How About Battery Life
The short answer is not to count on your gaming notebook being super portable.
If youre using your laptop to play games, you need to keep your laptop plugged in to get the full performance out of your GPU. And if you dont, youll be lucky if your laptop lasts an hour gaming. In our testing experience, most gaming laptops last only a few hours on a charge when performing other tasks, but never as long as ultraportables without discrete GPUs. If you need something to last 8 hours while you work, it wont be a gaming notebook.
Some do last long, but thats often at the expense of the display, and you dont want to play all your games on a dark, dim or inaccurate screen.
Storage Size: What Can It Hold
One of the latest technological advancements in terms of space is server-based storage, known as the cloud, in which documents and media are streamed from a remote server that you can access and share from anywhere.
If you are only going to use your laptop for basic tasks, you will be fine with storage space with a smaller capacity. However, if you are going to be storing a lot of documents, photos, videos, graphics, for example, you will want to look into a much larger storage space with enough capacity to hold all of your data and documents.
Laptop Pocket Size Dimensions
When choosing a travel bag for your laptop, you want to think like Goldilocks. Choose a bag thats not too tight and not too large. Too large, and you run the risk of damaging your laptop. Too small, and you wont be able to fit the laptop in the bag, at least not without forcing it in, which risks damage to the laptop and the bag.
No doubt this advice seems obvious, but theres a catch. Your laptop size is based on its screen size: a 15-inch laptop has a diagonal screen size of 15 inches, but this does not include the surrounding bezel, which can increase the actual size of your closed laptop by up to an inch. When a travel bag claims it fits a 15-inch laptop, its often referring to the outer dimensions of the laptop case, not the screen size. This is not the case with Travelpro laptop bags. We test fit all our bags to ensure they fit laptops by screen size, so you dont need to worry about measuring bezels or outer cases.
How to Measure Your Laptop Size
To measure your laptop, close it and measure edge-to-edge diagonally. You may wind up with a measurement that doesnt completely match any available laptop bag sizes. For instance, if your measurement may come out to 13.25 inches. If this happens, size up: its better to have a laptop pocket thats slightly too big rather than one thats too small, and you can always add extra protection in the form of a separate laptop sleeve.
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Important Features To Consider When Buying A Laptop
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.
3.1. Laptop Screen Size & Resolution Options
The old axiom that bigger is better doesnt usually apply when buying a laptop. In most cases, you want to go smaller for enhanced portability. These will be your typical size options:
- 11 inch
- 15 inch
- 17 inch
Its important to keep in mind that as you go up in size, you also increase in weight and decrease in battery life.
17 inch screens are typically meant for gamers who dont mind being plugged into a wall outlet at all times. For the best crossroads between battery life, keyboard size, and display area, we recommend 12.5 inch 14 inch laptops.
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:
- 1366 x 768
- 1920 x 1080
For true HD, we recommend going with the 1920 x 1080 option, but that may not always be available in budget models.
If you have more money to spend, you can find even higher resolutions that are referred to as retina, 3k, or 4k.
3.2. Form Factor
While laptops used to only come in one variety the standard clamshell youve now got several major options to choose from, including:
- Normal clamshell
- Clamshell that can lay 180 degrees flat
- Hybrid 2-in-1 360 degree hinge
- Hybrid with detachable keyboard
3.3. Keyboard Style
Australia’s Best Laptop Brand
As well as testing more than 106 laptops since 2019, we surveyed our members about the laptops they own. We use this data to determine which brands are the most reliable, and which have the best customer satisfaction. This feedback, and our test results, are combined to determine the best laptop brand of 2021.
Best laptop brand for 2021: Apple
Apple is the best laptop brand for the past 12 months. The tech giant beat out the likes of Microsoft, ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, HP and Dell for the top spot, with strong scores in our test results in addition to being a reliable brand with highly satisfied customers.
To find out which specific laptop models we recommend based on our test results, and to make sure you buy the best, click on the ‘Recommended’ box in the filters section of our laptop reviews.
Best laptop brand 2021 scores
1. Apple 84%
5. Dell and HP 71%
5. Lenovo 70%
It’s important to note that the performance of specific product models may vary quite significantly, so don’t assume that one brand’s products are the best across the many different features, functions and price points.
For comprehensive details on every laptop we’ve tested, see our laptop reviews.
Total computing portability is enticing enough, but what other benefits can a laptop offer?
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Will I Be Traveling With My Laptop Or Mostly Working In One Place
Portability is a major concern for some business owners and a nonissue for others. If you travel a lot or work in different locations on a regular basis, it may be worth sacrificing the screen and keyboard size for a lighter computer. You can always check the dimensions and weight of a laptop under the technical specifications online.
