Are you in the market for a new laptop? They are far more popular to purchase than their bulky, desktop cousins.
In fact, most consumers don’t even own a desktop anymore, and they are reserved strictly for commercial uses these days. Consumers want flexibility. They want a reliable computer that can go from desk to dinner table to couch to airplane, without any hiccups.
But what should you look for when buying a new laptop? Most people want a reliable computer that goes fast and can multitask with ease, which is why they need an Intel laptop.
Intel produces some of the most important hardware in the technology space today. They are responsible for powering many millions of computers across the globe.
So what should you look for when choosing your new Intel-based laptop computer? Keep reading below for our top 15 tips.
1. Understand What an Intel Laptop Is
Intel doesn’t build complete laptops. Rather, they focus on producing processors (CPU) for modern computers.
So if you want to get an Intel-powered laptop, you will be buying a complete product from another company. Intel processors can be found in computers made by big-name companies like Dell, Acer, and Lenovo. They are also in computers made by lesser-known, but still solid companies such as MSI or Razer.
Processors are the key component in any modern computer. They are responsible for powering the whole system, similar to a car engine powering the entire car. The better the engine, the better performance, and the higher the speed. The same is true for a processor.
2. How Do You Plan to Use the Laptop?
When choosing the best laptop for you, you need to clarify what the laptop will be used for. Are you a college student, looking to browse the web for research projects, take notes in class, and write papers?
Or are you a freelancer or remote employee, who will need to work from their laptop all day long? Do you just need a computer to use for personal tasks, like browsing the web and streaming shows online?
What you plan to do with a computer will determine which you need to buy, and how much you need to spend. If you’re a graphic designer, for example, you can’t buy a cheap computer that can’t handle intense design software. So the first step is to clarify your main and secondary uses, and then consider the additional factors below.
3. Size and Weight
The main benefit of a laptop over a desktop computer is its portability. People want and need to be able to take their computers around the house, to school, work, and when traveling.
But some laptops are so large that carrying them around becomes very difficult unless you are a Marine or a pro wrestler.
If you plan to take your laptop around, make sure to choose a reasonably sized computer. Maybe instead of a 15-inch laptop, you stick with the 13-inch so it fits more easily into a backpack.
Maybe instead of a 7 lb laptop, you try getting a 3 lb laptop. Of course, there are tradeoffs with a smaller, lighter size.
Not all laptops are basic, folding laptops that only open up halfway. Some laptops, such as those from Lenovo, offer complete flexibility. And these are all powered by modern Intel processors for total reliability.
On some Lenovo laptops, you can fold the screen all the way back until it lays flat, level with the keyboard. And on some models, you can fold it all the way backward in order to use it as a tablet.
Some even allow the screen to be detached from the keyboard altogether, providing you with a two-in-one laptop and tablet.
If any of these features sound appealing, then check out the Lenovo website, where you can frequently find a deal on their best computers.
5. Screen Quality
Screen quality will determine how crisp and clear the images and videos on your screen look, and how vivid the colors are. Some people will care about this much more than others.
For example, photographers and graphic designers need the highest screen quality possible. Those who watch a lot of videos will also appreciate a better screen.
But those who use their laptop for school, basic work functions like email and writing, or those just browsing the web, won’t need a crazy good screen.
6. Consider the Keyboard
Some smaller laptops have tiny keyboards. While they work for those who don’t need to do a lot of typing, they can be a pain for students who need to write a lot of papers, or people who type a lot of emails.
If you need to type a lot, consider getting a laptop that’s at least 13 inches wide. This allows for an expansive keyboard with plenty of space. You’ll be able to type with fewer errors from accidentally pressing the wrong keys all the time.
With many of these factors in mind, you can set a realistic budget. A cheap laptop can be had for less than $300, but functionality will be limited to browsing the web and social media and using basic apps. Multi-tasking will slow your computer down.
However, you can get a much better, yet still affordable Intel-powered computer in the $500 to $1,000 range. In this price range, you can get a computer with more power, more features, and one that can handle the specific tasks you need it for.
In this budget, you can get a computer with a good processor, so you can multitask and stream video without problems. You may be able to run heavier software.
The most powerful computers, that can handle the largest of tasks such as gaming, graphic design, video editing, and other resource-intensive tasks will cost between $1,000 and $3,000.
The variation in cost will be determined by the exact processor, the available RAM, internal storage, and graphics quality.
8. Processing Power in Your Intel Laptop
When trying to buy an Intel laptop, your most important consideration will be the processor in your laptop. Most Intel computers will feature an i3, i5, or i7 CPU.
i3 is the slowest and most basic, found in budget-friendly computers. It can handle web browsing, and basic app functionality such as writing software.
