our article on Because the Chromebook is a great deal to buy right away.
Portable with SSD, no hard drive!
The SSD is the storage unit that replaces traditional hard drives and is perhaps the most important and decisive part of influencing its performance on a laptop. When we buy a notebook then make sure that the SSD is present as internal memory, avoiding taking laptops with mechanical disks (even if they can attract because of the greater capacity). If you really want a laptop with an old mechanical disk, we suggest you inform you immediately how to replace it with an SSD, so as to benefit from extremely superior performance; in this regard, we advise you to read our guide on How to clone a hard disk to another disk with an exact copy.
In another article, we talked about the differences between SSD and hard disk, so as to be able to investigate the question properly.
Best laptops for every need
In this chapter, we have decided to show you some simple laptops, divided by price and needs. Obviously the laptops presented below are only indicative, they allow you to orient yourself correctly on the characteristics that a laptop must-have.
A good laptop that is cheap but capable of performing all the household tasks well is the Acer Aspire 3 A315, which features an AMD Ryzen 3 2200U processor, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, 256 GB of internal SSD memory, a 15.6 “HD LED LCD display, Radeon RX Vega 3 graphics card and Windows 10 Home.
We can view the laptop from here -> Acer Aspire 3 A315 (€ 462).
If instead we are looking for a really light laptop, so that we can carry it without problems and without getting tired, we must choose the Asus Vivobook A411UA, which features a 14-inch FHD reflective display, a 1.8 GHz i7-8550U processor, 256 GB SSD internal memory, 8 GB of RAM, Intel graphics card and Windows 10 Pro.
We can view the laptop from here -> ASUS Vivobook A411UA (€ 699).
Powerful multi-purpose handset
Do we want a powerful laptop for any type of activity, able to replace even a fixed PC? One of the best is without a doubt Asus Vivobook Pro N580GD, which has a 15.6 “FHD display, Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, 1 TB mechanical disk and 512 GB SSD, Nvidia GTX1050 4 GB DDR5 graphics card and Windows 10 Pro.
We can view the laptop from here -> Asus Vivobook Pro N580GD (€ 1099).
Laptop for gaming
Even if to play it is always preferable to build a fixed gaming PC, if we want to spend a lot for a gaming laptop we can take into consideration MSI GF75 Thin 8RC, a large and heavy notebook with a 17.3 “FHD screen, Intel Core I7 8750H processor, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, dual SSD 128GB disk + 1 TB mechanical, 4 GB GDDR5 GTX 1050 video card and Windows 10 Pro.
We can view the laptop from here -> MSI GF75 Thin 8RC (€ 1179).
Whatever our needs, we can choose a modern laptop by carefully observing the technical data sheet and checking if what it offers is adequate for the purpose for which we take it. The prices are definitely higher compared to a fixed PC plus many parts cannot be replaced, so it is better to choose a modern notebook model so that it can be used without problems for at least 2-3 years.
Still, on the subject of notebooks, we advise you to read our guide on Which are the most reliable notebooks and the best brands, so you can always choose the best manufacturers in terms of reliability and durability. We don’t know whether to take a PC or a laptop? Let’s find out which to choose by reading our in-depth analysis Is it better to take a PC or a laptop?