A complete guide for how to choose the perfect laptop for yourself?

A quick guide to know what type of elements you should take into account to choose a laptop according to the use you plan to give it.

A complete guide for how to choose the perfect laptop for yourself?

Although computers have been one of the most essential parts of any home or workplace for decades, over the years, the options for choosing one are more diverse, since there are many more ways to use them in our day-to-day lives. The laptops, for example, have become perhaps the most powerful handheld device today and thanks to the push to have tablets and smartphones themselves, can now find high-end laptops that can match the performance of a PC powerful desktop. How to choose the best alternative for you? In this little guide, we will give you many lights.

The first thing to consider when choosing a laptop to buy is the budget. The options are highly segmented and there are laptops of all kinds. Even so, we must always bear in mind that acquiring equipment of this nature is more an investment than a pleasure, so it is advisable to deliberate a lot and explore many options.

After the budget, the second most important thing is to know what we will use a laptop for and what type of model best meets our needs. Now, the good news is that, over the years, laptops have been diversifying into categories such as entertainment, gaming, and those that equate to workstations. As there are more possibilities, we can more easily differentiate the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

How to choose a good laptop?

To make the classification a little more enjoyable, we can always resort to four types already well-known in the market: laptops for productivity or study, laptops for gaming, laptops for entertainment, and high-performance laptops (also called portable workstations). Here we detail a little of each one so that you can identify which one suits you the most. We will also provide you with some examples.

1. Laptops for productivity or study

These types of laptops are very common in most markets since they exist in different categories according to their capacity. Even so, we must understand them as machines made for moderately demanding office work (office automation such as Word, Excel, web browsing, and perhaps Photoshop at a light level), as well as for a higher level student who needs to download a lot of content and access platforms to upload and download documents.

In this category, there are many lines of the main laptop brands in the world. Some examples are the Vivobook from ASUS, the Lenovo Ideapads, the Acer Aspire, the HP Pavilion and Envy, and the Dell Inspiron. Also included here are the most modern models of the Chinese brands Huawei and Honor (Matebook, Honorbook).

The latest Chromebook models can also be included in this category. These laptops do not come with Windows, but with Google’s operating system (ChromeOS) which is a very interesting option given its speed and versatility. Unfortunately, its applications section is limited to what is available for Chrome (the browser), although recent models can also run native Android applications (where there are from Word to Photoshop). However, if you are looking for convenience and compatibility with the programs that most use, it may be best to opt for a Windows computer.

2. Gaming laptops

Although it may not seem like it, gaming laptops are a great option for other users who are not necessarily looking to play games. As in the productivity equipment, in this section, there are many subcategories, and we can find from the most powerful and eccentric machines to more modest and lighter models.

Most brands have their line specialized in gaming and as examples of the most powerful, we can find the ASUS ROG Zephyrus or Strix, the Lenovo Legion, the HP Omen, the Dell Alienware, and the Acer Predator. In lighter and cheaper lines are the ASUS TUF Gaming, the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming, the HP Victus, the Acer Nitro, and the Dell G line.

A peculiarity of this type of laptop is that many have RGB lights, which may not please many. Of course, you should bear in mind that these types of features can raise the price of the hardware. If this doesn’t interest you much, maybe you could look at other options.

3. Laptops for entertainment and home use

Home use in laptops has been extended in an interesting way by the rise and rise in the power of tablets. Today, tablets can replace any mid-range laptop, just by attaching a portable keyboard and running some version of an operating system designed for the desktop. Even so, if what you are looking for is a laptop for movies, series, and some other daily tasks, there is still a lot you can do with a conventional Windows laptop.

Many of the brands, in an effort to differentiate themselves from the more advanced lines of tablets, have chosen to provide their most basic lines with certain premium features, for example, with ultra-thin designs, great image quality (OLED, in many cases), and maximum portability (the ability to rotate the screen 180 degrees is already very common in this category). Many of these laptops, due to their characteristics, can also be included in the productivity category, but given their ultra-portable profile, they are assigned a business profile.

Examples of this type of laptop are the ASUS Zenbook and Expertbook, the HP Probook, Acer Swift, Dell’s XPS line, and the Latitude and classic Lenovo Thinkpads (a model inherited from the mythical IBM laptops in the nineties).

In this category, we could also add Apple’s Macbook Air, but those are more specific models that could also provide productivity features.

4. High-performance laptops (portable workstations)

The term workstation became popular in the late 1980s when the first laptops with advanced multimedia features began to appear. At that time, brands like NeXT and Sun sold the first “workstations” aimed at universities and colleges. Little by little, the term became popular for all types of high-performance computers that can serve a specific and specialized task, usually graphics (in fact, Sony named its first PlayStation console after a pun on this term).

Today, the term workstation is still used in the same way, but it is more common in specific circles. Of course, with the advancement of power in the most advanced laptops, there have been no shortage of manufacturers who have used this term to advertise their most ambitious models. These computers are usually expensive, but their performance is so important that they can be used for all types of intense work, such as high-quality video editing, high-caliber gaming, and high-speed processing.

Some of the well-known business models are the ASUS Zenbook Duo, the HP (Specter) convertible models, and the Macbook Pro.

Laptops without an operating system

It is increasingly common to find all kinds of laptops at a lower price that are offered without an operating system. This in itself is not a bad option, since the user is freed from any contract with a specific OS; However, if you are not an advanced user, you most likely want a Windows computer, so if you buy these options, you will need to buy your license for that system separately, which can be more expensive. Even so, you can also go for the many Linux distributions (most of which are free), but only if you know how to use it.

Beware of cheap laptops

In today’s market, it is still possible to find laptops at very low prices, but which are offered with the minimum amount of power possible. These types of options are not recommended for everyday use, as they usually include processors with very outdated architecture (Celeron, Pentium). If you go for these alternatives, you will most likely have a lot of performance issues if you try to do more modern tasks like high-resolution video. Over time, you may want to replace it with a more powerful computer. Ideally, a laptop should give you four to six years of useful life without falling far behind in power.

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Written by Christina d'souza

Proofreader, editor, journalist. I have been doing my favourite thing for more than six years.

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