Laptops: Things to consider when purchasing one

A lightweight laptop could be something you can easily carry to and from work. These are light, have batteries that can last more than 8 hours, and have more power to tackle common productivity tasks like browsing the web and editing documents. You want to figure out what you will be using it for. Will you use it for business or professional use or gaming? And how often do you plan on carrying it around? How big a screen can you get before you sacrifice portability? It’s understood that portability is the main, if not entire, point of a laptop, but the size and weight of the device will have a bearing on your decision. Then again, if portability is not the deciding factor, you may find yourself more confused – as the boundaries between categories blur, you will find new desktops that are almost as small as a laptop. If portability isn’t a concern, you may very well get a desktop, because it is very likely that you will get more performance for the same money—plus more flexibility in customizing/upgrading the machine once you buy it. Conversely, you can easily find a laptop that’s just as powerful as a typical desktop. And then there are some slightly unconventional categories, such as laptops that convert into tablets, tablets that convert into laptops and all-in-one that don’t need a separate monitor. Thankfully there is literally a whole web of information and reviews out there, but figuring out the pros and cons can leave you more confused than before. We have in this report tried to simplify the choosing task by zeroing in on the attributes that commonly matter.

Although they can be divided into more specific categories, the terms “laptop” and “notebook” are frequently used synonymously. However, they are not always incompatible; for instance, an ultraportable can also be convertible. So let’s look at the various laptop types that are available.

  • Notebook: It’s the general term for a full-sized laptop that strikes a balance between portability and functionality. These can vary greatly in overall size and specification in terms of processor speed, storage capacity, memory (RAM) and screen size. These can also vary greatly in price, from low-cost budget models to high-performance productivity and gaming laptops.
  • Ultraportable: These thin, light laptops are designed for mobility (also sometimes called a subnotebook). Maintaining a super-slim profile means they have to cut out some features such as built-in CD/DVD drive and speaker size, and reduce the number of connection ports. The smallest models weigh about a kilogram. An Ultrabook (note the capital U) is a specific type of ultraportable that meets specifications set down by Intel. Among their strong points is strong security and anti-theft protection built in at the hardware level. Although the MacBook Air is regarded as the inspiration for the Ultrabook class, it’s not actually an Ultrabook.
  • Netbook: These are small, inexpensive laptops that run off the low-powered Intel Atom processor. These have been largely phased out, to be replaced by tablets, Ultrabooks and ultraportables.
  • Chromebook: This one is a notebook or ultraportable laptop that runs Google’s operating system called Chrome. Chrome OS looks like the Chrome web browser and can only run apps downloaded from the Chrome Store.
  • MacBook: Apple’s laptop computers come in three families – the ultra-thin MacBook and MacBook Air models, and the high-performance MacBook Pro in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes.

Convertible: These combine the features of a laptop and a tablet. They’re also known as 2-in-1 laptops. They can quickly switch between touchscreen tablet mode and traditional keyboard mode, transforming in a variety of ways, including detaching, sliding, twisting and fold-back mechanisms. Most models now use the fold-back or detachable screen mechanisms.

Desktop computer: Many people have moved away from desktops in the past decade. However, there’s still a lot to recommend desktops for many users. Desktops typically offer more performance for the money and durability than laptops, and are less expensive to repair. They may allow for a more ergonomically correct work environment, let you work on a larger screen, and generally come with better speakers.

Which One Should You Buy?

Within each brand’s laptop are usually several similar models that vary in power, capacity and a range of other features. Picking one that suits your needs can be a bit of a pain though. Do you go for a budget unit with limited capabilities, a high-powered top-end laptop that can play the latest games without breaking a sweat, or something in-between?

That’s a question only you can answer, but first it’s a good idea to narrow down how you intend to use your laptop.

  • If you want a cheap laptop for basic tasks and occasional or lighter use and aren’t overly concerned about performance, weight or battery life, you can find many ‘budget’ models that will do the job.
  • If you travel a lot and want to take it with you, you’ll want something thin, light and easy to carry – an ultraportable (including Ultrabooks). 
  • If you want something to give you all the power of a desktop computer while being transportable with relative ease, go for a multimedia powerhouse such as a gaming machine. 

The categories of entry-level, mid-range and high-end models are not objectively set to meet specific criteria – in other words, they’re a general description or broad guideline. There is no official classification for these categories.

