Its 2017 but surprise, surprise, laptops don’t look or work so different from how they used to few years back. The keyboards, unlike few exceptions like the Lenovo Yoga Book series, are still physical keys and the screens are not holographic.
Consequently, buying a laptop isn’t so different. The main issues, as always, to consider are your needs, your budget, and the best options available that meet them. With that said, lets dig in.
So, Windows 10 vs macOS. Which one is better? Much has been said about these these 2 competing operating Systems but the final verdict depends much on you the user. macOS runs on specific Apple hardware and works well with other Apple gadgets. Performance is usually very stable.
Windows 10 can run across multiple hardware set ups so performance varies according to the type of hardware in place. How however, Windows 10 has a much wider selection of 3rd party games and applications to choose from, and also a broader price range.
Chromebooks, on the other hand, are lower-powered laptops which are mainly made to run cloud-based apps, like Google Sheets, in a web browser. New Chromebooks out in 2017, like the Samsung Chromebook Pro and the Acer Chromebook R11, can install and run apps from the Google Play store.
Other extras you might find on an ultrabook include a faster storage disk (SSD/hybrid drive), USB 3.0 and thunderbolt ports, and Intel anti-theft protection.
The Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 are good starting points for most shoppers.
Hybrid or Convertible Laptops
Convertibles or hybrids are laptops that can be used like tablets. So that, in addition to the traditional physical keyboard, they also have touchscreen and flexible hinges.
Thus they usually feature 4 usage mode as illustrated in the image above: laptop, stand, tablet, and tent modes. The Lenovo’s Yoga series features a good selection of hybrids to choose from.
2-in-1 systems are similar to hybrid laptops. They typically feature all the hardware components (like the processor, memory and storage) in the tablet component, while the keyboard functions as a detachable peripheral.
For one of the best 2-in-1 experience, look out for the Microsoft Surface Pro series.
Build Quality: Some high quality builds like the Macbook Pro feature an all-aluminium build while others like the Dell XPS 13 feather an aluminium outer casing combined with a carbon fiber finish.
Portability: If you will be carrying your laptop around a lot, size matters. Ensure the screen size (e.g. 13″, 14″, 15″) will conveniently fit your travel style. Also watch out for the weight. Lighter-weight laptops, minus their power adapters and other accessories, weigh between 2 to 6 pounds. Bigger laptops could weigh much more.
Gaming/professional Laptops: Serious gamers need more horsepower than the usually specs you find on everyday laptops. Laptop series like the Razer Blade, Asus ROG and Alienware are built to do just that. For professional video editors and workstations, the new Apple MacBook Pro series, the Dell Precision series, and the HP ZBook Studio series are the some of the best in the business.
Hardware Specs: Processor speed, memory size, hard drive size, screen resolution, wireless connectivity, available connection ports, and battery life are some of the basic specs to look out for. Check out our laptop buying guide for more details for these.
Price: Without taking into consideration the cost of shipping (inland or overseas) and other charges, Chromebooks, older-generation laptops, refurbished, and used laptops are the cheapest you can get for under $200 or a little more.
About $500 to $800 can fetch you a couple of good performing traditional laptops, hybrids, and 2-in-1s. And between $1,000 to $1,500 you will be able to purchase high performing laptops, decent gaming machines, and lower-spec’ed 2017 MacBook Pros.
Beyond $2,000 price tags are for higher spec’ed 2017 MacBook Pros, high-end gaming machines and other professional laptops.
All in all, choose a laptop that fits your minimum requirements satisfactorily and your budget. Don’t splash out on a fancy laptop which doesn’t meet your everyday needs appropriately. There’s a plethora of options out there but be sure to stick with best rated models.