how to pick out a laptop computer

How to Buy A Laptop 2021 | Trusted Buying Guide

When it comes to a laptopТs form factor, you will need to choose between traditional УclamshellФ laptops and versatile 2-in-1 laptops. These 2-in-1s combine a powerful laptop and a go-anywhere tablet in one lightweight, portable device (and may also be called УconvertibleФ or УhybridФ laptops). Feb 02, †Ј We put together a laptop buying guide to help you out. There's a wide variety of sizes, features and prices, which makes choosing the best laptop a challenge. That's why you need to figure out.

Not sure where to start? No problem. How do you plan to use your PC? Select one or two of the below options. PCs with a touchscreen and long battery life that help students learn at home or in the classroom. PCs primarily used for everyday tasks like browsing the internet and checking email. Windows offers a variety of innovative PCs with a variety of screen sizes for you to choose from. You said you will use your computer primarily.

You also wanted a computer that. Based on current availability, here are some PCs match best. Check each device for its feature capabilities and specifications. Based on current availability, here are some PCs that have some of those and a few other features you might like. Tell your family, friends, or that special someone what you want to unwrap this year.

By sending this email, unless you check the box or are otherwise subscribed, Microsoft will not keep or use your email address, or the email address to whom you send the hint, for any other purpose. We hope you unwrap a new PC this year. Please how to pick out a laptop computer with each retailer for exact offers. Products may not be available in all markets.

Displayed prices are current lowest how to clean oil based paint brushes with mineral spirits offered by stated retailers and are subject to change. Prices are not offered by Microsoft unless stated. Pen accessory may be sold separately. Please check individual specifications on retailer or manufacturer site for full battery what car seats are compatible with graco strollers details.

Battery life varies with settings, usage, and other factors. Please check with PC manufacture for details. SIM may be sold separately. Internet access required. Fees may apply. Apps, games and other content or subscriptions may be sold separately. HDR and 4K functionality available with supported games, monitors, and graphics chips.

Testing consisted of full battery discharge during video playback. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during local video playback. WiFi and Bluetooth in airplane mode and Auto-Brightness disabled.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in airplane mode and Auto-Brightness disabled. Contact your service provider for details, compatibility, pricing, SIM card, and activation. See all specs and frequencies at surface. Availability of data plans for eSIM varies by market and by carrier. Testing consisted of full battery discharge with a mixture of active use and modern standby. The active use portion consists of 1 a web browsing test accessing 8 popular websites over multiple open tabs, 2 a productivity test utilizing Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, and 3 a portion of time with the device in use with idle applications.

Tested with Windows Version All settings were default except screen brightness was set to whatever happened to whitney blake with Auto-Brightness disabled. How to pick out a laptop computer was connected to a network. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage and other factors.

Testing conducted by Microsoft in September using preproduction software and preproduction Testing conducted by Microsoft in February using preproduction software and preproduction configurations of Surface Go 2. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage. Testing conducted by Microsoft in April using preproduction software and preproduction configurations of Surface Book 3 Usage 4. Screen Size 5.

Find your new Windows 10 PC Not sure where to start? Create PCs that are great for editing photos or videos and have a digital pen. Play PCs that can handle gaming and video streaming. Work PCs that are built for work with longer battery life and biometric login. Learn PCs with a touchscreen and long battery life that help students learn at home or in the classroom.

Just the basics PCs primarily used for everyday tasks like browsing the internet and checking email. Are you looking for a laptop or a desktop?

Select your desired screen size. Which brand s do you prefer? Select up to 3 options to see your results. No preference.

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Find out how to choose a computer and find a PC thatТs right for you with the help of Microsoft. Explore several options and weТll help you choose. Are you looking for a laptop or a desktop? Windows offers a variety of innovative PCs with a variety of screen sizes for you to choose . Mar 23, †Ј There are dozens of things to consider when buying a laptop. For starters, think about the type of laptop you wantЧwhether it's a basic laptop, a 2-in-1, one built specifically for gaming, or one that's tailored to businesses. Then think about the operating system (OS) you want your new laptop to run (Mac OS, Chrome OS or Windows). Dec 28, †Ј Pick a model with a screen in the 12 Ц inch range for the most portability and lightest carrying weigh. Unless you are a designer or gamer, then 17 inch is the way to go/ Go with a hybrid 2-in-1 model or anything with a detachable keyboard if you need a touch screen and want more portability. To save more money, pick a clamshell instead.

Whether you need to edit video on the go, email your boss, play games, or just keep in touch with family, performance and portability come together when you pick the right notebook.

Although prices have come down, laptops are still a big investment. A typical laptop will last between 3 Ч 5 years. There are main price tiers to look at when picking a laptop. In most cases, 4 Ч 6GB of RAM is the maximum you can expect here when buying a new machine instead of going refurbished.

That means your top priorities should be in getting the best CPU, most hard drive space, and finding extra bells and whistles. Be on the lookout for trade offs here to find specifically what you need. The only exception to that rule is if you are picking an ultrabook , which offers thin, ultra lightweight designs by culling out a few features. You should always get something extra at this range above and beyond what the budget options offer. For instance, make sure you find a backlit keyboard , touch screen , or special hybrid design.

Aside from niche systems like Linux , there are usually three main options when buying a new laptop:. Windows will often be your main pick, simply because it has the most options in terms of apps and programs.

There are downsides of course, as Windows is a resource-hungry OS that frequently slows down while installing large update files.

If you mostly spend your time online watching YouTube videos and browsing social media, you may be better served with the Chrome OS.

