What Kind Of Laptop Screen Do I Need
Laptop screens have grown denser over the past decade, packing more pixels into the same area. That enables crisper text, sharper onscreen images, and, often, better-looking colors. Display density is sometimes measured in pixels per inch , but the main specification that defines a laptop screen is its native resolution, which is expressed in horizontal by vertical pixels.
Most laptops that cost $500 or more have screens with at least full HD resolutions. Also known as 1080p displays, they sport a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels and typically employ LCD panels built on whats known as in-plane switching technology. IPS screens quality can vary, but they are best known for keeping the quality of the image high if you look at the screen from an oblique, or off-side, angle. Thin-film transistor , the other major screen type in modern laptops , tends to shift colors or look faded if not viewed straight-on. That matters if you often share the contents of your screen with otherssay, when giving impromptu presentations.
Cheap Windows- and Chrome OS-based laptops will usually have lower-resolution thin-film transistor displays , which means text wont appear as crisp and colors might not be as vivid as youve come to expect from your smartphone or TV. If youre not picky about image quality, though, a lower-resolution display might be an acceptable sacrifice in the quest to save money.
Cheap Laptop Deals Under $400
HP 15.6-inch laptop: $379 $249 at WalmartSave $130 – This 15.6-inch HP laptop is available for just $249 right now. Considering there’s an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD inside you’re getting a great price here. Plus, a full-sized 15.6-inch display isn’t usually found at this cost either.
$399.99 $299.99 at HPSave $100 – If you’re after a cheap laptop deal but still want the speed and storage of something more substantial, this 14-inch HP machine is well worth a look. For just under $300 you’re getting a 128GB SSD and an AMD 3020e processor, however there’s also 8GB RAM here where we may previously have only seen 4GB.
$379.99 $329.99 at HPSave $50 – This HP is packing an impressive 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD into a $330 price tag in this week’s laptop deals. An AMD Athlon Gold will see you through everyday browsing as well, which makes this an excellent budget buy.
$529.99 $399.99 at DellSave $130 This Dell Inspiron offers excellent value for money if you need an all-purpose laptop for everyday tasks or work. It includes an Intel i3 processor and a 128GB SSD about expected at this price point. What seals it, though, is the 8GB RAM. That’ll give a welcome performance boost when we usually only see 4GB at this price.
Best Laptops For Programming: What To Look For
Programming can be done on many different types of machines but many programmers want something more than just a basic laptop. While you don’t necessarily need a powerhouse of a laptop to code on, if you need to compile your code, and test out the games you’re working on, for example, then you’ll want a laptop with plenty of RAM and a modern multi-core processor. They are able to compile code much more quickly. And, the less time you have to spend waiting for your laptop to complete complex tasks, the more time you have to do other things such as take on more projects.
Screen size is really important when selecting one of the best laptops for programming. You’ll get more on a 15-inch screen than a smaller one, for example, so it’s easier to read through code and make GUI adjustments. Of course, with a bigger display you sacrifice portability.
Also consider getting an Intel Core i5 processor as a minimum that level of power isn’t exceptional but it will guarantee you enough performance, especially if you’re doing things like working with complex website layouts that have a lot of background code. Large, complex programs compile faster with a faster processor.
Graphics can also be key depending on the development work you’re doing. If you’re working with game development in an environment such as Unreal Engine or Unity then you need to consider the graphical requirements of those apps. Don’t miss our round up of the best graphics cards if this is something you might need.
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Hp Envy X360 15 Laptop
With superb performance, 14+ hours of battery life, sleek design, and colorful FHD display, the ENVY x360 15 is a truly quality PC masquerading behind a budget price. If you’re looking for a 15-inch convertible, this one should be seriously considered.
- Low-resolution display
- No backlit keyboard
The standard Surface Laptop is an outstanding device, but not everyone wants to shell out that kind of money for a device sized at 13 or 15 inches. Enter the Surface Laptop Go, a 12.5-inch device that’s designed up to Surface standards. The display might not be as high a resolution as other Surface products and might not support inking, but it’s still colorful and bright.
The keyboard is comfortable , and battery life will last you through a day. Performance hardware is right for anyone with standard productivity tasks in mind, and the price reflects that. This is an excellent option for anyone who needs an extra laptop around the house or something portable for school.
If you’re interested in this little laptop, be sure to have a look at our Surface Laptop Go review for further details.
A Great Choice For Mac Power Users
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is the best Apple laptop for power users. Apple dealt with the biggest complaints that people have historically had about MacBook Pros, and if you can stomach the price, theres not a lot else to complain about.
Most importantly, the keyboard is good again. The keys have a full millimeter of travel, and while the typing experience isnt exceptional, its a world away from the maligned butterfly keyboard of MacBooks past. Its fairly quiet, too.