The High and the Not-So-High Range

Here’s a broad guide to the unofficial categories of entry-level, mid-range and high-end models:

  • Entry level: These low-cost laptops are relatively low-powered, but quite capable of most general computing tasks like web browsing, email and general word processing. They can handle most basic multimedia tasks – like standard-definition video streaming – and are best suited to casual users and younger students. 
  • Mid-range: Aimed at regular computer users, families, students and business people, mid-range computers can run most software and games but may struggle a bit with high-end functions like video editing and games that require fast graphics processing.
  • High-end: For serious computer types that like to push their systems with intensive computing tasks like editing video and audio, 3D rendering and high-end games, these are obviously the ones to go for.

Features

It is worth discussing the main features that finally tilt the decision in favour of one laptop type against the several others. The amount of technical specifications and jargon used by laptop manufacturers and retailers is dizzying. To ensure that your pick has what you need, read on.

  • Storage space: Storage capacity, measured in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB, equal to 1,000GB), determines how many things your PC can hold. Documents, photos, music, movies, and programs – they all take up space. Bigger is usually better, although solid-state drives (SSDs) are usually more expensive for considerably less space. This is because they load much quicker and are completely silent. We’re also seeing a lot of cheaper laptops (including Chromebooks) carrying eMMC flash storage, which is slower than SSDs and gives you very little storage space. 
  • Processors: The processor is the brain of your laptop, and this is one component that can really ramp up the price of a laptop. Generally, the more gigahertz (GHz) a processor has, the faster it will be. But they also come as dual, quad, hexa or octa-core – the more cores, the better it will be at running multiple programs at once. Because of the different elements available, it can be tricky to unpick exactly whether one laptop is faster than another. Is a 2.5 GHz dual-core processor better or worse than a 2GHz quad-core? The i7 is the fastest on the market, but the i3 and i5 will normally have plenty of power for opening multiple browser tabs at once and carrying out office tasks smoothly. (Note that a higher number means a more recent edition and better performance.) If you see the words Pentium, Celeron or Atom, these are Intel’s cheaper chips and are normally towards the bottom end of the performance register. Some laptops have AMD chips instead – the K10 series is among the newest and fastest.
  • Memory (RAM): Not to be confused with storage space, memory is measured in RAM (random access memory) and determines how much information your computer can store in its short-term memory. More RAM means faster load times and smoother switching between programs. The standard for RAM nowadays is 4GB or 8GB, with anything more being a bonus; 2GB of RAM will be painfully slow. High-end gaming would require more than 12-16GB.
  • Screen size and resolution: A laptop’s screen is one case where bigger isn’t always better. If you want a longer-lasting battery and a more portable device, then you may want to go for a 10, 12 or 13 inch display. The largest you’re likely to see is 15 or 17 inches. Most machines on the shelves now have a Full-HD 1,920×1,080-resolution display and you can pay more to get more pixels. Generally, the higher the resolution, the sharper the picture. Only cheaper machines have a lower screen resolution of 1,366×768. 
  • Battery life: Manufacturers often make heady claims about how long their laptops’ batteries last for. But various tests show that these estimates are often rather exaggerated – the only way you can really know how long a battery will last is by reading authentic reviews. Think of it this way: how much time do you want to spend with your laptop every day? Use that as the benchmark for battery life as the longer lifespan you have, the less of a slave you are to the power cable. If you spend most of your day at a desk, then this is less important. Battery stamina on desktop-replacement models won’t be as crucial, as they’ll almost always be near a power socket. If you are buying a portable laptop that you intend to use when travelling or on your commute, then make sure the battery life is at least six hours.
  • Laptop ports and drives: Most modern laptops don’t come with built-in DVD drives.  When it comes to ports, the more the merrier is the general rule. In any case, make sure you have at least 3 USB ports in total. If you don’t have many accessories that need plugging in, though, then you needn’t worry too much. USB 3.0 is considerably faster than USB 2.0, too, so look out for those wherever possible. More and more laptops are now fitted with USB-C connections. This is the latest standard of USB – it’s faster and smaller than the older style of port, and also uses reversible connectors for easier use. If you plan to use the laptop to connect with a projector for presentations, then you should also check with a D-sub/VGA port as most basic projectors use those.
  • Chromebooks: We can see why Chromebooks end up on a lot of buyers’ shortlists: they tend to be small, light and, most appealingly, cheap. Instead of Windows or MacOS, they run off Google’s dedicated chrome operating system. The main limitation is that they generally require you to be online to access your documents.
  • Warrantee: Most of the laptops come with 1 year–2 years company warrantee. At the time of buying, make sure that regular using softwares are installed and it should be internet and Wi-Fi ready.

Size and All

While there are always exceptions to the rule, the size of a laptop can give you a decent idea about the quality and specs they have.

