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NOTEBOOK BUYING GUIDE


While tablets and smartphones keep you connected on the road, a laptop or notebook remains the best tool for everything from writing a report to video gaming wherever you are. Here are some tips to buying a notebook.



Choosing a Platform


WindowsMac
Operating system Most flexible operating system, used by more computer brands and models. Thus, it gives you a lot more options in terms of style, price range and the additional features without being limited to the offerings of one brand. Offers similar functionality to Windows 10, but with a different interface. For iPhone or iPad users, Mac gives you better connectivity with your other Apple devices, even allowing you to unlock your laptop with an Apple Watch.
Software Comes with pre-installed bloatware or trial software, and requires purchase of additional software to get more work done. However, Windows is compatible with more third party software. Comes bundled with more useful full version software for photo editing, video production, audio production and more.
Gaming Compatible with more games than Mac. It is also able to stream games from Xbox and Playstation. Compatible with limited games and supports Playstation only.
Security Higher chances of contracting a virus or malware. Makes up a small percentage of computers, so is less likely to be targeted by hackers.

KNOW YOUR LAPTOP

Laptop type

Entry-level, mainstream or premium? Entry-level laptops provide basic functionality, while premium laptops boast superior hardware and higher quality builds. Mainstream laptops are the most popular due to their great performance and price.

Niche laptops: 2-in-1s combine the ease of a tablet with the utility of a keyboard, and gaming laptops are built for enhanced gameplay.

Pros

Operating system

Windows or MacOS?

WindowsWindows

 

• More software available for Windows
• More frequently updated
• The standard for game development and many business-related programs

Mac OSMac OS

 

• Straightforward and intuitive interface
• Pre-installed proprietary software


Intel Processors

AMD Processors

Processor

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the “brain” of a computer. Most laptops feature an Intel or AMD processor.

Intel Inside i5Intel Inside i5

Intel Core i5


Best combo of price and performance. Found in most mainstream laptops.

Intel Inside i7Intel Inside i7

Intel Core i7


A step up from the Core i5.

Intel Inside i9Intel Inside i9

Intel Core i9


Fastest performance.

AMD RayzenAMD Rayzen

AMD Ryzen


Comparable performance to the Intel Core i5 and i7.

Pros

Operating system

Windows or MacOS?

WindowsWindows

 

• More software available for Windows
• More frequently updated
• The standard for game development and many business-related programs

Mac OSMac OS

 

• Straightforward and intuitive interface
• Pre-installed proprietary software


Intel Processors

Processor

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the “brain” of a computer. Most laptops feature an Intel or AMD processor.

Intel Inside i5Intel Inside i5

Intel Core i5


Best combo of price and performance. Found in most mainstream laptops.

Intel Inside i7Intel Inside i7

Intel Core i7


A step up from the Core i5.

Intel Inside i9Intel Inside i9

Intel Core i9


Fastest performance.

AMD Processors

AMD RayzenAMD Rayzen

AMD Ryzen


Comparable performance to the Intel Core i5 and i7.

  Keyboard &

  Trackpad 


Many people have their own perferences when it comes to the key travel, sounds all backlighting of a keyboard, as well as the size, material and sensitivity of a trackpad. Always test them both to find out what suits you best.

 

Laptop Size

11'' to 12'' Ultra-portable
13'' to 14'' Best balance of portability and usability. Most popular.
15'' and above Desktop Replacement.

  Battery Life

 

Rule of thumb: The higher the Wh, the better the battery life.


Higher screen resolution and delicated graphics cards generally consume more energy, depleting your laptop battery more quickly.

 

  Random Access Memory
(RAM) Storage

For general use, 8GB of RAM should be sufficient. For more memory-intensive uses (e.g game, video editing), choose a laptop with at least 16GB of RAM.


Hard disk or Solid State Drive (SSD)? SSDs are faster than regular hard disks, but they are also more expensive!

   

   Ports

While USB-C ports are common in laptops, some might also want HDMI, ethernet and USB-A ports in their machines. What kinds of ports and how many you need depend on how you will be using your laptop.