Laptops are becoming an essential part of our day-to-day lifestyle. Whether you are working as a software engineer or be a teacher at some school or college, you would have used a laptop one time or the other to achieve great results. In this dedicated post, we talk about everyday laptops. The main aim of creating this comprehensive guide is to make it easier for you to decide which laptop is worth buying.
Buying a laptop these days isn’t an easy task; credit goes to the list of options that you are bombarded with when you search for your desired product on some popular shopping websites. Now we completely understand that these websites do offer a feature where you can filter your choices, but this again makes things complicated and you know why because the lists are still too long to find out the bang for the buck.
Note: Here at LaptopDiscovery, we also offer awards to the laptops based on our personal testing and community reviews. This not only helps you to find your desired laptop easily but also saves you a lot of your time which can be invested in some other productive tasks.
So without wasting any more time let’s straight dive into the post and help you select the best laptop for your money.
The Ultimate Guide to Select an Everyday Laptop
#1 Budget (The First Thing)
The very first thing that one should consider before buying a new laptop or upgrading from an old model to the new one is the budget. There is no limit to spending your hard-earned cash on a laptop which starts from $100 and goes up to $10000. The laptops around $100-$300 range are usually Chromebooks or low-end laptops which generally comes with Intel Celeron processor.
The confusion starts to build when you visit a shopping website and get bombarded with millions of options to choose from. Even if you select a preferred budget, the choices left are again vast in number. To make it easier for you to choose the best value for money laptops, here are some of the post on our websites that you must consider reading:-
(b) The Best Laptops Under $400: Laptops Under this budget are a good fit for editing documents, streaming videos on YouTube, teachers (for student record management only) and many other less process-intensive tasks.
(c) The Best Laptops Under $600: Laptops Under this price range are decent for programming and college students. You can also play some medium-level games on these laptops. You can expect a laptop with a backlit keyboard under $600 price range.
(d) The Best Laptops Under $700: Laptops that are priced under 700 dollars are considered to be the entry-level premium models that can come with Intel i7 processor, but surely doesn’t have the GPU you need for high-end visual works. You can get models with a good amount of RAM and SSD storage type.
(e) The Best Laptops Under $800: When we move a little bit up, we get the segment of laptops priced around 800 dollars, these laptops are one of the best sellers and also the most selling models. Most of the students and professionals prefer to buy laptops around this price range. The laptops under this price range are also the preferred choice of nursing students.
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Note: If you are into teaching, then consider checking out our best laptops for teachers for newer models.
#2 Processor (The Computer’s Brain)
The processor is one of the most crucial elements for overall system performance. Intel has recently announced it’s Intel i9 Core processor series for advance processing tasks like editing 4k videos, data analysis and much more. But buying a laptop with the i9 processor will cost you a lot of money which everyone can’t afford. This post is for an everyday laptop and thus most of the laptops that we recommend come with Intel i3, i5, and i7 processors.
(a) The Best Intel i3 Laptops: Laptops with Intel Core i3 processor are suitable for everyday tasks like editing files, documents, playing online games, editing photos on Photoshop (although you don’t get the best experience) and much more.
(b) The Best Intel i5 Laptops: Laptops with Intel i5 processor are good to use for medium-level gaming, photo and video editing (generally 1080p videos), freelancing work like writing articles, making infographics and much more.
(c) The Best i7 Laptops: Laptops with Intel i7 processor are suitable for the process-intensive tasks like editing 4k videos, playing high-end games (note: for playing high-end games, the processor is not the only component crucial for smoother gameplay, the GPU also plays a significant role). Therefore, if you want a laptop for intensive-gaming then don’t just look for the processor but also take a look at the GPU present inside the laptop.
If you want to know more about the Intel i9 processor, you can check out this post where we’ve talked about Intel i9 9900k vs. Intel i7 9700k.
Tasks like Data Science, Data Analysis or Data mining require a lot of power and thus you need to very specific while selecting a laptop for such tasks. Here’s an interesting article about good laptops for data science. You’ll to read it.
#3 RAM (Random Access Memory)
RAM or the Random Access Memory is the principal component of not only laptops but desktop PCs, tablets, smartphones, and gaming consoles. Without the RAM, performing any tasks on the system would be extremely sluggish. It is a piece of hardware embedded on the motherboard that stores the system’s short term memory while it is running. The principal difference between the RAM and the data drive is that the RAM is volatile memory; in simpler words, the data stored on the RAM gets wholly erased when the power source shuts.