  • Smaller (10” to 13” screen size): A 10- to 13-inch laptop is best for people frequently on the move. These laptops are typically light enough to travel with you. They may not have the absolute fastest processors around, but laptops in this size range are nowadays more than capable of handling everyday productivity tasks with ease. Battery life varies but should get you through a typical workday with no questions asked.
  • Medium (14” to 16”): This size range offers the ideal balance of performance, portability and price for many users. Midsized models are a good choice if you take your machine along less frequently or if you need to use it extensively for work. Such a laptop can easily be configured as a desktop replacement. This range has the largest share of sale across the world.
  • Large (17” to 18”): These laptops tend to use top-performing processors with standard hard drives that give you tons of storage, though not top performance. The larger screen can make it more comfortable to work on multiple windows, professional designing or large spreadsheets.

What is an operating system?

An operating system (OS) is the program that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all of the other application programs in a computer. The application programs make use of the operating system by making requests for services through a defined application program interface. In addition, users can interact directly with the operating system through a user interface, such as a command-line interface (CLI) or a graphical UI. Following are the different operating systems used in a laptop:

  • Windows is Microsoft’s flagship operating system, the de facto standard for home and business computers. Introduced in 1985, the GUI-based OS has been released in many versions since then. The user-friendly Windows 95 was largely responsible for the rapid development of personal computing.
  • Mac OS is the operating system for Apple’s Macintosh line of PCs and workstations.
  • Linux is a Unix-like operating system that was designed to provide PC users a free or low-cost alternative. Linux has a reputation as an efficient and fast-performing system.

SPECIFICATIONS & PRICES OF LAPTOP MODELS

Sl No.

Brand & Model

Specifications

Price, Rs. 

1

Acer Aspire 3 

AMD 3020e Dual core Processor (4GB DDR4 RAM / 1TB HDD / Windows 11 Home/ Black / 1.9 Kg) 14 inches (35.5 cm)

22490

2

HP 15s

AMD Athlon Silver, 8GB RAM/512GB, SSD, 15.6-inches/39.6 cm HD, Micro-Edge Display/Windows 11/AMD Radeon Graphics/Dual Speakers/MSO/Fast Charge/1.69 Kg

29900

3

Dell Vostro 3420

Intel Core i3-1115G4, 8GB DDR4 & 256GB SSD, Win 11 + MSO’21, 14.0″/ 35.56cms FHD WVA AG 250 nits, Carbon Black, 1.48Kgs

36790

4

ASUS VivoBook 15

15.6-inch HD, Dual Core Intel Celeron N4020, Thin and Light Laptop (4GB RAM/256GB SSD/Integrated Graphics/Windows 11 Home/Transparent Silver/1.8 Kg

25590

5

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim

AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, 15.6″ (39.62cm) FHD Thin & Light (8GB/512GB SSD/Windows 11/Office, Game Pass/Cloud Grey/1.6Kg

39125

6

Samsung XE350XBA-K01US

Intel Celeron Processor, 15.6 inches, Full HD, Chromebook 4 + Chrome OS, 4GB RAM ,32Gb Emmc Gigabit, Wi-Fi Notebook Computer, Silver, 1.72 kg

33494

7

HP 14s

 

5th Gen, AMD Ryzen 3- 8GB RAM/512GB SSD 14 inches (35cm) FHD IPS Micro-Edge Display/ Backlit Keyboard/Alexa/Windows 11/Fast Charge/Radeon Graphics/1.46Kg/Natural Silver

39990

8

Lenovo ThinkBook 15

 AMD Ryzen 3 5300U 15.6″ (39.62cm) FHD 220 Nits, Antiglare Thin and Light Laptop (8GB/256GB SSD/Windows 11/MS Office/Mineral Grey/1.7 Kg

33990

9

ASUS Vivobook 14

14 inch, FHD, Intel Core i5-1035G1 10th Gen, Thin and Light Laptop (8GB/512GB SSD/Integrated Graphics/Windows 11/Office 2021/Grey/1.60 kg)

42529

10

ASUS Vivobook Ultra K14

11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, 14″ (35.56 cm) FHD, Thin and Light Laptop (16GB/512GB SSD/Integrated Graphics/Windows 11/Backlit KB/Office 2021/Black/1.4 kg

56800

11

Acer Aspire 5 A515-57G

15.6″Display| 12th Gen, Intel Core i5-1240P Processor| 8GBDDR4 RAM|512 GB SSD|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2050|HD Webcam| Wi-Fi 6| Win 11 

62289

12

Acer Swift 5

SF514-55TA, Intel EVO Thin and Light Laptop, 14″(35cm) Full HD IPS, Touch Display 11th Gen, Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor, 8GB LPDDR4X 512GB SSD FPR Backlit Keyboard, Win 11 

