You’re in the Laptops section of an electronics store, looking at products and making the biggest decision of your life. Which one should you buy?
Should I Get a Cheap Chromebook? Or should I fire up “Google Translate” and decipher the specs posted next to my Windows Laptop? Or should I go to Apple Corner and check out the “MacBook”?
I don’t put pressure on you, but one wrong move will force you to live with that Laptop for the next 3-5 years.
But don’t worry. Read this article to avoid that.
Select Operating System (OS)
You probably know which OS you want based on your past experience, the other devices you have, and the requirements of your school or company. There are mainly three options.
Microsoft Windows: Still the most used operating system for laptops. If you need to use Microsoft apps such as Word, Excel, and Outlook, as well as professional software, this is the safe choice.
Almost All Windows Laptops currently on the market come with Windows 10, but a free upgrade to Windows 11 is available. You should check the manufacturer’s website before purchasing to make sure the laptop is eligible for the Windows 11 upgrade. Windows Laptops usually range in price from $300 to $3,000.
Google’s Chrome OS: Laptops running Chrome OS, known as “Chromebooks,” are extremely popular among students. It’s a great option for those who primarily need to browse the web. You can also run android apps. Prices are also often among the most affordable, usually under $650.
Apple’s MacOS: If you’re already in the Apple ecosystem and have an iPhone or iPad, then iMessage, Safari, Based on the connectivity of AirPods, Apple’s MacBook Air and MacBook Pro should be considered. All MacBook Pros currently are equipped with MacOS.
There are numerous types of Laptops, such as Ultrabooks, Tablet Laptops, Gaming Laptops, Business Laptops, etc., depending on individual’s preferences.
But when considering laptops, it’s good to remember the “Three P’s.” Power (Performance), Portability and Price. The more power and portability, the higher the price.
If you buy directly from the manufacturer’s website, you’ll probably have to make the following choices.
Processors: For Windows Laptops, you have choices from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). For example, Samsung’s Galaxy Book Pro 360 is powered by a new 11th-generation processor from Intel, which offers better performance, better battery life, and faster boot times.
Chromebooks also have a choice of processors. For better performance, Intel’s “Core” chips are recommended. When it comes to MacBooks, avoid Intel chips. This is because Apple has made it clear that it will shift entirely to its own chips in the next year or two.
RAM: Whether it’s a Windows Laptop or a MacBook, 8 gigabytes of RAM should be enough for any task. However, if you run a lot of applications or have a lot of web tabs open, 16GB or more may be good for you.
Storage: 32 gigabytes of storage is often standard on low-end systems such as Chromebooks. If you plan to download photos, videos or documents, 64GB or 128GB is a safe bet. 512 gigabytes is standard for high-end Windows and MacBook models. If you need more space, consider cheaper and more portable SanDisk or Samsung external solid-state drives (SSDs) before paying thousands of dollars to upgrade your storage.
Some Suggested Laptops To Buy
I have evaluated some laptops by keeping these things in mind. I haven’t tested every laptop out there, but these are some of my favorite models.
Windows: Check out Microsoft’s own Surface Laptop 4, which starts at $999. It’s thin and light, with a comfortable keyboard and responsive trackpad. I also like Samsung’s Galaxy Book Pro 360, which starts at $1,200. Unlike the Surface Laptop, the display opens and closes 360 degrees and comes with an “S Pen”, so it can be used as a full-fledged tablet. Both laptops are available in 13-inch and 15-inch screen sizes. I’ve long preferred a 13-inch laptop for its portability, but many people probably prefer a larger screen.
Chromebooks: I’m a fan of Google’s own 13.3-inch Pixelbook Go. The keyboard hits are quieter than any other product I’ve tried. It has a 1080p webcam, a touchscreen, and is very compact. Its price is $650, however its not cheap, its one of the most expensive Chromebooks.
MacBook: I’ve used the new MacBook Pro with the M1 chip for the last two months. Even with dozens of tabs open, I’m still impressed with how quiet the fan is and how the it stays cool. Also the MacBook Air with the M1 chip (starting at $999) has great battery life, decent performance for everyday tasks, and no fans.
Bonus Tips For Buying A Laptop
We usually recommend buying laptops directly from the manufacturer’s website, but many retailers now offer great prices. We recommend visiting different stores to check for the lowest prices. When comparing, don’t forget to check if the product specs are exactly the same.
Many dealers will offer extended warranties for around $250. It also includes accident compensation. I don’t think such guarantees are worth subscribing to, but only you know how likely you are to spill coffee on your new keyboard.
However, I would recommend buying one, a USB-C conversion adapter. Most new laptops come with a USB-C port. This means you’ll need an adapter to connect older cords and peripherals. Apple will try to sell it for $19 at checkout. But you shouldn’t buy it. Anker products have three ports for the same price. There’s also a $30 one with five ports, which I highly recommend.