Computers and Technology

How to Choose the Right Laptop: A Step-by-Step Guide

The process of buying a LAPTOP is a process of confusion. Even if you understand what each word means and are clear on what you’re looking to purchase, it isn’t easy. Even navigating manufacturer’s websites to try purchasing the model you’re looking for is a hassle.

We hope that this guide will aid you in navigating the maze of modern laptops. Here is a list of each major aspect you’ll need to know about as you look for the perfect laptop. We dissect the terminology and attempt to explain the concepts practically.

First, Pick Your Operating System.

Before looking at laptops, determine the operating system (OS) is the best fit for your needs. Think about the software you will need, and the operating systems the software runs on will help you decide on the equipment you require.

There are four main operating systems for computers. Each one has strong points and weak spots. Here’s a quick overview of each

  • Windows: classic OS doesn’t receive much publicity anymore. However, it gets the job completed. It’s the most suitable choice for those who require Microsoft applications like MS Office, Access, or Outlook. There are more Windows laptops to pick from than any.
  • MacOS : Apple’s MacOS is somewhat more accessible for beginners than Windows; however, it’s also tightly integrated with the company’s hardware. It’s probably not the first option if you don’t have an iPhone or iPad or iPad, and your choices are restricted to MacBooks. 
  • Chrome OS: If you can perform most of your laptop work in the web browser, Chrome OS is an excellent option. Chrome laptops (called Chromebooks) are also one of the most affordable (and the least powerful) available, so it’s recommended if you’re in a pinch for money. The problem is that applications such as Adobe’s Creative Suite or Microsoft Office will not run. Certain apps, like Office, have Android tablet or phone versions that you could download to your Chromebook; however, I’ve found that Android apps aren’t always running smoothly. Make sure to read best laptop for cricut maker design space 2021.
  • Linux The HTML0 Linux version is for those who don’t want MS Office and don’t mind the learning curve. It is possible to install Linux on nearly any laptop hardware that has ever been created. However, popular programs such as MS Office and Adobe’s Creative Suite aren’t compatible with Linux. There are, however, free, open-source alternatives such as LibreOffice, Darktable (Adobe Lightroom replacement), and GIMP (Adobe Photoshop replacement).

Understanding Processor Names (CPUs)

Once you’ve decided on the operating system you’re looking for, you have a general idea of the software you’ll be running. You can determine the minimum specifications for hardware you’ll require. We recommend considering the processors, which are also known as the CPU or chip. Also read best laptops for twitch streaming

Two main companies produce laptop processing devices: Intel and AMD.

Intel Processors

Intel’s most popular processors include core i3, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. Core i9 is the most powerful, core i3 is not the most powerful, and the Core i9 is the most powerful. It is common to drop”Core” from the name “Core” since it becomes repetitive.

In the various chip lineages, Intel employs encrypted strings of letters and numbers that provide you with more details about the chip’s capabilities and the time it was introduced. Understanding the cryptic strings can help you make better decisions when buying.

Intel Core i5-10510U is how laptop manufacturers’ websites could list the model of the processor.

Let’s take it apart. The first number (“10”) is the generation; in this instance, it’s a 10th generation chip. The i5-9510U could be an eighth-generation chip that is one year or older.

The following couple of figures (“510”) The next two or three numbers (“510”) are connected to performance. The higher the numbers higher, they are the stronger the chip. It is only true for the chip line, however. In the case of Intel Core I5-10510U, it is a bit stronger than Intel Core i5-10210U; however, it’s lower effective than the Intel Core 10350U, which is the i7. 

The i7 chip is superior to the i5 chip. However, the differences are larger than the difference in two chips from the same line of chips.

The last letter of the chip’s name (“U” for our case) is Intel’s name for the chip’s function. 

The letters you’ll notice at the end of the name for laptops are U, Y, and H. The only thing you have to be concerned about is the Y series chips designed to maximize long battery longevity. It’s great if you’re disconnected from the plug for long periods. However, the added battery lifespan comes at the cost of performance. H chips are specifically designed for efficiency, and the U line is “power-efficient” but not “extremely” efficient like the Y line.