Keep in mind that laptop screens, like television screens, are measured diagonally and that, in general, any device lighter than 3 pounds is portable enough for business travel. Before you choose an ultraportable, though, make sure the device has the ports you require and a battery life you can live with.
Laptop Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Laptop Gift
Many people are looking for a new laptop. Some people select the gifting season as the best time due to amazing Black Friday deals available. For other people, they cant imaging a more appropriate gift for someone on their list they anticipate enjoying the opening and and the look on the recipients face to be getting a brand new laptop. Lastly, there are many people who simply need a new machine and want the most powerful and durable laptop that their money can buy. Here are some suggestions to help you get the right laptop either for yourself or for someone on your gift list.
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Choose The Graphics Card
There are two types of graphics solutions found on laptops integrated and discrete. The integrated ones are typically slower while the discrete ones are more geared towards performance. If you are going to use your laptop for playing basic games or just for browsing, watching movies, a laptop with an integrated graphics card is perfectly fine.Discrete graphic card solutions on laptops are typically powered by AMD or NVIDIA. AMD calls their cards Radeon, while NVIDIA calls their solutions GeForce.
These GPUs come with dedicated graphics memory which lets them handle graphic intensive software and games. If you are studying a 3D or computer graphics course, a discrete graphics card is essential.Of course, the other benefit is being able to play high-end games on your laptop. NVIDIAs entry-level graphics solutions are labelled as GeForce 930M, 940M, whereas the mid-range offering start with the GTX 950M and above. AMDs low-end graphics solutions start from the Radeon R5 going up to the R9 series of GPUs.
Factors That Affect How Much To Budget For A New Laptop
Laptops range in price from several hundred to several thousands of dollars. There are also regular sales throughout the year, and especially during the two main retail seasons: back to school and the holiday season, especially Black Friday and Boxing Day. I suggest that you should first decide if your options are limited to a particular style. For example, if you know you are buying a Chromebook, then you have a different level of budget flexibility than if you decide you are buying an Apple laptop. If you are totally flexible on type of laptop, then focus on price by setting an upper limit for your budget. In most cases, spending a little more will get a machine with higher quality components that will affect performance and durability. Some considerations that will affect how much you will spend:
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Reasons Why A Lightweight Laptop Might Not Be Right For You
When it comes to a laptop’s weight, lighter is better, of course. But there are some cons to be aware of when it comes to the thinnest and lightest laptops.
The number of compromises youll need to make when prioritising portability in a laptop are becoming fewer and further between. That said, our tests have shown that this market can still be hit and miss, so it pays to do your research and read our reviews.
Look out for these common pitfalls found on ultra-thin and light models:
Which Intel And Amd Gen Should I Buy
The latest is always greatest when it comes to CPU generations so we recommend looking for Intel 11th Gen and AMD Ryzen 5000-series chips. Again, 11th Gen Intel chips are denoted by the first two letters after the hyphen: Core i7-1185G7. For AMD, you know it’s a Ryzen 5000 chip if the SKU number starts with a five. For example, AMD Ryzen 7 5700U.
Intel made great strides when it moved from 10th Gen to 11th Gen, especially when it comes to graphics performance with its Iris Xe chip, so we recommend getting the newest Intel processors. AMD, on the other hand, impressed us so much last year that an AMD 4000-series chip is still recommended at the right price.
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Dont Skimp On Battery Life
If you’re buying a large, bulky notebook or a gaming rig that you’ll use only on a desk near an outlet, you don’t have to worry about battery life. However, if you plan to use the laptop on your lap, even if it’s at home and or work, you’ll want at least 7 hours of endurance, with 8+ hours being ideal. To determine a notebook’s expected battery life, don’t take the manufacturer’s word for it. Instead, read third-party results from objective sources, such as our reviews.
How To Decide On A Laptop Configuration A Laptop Buying Guide In India
In this post, let us discuss how to select the right laptop for your personal or office use. It would be helpful to select the best laptop configuration if you know the things to consider before buying a laptop.
Smartphones and tablets are the primary devices most of us have. Yet the smallest screen form factor of these devices creates problems in productive work, even though they have the same hardware power as conventional laptops.
In this new age of mobile devices, a lot of people are relying on laptops for their productive activities. We dont forget people who like desktop PC environments, particularly institutions and shops.
Nowadays, a lot of laptops are available on the market from different brands and it is a very cumbersome task to choose the best configuration laptop for our use. But if you keep the following points in mind, it will be very easy for you.
Relevant things to choose from while buying a laptop are the following. Understanding these things will enable you to pick a laptop for your needs and you may consider this article as a laptop buying guide for India especially.
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How Much Should I Spend On A Laptop
- Less than £200 Intel Celeron or Atom processors, 2GB of Ram and 32GB of storage. Wont be particularly fast, but fine for very light note taking and browsing the internet.
