Introduction to Laptop Buying guide:
When I look around at computers and laptops these days, I see all those great prices and deals, beautiful designs, and a lot of stickers. But are those really good laptops deals? This is the reason I want to write this article. I want people to be informed when they are buying a new laptop computer.
Let’s have a closer look at what the big box retailers are trying to sell you.
Let’s start this laptop buying guide
1.Build Quality and Screen
The first thing I look at is the build quality, and screen when buying a new laptop. Cheaper laptops always lack good screens and the materials they use, the flimsy quality of the hinges, keyboard, or even the touchpad. Of course, if you don’t do photo editing this could be a great system for you. But also don’t forget that screens wear to overtime and they tend to lose the brightness and clarity. Get a good IPS, OLED screen whenever possible, It’s less harsh on your eyes.
The other thing I look at when buying a new laptop is that manufacturers cheap out on RAM for some reason. Sadly a lot of $600 and cheaper systems have 4GB of memory. Even the Lenovo Yoga-Book C930 comes with 4GB RAM that is ridiculously low even if you think that the machine costs almost $1000! And it can cause a lot of problems down the road especially wear on the SSD if equipped with it.
examples of systems with 4GB RAM and SSD.
HP – 15.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop – Intel Core i3 – 4GB Memory – 128GB Solid State Drive – Ash Silver Keyboard Frame, Natural Silver $499 Touch screen and 128GB SSD drive I am sorry, who could even consider this selling to a customer.
And Best Buy sells the Acer as great for business, who in their ever-loving mind can truly say this?!?
3.Old generation Processor
Another one that I cannot stand. Old generation Processor trying to sell it as it came out today. We are in the year 2020 is the year of the 10th generation Intel Core processors. Still to this day a lot of big-box retailers have 8th generation processors out on the shelf and even recommends them!!! How can you seriously still sell 8th generation 2017 Laptops in the year 2020 I was in a total shock! Even Best Buy is still selling 2-year-old laptops selling for $600 or more!!! that is ridiculous! It just makes me mad. When you are buying a new laptop get a machine with the latest 10th generation CPUs.
A deeper explanation of the Intel Core i series.
CPU: The “Central Processing Unit” of the system, the processor has a huge influence on performance, but depending on what you want to use the system for, even the least-expensive model may be good enough. Here’s a rundown:
Intel 10th Gen CPU’s explained:
The Ice Lake vs Comet Lake: Intel introduced two types of 10th Gen processors that will power the next generation of laptops. To summarize, Ice Lake is a 10-nanometer procedure CPU and it offers improved integrated Iris Plus graphics.
The Comet Lake CPU is a 14-nanometer procedure CPU is all about raw performance, especially the six-core Core i7-10710U. Not sure which one is right for you? Check out our guide, which will also help you decipher Intel’s confusing naming schemes.
Intel Core i9: The Core i7 is the new top-of-the-line CPU from Intel, Core i9 processors provide faster performance than any other mobile chip. Available only on premium laptops, workstations, and high-end gaming rigs, Core i9 CPU’s are only worth their premium price if you’re a power user who uses the most demanding programs and apps.
Intel Core i7: A step up from Core i5, which Models with numbers that end in HQ or K use higher wattage and have four cores, allowing for even faster gaming and productivity. There are also Core i7 Y series chips that have lower power and performance. Keep an eye out for CPU’s that have a 10 in the model number (ex: Core i7-1060G7 for Ice Lake or Core i7-10710U for Comet Lake) because they are part of Intel’s latest, 10th Generation Core Series, and offer better performance. Also, note that Intel’s H-series 9th Generation CPU’s are available now.
Intel Core i5: If you’re looking for a mainstream laptop with the best combination of price and performance, get one with an Intel Core i5 CPU. Models that end in U (ex: Core i5-7200U) are the most common. Those with the Y in the name are low power and have worse performance while models with an HQ use more wattage and appear in thicker gaming and workstation systems. Intel’s newest 10th Generation “Ice Lake” CPU’s have four cores, and a number of useful features, including Wi-Fi 6 support, Thunderbolt 3 integration, and better AI.
Intel Core i3: Performance is just a step below Core i5 and so is the price. If you can possibly step up to a Core i5, we recommend it.
This is where they also cheap out lately, builtin battery, cannot buy a second battery pack and take it with you so you have more energy with you when you need it. You cannot swap out the battery anymore. Why? I don’t know, I guess they can save another $0.25 this way. If you are traveling a lot, look at the bottom and see if the battery is removable before you are buying a new laptop.
5.Last but not least, upgradeability.
Cheap laptops mostly have memory / CPU soldered to the motherboard which makes upgrading your system harder if not impossible. Check online reviews, see if it has soldered memory / CPU, it might stop you from replacing and upgrading your RAM in the future also. Avoid this and don’t waste your money on systems like that when you are buying a new laptop.
If you need affordable RAW power desktop computing nothing comes closer to a self build Desktop PC. I will be doing a howto step by step guide soon. But I do have an article written that gives you some tips.
Again, always go for the latest generation processors which are 10th Ice Lake as we speak. Look up the reviews about a laptop you like and see how other people like them, and look online if it’s the right price.
When you are buying a new laptop stick to at least a minimum of 8GB RAM and at least 500GB of SSD drive, and get the latest 10th Generation of Intel CPU, whichever. Stay away from 4GB RAM and less than 500GB of SSD. And save yourself from getting a headache, why your system is getting so slow or get writing errors or spontaneous reboots because the SSD is failing because of the lack of RAM.