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Things you need to know before buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is a life changing decision. It can turn your life around as it has done for many people. But the first timers overlook the basic requirements and they fail to understand what is necessary to have and what not to. They fall prey to false visuals & unnecessary opinions. They are pulled by the hidden complicity of the marketing & false advertising gurus. Some prefer to have just the looks while some buy only for the processor the laptop is having or the RAM it comes with, without understanding the other needs they might have in future as their work grows. To be clear, having the looks matters nonetheless rather than having robust hardware – so do other things like OS support, flexibility and off-course: the price. People will always have questions before they seek to buy laptops and to make sure that they don’t fall prey to wrong marketing or personal guesses, we have created this checklist to guide them select the right laptop. This checklist includes a perspective categorization of laptop computers and also the things that you need to know before you decide to buy a laptop.

Usage Based Categorization

Before you proceed, let’s just make it clear for what purpose you’ll be needing your lappy for? There can be various reasons for someone buying it but mostly such choices can be categorized into:

  • Office based laptops
  • Coding/Developers’ laptops
  • Designing/Artists’ laptops
  • Gaming/Video Artists’ laptops

Please note that these are general names and are termed as such according to their wide user base.

office laptop

Office Laptops

Office laptops or basic laptops are made for elementary/office users like those who just have to deal with office work and are needed to make notes of things on the go. These are also ideal for entry-level developers but can’t be used for hardcore development/design works. These laptops’ range starts from Rs. 15,000 and goes up to what people can afford. These come with 2GB or 4GB of RAM inbuilt and storage of 32GB (SSD) to 500GB (HDD). Processors are of entry level and such devices come without any dedicated GPU. We suggest buying these only if you already own a better computer/laptop and need another one to hold on the go for basic typing or entertainment needs.


Coding Laptops

Developers like devices that are extremely fast and friendly for coding needs. Coders need to type, a lot actually and so is the basic requirement for a computer/laptop to be developer ready. Coding laptops come with strong keyboard hardware, fast processing speed and with at least 4GB of RAM. GPU or Graphic Cards are not needed but can be a useful addition to the performance. Coding laptops start from Rs. 25000 and go upwards.


Designing Laptops

Designers are always at their creative best. For them, we suggest a powerful hardware that comes with at least i5-level processor or equivalent, 8GB RAM, 2GB VRAM. As the designers have to store a lot of files in their computers, a minimum of 1 TB is required to be the storage option, may it be HDD or not. These laptops start from Rs. 40000.


Gaming Laptops

Gaming laptops come with high end hardware and are used not just for gaming but video editing, movie making, 3D design and everything else. A gaming laptop in general contains 12GB or more RAM, more than 2GB of VRAM and high storage space, 1TB mostly. Such laptops are priced on ranges starting from Rs. 50,000.

Price Based Categorization

As far as the prices are concerned following are the ranges in Indian market:

  1. Introductory price range less than Rs. 25,000
  2. Mid price range Rs. 25,001 – Rs. 45,000
  3. High price range Rs. 45,001 – Rs. 70,000
  4. Premium price range more than Rs. 70,000

Now, of these choices, at least one from each category would fit in to your need. According to your needs or budget you can follow our checklist to make sure that the current laptop that you are planning to buy fits our recommendation or not. Go for it if it does fit.

Checklist for buying a new laptop

Need: Office Laptop

  1. Looks good.
  2. Has introductory price range.
  3. Is lightweight.
  4. Is smaller in size.
  5. Has Windows’ latest OS.
  6. RAM slot is expandable.
  7. Has expandable storage support.
  8. Has brighter, clearer display.
  9. Supports latest drivers.
  10. Is 64 bit.

Need: Coding Laptop

  1. Comes with good design and strong body hardware.
  2. Has no more than Rs. 45,000 as price tag.
  3. Comes with DoS or no OS installed.
  4. Is 64 bit.
  5. Has proper driver support.
  6. Has standard screen size, at least 13 inch.
  7. Has at least 4GB RAM & 500GB HDD.
  8. If is priced above Rs. 35,000 : surely comes with dedicated GPU.
  9. Has at least Intel i3 or equivalent processor. Intel i5, i7 etc. are even better.
  10. RAM slot is expandable.
  11. Has expandable storage support.
  12. Has brighter, clearer display.

Need: Designing Laptop

  1. Comes with good design and strong body hardware.
  2. Comes with Windows or Mac* installed
  3. Is 64 bit.
  4. Has proper driver support.
  5. Has full HD display.
  6. Has larger screen size.
  7. Has good touchpad.
  8. Has at least 8 GB RAM & 1TB HDD.
  9. If is priced above Rs. 45,000 : surely comes with dedicated GPU worth more than 2GB – in case of non-macbooks.
  10. Has at least Intel i5 or equivalent processor. Intel i7 would be even better.
  11. RAM slot is expandable.
  12. Has expandable storage support.
  13. Has brighter, clearer display.

Need: Gaming/Video Editing laptop

  1. Comes with good design and strong body hardware.
  2. Comes with Windows or Mac* installed
  3. Is 64 bit.
  4. Has proper driver support.
  5. Has full HD display.
  6. Has larger screen size.
  7. Has at least 8 GB RAM & 1TB HDD.
  8. If is priced above Rs. 65,000 : surely comes with dedicated GPU worth more than 4GB in case of non-MacBook.
  9. Has at least Intel i7 or equivalent processor.
  10. RAM slot is expandable.
  11. Has expandable storage support.
  12. Has brighter, clearer display.
  13. Has good sound system inbuilt.

Once the model you are planning to buy fits the description, it can be the one you should buy. But remember to always hop around and look for (only) expert opinions. Also, always analyze the features and prices of laptops, amongst top shopping portals so that you can reach a level of satisfaction before you buy. We suggest that you buy only those laptops that come with a trusted brand name, such as Dell, Lenovo or HP. Also note that after buying such costly products – warranty & repair services matter a lot. Some companies have weaker track records of services. It’s suggested to not buy a cheaper product with similar features if the company doesn’t provide proper customer support.

Happy tech life.

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Gaurav Tiwari
Gaurav Tiwari is a professional graphic & web designer from New Delhi, India. gauravtiwari.org is his personal space where he writes on blogging, digital marketing, content writing, learning and business growth. Gaurav has contributed in developing more than 325 brands worldwide and while you are reading this, he's busy building a couple more.

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