Table Of Contents
- Input Ports
- Graphics Card
This guide is for windows laptop buyers.
Many brands offer below display options:
- Full HD
- Wide Quad HD
Higher the resolution, more pixels per inch creating high-quality, crisp image.
However, high resolution consumes more power.
Also, when choosing a model check for below display attributes:
- response times
- color depth
- backlight bleeding
- reflections (outdoor use)
Check https://www.notebookcheck.net/ for detailed display review of your model.
There are two processor options available: Intel & AMD.
AMD processors tend to be cheaper compared to Intel.
Intel offers below processor variants (notable ones listed below):
i5 is still the affordable processor in the market whereas the higher ones are still pricey.
Also, check the processor series which is being offered. The series will determine the features such as whether hyper threading is supported, cache memory etc.
Some models, even though they use higher processor configuration such as i7, might not leverage it to it’s full capacity and face thermal throttling, cooling issues.
https://www.notebookcheck.net/ for detailed performance review on the processor for your model.
https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/ is useful for comparing different processors.
There are many different types of RAM. One of the mainstream one is DDR RAM (DDR stands for Double Data Rate).
|Clock Speed||max 2133mhz||max 4800mhz|
All latest models offer DDR4 RAM and the clock speed varies based on the model.
There are two storage options available:
HDD and SSD
SSD is flash storage and is much faster compared to HDD. But at the same time it is expensive as well.
Due to the price factor, it is recommended to choose either of two options:
|Option 1||Laptop with both SSD & HDD storage option. Typically, use SSD for OS and apps installation. |
Use HDD for storing data files.
e.g. Laptop with 256 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD storage configuration
|Option 2||Laptop with only SSD configuration. Buy an external hard drive and use it for storing data files. |
e.g. Laptop with 256/512 GB SSD configuration & 1 TB external hard drive
SSD comes in multiple form factors:
|2.5-inch SSD||This typically uses SATA interface. Requires Add-in Card to work with PCI Express bus|
|M.2 SSD||M.2 drives work either over SATA / PCI Express bus. |
M.2 comes with multiple specifications:
Larger the size, better the performance.
PCI Express is a high-speed serial connection that connects directly with the CPU via the bus. It provides high transfer speeds.
PCI-E has multiple specifications:
|PCI-E 2.0||Has 500 MB/s of bandwidth per channel|
|PCI-E 3.0||Has 985 MB/s of bandwidth per channel|
PCI Express may contain 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 or 32 lanes. Number of lanes determine the transfer speeds.
|PCI-E 2.0 x2||Has throughput of 1000 MB/s|
|PCI-E 3.0 x2||Has throughput of 1970 MB/s|
|PCI-E 3.0 x4||Has throughput of 3940 MB/s|
NVMe (non-volatile memory express) is a host controller interface and storage protocol created to accelerate the transfer of data between SSD over a computer’s high-speed Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) bus.
It compliments PCIe and provides increased performance.
Storage that uses PCIe interface with more lanes instead of SATA offers increased throughput.
M.2 2280 form factor offers better performance.
If you need a storage with increased throughput then a typical configuration would be
M.2 2280 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD.
If you’re planning to use your laptop for a longer period, one of the important things to consider is upgradeability.
Your current configuration might be sufficient for now but you might need more capacity in the future. In that case, it is best to upgrade your components rather than having to buy a new laptop.
Always keep in mind that when you upgrade your laptop your warranty will become void. So, when you buy your model choose a proper configuration that’s suited for your needs for the entire duration of your warranty. Once the warranty period expires you can upgrade your laptop as needed.
|RAM||1. Check how many RAM slots are being offered by the model |
2. Check if any of the RAM slots are soldered. If one of your RAM slots are soldered, then you will have the option to upgrade the RAM capacity only in the remaining free slots
3. Check the max capacity up to which your RAM can be upgraded
4. Check if dual channel is supported. If so, pairs of memory chips need to be the same and installed in proper slots to take advantage of it
|Storage||1. Check max storage that is supported by the model |
2. Check if your model has multiple storage slots i.e. you can install an additional HDD/SSD and increase your storage capacity
Few things to check with respect to a keyboard are whether it has a :
- comfortable layout
- space around the arrow keys
- snappy responsiveness
- numpad (optional)
- fingerprint reader (addon) (windows hello)
|Removable battery||Models with removable batteries provide flexibility to switch them with another when one dies out|
|Sealed battery||Newer models are offering only sealed battery which can’t be switched out, in order to make the laptops lightweight. |
In the absence of power source and your internal battery doesn’t hold charge for long, you will have to make use of an external power bank
Check if the model offers below ports:
|USB 3.1 Type A||USB 3.1 is the most recent version of the USB (Universal Serial Bus) standard for connecting computers and electronic devices. |
It is capable of data transfer speeds up to 10Gbps and 100W of power output
|USB 3.1 Type C||USB C is a connector type. |
It replaces other connection types such as USB-A, B, micro, mini USB ports and is reversible
|Thunderbolt 3||Thunderbolt 3 uses same USB Type C port and is based on USB 3.1. |
It offers data transfer speeds of 40Gbps and allows connection to dual 4K monitors, transfer large files
|SD card reader||You might need an adapter to read micro sd cards. Some models offer only micro SD card reader|
|Ethernet||Ethernet port is used to connect to a wired network. |
Using it instead of the WiFi connection can prevent WiFi hackers from seeing your transactions
|Hdmi||HDMI port allows transmission of audio and video with devices like HDTV, projector, DVD player etc.|
If portability is your priority, you’ll want to go for a smaller sized Windows laptop. They tend to be thinner and lighter.
However, you’ll have to sacrifice on screen size, battery and other options if you choose a lighter laptop.
Many models by default come with integrated Intel graphics card.
This is more than sufficient for basic tasks and will work well with i5 processor.
If you are into more demanding games, then you need to choose dedicated graphics model.
When you want to buy a laptop, one of the important things to check is the emissions - fan noise, temperature etc. as it will affect the longevity of your laptop.
Depending on the processor, graphics and price of your model, the cooling mechanism will vary.
Check https://www.notebookcheck.net/ for detailed emissions review of your model.
Generally, laptop warranty covers parts and labor for repairs, hardware problems.
Issues arising from accidental drops, spills, electrical surges won’t be covered under the base warranty.
You might want to purchase additional cover for these cases.
Depending on your circumstances, you might need international warranty as well. Check if the laptop model provides international warranty or purchase one if required.
One thing to note in case of international warranty is that, if in case any parts need to be replaced, they will try to see if it is available in the country in which you have requested for support. If it is not available, then the onus is on you to ship the laptop to the country of purchase to have the parts replaced.
This is because some of the parts will be available only in the country of sale due to regulatory restrictions.
Choosing a brand is also an important attribute for below reasons:
- Technical Support