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Choosing a Best Laptop in 2019 – Value for Money deals

Choosing a new laptop is a merry-go-round for nearly all aspirants. Every major brand has multiple product lines with overlapping prices and features, and every description is filled with jargon about processors, types of storage (SSD / HDD), graphics card (Dedicated / Integrated), Operating system & pre-installed applications, screen size & resolutions and a laundry list of ports and connections. This followed by various reviews shared by major sites makes it further more difficult for a user to make a choice.

For me, the most important decision maker is the budget or price of the laptop. I always thrive for ‘Value for Money’ deals only. So once you lock your budget, my article could help you narrow down on the choices for your purchase.

 

Usually a typical laptop is expected to be used anywhere between 3 to 5 years & hence always choose your budget considering that life of your laptop would be maximum of 5 years from now. After 5 years, the laptop would be both difficult & costly to maintain.

 

My webpage (updated regularly) has details of all the laptop deals that one might need once the budget is finalized :: https://taheemrajat.wixsite.com/reviews/best-laptop

 

Aspects that help me narrow down my choice of laptop (Value for Money deals):-

  • Processor & RAM

 

More RAM & more CPU doesnt really mean performance on machines. AMD & Intel both provide good hardware and both can perform differently but it is never a good idea to generalize a hardware combination for any particular reason. AMD do produce lot of heat but can outperform Intel in video processing. It largely depends on the way softwares are prepared / tested & mend to be operated. Most of the applications are built & tested considering the most widely used hardware combinations and hence your latest CPU might not work in all scenarios. I would recommend choosing the most widely & budget friendly hardware combination for best ‘Value for money’ deals.

 

  • Type of Laptop

 

Netbooks, Hybrid laptops, 2-in-1 laptops, 180 degree hinges, Detachable keyboards, etc are usually jargons to confuse the potential buyer. Always choose a standard laptop if you are into ‘Value for Money’ deals. I always thrive for laptops that are durable enough

  • Screen size & resolution

Laptops tend to be divided into categories based on the diagonal size of their screens, in inches. This is because a laptop’s screen size also determines the overall size of its chassis. I personally thrive for 15.6 inch laptops or more simply coz it provides better viewability. 15.6 inch laptop would easily fit 1 TB HDD, DVD Drive, Island type keyboard, more ports, etc. Hence 15.6 inch  / 17 inch category is always a ‘Value for Money’ deal for me.

The size of the screen isn’t everything; resolution should also be taken into account. It’s even possible to work on two applications side by side with this many pixels, especially since so many modern web pages reformat themselves to suit the available screen space. However it should not be a major decision maker for choosing the laptop.

 

  • Operating system & pre-installed softwares

 

DOS, Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and ChromeOS are all operating systems. When choosing a laptop, the operating system is usually installed already, though you can change operating systems later. Mac OS is specific to MacBook & ChromeOS is specific to ChromeBook. However, Windows is widely accepted & easy to use operating system. Various flavours of Linux form a major share of operating systems chosen across the globe. Frankly, pre-installed softwares/applications (viz. Antivirus, Cloud Storage, etc) are just bloat-wares and adds no value. Choice of operating system do dictate a price of a laptop.

 

  • Dedicated vs Integrated graphics

 

An integrated graphics processing unit (GPU) doesn't use its own RAM; it utilizes the system's memory instead. The benefit to an integrated unit is that it is cheaper, which in turn means a less expensive computer. An integrated graphics card also generates much less heat than a dedicated video card and uses drastically less power, which improves the overall battery life. A dedicated, or discrete, GPU has its own independent source of video memory, leaving the RAM your system uses untouched. However, as we evolve technologically, GPUs are milked to a great extent. This includes simple tasks like browsing internet or complicated tasks like bitcoin (crypto-currency) mining. So, If you are tight on budget, go for Integrated graphics, else my choice would be for dedicated graphics.

 

  • SSD vs HDD

 

SSD usually helps scenarios where there are lot of disk I/O. SSD is becoming standard and is preferable due to increased access speed and extended battery life. As a result, SSDs are more expensive than standard hard drives for less storage. SSDs are often smaller than standard drives, meaning you may need an external drive to store all of your media files. However, from my perspective, SSDs are only meant for heavy gamers, heavy programmers (viz, Android Studio, huge code, etc), etc – So for a normal user, HDD just makes perfect sense.

 

  • Touchscreen

 

I never understood the use of touchscreen on laptops. For me it’s just a luxury. Doesn’t really fit my ‘Value for Money’ deals. When you use a smartphone all day long, it's easy to think that every screen in your life should respond to touch. Touch screens are necessary on handsets, tablets and 2-in-1 hybrids that transform from notebooks to slates. They even provide a lot of benefits on large-screen all-in-one PCs that sit in your living room. However, no matter how badly vendors want to sell you one, a traditional laptop with a touch screen is a terrible idea and a bad buy. Also this increases the cost of the laptop making it a bad – really bad idea.

 

  • Connectivity

 

Number of USB 3.0 ports, USB 2.0 ports, VGA port, HDMI Port, RJ 11, RJ 45, etc just add to the confusion of the buyer. RJ 11 & VGA are things of the past. Even if one really need it, there are cheap USB converters available in the market. Laptops’ prices can vary based on number of USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 ports too. However, please be informed there are loads of USB Hubs available in the market to help you in various scenarios. So don’t fall of this marketing track of the companies

 

  • Brand of laptop

 

This is one of the most disputed topic of all. Never ever!, I repeat, Never ever fall for a particular brand of the laptop. Each laptop has various series & models with its own pros & cons. So my decision is always to narrow down to your budget & choose a laptop that falls in that category. Until & unless you are choosing a laptop from a standard brand (viz. HP, Dell, ASUS, Acer, MSI, Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, etc), its just fine to buy any laptop model that meets your need. Brands’ image vary each day based on various aspects & cannot be generalized for your purchases.

 

 

-Rajat Taheem

(Review Enthusiast)

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