What to Look for When Buying a Laptop in India: The 9 Tips in 2021!

What to look for when buying a laptop with this 9 tips

When it comes to buying a new laptop, there’s a lot to think about, which gets very complicated very quickly. So hopeful these tips will make things a little bit easier when it comes to buying your next laptop. I have also mentioned some of my recommendations that you can check from here.

So let’s get into it.

1.Do you want a laptop that runs Windows, macOS or Chrome OS.

The Windows macOS and ChromeOS laptops

YOu probably already know the answer to this. Most of the time, it’s whatever you are used to using. If you always use Macs and maybe have an iPhone or Ipad, then yeah, Macbook Air or Pro with iMessage will be best. They are beautiful laptops and fantastic to use, but they can be very expensive, and you don’t have that many options.

Windows 10 laptops are great as you have a much more extensive range to choose from all budgets, from the likes of ultrabooks to workstations to gaming laptops. 

Then there are Chromebooks which run on google cloud based ChromeOS. These are really popular for students as they are usually cheaper. They act more as a terminal for accessing apps in the cloud-like google docs, dropbox and, of course, the web browser. 

Despite what you hear, there really is no right or wrong answer here. It depends on you. If you are a student on a tight budget or just want a basic laptop to access the web, then consider Chromebook. 

If you want a premium laptop and have at least 80 thousand rupees to spend, consider Macbook Air.

But I think for most people, the safest bet is the WIndows 10 laptop because they share a range of devices on the market.

2.The laptop size

the size of the laptop

Now despite what you may have heard, it is actually all about size and shape. Nope, that doesn’t sound right!

 It’s about size and form factor.

Laptops like Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Lenevo Yoga offers a better tab like experience with a detachable keyboard and 360-degree hinges. They can be flipped around. These are usually more expensive and most situated for mobile and arent for power users, though.

Most laptops, though, share the traditional clamshell design with sizes ranging anything from 11 to 17 inches.

It’s pretty straightforward. Generally, the smaller screen, the lighter and more portable the laptop is. While bigger 15″ laptops are more likely to have the option of a higher power processor and dedicated graphics card.

Some laptops also have touch screens. They usually support stylus via pen, which is suitable for designers and artists. I think for me, a touch screen is a nice extra but not a necessity. Usually, I try to avoid getting my dirty finger on the screen anyway.

3.The screen resolution

The pixels of the screen

Speaking of the screen, we need to consider the resolution and, in the case of gaming laptops, refresh rate. 

The vast majority of the laptop are 1080p, a.k.a. full HD. And for 95% of those users, that’s perfect. But more and more higher-end laptops now offer a 4K option, which means the screen is a lot sharper. There are more pixels per inch. And because of a higher quality panel, they are usually more color accurate as well. So they are ideal for video and photo editing. 

Most also come with color options like Adobe RGB, sRGB or P3 color ratings.

The higher, the better, but if you are doing color accurate work, make sure you check before buying the laptop.

Back to 4K, though, and the biggest downside is being more expensive, and they have more impact on your battery life. Usually, you will get about half or maybe two-thirds of the battery compared to what you would get on a 1080p screen. There’s a big difference.

Also, it significantly reduces your frame rate in games as the laptops have to push million more pixels. So for the gaming laptops, I think the best combo right now is a 15″ screen with 1080p resolution and, if possible, a higher 120 or 144 refresh rate. This will help gaming feel and look a lot smoother.

4.What’s on the inside

Intel core i5 i7 i3 chipsets

Let’s talk about specs, and this is where I think things will get a little bit technical but stay with me, and hopefully, I won’t bore you to death. 

A basic would be to look for an i5 or i7 Processor (or AMD Ryzen 5 or 7), 8GB RAM, 256GB of SSD storage. If you do intense graphical work or gaming, then a dedicated graphics card as well.

Those specs would be suitable for most people, although the more RAM and storage, the better, if you can afford it.

That’s pretty high level, but I want to dive a little bit deeper into Processor or CPU.

5.The Processor

Intel I7 processor specs sceenshot

When it comes to laptops, Intel pretty much dominates the market right now. Although there are some decent budget options with AMD chips. But for simplicity, I will stick with Intel. 

The thing is, it’s easy to say go and get a laptop with i5 Processor. While that’s probably a good recommendation, there’s a couple of things you need to think about because they are not made equally. 

