Even though every other person now has a modern smartphone, tablet or other gadget, laptops, as personal laptops, remain in demand. After all, they are universal devices with a full-fledged OS, the ability to install various software, have a set of all kinds of connectors, including wireless interfaces, and are equipped with a full-fledged, convenient keyboard.
Unlike PCs, laptops are mobile, compact, can work independently and at the same time be quite productive. There are, of course, they also have their disadvantages in the form of limited upgrading capabilities, difficulties in repair and convenience when performing stationary tasks such as games or complex video editing, resource-intensive computing.
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Purpose and budget
To tell the truth, this is the main criterion for choosing. First of all, the potential buyer must understand and decide what tasks the laptop will solve, because unlike a desktop PC, if its performance and capabilities disappoint you, it will be almost impossible to upgrade it. You also need to consider whether this will be the only computer you will be using, or whether it is purchased to solve specific problems with your desktop PC.
For office tasks, work with text and spreadsheet documents, an inexpensive version without discrete graphics will do, here it is more important to have a comfortable keyboard and a quality screen. Budget processor, a reasonable minimum of RAM and disk space, perhaps only the presence of SSD.
A little more expensive will cost a laptop for a schoolboy or student, as well as universal home or multimedia. In addition to office tasks and Internet surfing, it should cope with multimedia content, simple games. A mid-level processor, a combination of integrated and discrete graphics, more RAM. The screen is a desirable type of IPS or SVA.
For professional work with graphics, video editing and complex computing tasks, you need to buy a more expensive laptop with a powerful multi-core processor, more RAM, and discrete video. Mobility in this case is not so important, so it can be a large diagonal screen with a good quality matrix.
In a special line can be allocated gaming laptops. They are installed high-performance processors and top models of graphics cards. Flagship models of gaming laptops are expensive and can’t match the performance of gaming PCs.
If mobility is more important than performance, you should pay attention to ultrabooks or netbooks. These are light workhorses, which can be taken with you on business trips, to use directly on the road. With their help to adjust, diagnose and repair equipment, used by journalists and photographers on trips, students at lectures. It is convenient to have a desktop PC at home.
Another parameter that also strongly influences the choice is the screen. The size of the diagonal directly affects the dimensions of the laptop, and therefore the ease of carrying and, again, the purpose of use.
- A smaller diagonal – more mobility, and use in stationary mode – the choice in favor of a larger diagonal.
- Three main parameters are important for the screen: the type of matrix, its resolution and coating.
- TN (TN+film) – a simple budget technology, has a short response time, which is beneficial for games and watching movies. But color rendering leaves much to be desired: small viewing angles, low contrast, which is compensated by a glossy screen coating, which gives a mirror effect.
- VA (VA, MVA, PVA) – higher contrast and colorful picture, because of the deeper blacks it is possible to use a matte coating of the screen. But viewing angles are still small, and the halftone pass is not very good, which is critical for photo processing.
- IPS and PLS – more advantageous technology for graphics, wide viewing angles, high-quality color reproduction. Of the disadvantages only a longer response time, which is not beneficial for games.
- Screen resolution – the higher the resolution, the clearer the picture on the screen and the more visible information fits on the monitor.
- The resolution must match the size of the monitor itself – this is determined by the pixel density (ppi). The average number should be at least 90-100 ppi, otherwise the image will look grainy.
Screen coating also affects the choice of laptop: for work on the street, on the road matte screen is important, it does not depend on ambient light, does not glare in contrast to the glossy with its pronounced mirror effect, which makes it impossible to use such a laptop in sunlight.
What matters here is the balance between performance and energy efficiency, which affects autonomy. The name of mobile processors echoes the desktop variants.
- The budget line includes intel Celeron, Pentium, at AMD – E1, E2, A4 and A6.
- Average performance is provided by intel line – i3, i5, at AMD – Athlon, A8, A9, A10, A12, Ryzen 3.
- The more productive processors are Intel i5 and i7, AMD has Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7.
You should also consider the generation of the processors, indicated by the first digit in the index. The fresher the generation, the better. But it happens that medium-performance processors of the outdated generation cost as much as the budget new ones. For example, a laptop with a Core i3 7020U costs identical to a Pentium Gold 5405U. And the Ryzen 3 2200U costs identical to the A6 9225. At the same time, they will show similar performances.
In the above models, in addition to the numbers, we also see letters. The letters H, HK, HQ denote the most productive solutions. Letters U or Y stand for the balance between performance and power consumption and refer to the middle segment. The letter G stands for the high performance graphics core embedded in the processor.
Also important is the number of slots for RAM, increasing the volume is sometimes the only option for an upgrade and with only one memory slot is not added.
Memory can be built-in, for example, in ultrabooks it is soldered to the board and there are no slots at all.