It is far from an invention of the past year, but buying a laptop can be a challenging task, as the brand and feature options available on the market are enormous.
It is no longer just screen and RAM. New processors, cooling options, and the arrival of 2-in-1 machines (seeking to offer the best of the world of tablets fused with the capacity of more robust systems) expand the deck of options.
As with any purchase, the first thing is to know what will be its use. A laptop for a professional video editor is not the same as one for an executive who travels frequently.
Processor, memory, battery, the definition of the images, and audio system are some elements that you should evaluate when purchasing equipment. And who are we kidding? The price obviously matters.
Here we recommend four main areas to keep in mind when choosing your laptop.
1. FOR SOMETHING IT IS CALLED ‘PORTABLE’
Let’s leave the stories: size matters. Especially in a device that by definition will carry from one side to the other.
The term covers devices between 11 and 17 inches, so there is a considerable range, in particular, because the smaller the equipment, the more limited the supply of components such as graphics cards and processors. A gamer, for example, must sacrifice lightness for performance.
However, larger references may also imply an extra weight and become – literally – a back pain. Think about how much screen you need or how much you will be using the keyboard for. If it is little, maybe it would be worth considering a 2 in 1?
Some machines open 360 degrees back or bring screens that separate from the keyboard, allowing them to be used as tablets. However, this flexibility is sometimes not accompanied by the best technical characteristics. As a general rule, lighter equipment has less battery capacity.
2. EYES PLACED ON THE SCREEN
It is obvious, but despite the beauty of smooth lines or a metallic body, what you are going to look at all the time is the screen. Consider how the machine performs in different lighting conditions and the degree of contrast and brightness it maintains.
Best portable monitors for Macbook pro: As for definition, although there are already 4K screens, it is still prudent to consider whether you really need to take your laptop to those heights. Look, yes, that it is at least Full HD (1920 x 1080).
And in terms of display, it is impossible not to consider the graphics card, a fundamental aspect for creative professionals, and for anyone interested in playing movies, videos, or games. It comes built into the processor, but more powerful computers add a dedicated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) or graphics card. The issue here is to know the real needs of the buyer, as it is common to end up paying more for a resource that is not used.
3. IN SEARCH OF OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE
The triad that determines the performance of the laptop is processor, RAM, and storage unit.
As for the former, a Core i3, Celeron or even Pentium (Intel began to discontinue many of these references) may be sufficient for basic tasks, but not for those who require more complex work. Tasks such as 3D animation, games, video editing, data mining, or programming require Core i5 equipment onwards (in the case of Intel) and Ryzen and Ryzen Pro (and AMD).
In RAM, find that your work computer is at least 8 GB. It depends on this function that the system does not slow down or, worse, crashes.
And in storage, the field is changing rapidly. 256GB is enough for moderate use, but now the choice is between a faster and more expensive hard drive or solid-state drive (SSD).
4. THINK ABOUT YOUR POCKET
You should definitely set a budget, especially so that your experience is not disappointing. Occasionally, this element will help you establish whether one price or the other is better due to the price and technical function.
Computers with modest performance and suitable for simple tasks can be found for between $500 and $5000. For 2-in-1s, it is often possible to find more traditional laptops with better specifications for similar costs.
However, the laptops in the Pro segment exceed two million $ and the premium references (with more professional design, processing, screens, and graphics card features) can go well above 5 million. Quite.
Some references provide, in addition to the device, annual licenses included or extended warranties. The key: buy no more specs than you need, and look only at those that are essential to your plans.