The RAM temporarily stores the software and files in current use or near future. The processor can read the data quickly from the RAM, instead of looking up for it in the data drives (i.e., HDD and SSD). The RAM is quick at learning the new things and can load all the information related to the work you are performing on the web browser, tools you will be using for editing images or games you’re playing.
You don’t have to dig down through the storage drive, every time you want to work on a new tab or use a tool to edit the photos.
Main Types of RAM:
- DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)
The DRAM is the most common type of RAM used in laptops and personal computers. It acts as the main memory in the computing system. More specifically, the most DRAM used in the modern-day system is SDRAM, which stands for Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory. Sometimes the acronym DDR (Example DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, etc.) is used to describe the SDRAM type of memory. The DDR stands for Double Data Rate and refers to how fast is the data transfer rate in one clock cycle whereas the number depicts the generation of RAM, with each successor one offering higher speed and efficiency.
- SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)
The SRAM nowadays is typically used for system cache, as it is a static memory and doesn’t necessitate to be refreshed, unlike the DRAM. It is much faster and efficient than DRAM but also comes at a high cost. The cache memory is used by the processor to reduce the average time needed to access the data from the main memory (DRAM). The SRAM is a smaller and faster memory, placed closer to the processor core.
#4 GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
GPU or Graphics Processing Unit is known as the soul of the system that renders the images and displays them on the monitor. GPU nowadays acts as the primary element for smoother performance. It’s not only essential for gaming needs but also comes handing in loading applications faster while working in coordination with the CPU.
There are generally four types of graphics cards – Integrated, PCI, AGP & PCI-Express. The two major providers of graphics cards are Nvidia and AMD. Most of the laptops mentioned on LaptopDiscovery have GPUs either from Nvidia or from AMD.
The current industry standard for Graphics card is the GeForce GTX 1050 ti. The graphics are capable enough to handle all the daily tasks and also lets you play medium-level games at 30fps or more. If you are a gaming fan, then consider reading out the below-given chart about graphics and at what fps you can run some commonly played games:
|Game||GTX 1050||GTX 1050Ti||GTX 1060||GTX 1070||GTX 1080|
|CS GO||115 fps||120 fps||161 fps||200 fps||237 fps|
|PUBG||36 fps||45 fps||69 fps||80 fps||88 fps|
|GTA V||39 fps||43 fps||61 fps||79 fps||95 fps|
|FORTNITE||64 fps||70 fps||101 fps`||120 fps||132 fps|
|LEAGUE OF LEGENDS||132 fps||137 fps`||187 fps||218 fps||223 fps|
|OVERWATCH||63 fps||74 fps||101 fps||115 fps||123 fps|
|BATTLEFIELD 1||43 fps||45 fps||70 fps||96 fps||112 fps|
|THE WITCHER 3||38 fps||38 fps||58 fps||82 fps||95 fps|
|DOTA 2||80 fps||106 fps||136 fps||146 fps||165 fps|
|WORLD OF WARCRAFT||45 fps||56 fps||77 fps||91 fps||95 fps|
|WORLD OF TANKS||66 fps||69 fps||106 fps||125 fps||131 fps|
|BATTLEFIELD 4||49 fps||55 fps||99 fps||127 fps||142 fps|
It is not necessary to buy a laptop with a dedicated graphics card; you can also use your laptop with an integrated graphics card, but this restricts you to low-processing tasks only. If you want to play games or edit videos, we would recommend you to buy a laptop with a dedicated GPU.
#5 Storage (What Type to Choose?)
When you are buying a laptop, you expect it to have the best possible storage drive that is fast and reliable at the same time. Also depending upon your work, the storage capacities of the drives may alter your decision. While buying the laptop, there comes the point where you might get stuck whether to buy SSD or an HDD. Well there is no straight forward answer to this question, the type of storage drives depends upon your needs, your preferences, your work, and of course the budget.
There is no doubt in it that the per-gigabyte cost of SSD is much more than that of an HDD, but it cannot outweigh the advantages that come with the SSD.
HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
The HDD is best suited for mass storage. These are cheaper than SSD and is available in huge sizes. If you have a lot of games, files, or software to keep on your computer system, then you can buy yourself 1TB HDD for a fraction cost of the same capacity SSD. If the life of the drive is to be considered, then be sure that HDD can wear down faster as it has moving parts and magnetic platters. Also, with the moving plates, HDD can sometimes produce a specific sound.
