How to choose a laptop in 2020


The characteristics of modern laptops are constantly changing. Some devices purposefully move towards achieving gaming performance, while the demands of the games themselves are skyrocketing. Others try to make the most rational use of power, size and functionality in order to create a universal working device. Of course, we should not forget about the elite segment of technology, where the focus is on innovation and bringing functionality closer to the more familiar, such as on smartphones. Integration with other devices also plays a role and, in a word, if you are faced with the task of choosing a laptop, it is only complicated by numerous factors.

Every year more and more devices with different characteristics appear on the market, which is why we decided to update the laptop buying guide for 2020.

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Acquisition Purposes

As with many other devices, with a laptop it is fundamentally important to understand why, for what specific tasks you want to buy it. There are usually several main goals. A laptop can be purchased for games, for working with texts, for working with graphics or music, for computing and programming.

Of course, each of the activities creates a load on a certain element, therefore, it should be the key element in the device. Based on the goals, you can choose further characteristics. The goal is the main indicator for choosing, but it is equally important to note the price, and the durability and quality of the brand. Most manufacturers have been on the market for a long time and managed to mark themselves in a certain way.

Of course, you should not forget about how portable a laptop you need, because different devices weigh differently.

If you plan to combine several types of activities, then the device indicators will need to be combined. We’ll take a look at each specification individually to understand exactly what you should be looking for in certain types of laptops.

Notebook for working with texts

For simple tasks, such as texts and surfing the Internet, low performance is enough. To do this, you can purchase office laptops. They usually do not have the most powerful processors, such as the intel Core i3, but the intel Core i5 – one of the most popular today, is ideal for such purposes. RAM also does not have to be a lot – 4, 6 or 8 GB may be enough. Of course, if you plan to open many tabs at the same time, then it is better to choose the 8GB option. It will allow you to keep several programs running at the same time, including watching videos and listening to music.

Built-in memory plays a role in such laptops, but text files weigh a little, so you can get by with 128 or 256 GB and not worry about overloading the device.

Perhaps, if something is really important, it is the screen. When you systematically work with typing, your eyes should not get tired, that is, the screen should be large, with good resolution and brightness. At the same time, the ability to calibrate is also important, you will need to set the balance so as to ensure comfortable use.

Acer Extensa EX215-51-36L0 is a good example of a laptop designed for simple office tasks. It received a large diagonal display of 15.6 inches, 256GB of SSD storage, and 4GB of RAM. The Intel Core i3 10110U processor is a dual-core processor that handles tasks with confidence. Also, the laptop received an integrated Intel graphics card and a lot of connectors for connecting external devices. If there’s one thing the laptop lacks, it’s its weight. The device weighs almost 2kg. This means that the laptop is not very portable, but its cost compensates for the cons.

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Notebook for Graphics

When it comes to visual arts, drawing or design, a work device must be powerful. Power will be needed to process images or render graphic files. Therefore, for such purposes, you need a really expensive and powerful laptop. Memory will also play an important role, since for large amounts of work you need at least 8 or 16 GB of RAM and 500 GB or 1 TB of hard disk space. it is preferable that the drive be an SSD, since it works much faster than the HDD hard drives we are used to.

The screen is another necessary element of a laptop for graphics work, and it must meet the highest requirements. You need high-quality color reproduction, the ability to finely calibrate, and the highest possible resolution. This is one of the reasons why Apple laptops are considered the best devices for artists and designers. Retina display is currently the best screen type available and is ideal for visualizations. That’s not all, the latest Apple MacBook Pros offer 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM, allowing the laptop to handle tasks quickly and efficiently. The screen diagonal can be 13 or 15 inches, new models also allow you to choose the option of 16 inches. A separate advantage is synchronization with other devices, such as, for example, the Apple iPad Pro. Thanks to an update in the OS, the tablet can be connected to a laptop and used as a graphical input device.

The device also has disadvantages, one of them is an integrated video card. For graphics, it is preferable to use discrete. And of course, as is often the case with MacBooks, the price is quite high.

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Laptop for computing and programming

This is another area of ​​activity for which Apple devices are suitable. Developers and programmers often choose MacBooks for their power and quality. Again, the display plays a role, and the keyboard, and the battery, and memory performance.