72490

13

Dell Inspiron 5518

Intel I5-11300H Laptop, 16 GB, 512 GB Ssd, Windows 11 + Ms Office’21, Nvidia Mx450 2 GB, 15.6 Inches (39.62 Cms) 250 Nits Fhd, Platinum Silver, Fpr + Backlit Kb (D560691Win9S, 1.64Kgs)

68950

14

HP 14s, 12th Gen

Intel Core i5 16GB RAM/512GB SSD 14-inch (35.6 cm) Micro-Edge, FHD Laptop/Intel Iris Xe Graphics/Alexa/Dual Speakers/Win 11/Backlit KB/MSO 2021/1.41 Kg

61999

15

Mi Notebook Pro

QHD+ IPS Anti-Glare Display Intel Core I5-11300H 11th Gen 14 Inch Thin & Light Laptop (16GB/512GB SSD/Iris Xe Graphics/Windows 11 Home/MS Office 21/Backlit Keyboard/FP Sensor/1.4 Kg)

59999

16

Dell Inspiron 3520

Intel Core i5-1235U, 8GB, 512GB SSD, 15.6″ (39.62Cms) FHD WVA AG 120Hz 250 nits, Win 11 + MSO’21, Black, 1.65Kgs

53390

17

HP Pavilion 14

 

11th Gen, Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM/512GB SSD, 14 inch (35.6cm) IPS Anti-Glare FHD Laptop/Intel Iris Xe Graphics/Backlit Kb/B&O Audio/FPR/Windows 11 Home/Thin & Light/1.41Kg

66099

18

Acer Aspire 5

Intel Core i5 12th gen (12-Cores) (8 GB/512 GB SSD/Windows 11 Home/4 GB Graphics/NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2050) A515-57G/ Gaming Laptop (15.6 inch, Steel Gray 1.8 Kg

57420

19

HP ProBook 440 G8 Notebook

11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 14 inch (35.6cm) HD Laptop (8GB RAM/512GB SSD/Intel Irix Xe Graphics/Win 11/Pike Silver Aluminium/1.38 Kg

50990

20

Lenovo ThinkBook

15 AMD Ryzen 5 5500U 15.6″ (39.62cm) FHD 220 Nits Antiglare Thin and Light Laptop (16GB/512GB SSD/Windows 11/MS Office/Mineral Grey/1.7 Kg)

53990

21

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3

Intel Core i5 12th Gen 15.6″ (39.62cm) FHD Thin & Light Laptop (8GB/512GB SSD/Windows 11/Office 2021/Backlit/2Yr Warranty/ Game Pass/Arctic Grey/1.63Kg

54490

22

ASUS TUF Gaming A15

15.6-inch (39.62 cms) FHD 144Hz, AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, Gaming Laptop (8GB/512GB SSD/90WHrs Battery/Windows 11/Black/2.3 Kg)

56000

23

HP Envy x360

AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 13.3 inches (34cm) Convertible Touchscreen FHD Laptop (8GB/512GB SSD/Windows 11 Home/MS Office/Black/1.32kg

73750

24

MSI Gaming GF63 Thin

Intel 11th Gen. i7-11800H, 40CM FHD 60Hz Gaming Laptop (8GB/512GB NVMe SSD/Windows 10 Home/Nvidia RTX3050 4GB GDDR6/ Black/1.86Kg

64490

25

Microsoft New Surface Laptop5

13.5″ Intel evo 12 Gen i5 / 8GB / 256GB Platinum with Windows 11 Home, 365 Family 30-Day Trial & Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

107900

26

Apple MacBook Air with M2

13.6-inch, Liquid Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, 1080p FaceTime HD Camera. Works with iPhone/iPad; Silver

111500

27

Dell XPS 13

 

7390 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1021U 13.3 inches 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Full HD Windows 10 Laptop, 1.32kg

107400

28

Apple MacBook Pro

13.3-inch/33.78 cm, Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) – Space Grey

122900

29

ASUS Zenbook S 13

13.3”, 2.8K OLED 16:10 Touch, AMD Ryzen 7 6800U, Integrated Graphics, Thin and Light Laptop (16GB/1TB SSD/Windows 11/ /1.10 kg), UM5302TA-LX702WS

128000

30

Razer Book 13

Intel Core I7-1165G7 4 Core 13.4 Inches Fhd+ Touch Gaming Laptop (Windows 10, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB Pcie M.2, Thunderbolt 4, Evo Certified, Iris Xe, Mercury White, 1.40 Kg)

184560

Note: Above given prices may vary. Please check current prices at amazon.in

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