- Less than £300 Newer Intel Celeron processors, 4GB of Ram and up to 64GB of storage. Again, won’t be hugely fast but offers a better level of performance for lightweight tasks.
- Less than £450 Intel Pentium, Core i3, AMD Ryzen 3, 128GB of storage and 4GB Ram. Fast enough for web browsing and research work. Aim for a Full HD screen and an SSD if you can.
- Less than £600 Intel Core i5, i7, AMD Ryzen 5, 7, 256GB of storage and 8GB of Ram. Should be ideal for photo editing and some light video work. Look for a thin and light design, a Full HD screen and an SSD.
- Less than £800 As above, but in increasingly high-end designs. Look for great battery life on premium ultrabooks and perhaps 512GB of SSD storage.
- More than £800 Some stunning designs, great screens and good speakers. High-end laptops will suit more intensive tasks, such as video editing or playing games. You can buy Apple MacBooks from £999 and above.
On a budget? Skip straight to our round-up of the best cheap laptops.
Which Laptop Should I Get
With so many laptops to choose from, selecting the best one to fit your budget can be like navigating a minefield. Even making sense of the ever-changing list of product specifications is no easy feat. Laptops vary greatly by CPU speed, graphics capability, size, drive storage, and RAM, among other things. Whats more, your laptop needs may be completely different to someone elses, only adding to the confusion.
For some, a flashy 4K screen may be important. Others may want a high-performing CPU, like AMDs new Ryzen 5000 processors, to give them a competitive edge in games. Getting value for money can be tricky too, since newer technologies dont always mean better performance. For example, older-generation CPUs can sometimes outperform newer products in benchmark tests. For these reasons it pays to do your homework before you purchase a laptop.
To simplify the process for you weve put together a list of 12 criteria that you can use as a guide for what to look for. It may seem laborious delving into each category, but there are a lot of things to consider. At the end of the day, taking time to research your new device will mean you avoid making a costly mistake and get a laptop thats just right for you.
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How Do I Set Up My New Laptop
When you get home simply turn your new laptop on and follow the instructions on the screen.
If youd rather open the box and your laptop just work, we can set it up for you the way you like. We can create your user account, download apps, install updates, load software and do anything else you need.
Choose The Right Size
Before you look at specs or pricing, you need to figure out just how portable you need your laptop to be. Laptops are usually categorized by their display sizes:
- 11 to 12 inches: The thinnest and lightest systems around have 11- to 12-inch screens and typically weigh 2.5 to 3.5 pounds.
- 13 to 14 inches: Provides the best balance of portability and usability, particularly if you get a laptop that weighs under 4 pounds.
- 15 to 16 inches: The most popular size, 15-inch laptops usually weigh 4 to 5.5 pounds. Consider this size if you want a larger screen and you’re not planning to carry your notebook around often. Laptops with 16-inch displays are rare but Apple might get the trend started with its 16-inch MacBook Pro.
- 17 to 18 inches: If your laptop stays on your desk all day every day, a 17- or 18-inch system could provide you with the kind of processing power you need to play high-end games or do workstation-level productivity.
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Choose The One That Is Portable
After choosing the hardware specifications for your laptop, there are other elements that you cant ignore, such as design, size, weight and the display size. If you are going to carry your laptop daily to college and back, look for a lightweight laptop. If you stay in a hostel, and its a full-time machine youre using, a larger screen size might be recommended. Its also useful for watching movies, playing games with your friends, reading notes and creating presentations. A larger screen size also means a wider keyboard, which is more ergonomic.
Screen What Size And Resolution Of Laptop Display Do I Need
In a nutshell:
- Unless you have a very low budget, dont settle for less than Full HD, no matter the size.
The graphic below shows the four main screen resolutions you’ll find on laptops and what they are often called.
A laptops screen is one case where bigger isnt always better. If you want a longer-lasting battery and a more portable device, you may want to go for an 11, 12 or 13-inch display most of these will weigh between 1kg and 1.5kg. The largest you’re likely to see is 15 or 17 inches, with weight increasing to around 2kg to 3kg.
is the number of distinct tests we use to judge a laptop screen’s brightness, colour accuracy, sharpness and reflections. These tests make up our laptop screen score – so you’ll know that the higher the score, the better the screen.
Most new models over £300 now have a Full-HD 1,920×1,080-pixel resolution display, and high-end models can have even sharper screens with even more pixels up to and beyond 4K Ultra HD. Generally, the higher the resolution, the sharper the picture.
Only cheaper laptops should have a lower screen resolution of 1,366×768. This is okay and usually usable, but these screens not only lack fidelity their cheap nature means they’re also lacking when it comes to how well colours are displayed.
We also test computer monitors – you can hook one up to your laptop to use as a second screen. See our guide to the best computer monitors to get the low-down on how to pick one.
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