This MacBook also features the best sound youll find on a laptop. Apple has crammed three speakers into each side, including two woofers. The result is balanced audio with audible bass and great stereo separation. For those who need a laptop that can crank through editing video, working with multiple audio tracks, or processing large batches of photos, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the king of the hill.
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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Laptop
Microsoft has finally added a loaded-out USB Type-C port to the Surface Pro 7, as well as 10th Gen Intel hardware.
- Keyboard has short travel
- Very expensive
If you need a powerful gaming laptop, the Razer Blade 15 should be your first choice should you have the budget. It’s also our top pick in a roundup of the overall best gaming laptops available today. Razer also upgraded the Blade 15 at CES 2021, now offering a QHD display with 240Hz refresh rate or FHD display with 360Hz refresh rate in Advanced models. Furthermore, 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs are now available in Blade 15 models.
Based on the hardware you want up to an NVIDIA RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, 11th Gen Intel Core i9-11900H eight-core CPU, and 32GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM you’ll get access to different display options, including the new options mentioned above. Color reproduction is as good as ever, landing you 100% sRGB coverage with FHD and UHD options.
This is all wrapped up in a squared, symmetrical metal chassis that measures just 0.70 inches thin. Keyboard travel is a bit short, but it has customizable RGB, and the Precision touchpad is huge for times when you’re not using an external gaming mouse plugged into one of three USB-A 3.2 ports. Other connectivity includes Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.0, and Ethernet, depending on whether you get the Base or Advanced model.
A Stylish Powerful Productivity Laptop
Razer is best known for its gaming laptops, but the company is making a big splash in the business and productivity space with its new Razer Book 13. At 0.6 inches thick and 3.09 pounds, the Book 13 is a portable workstation with a gorgeous and sturdy aluminum build. It features a good port selection including Thunderbolt 4, USB-A, HDMI 2.0 and a microSD slot, and its one of very few non-gaming laptops out there to come with a per-key RGB keyboard.
On the inside, this laptop is even more impressive. Its powerful chip did better than any other Windows laptop of its size on our Premiere Pro media export test. And while the Book 13 isnt a gaming laptop, it delivers some of the best gaming performance Ive ever seen from integrated graphics it can even run Shadow of the Tomb Raider over 30fps. While the Razer Book 13s high price means it wont be ideal for everyone, its still an outstanding laptop all around, combining a high-quality chassis with powerful productivity performance.
Stay Connected: Wired And Wireless Options
A strong wireless-connectivity loadout is essential in any business machine these days. Offices, airports, and client sites demand wireless connectivity for access to real-time email, messaging clients, and cloud services. Few businesspeople work fully local anymore.
Every laptop these days has some flavor of Wi-Fi built in. It should get you satisfactory throughput, but you have to find a hotspot or an unprotected network to surf the web. Look for dual-band Wi-Fi for the best flexibility for your IT organization. The most common kind nowadays, 802.11ax , runs primarily on 5GHz networks, but it will work with 2.4GHz networks as a fallback. Offices in high-density buildings may wish to use the less-populated 5GHz bands, as the 2.4GHz channels tend to get more crowded. Some budget business laptops still sport older 802.11ac Wi-Fi these may offer less reliable connections but are still adequate for most small and medium businesses.
Don’t discount good old Ethernet entirely: You’ll still need it for crowded conferences where the Wi-Fi is saturated. So, if your laptop is too thin to house an Ethernet jack, a USB-to-Ethernet adapter is a worthwhile investment.
These Are The Best Laptops For Work Gaming Graphic Design And More
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The best laptops are powerful, but mostly they’re portable. They can work on anything a desktop PC can work on, but then you can toss it into a bag and go somewhere else. Laptops have everything you need in a PC including a built-in screen, keyboard, trackpad, storage, and more. Often, they’re more expensive than their desktop equivalents because of extra design and cooling considerations. It takes a lot of engineering to figure out how to take everything you find in a computer tower and fit it into a laptop body.
Naturally, that can make laptops harder to upgrade. That’s why it’s important to make sure you buy a laptop that can grow with you. You’ll want to make sure you get all the specifications you can out of your initial purchase. You can expand laptops with external computer monitors, keyboards, and external hard drives, but that cuts down on the portability that drew you to a laptop in the first place.
If you want to find the best laptop you can for your money, our experts have looked at dozens of them, and we’ve made our picks. Read on for our choices.
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Asus Chromebook Flip C436
The third Chromebook on our list, the , is a true premium 2-in-1 option. With a 14-inch NanoEdge Full HD touchscreen, youll be able to flex your creativity or stream to your hearts content. The all-metal body lends a luxurious feel, too, without breaking the bank.
