There are many types and sizes of laptops for sale in all price ranges. Before you buy a laptop, you should therefore know where and for what you want to use a laptop. A laptop on the go should be as compact and light as possible, while the weight of a laptop that you only use at home makes less difference. In addition, you must also properly determine what your budget is.
The screen is one of the most important properties of a laptop because the screen size largely determines the size of the laptop. The screen size is expressed in inches measured diagonally. Common sizes are 13.3, 14 and 15.6 inches. If you mainly want to use a laptop on the road, 13.3 or 14 inches offer a good balance between portability and workspace. The popular 15.6-inch laptop is more pleasant to work on every day, but it naturally takes up more space. If you are looking for a laptop for your home, you might consider a 17-inch model. Such a “desktop replacement” has the advantage of a large screen, but is really designed to stay in one place.
Although the screen size is an important characteristic, the size does not say anything about the image quality. The image quality of a screen is determined by the resolution and the screen technology used. The resolution of a screen is expressed in pixels, for example 1920 x 1080 pixels (full hd). Make sure the laptop you buy has a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Only on really small screen sizes (11 inches or smaller) can you consider a lower resolution like 1366 x 768 pixels if the laptop is really cheap. The resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels is perfect for screens with a size of 13.3, 14 or 15 inches and ensures a sharp image. A higher resolution such as a 4k uhd screen (3840 x 2160 pixels) gives a slightly sharper image, but in practice the difference can only be seen from very close.
The screen technology used is also important when selecting a laptop, with laptops we usually see a choice between TN (twisted nematic) or IPS (in-plane switching) screens. If you have the choice, choose an IPS screen. Such a screen offers better colors and a larger viewing angle, which ensures a pleasant working experience for all the work you perform on your laptop. Today we also see OLED options with the most expensive laptops. Such screens have a perfect contrast and are therefore ideal for watching films and series.
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Choosing the ideal processor is very difficult due to the wide range. At Intel, there is a choice of Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 processors, of which the i3 processors are the most efficient and the i9 processors the most powerful. The number that follows the “ix” indicates the generation and processor power. For example, the i7-9750H is the successor to the i7-8750H. The i7-9850H is not newer than the i7-9750H, but a bit faster. Then the letter at the end; it makes a bigger difference than you might think. The ‘standard’ processor ends with an “H”, while the very efficient processors end with a “U”. Extra powerful variants end in “HK” or “K”.
Recently, AMD has also become very active in the market for mobile processors. Fortunately, their offer is a bit simpler. At the moment only AMD Ryzen 3000 processors can be found in new laptops. The designation is similar to that of Intel, with Ryzen 3 3200U as the most efficient and cheapest processor and Ryzen 7 3750H as the most powerful.
Are you a fanatic gamer, or do you regularly use GPU acceleration, then it is important to choose a laptop with a powerful video card. Nvidia is currently the sole ruler in this segment and that makes choosing a lot easier.
Nvidia’s offering starts with the GTX 1650, a capable video card that will run most games, although the settings have to be lowered regularly. The next option is the GTX 1660 Ti, which immediately takes a big step forward in graphical power. If you want a higher frame rate or medium settings are not enough for you, it will be an RTX 2060, 2070 or 2080. These are more powerful than the GTX cards and also support ray tracing. Do you see “Max-Q” behind it? This means that it is a slightly slower variant that also uses less power.