Internal Vs External Storage
What is internal desktop PC storage? As the name implies, internal desktop PC storage consists of components found within the chassis of any given system. This is true whether the device is a tower desktop or laptop. PC storage components install by a physical connection to either your computer motherboards SATA or PCI-E ports. By comparison, external storage consists of storage devices that come equipped with their own chassis. These external products connect to your motherboard or computer-case I/O panels by way of a USB, Thunderbolt, Firewire or eSATA cable. Whether internal or external storage is better than the other depends on:
Quick side note: Both internal and external storage components are secondary storage since they are not directly accessible to the your PCs central processing unit. Primary storage , is in constant communication with your PCs CPU. Another difference between primary and secondary storage is that secondary storage is non-volatile. This means the data stays put even when you shut your computer off.
The Best Laptops Under $500 In 2021
The best laptops under $500 are the cheapest laptops that don’t suck
The best laptops under $500 won’t leave you unsettled because you didn’t pay a premium price. There are value-priced notebooks that include full-HD displays, solid performance and long battery life, plus all the ports you need. You can even get a laptop with a touch screen in this price range, though it will be on the smaller side. Some of these even made it on our best laptops page.
After reviewing dozens of value-priced systems, the best laptops under $500 with a Windows 10 operating system are the 15-inch Acer Aspire E 15 and the Acer Aspire 5. We even wrote a face-off comparing the Acer Aspire E15 vs. Acer Aspire 5 to help you choose between the two. Meanwhile, the best Chromebooks under $500 that youll find are the HP Chromebook 15 and HP Chromebook x2. We recently reviewed the new Acer Swift 3, which starts at $499, but it didn’t perform well enough to make this list due to its mediocre battery life. We also reviewed the HP Pavilion 14 , which is just under $500. Check out our;best cheap laptop deals.
Keep in mind that youre still going to have to make some compromises when youre looking for a laptop at this price. If you’re looking for something for your kid, check our best kids tablets page. Also, see our best back to school sales and back to school laptop deals pages.
How To Choose The Best Laptops Under $500 For You
Choosing the best laptop under $500 for you really depends on where you are at with your budget. Our top performers, the Acer Aspire E 15 and the Acer Aspire 5, typically range around $300 to $400, so you wont even need to expand your budget to $500. Even if these laptops are slightly out of budget right now, you should consider saving if you can, as they boast Intel Core i3 processors, which you wont find in most laptops under $500.
However, if you dont mind using the ChromeOS, it might be best for you to use a Chromebook. Here me out. Its cheap, and since the operating system is stripped down, it will perform better than your average Windows 10 laptop for the same price. Laptops like the HP Chromebook 15, HP Chromebook x2 and Samsung Chromebook 4 are examples of great chromebooks you can buy under $500.
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How Much Battery Life Is Enough
Many laptops can last an entire day away from the power outlet, even when youre using them for demanding but common activities like streaming internet video. There are exceptions; a laptop with a 4K display and a powerful CPU probably will not last for more than 8 hours or so before its battery dies, and most gaming laptops die far sooner. When youre playing demanding games that tax the GPU, gaming laptops tend to run out of juice even more quickly off the plug than they normally do. Youll find more than a few exceptions, though, and even powerful laptops have become adept at sensing when their maximum power isnt required and reducing various components consumption.
This is where PC Labs battery testing comes in. We evaluate battery life by playing a locally stored video file nonstop with no wireless connections active and 50 percent screen brightness. An excellent result on our test suggests that the laptop is good at adapting its power use to the task at hand, and you can use the results to compare the potential of machines you are considering.
Measuring battery life is notoriously tricky, though, since its entirely dependent on how you use your laptop. Your usage profile probably doesnt match our testor anyone elsesto a T. So youll want to look at tested battery life in a relative, rather than absolute, sense.
Dell Xps 13 Performance
For such a lightweight laptop, the Dell XPS 13 hits like a heavyweight. Packing an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor with 16GB of RAM, the laptop allowed me to watch an episode of Tiger King on Netflix while running 25 other open tabs in all without a stutter.;
The notebook also performed well on our synthetic tests. On Geekbench 4.3, which tests overall performance, the XPS 13 achieved 19,053, handily beating the 16,669 premium laptop average. The Spectre x360, which also has a Core i7-1065G7 CPU, scored 18,408, while the MacBook and the Prestige 14 reached 18,221 and 17,296, respectively. The Surface Laptop 3 barely edged the XPS 13 out with 19,078.