Most people will be happy with an i5 processor. These can handle most tasks that aren’t resource-intensive. Streaming video and using multiple apps or browsers isn’t a problem with an i5 CPU.
But those looking for faster performance will benefit from an Intel i7 laptop. This is best for those who play modern computer games, as well as designers, photographers, video editors, and engineers.
Another big factor regarding the price of your new laptop will be the available RAM it comes with. This is a specific type of storage in your laptop that allows for the fast, seamless functionality of whichever app you are using at the moment.
The more RAM, the faster your laptop will feel, and the smoother it will function. 8 GB of RAM is good for basic laptops performing simple tasks. 16 GB is preferred by those who play some games, stream video, and use larger software, though 32 GB is ideal if you can squeeze it into your budget.
HDD hard drives were popular in the past as a storage method on laptops. But higher-quality laptops no longer use this type of storage, as it’s slow, bulky, and makes lots of noise when running.
SSD drives are preferred in modern laptops as a storage method. These are silent when you are using them. They are faster to access files on. And they can be much smaller, so they won’t make your laptop feel bulkier and heavier than it needs to be.
You can commonly find affordable laptops that offer a 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB SSD drive. The only problem with these is that they are more expensive, and don’t provide as much storage.
But for someone who isn’t a photographer or designer, and doesn’t need to download tons of movies and shows, one of these SSD drives would be more than adequate.
If you need lots of internal storage, you either need to pay for a very expensive SSD drive with lots of storage, or stick with an HDD that offers 1TB or more.
If you watch videos, shows, or movies, or play fast-paced computer games, you’re going to want to choose a computer with a quality graphics chip. The best computers come with a dedicated graphics chip, as opposed to integrated graphics functionality.
With a proper chip or card, the graphics can load using power from the chip itself, instead of drawing power from the hard drive, slowing the computer down.
A better graphics card means less lag with fast-paced games, apps, or videos. They will respond quicker, which is vital when playing online games.
12. Gaming Capability
Speaking of online games, do you plan to play with your new laptop? Gaming takes a serious toll on laptops, so you have to choose the right one if you hope to play the latest Call of Duty or massive multiplier online game.
Basically, for modern games to run smoothly on a laptop, you need the very best processor you can get, the most RAM, and the highest quality graphics chip.
You’ll want a gaming-specific laptop that comes with an i7 CPU, or even an i9 CPU, to take your games to the next level. 16GB to 32GB of RAM will be required.
And as far as graphics chips, stick with a laptop that has either an NVIDIA chip or an AMD chip.
Laptops meant for gaming are usually heavier and larger, making them less than ideal to travel with. But the ability to dominate noobs on Fortnite? Priceless.
13. Battery Life
Battery life is a huge factor for any type of laptop user. No one wants to have to stay plugged in all the time.
A decent laptop will run for six to eight hours on a single charge. Really good laptops can run for 10 to 13 hours on a single charge.
Of course, this depends on what you are doing on your computer. Watching videos or playing games will use battery power faster.
If you are a student who needs a laptop that can run all day long, in class and at a coffee shop, longer battery life is ideal. You might not be able to find an outlet throughout the day.
If you can’t get a super long-lasting laptop, you can also buy an external power bank, which can like provide your laptop with a few additional hours of juice on the go.
14. Built-In Ports
One of the biggest complaints that Apple users have is that the latest Macbooks have almost no built-in ports. They only have 2 lighting ports and a headphone jack.
So if you need to plug multiple things in, you have to buy additional accessories. When selecting a new Intel laptop, consider the amount and type of ports you are going to need.
USB-C is ideal since that’s where most new devices are heading, and they’re super fast. Two or three should suffice. If you do a lot of photos or videos then a memory card port saves you time.
It helps if you can get a charging port on either side of your laptop, but shouldn’t be a deal-breaker if you can’t
Lastly, consider the security features you’d like your new laptop to have. Since most people either don’t lock their laptops with a password or use an easy-to-guess password, other security features should be used.
Biometric security options like a fingerprint reader provide a no-hassle way of locking intruders out of your computer. To take laptop security to the next level, you can choose a model that uses facial recognition, as well.
Finding the Perfect Intel Laptop
Buying a new Intel laptop can be difficult since there are so many computer brands that use Intel hardware. And there are so many different types of laptops to choose from, depending on your needs, along with how and where you will use your computer.
But by working through the list above, you’ll be able to narrow down your list of options to ensure you buy the perfect Intel-powered laptop for you.
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