Separately, users note the functionality of the operating system and the speed of the laptop. Indeed, all MacBook users get a unique experience, which is only expanded by additional devices, that is, you can work, for example, on an iPhone, and quickly transfer data to a computer.

In general, for such tasks, the computing power of the device is most important, and just in the new MacBooks they use an Intel Core i7 with 4 cores.

Also, the size of the hard drive is important. Those laptops that are ready to offer 500GB – 1TB SSD noticeably win in this. RAM should be at least 8 GB, and if you are looking to perform serious tasks, it is better to add additional memory up to 16 or 32 GB.

Intel Core i7 or Intel Core i9 is another must-have feature for a programmer’s laptop. And of course, do not forget about the diagonal of the screen.

The 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro is the right choice for such tasks. And another alternative model is the Lenovo ThinkPad E570. The latter is also suitable for game development, as it combines all the necessary functions and parameters, plus speed and performance, which is difficult to match.

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Laptop for games

If users choose Apple for many activities, then gaming laptops are exactly the area where they prefer to buy laptops based on OC Windows. Not all games run on Mac OS, and in terms of parameters, other devices noticeably bypass them in this regard.

For a gaming computer, the frequency of the processor is important, because there are special series of gaming processors. The processor must be powerful and durable, preferably the latest series at the time of purchase.

RAM will play an equally important role – at least 16GB or 32GB will be required to freely run demanding games. And of course, the built-in memory will be responsible for the number of games and saves that you can store on a laptop. In this case, 1TB is the minimum, and it is best if the memory format is SSD. It is desirable that the laptop has a large screen size and a good battery.

Gaming laptops are somewhat easier to choose, since there are special series and model lines of such devices. They are pre-designed for the high demands of players and users.

The battery plays a significant, albeit not the most important, role. Not so often gamers demand autonomy from technology.

The presence of external ports is also an important element of the ideal gaming device. Chances are you’ll want to connect a controller, mouse, secondary screen, or something else. A headphone port is also required.

One of the popular series of gaming laptops is the Asus ROG G731GV-EV180. The laptop received a 17.3-inch screen, 16GB of RAM, a discrete graphics card and 1TB HDD + 512MB SSD memory. All the characteristics of the laptop are literally sharpened for a perfect gaming experience. This is an Intel Core i7 processor, a cooling system, and even a monitor.

Another series of gaming devices is the Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop. With a screen diagonal of 15.6 inches, it received 16GB of RAM, 512MB of SSD memory, discrete graphics and an Intel Core i7 processor. In many respects, it is similar to the Asus ROG, only a number of indicators differ. Gaming laptops are great not only for gaming, but also for graphics and other demanding tasks.


To work with music

Musicians, oddly enough, also often choose Apple technology. Here, the device’s speakers and a wide library of programs play a role, allowing you to process music. In general, artists set the main requirements for power, memory and sound quality. If the first indicators do not differ too much in different device models, then it is the sound that is decisive. Exactly like the ecosystem that allows you to interact with the iPad and iPhone. If sometimes you have to write down any ideas on the go, then Apple allows you to quickly turn them into work without the need for a long data transfer.

Additionally, there are many special devices that allow you to work on Apple laptops. Ability to connect a keyboard, musical instrument, etc.

And if you take care of the availability of high-quality headphones, then you can literally get a home recording studio.

It is worth noting that for some of these tasks it is still better to use a desktop computer. For example, a PC with the characteristics of a gaming laptop can cost 1.5-2 times less than a laptop. In addition, you will have the opportunity to modify and improve the computer or its individual parts. Gamers still prefer stationary devices over portable ones.

You can also use a tablet to work with texts. Modern tablets with a plug-in keyboard can completely replace a laptop, providing portability and long-term operation of the device.

The battery is one of the drawbacks of most laptops, because despite constant development, the battery capacity is still rated for no more than 5 hours of heavy use. That is, the gaming device will not work all day, and you will receive the promised 8-9 hours of work, provided that the loads are not high, that is, you do not watch the video, but use only the basic functionality.

All the same, a laptop remains an indispensable and almost indispensable device in the modern world, despite the growing potential of smartphones, there is no worthy replacement for a universal working computer.


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