SSD (Solid State Drive)
If you are looking for a PC that delivers breathtaking speed, then SSD is your thing. With the SSD the operating system will boot up faster, the applications load time will reduce and time taken to open files will reduce. Since SSD has no moving parts, it provides better performance and reliability over HDD. Also, SSD uses less power that directly helps enhance the battery life of the overall system. Lastly, the SSD is not affected by magnetism.
Here are some of the laptops powered by SSD storage type. Make sure you take a look at them as well.
Read: Best SSD Laptops 2020
#6 Connectivity (All about Ports)
The everyday laptop that you choose should come with a variety of ports for seamless connectivity. The various ports that you can get on a computer are USB ports (includes Type A and Type C), RJ-45 Ethernet port, SD Card reader, HDMI port (includes HDMI Type-A (standard), HDMI Type-C (mini HDMI), Type-D (micro HDMI), and Type-E), Display Port, and Thunderbolt 3 port.
The HDMI Type-E ports are generally suitable for automotive applications. Make sure the laptop you buy comes with most of the ports so that you can enjoy working and did not get much worried about choosing the right kind of adapter to connect your devices.
The traditional personal computers had the cathode ray tube displays, but the laptop uses LCD technology, where LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. It is always advisable to spend extra bucks on display, as you will be staring at it all day.
- Display Size
The laptop display ranges from the small 10-inch size to massive 17 inches or greater. The 10 inches is primarily used for surfing the web, checking emails or for word processing whereas the 17 inches or greater are helpful for editing work and gaming. There are advantages to all the sizes in between that is 10 inch, 11 inches, 13 inches, 15 inches, and 17 inches but it all depends on what do you require the laptop for. The smaller ones are lighter and easy to carry around to places, whereas the bigger ones provide a better viewing experience.
Every display composes of a series of dots known as pixels, more the number of pixels you have, more information is visible on the screen without scrolling. Most of the low-end laptops come with a low resolution that is 1366 x 768 (HD display) which shows limited content than the high-resolution panels with 1920 x 1080 (Full HD display) pixels resolution.
The industry-standard these days is the 1920 x 1080 (also called 1080p or FHD) display, which can show around ten additional lines of content on a web page, or in a document you are editing, compared to the display with lower resolution. Also, with the 1080p resolution, the images look a lot more sharp, as the dots are smaller and allow you to see fine details without any blur.
Displays with even higher pixel resolution are available with around 3840*2160 (Ultra HD display) pixels.
- Touch or Non-Touch
If you are buying a 2-in-1 laptop, there is no doubt that it will come with a touch screen. But if you are purchasing a classic laptop, then you need to study both the advantages and disadvantages of having a touch screen. The touch screen does provide you with a better user experience and more control over the functionality. So can get the work done just by making few taps using your finger.
But not to forget that the touch screen consumes a lot of power, leading to fewer hours of battery life. Also if you are choosing the same laptop with a difference in screen, then you could expect to pay $100 to $200 more for the touch.
#8 Battery Life
When it comes to portability, it’s a function of both the weight and battery life of the laptop. You can quickly check the weight of the item on the product page (if you are buying online), but when it comes to the actual battery life, you can only make a guess. The actual results might vary when you get your machine delivered, and this is quite self-explanatory.
The way you use the laptop decides the battery life of the laptop. Although there are some models that comes with a 3-cell battery but the jobs you throw at it decides it’s actual battery backup with a single charge.
Usually, laptops last for around 5-6 hours with mixed usage while the one like MacBook Air or Pro might last longer. With gaming laptops, you can surely not expect a decent battery life; credit goes to the robust hardware configuration which continuously withdraws power from the battery.
At LaptopDiscovery, we try to give you a rough idea about the battery backup that each laptop can offer by reading and discussing without hundreds of users and buyers. For example, you can take a look at laptops for watching movies post on our website.
#9 At the End
In the end, we would recommend you to choose a laptop that suits your budget and also fits good with the type of job that you need to perform. To add a little note, we would say, buy a laptop which can at least be your friend for the coming 4 to 5 years. Prefer buying the model with the latest generation of processor because the processor generations put a tremendous impact on the overall system performance.