Chrome also now has access to the full Google Play app store, which radically increases your options. If you use music or video editing software, Mac is an excellent option, and they are also much less prone to viruses and spyware.

While the overall performance offered by the RAM and CPU will typically be the most touted factors, there are several other components you need to carefully consider. In most cases, you want to go smaller for enhanced portability. These will be your typical size options:. For the best crossroads between battery life, keyboard size, and display area, we recommend You also need to look at resolution options, particularly if you plan on watching full movies or frequently playing games.

The two most common resolutions available are:. For true HD, we recommend going with the x option, but that may not always be available in budget models. For those who frequently use touch screen apps, a hybrid 2-in-1 model can be a life saver.

When you use your laptop as a tablet more often than actually typing on the keyboard, we recommend getting a detachable model instead. No matter what style you go with, for the most durability be on the lookout for a laptop with a fully aluminum chassis rather than plastic, as they tend to last longer. Whether you pick a standard clamshell design or get a hybrid model, you also have several choices to consider in the keyboard style, including:. In that case, look for laptops with a full 10 key layout.

These become increasingly rare as you go down in size, so you may have to go with a 14 or 15 inch screen to get the full keyboard. Higher end models also typically feature a backlit keyboard, which means each key is lit up. Yep, even the touchpad can vary between laptop models! In general, you have four different styles to look out for:. The main thing to look out for here is whether the touchpad is centered, or offset to the left. This really only matters with full size keyboards where the 10 key segment is present.

Take a look to see if the laptop touchpad features individual right or left click buttons. Some newer models ditch that design and instead use a streamlined touchpad with no buttons at all. These pads work the exact same way, but some users prefer the tactile sensation of the buttons and find it awkward to right click a streamlined touchpad.

Simply put, the more RAM your laptop has, the better performance you can expect when running multiple programs. The most common RAM configurations available will usually be as follows:.

The lower end of 4GB is quickly becoming obsolete, and is really only meant for budget machines that just browse the web. If you use nearly any type of software beyond just word processing or web browsing, we highly recommend bumping up to the 8GB threshold. If you want to future proof your machine against new software with higher requirements, 16GB is a solid investment.

These will be your most typical options when browsing modern laptops:. As you move up the scale, you can expect significantly faster speeds when installing programs or Windows updates. The price goes up correspondingly, however. For most users, we recommend a Core i5 of at least 7th gen to get the best combination of high speed and low power consumption. When it comes to CPU, higher is not always mean better. While i3 is usually more power efficient compare to i5 , i7 is not always faster than i5 and i9 is not always the best option for you.

Finally, the type of video card will have a direct impact on how well the laptop can render graphics-intensive programs. While this mostly matters for gamers, a higher end graphics card may also be a requirement for CAD software or heavy duty video editing tools.

If you intend to play games on high settings, you will want to look for a dedicated graphics card in this range:. In most cases, the Ti model will run the vast majority of games at decent frame rates. The main reason to bump up above that tier at this point is to buy a VR ready laptop.

Battery life is a crucial component to consider when buying a new laptop. In general, gaming laptops will feature significantly reduced battery life over home or office models.

To get the best battery life in the 8 Ч 14 hour range, be on the lookout for smaller, more compact models with less screen size. The less power that has to be used to keep a bright display running, the higher your battery life. Be careful when reading estimated battery life specs provided by manufacturers. They list high numbers based on simple web browsing with the screen brightness turned down. Make sure to read through the reviews from other buyers to find out what the real battery life will actually be!

In fact, you may notice that laptops with smaller storage capacities tend to cost more. Why exactly is that? SSDs offer significantly increased data retrieval speeds. Of course every laptop in this day and age should come with a WiFi card for connecting to any given wireless network. Some laptops feature built-in Bluetooth adapters for connecting to external devices without using a cord. This can be extremely handy for streaming audio to external speakers for instance, or using a wireless Bluetooth mouse.

It may be hard to believe, but there are still other features to take into account for the best overall laptop experience! You have to look hard to find newer models that include this option. Security features are instead becoming more prevalent.

Fact is many manufacturers lie about the real battery life of their products. Some even have the audacity to advertise a battery life that is twice the real battery capacity. You must understand that manufacturers know how to catch your attention. They may advertise that their laptop has all the glowing specs you need, but underneath they eliminate some important aspects.

However, you need to think twice about that decision. Some of these products actually have minor factory defects. No matter your budget or how you intend to use your device, the steps above should clearly break down every option you need to pick at each stage of the buying process. Leave us a comment below with a general idea of your needs and we can respond with a couple of the best models for you!

So if I do get one of them I need to be able to justify it. Thank you :. I need a Windows 10 laptop and am considering refurbished bc of the cost of new ones. We will use it for general home use, internet, pictures, videos, recording and music; no gaming. I hope you have a couple recommendations. I may also go to several computer repair shops to look for refurbished.

I am not confident looking for one on Amazon. I am in need if a new laptop. My current laptop is a Macbook Air that I acquired in I am an educational administrator and need something that is light weight with a strong operating system with excellent graphics. I am not interested in using an Apple product and am interested in the hybrid 2-in-1 versions. Please advise. Happy laptop hunting! Hi, I am a translator. I need a new laptop that is fast.

I tend to open many windows at the same time. I also need to install one or more CAT computer-assisted tools tools. Battery life is important. A keyboard that is lit in the dark would be good. The lighter the laptop the better. Any suggestions? I tend to lose my laptop to water.