During the HandBrake test, the XPS 13 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 15 minutes and 10 seconds, speeding past the 19:40 average. That time was also faster than the Surface Laptop 3 and the Spectre x360 . However, both the MacBook Pro and the Prestige 14 were quicker.
The XPS 13’s 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD duplicated 4.97GB of multimedia files in 8.3 seconds for a transfer rate of 613.1 megabytes per second. That rate is faster than the 622.4MBps category average, the Surface Laptop 3 and the Spectre x360 . However, the Prestige achieved 978.7MBps, while the MacBook Pro got an incredible 2,573MBps on the BlackMagic test.
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Why Trust Laptop Mag
Laptop Mag has been testing and reviewing laptops for over two decades. We test over 150 different models per year, subjecting each system to a series of rigorous benchmarks that provides a complete picture of performance, battery life and usability.
Our expert reviewers also use each product to see how it looks and feels in everyday situations. Because we see so many different notebooks, we can compare each to its direct competitors and give you an idea of how it stacks up to the average laptop in its price band.
Best Laptop For Photo Storage For The Money: Huawei Matebook 13
The Huawei MateBook 13 was one of the most recommended laptops in 2019 by experts. This is a very versatile laptop with photo storage being one of the functions it shines at. Just like the Dell XPS 13, you will be getting sufficient SSD storage, high-quality display, and sleek design.
The storage space is a little lower than that of the XPS 13 but 256 or 512GB is still a lot. You can always opt for more storage if you have more photos to store. Youll have to pay more for those 512GB, though. However, its very unlikely youll run out of space for your photos anymore.
The 13-inch display on the MateBook 13 offers an immersive viewing experience. The resolution is less than other comparable brands in this review. However, you wont miss out on that much. A 1440p resolution is still good enough for viewing or editing photos.
If you plan on doing some editing to your images, the discrete Nvidia MX150 graphics card will come in handy. On the other hand, the Intel processor and 8GB of RAM will ensure image processing is a breeze.
On the whole, the Huawei MateBook 13 is a great laptop for storing photos. You will miss out on a few bells and whistles such as 4K display and fast thunderbolt 3 ports found on the Dell XPS 13. Considering you are paying much less, the little compromise is worth it. You will still get a lightweight laptop with a beautiful design and fast performance.
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Dell Xps 13 Software And Warranty
Dell bundled a solid suite of useful branded software with the XPS 13. Dell Power Manager lets you manage power consumption via preset profiles to extend battery life or to squeeze every bit of performance out of the system. Customer Connect is your conduit to a Dell technician if you need system assistance. Digital Delivery keeps track of all your software downloads and restores them after a system wipe or crash.;
The company recently updated Dell Mobile Connect so it now plays nice with the iPhone. Now everyone can swap images, documents and videos seamlessly between your smartphone and laptop.;
Third-party apps include Killer Control Center, which lets you set network bandwidth priority. The laptop also comes with a 20GB of free Dropbox storage for a year. There is, of course, some Windows 10 bloatware such as Netflix, Farm Heroes Saga and Candy Crush Saga.
The Dell XPS 13 ships with a one-year hardware warranty with onsite and in-Home service after remote diagnosis. See how Dell fared during our annual special reports: Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands.
Is 512gb Sufficient Storage For Your Laptop And For You
Well, this storage is enough if you are not buying a gaming laptop and you are not a creative. Because, a high quality game will require 5GB space and a 4K display will need 1GB storage as well. So, for media files and regular use with spreadsheets and streaming, this storage is more than enough for you.
For this storage, you can search any laptops for college students 2021;in your range. These laptops will be budget friendly as well.
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What Are The Best Laptop Brands
The best brands for laptops include Apple, Dell, Lenovo and HP, and they all have their strengths. For example, Apple make brilliantly-designed slim and light laptops, while Dell does a great range of high-end ultrabooks, as well as affordable devices and Chromebooks as well. Lenovo’s well known for making solidly-built business laptops , and HPs also been making some gorgeous laptops recently that are some of the best laptops in the world.