Firstly what generation is it? And secondly, what letters in there in the suffix. Right now, we are on 10th generation U series processors and 9th generation H processors. Those letters are crucial, though, because when you look at the processor model name right to the end, there will be a letter suffix. And usually, they are U or H or HK, which tells you a lot about how powerful that Processor is.

The processor suffix name meaning

U chips are found in smaller 13 inches and 14-inch laptops where H or HK processors are for much better performance, and you see them in bigger 15-inch laptops. 

So if you are planning for running an intense application, then go for a laptop with H series laptops.

6.Can it play Cyberpunk 2077?

The cyberpunk 2077 ad art

From Processor to graphics and the vast majority of laptops actually just use an integrated graphics chip. They don’t have dedicated graphics cards. And that’s fine for most tasks like streaming video and some very light video editing. Anything beyond that is pretty terrible. Although actually Intels latest 10th Generation Ice lake processor that comes with Iris plus graphics actually a big step up into integrated graphics.

But really, if you are doing anything graphics intense activity like video editing or playing games, then you gonna want to get a dedicated graphics card. At the bottom end, you have the likes of NVIDIA MX150 or 250 chips in typical 13″ or 14″ laptops. You will be able to play basic games in low to medium settings and edit 1080p videos. 

For anything more serious, look for something like the NVIDIA GTX10 series or a more powerful RTX20 series card.

 And finally, if you are looking to get a gaming laptop Max-Q, you should look out for it. Sometimes you find an RTX2080 Max-Q, for example, and that’s a slightly less powerful version, usually about 15% less, and offers a better balance of performance and battery life.

So I will recommend a Max-Q card for all but the most hardcore gamers.

7.The storage story

SSD 1TB storage is important for laptop

Just a quick mention of RAM and storage. This is a little bit simpler because essentially, the more, the better, really. So ideally, look for 8 or 16 GB RAM. This will help you open more chrome tabs or more programs open at once without the issue of slowdown. 

It’s not quite simple for gamers, but editors or graphics designers should look for 16 or 32GB if you got the budget. 

As for storage, the bigger, the better as you have more space to store more games and videos, among the other things. But actually, the most important thing is to make sure your laptop has SSD storage.

This makes a significant difference to how fast your system boots, programs load, and your laptop’s general response. 

Usually, you get 256GB or 512GB of storage options. Cheaper laptops still have HDDs options but try to avoid them unless you see intel Octan mentions or something called ssHD. These are kind of hybrid and offer a decent balance between speed and storage.

8.The connectivity through Port(al)

thunderbolt-port-in-macbooks

Just a quick mention of ports as well. To keep things simple. Honestly, if you are going to buy a new laptop, there only one thing you need to consider. And that’s USB-C. Ideally, you want it to support Thunderbolt 3.0, which is the fastest kind of USB. Usually, you see the lightning logo next to it. But have a look at specs before you buy.

So thunderbolt 3.0 USB C are found in Macbook Air and Macbook Pro. So while older USB type A and HDMI and card-readers are all handy and most Windows laptops have a good range. Going forward, USB C is the future. 

Mid to high-end laptops have thunderbolt have USB C. Although some like Microsoft Surface have USB C but not thunderbolt, which is shortsighted considering the price.

9.The battery life

The battery performance

Now, when it comes to battery life, unfortunately, you can’t really take manufacturer claim as gospel. Until recently, like almost pretty much this past few months, laptop manufacturers have just been doing local video playbacks with brightness turn down with Wifi Off to test battery life. 

So it’s not really real-world use. If you see a laptop, say, have 12 hrs of battery, then you should expect like 7-8hrs of battery, although it comes down to how you use it. 

When buying a laptop, it’s always a tradeoff between performance and battery life. 

Most laptops today gives you mostly 6hrs of battery life, so you cant for wrong.

You call

The thing is, you can’t really buy a bad laptop today. They all are a variation of good and, of course, value for money. But if you are not sure, then visit our reviews, ask us in the comments below.

When it comes to buying a new laptop, there’s a lot to think about, which gets very complicated very quickly. So hopeful these tips will make things a little bit easier when it comes to buying your next laptop. I have also mentioned some of my recommendations that you can check from the menubar above.

Rohan Ingle
I am tech enthusiast and engineering passout living in Pune. Most of the time you will find me either writing tech guides and testing new PC products or eating my favorite pepperoni pizza at local Dominos.