Its available with either an Intel Core m3, i3, or an i5 processor, as well as up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Either way, youll be able to take full advantage of two USB-C ports and a USB-A port to connect peripherals. Asus premium backlit keyboard offers 1.4mm of travel, enough to type comfortably for long stretches.
Of course, the 2-in-1 design is what really sets the Flip C436 apart as one of the best laptops on the list. You can flip into tablet mode or tent mode in just seconds to knock out just about any project you need.
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme Business Laptop
The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is an ideal choice for anyone who wants the extra security of a business laptop and above-average performance.
- Keyboard and touchpad relatively small
- No discrete GPU
A 17-inch laptop is excellent for multitasking thanks to the enormous display, but you often trade portability. However, the LG gram 17 weighs in at just 2.98 pounds , making it as light as a lot of 13-inch Ultrabooks. The vast display has a 2560×1600 resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and it has a battery that will last for a full day before needing a charge. This is easily one of the best LG laptops.
Thanks to a refresh announced at CES 2021, performance hardware includes up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and two 1TB M.2 PCIe SSDs. There’s no dedicated GPU, but you can take advantage of Intel Iris Xe Graphics from 11th Gen hardware. Ports include Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, USB-A 3.2, a microSD card reader, and 3.5mm audio for generous connectivity. This is also an Intel Evo certified laptop.
The Precision touchpad seems small compared to all the available space, but it tracks well. Typing for extended periods shouldn’t be an issue on the keyboard, and a fingerprint reader built into the power button adds security through Windows Hello. Included is Wi-Fi 6 for speedy connectivity. This worthy PC also made our lists of best rugged laptops for students and best Windows laptops with full number pads, and it’s our pick for the very best 17-inch laptop.
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If You Need New Ports Badly For A Project
Sometimes, the cost isnt as important as getting the capabilities you need right now. A handy example is the recent upgrade to USB-C ports that many laptops went through. USB-C-only accessories arent directly compatible with older USB ports, especially when it comes to charging, so new accessories that you recently bought may not work with older laptops without a clunky adapter workaround. Thats a sign that its time to get a new laptop, sooner rather than later.
This may be more likely to happen in professional settings, where accessories and devices ordered for business work require certain connections. If your laptop is incompatible with the tools you need to work with, start talking about devoting money to a laptop upgrade.
Premium Gaming: Razer Blade 14
The Blade 14 is the first AMD-powered gaming laptop from Razer, coming in a slightly smaller 14-inch package compared to the larger Blade 15. It still has the same great design with slim chassis and smooth lines, as well as top-firing audio, large touchpad, and comfy RGB keyboard. Razer didn’t take the cheap road here when it comes to displays, opting for FHD with 144Hz refresh rate or QHD with 165Hz refresh rate.
As for performance hardware, all models have an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU for incredible performance on AC power. Things change on battery power, but that’s mostly a moot point for a gaming laptop since you will be plugged in most of the time. You can check out our Razer Blade 14 review for more information about performance slowdown.
In any case, Best Buy has QHD models with either an RTX 3070 or RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, capable of handling even the most intensive AAA games. Both models come with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD. Take note: these are not cheap PCs and you will need a big budget to afford one. But if you do have some money to burn, it’s going to set you up nicely for the next few years of PC gaming.
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The Google Pixelbook Go Offers The Ultimate Chromebook Experience In Its Most Affordable Form To Date With An Incredible Keyboard And Long Battery Life
- Screen: 13.3-inch, starts at 1920 x 1080 touch screen
- Processor: Starts at Intel Core m3
- Operating system: Google Chrome OS
- Memory and storage: Starts at 8GB of RAM, 64GB storage
Pros: Incredible keyboard, long battery life, 1080p webcam, decent display
Cons: No biometric login option, pricey upgrade options
Google’s follow-up to its original 2-in-1 Chromebook, the Pixelbook, is frankly the most comfortable and premium laptop of its kind that we’ve ever used. It’s known simply as the Pixelbook Go, and it’s a more affordable distillation of Google’s previous flagship.
While the Pixelbook Go loses the 2-in-1 functionality of the straight Pixelbook that preceded it, the clamshell laptop maintains a 13.3-inch, 1080p touchscreen. However, what’s even easier to appreciate is the improvement here on Google’s “Hush” keyboard, being one of the quietest and most comfortable laptop keyboards to date. You might also appreciate the 1080p webcam here, a feature largely unheard of in a laptop of this price Chromebook or otherwise.
Couple all of that with a battery life rated for up to 12 hours, like that of the newest MacBook Air, and you have a strong mobile companion. It also helps that the Pixelbook Go‘s magnesium build weighs just 2 pounds and measures 0.5 inches thin.