When it comes to gaming, the best laptop brands include Alienware, Asus and Acer.
What Is Your Laptop Used For And How Much Storage Needed In Your Laptop
If you are a student or a regular user, you will not need huge space on your laptop.;Instead, you can be good with 128;GB laptopor maximum of 256 GB laptopof solid state drive. With this storage you can create your documents, send lots of emails and do regular gaming as well. However, this is not a gaming laptop, but you can use it for regular gaming only.
Moreover, if you want to create a backup of your data like media files or lots of photos, you will need maximum of 512GB of sdd storage.;So, any student can easily find out the targeted laptop with this storage.
However, one question still comes to mind that:
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How You Can Free Up Space On Your C Drive
1) The C drive can fill up with junk data, so periodically clean it by running Disk Cleanup to remove all sorts of temporary files.
2); Make sure the program isnt writing files to a folder on the C drive and forgetting that theyre there. Ive seen this happen with complex graphics programs like Corel Draw painting for hours at a time without realizing what was going on. By reducing its load, you will free some space up quickly.
If your old VGA card came with software or utilities which would have installed to the C drive by default, then check in Programs and Features if there is anything you want to uninstall . Game makers also often.
3) Use Ccleaner software to remove unusual data from your laptop.
Advantages Of Ssds Over Hdds
Nowadays, pretty much every laptop is going to use an SSD. You may find some laptops that have eMMC storage instead, but you wont find a Macbook or premium Windows laptop without a solid-state drive.
But why are they so much better than HDDs? Well, here are just a few reasons why an SSD is better.
- Theyre just faster To put it simply, the main reason we use SSDs today in the majority of laptops is that theyre just faster than hard disk drives. What might take an SSD 10 seconds to do can take a HDD a minute to perform to same function.
- Noise SSDs dont make any noise they dont have any moving parts. A HDD will make noise when youre using it .
- Battery Life An SSD will enable your laptop top have a better battery life than if you were to use a HDD. This is because they use significantly less power, which results in less battery being used.
- Shock resistant While a HDD would be affected if you were to move your laptop around, an SSD is shock resistant and wont be affected if you were to drop your laptop. This ensures that theres no data failure if this were to happen.
The only real negative think about an SSD in comparison to a HDD is the price hard disk drives are still some of the cheapest storage space that you can purchase. Thats why in some scenarios, if you have a ton of files that you want to store, it might make sense to purchase an external hard drive.
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The Best Laptops To Buy In 2021
Weve tested and reviewed well over 400 laptops over the years, searching for the best of the best. But to earn the crown for best laptop in 2021, it needs to have it all: Gorgeous design, killer performance, a productive keyboard, long-lasting battery life, and much more.
Each of the laptops below has been vetted thoroughly, whether theyre an affordable Chromebook or a decked-out gaming laptop. Our pick for the best overall laptop, the Dell XPS 13, is the option wed recommend to the most amount of people, but something from the list below should suit your needs.
If youre hoping to find a discount on a new laptop, you can also take a look at our list of the best laptop deals right now.
Hp Elite Dragonfly Gen 2
Why you should buy this: Its the best business laptop you can buy in 2021.
Who its for: Business pros who want a laptop that wont embarrass them.
Why we picked the HP Elite Dragonfly:
Business laptops have a certain stigma around them. Its often assumed that they need to be clunky, ugly, and full of bloatware. Not so.
The Elite Dragonfly has everything your IT department will need , without getting in the way of a supremely beautiful and modern laptop. The ideal person for the Dragonfly is someone who takes their work on the go with them, whether thats in long flights or subways. Thats where the Dragonfly really comes alive as a highly portable laptop that might actually fit on your pull-down tray.
On top of all that, the HP Elite Dragonfly is one of the first 5G-enabled laptops, which could come in handy as the faster connectivity standard rolls out. And, HP announced two new models of the laptop at CES 2021, the Elite Dragonfly G2 and Max, the upgrade to Tiger Lake CPUs and add in a number of features that make the laptops even better for remote workers. Stay tuned for reviews of these new models, and theyll likely take this spot once weve had a chance to check them out.
Why you should buy this: Its the best laptop you can buy under $500.
Whos it for: Students, those with basic computing needs
Why we picked the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5:
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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.