Choosing the best laptop is not a difficult task if know your requirements and budget. A high-end notebook from Apple or Microsoft will be expensive and not many people will be able to afford them. Purchasing a good laptop for gaming, editing graphics/documents or writing code is a confusing and time-wasting task. Unlike Apple and Microsoft, companies like Lenovo, Dell, HP have introduced laptops for every budget.
To buy one unit, you’ll have to shortlist the specs and price tags of several devices and to do this; you’ll have to visit various shopping portals. To avoid this headache, go through the below laptop buying guide for 2016.
Computer manufacturers have launched their portals where you can a buy a laptop online. But I feel that you should avoid buying any product from their site. Laptop prices on shopping websites like Amazon, NewEgg or Flipkart, is much lower than what you get on the official shopping website of popular brands like Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc.
During special events like GOSF, Cyber Monday, Black Friday or festive seasons like Christmas, Diwali, New Year, eCommerce portals offer massive discounts on good laptops.
Last year, during Diwali, Flipkart offered up to 70 percent discount on branded electronic products. High-end phones like Lumia 1020, Galaxy Note 3 were being sold for a whopping 60 to 70% discount.
To save money, you should note down the dates on which the event will go live. On the event date, you should try your luck in online shopping. Avoid importing unbranded laptops from Alibaba or Dhgate. Coupon sites are as useful as eCommerce portals.
The team that manages coupon websites go through several shopping portals to find the best deals and discounts for you. Good deals are published on coupon websites like Retailmenot, Groupon, etc.
Choosing the right laptop configuration
If you’re a graphics professional or an architect who has to work on Complex applications like Photoshop, CAD or Maya 3d, you should always consider buying a laptop with a good graphics card. Such configuration will cost you above 500 dollars or 30000 Rs.
There are some cheap notebooks below 450 with discrete GPU. You should ignore them as their hardware is outdated or not suitable for running heavy applications and latest games.
A software update in future will make your machine incompatible for running the graphics application. Thus, you should always go for the better option.
For handling graphics content, choose a laptop with quad-core Intel 64 bit Core i5, i7, AMD 10 or A8 processor and 8+ GB of RAM of 1200 or 1600 MHz clock rate. Talking about the GPU, buy a notebook with Nvidia 820 or AMD R5 GPU (or higher model if budget is not a constraint for you).
Laptops with AMD GPU and APU will carry a lower price tag than machines with Intel 4th or 5th Gen CPUs.
Processors are available with several clock speed option. Higher clock speed CPUs are powerful, but they will consume more battery power. Batteries of notebooks that pack with it. The notebooks will thus last for 2 to 3 hours on a single charge.
The display is the 2nd most important component of a laptop after the CPU. Full high definition displays will generate better color than screens with lower resolutions. For gaming, you can go for a laptop with a smaller screen, i.e., around 15 or 14 inches.
Editing high-resolution images and videos will be an easy task in a notebook with 17 inches touchscreen display. If you want to buy a notebook with good battery backup, go for an HD screen with 1366 x 768 pixels resolution.
As most of the graphics application and games are developed for Window OS, your laptop should have Windows OS. Version 8.1 of Windows is better than Vista, XP and 7.
The keyboard should have a backlit lighting system as working or playing games in dark conditions will be an easy task. Notebooks of graphics professionals or hardcore games should have 1TB (5400 or 7200 RPM) storage hardware.
As storage space won’t be a constraint, users will be able to save plenty or videos or images to the HDD. Check our below list of laptops for gaming and editing graphics:
- Best Laptops under 30000 and 35000 Rs Price Range
- 10 Best quality Laptops under 40000 Rs with latest CPU
- Best Laptops under 50000 Rs and 45000 Rs in India
- Best Core i7 Gaming Laptops under 1000 USD with Windows OS
- Best powerful gaming laptops under 70000 for 2016
If you’re a software developer or an engineer, GPU is of no use for you unless you enjoy playing games in free time. In such case, invest your money in a machine with 6+ GB RAM and dual-core Intel Core i5 (or higher) processor.
Intel motherboards always feature an integrated HD GPU that can handle games at lowest settings. Check out our list of laptops with such configuration:
Typing code on computers with a big display is easier than PCs with a smaller screen. As there are no laptops with 17+ inch screen, you’ve no other option than buying a 17 inches notebook.
If you’re a writer or a student (noncomputer engineering), a laptop with 4GB or 2GB RAM and entry-level AMD, Intel ATOM series processor is the best computing device for you. A student or writer will use applications like Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint or notepad. These applications don’t require very high-end configuration. We’ve covered laptops with such specs in the Top 10 Best Budget Laptops under 20000 Rs article.
Engineering students (noncomputer science) will have to write C or C++ code. The Turbo C++ IDE can easily run on any computer with 512 MB RAM and Pentium processor. If you don’t want to use this IDE, you can use advanced editors like VIM or VI on Linux OS.
Linux is a robust OS. Some versions of Linux are designed to run on systems with 512 megabytes of RAM. Chromebook is also a good option. Google Chrome is an OS that supports various popular applications like Evernote, Duolingo, etc.
Just like Linux, Chrome-powered machines will never get infected with malware or viruses. Thus, you don’t have to spend money in buying an Internet security or antivirus application.
If you’re working in extreme conditions or environment, go for a rugged notebook from Getac or Panasonic. Rugged laptops are costly, and they’re available with 8 or 4GB RAM and Intel processor.
Most notebooks launched these days have gigabit Ethernet card and WiFi. Whether you’re buying a laptop for gaming, editing videos/documents or development of apps/software, these two networking modules are crucial.