AMD Processors

AMD’s chip’s naming is as confusing as Intel’s.

In the title AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, the “3” is the generation (how old and higher is more powerful) as well, as”6″ is the number “6” is how powerful it is. The number “6” would make this a chip with moderate power; however, an eight or a four would be less powerful (slower). The following numbers aren’t much of an influence on any aspect of the chip. The “X” at the end is a sign of high performance. Another letter designations are You, which stands for ultra-low power.

What is the biggest difference between Intel and AMD chips? My experience from having tested dozens of them every year is it’s … it’s all about. The consensus is that it’s true that an Intel i5 is indistinguishable from Ryzen 5. Ryzen 5, outside of the very specific benchmarks. They’re comparable when you’re performing tasks like browsing websites and editing your documents. This is also true with those with the Intel i7 and Ryzen 7 and Intel i3 and the Ryzen 3.

Graphics performance is another aspect where you’ll see a difference. Through my tests, for both benchmarks and real usage, AMD’s integrated graphics typically outperform Intel when it comes to graphics-intensive tasks, such as editing videos and playing games. Intel’s most recent line of chips has reduced the gap. However, AMD is still ahead. It’s possible to benefit from purchasing an AMD machine for video editors or a gamer. However, what you’ll likely require is an exclusive graphics card.

How Much Processing Power Do You Need in A Laptop?

If you’re an average user of the web browser or Microsoft’s Office Suite, and perhaps even an editing program for your photos, we suggest using a laptop equipped with the Intel Core i5 eighth-generation or later processor. It would display something similar to “Intel Core i5-8350U.”

If you’re able to afford it, you can. The Intel i7 chip makes a great upgrade that will make your laptop more responsive. This extra power typically will mean lower battery life, but you’ll need to consider balancing the demands of your laptop. A laptop for gaming could, for example, require an i7 (or the i9) chip, while an i3 or an i5 is generally adequate for less demanding tasks.

For users on the go, it is recommended that the AMD Ryzen 5000 series will suffice. However, the Ryzen 7000 series is an excellent upgrade, but with the expense of battery lifespan.

Where to Buy

The most difficult aspect of the whole procedure is finding precisely what you need. There’s no ideal laptop store that is simple to find, and it’s always an issue. You can purchase directly through the manufacturer’s website or go to one of the major retailers.

The manufacturers’ websites (like HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung, and Dell) are often too overwhelming, especially when every possible configuration is described in a separate section, something that nearly every manufacturer insists on doing.

Many online retailers for laptops employ fraudulent pricing practices, such as Lenovo, which offers shockingly excessive “list” prices but sells everything at a per-permanent discount.

This is why it’s important to compare prices. If you end up purchasing from the manufacturer, make sure you check the prices of stores such as Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, and B&H.

Pay attention to the details and read the specifications on every page to ensure that you’re not making a comparison between the model that has 8GB of RAM with another model that has 8GB of RAM, and the list goes on. 

Although I rarely purchase notebooks anymore, I’m constantly looking for deals to offer to readers of WIRED. It’s helpful to record the specs I’m seeking on one piece of paper and then look through the store’s list to ensure it’s the same configuration.

Make sure to read the warranties and also. It’s good to have a backup plan if anything goes wrong. There are many options available about the place you purchase your laptop. However, I’ve used guarantees from Lenovo and Dell and have been pleased with services from both.

It is possible to ask what makes it difficult to get the things you are looking for? I also wonder. It would be great to have every laptop manufacturer have one page for every device and a variety of options for configuration that you could alter. Unfortunately, this isn’t the scenario.


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Amelia R.Waters

From 2021, Amelia R.Waters has been in charge of's writer, editorial, and production. Amelia R.Waters has been a programmer for several LAPTOP benchmarks. This includes the LAPTOP Battery Test. Amelia R.Waters holds a master's in English from NYU.

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