How to Choose a Best Laptop: A Short Guide

.How do you choose the right laptop for you? We offer our guidance to help you choose the right laptop for you.

This guide will help you choose the right laptop for you, whether you’re looking for one for work, home, leisure, study, or play. This guide will help you choose the right processor, random access memory (RAM), screen, graphics card, or SSD.

Which laptop processor to choose?

Intel or AMD, Core i7 or Ryzen? Questions every laptop buyer will ask themselves at one time or another. In reality, the answers will often impose themselves, either by the imposed budget and/or by the desired format. 

Ultrabooks 13/14 inches will only have low-consumption processors. These processors are easily identified by the end of their names with a U (example: Core i7-10510U and Ryzen 7 5800U).

Gaming laptops will be able to access “high-performance processors” through the H-reference (Core 7-10750H/ Ryzen7 5800H). Best for gaming, editing videos, or editing hundreds of RAW photos in Lightroom. 

Find our detailed guide to find out which processor to choose for your laptop.

How Much RAM for a Laptop PC?

Whatever the use, the best idea is to opt for a laptop with 8 GB of RAM. However, this requires having a budget, at least, 600/700 €. To play or better performance, 16 GB of RAM can provide a welcome boost.

As for buying a laptop with 32 GB of RAM, you will need a solid budget (around 2000 €). It is, therefore, better to carry out the upgrade yourself, count around € 130/150. Be careful, however, on 13/14 inch Ultrabook, the memory is now soldered on most models and will therefore not be able to evolve.

But in most cases, if you really need 32 GB of RAM on an Ultrabook, it is because above all you need a very powerful processor, incompatible with this diagonal.

In the end, 8 GB, 16 GB, or 32 GB? All our answers to know how much RAM for your laptop is on our dedicated page.

What screen size for a laptop PC?

Difficult to answer this question, it is so subjective. To sum up, a 15-inch laptop is arguably the most versatile. Both comfortable in terms of display size while offering the possibility of finding fairly light models, around 1.7 / 1.8 Kg, compatible with nomadic (occasional) use.

But if you’re always on the go, and without a high-performance requirement, a 14-inch is the best choice.

Thin, light while still offering a pleasant screen size and above all a wide choice, both in terms of models and budgets. Consult our file if you want more tracks to choose the diagonal of your laptop.

The 11/12 inches have now disappeared from the market. The 17 inches are not yet at this stage, but their future seems more and more compromised as the offer has been eroded in recent months.

It must be recognized that a 15-inch laptop with a Full HD screen will offer the same useful display space while being more mobile, which remains the primary vocation of a laptop, you will agree.

Which graphics card for a laptop?

Along with the processor, the graphics card is the main source of questions when choosing a laptop. A must for gamers, the need for a dedicated graphics card is often overestimated for other uses.

So except to use an external UHD screen, no you don’t need a dedicated graphics card for Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator. Ditto for watching YouTube / Netflix videos or playing chess/poker or games offered on Facebook.

For photo, Lightroom or Capture One, the observation is generally the same, the graphics chips integrated in Intel and AMD processors are often sufficient. you can find all these things in best 2-in-1 laptops under $500

However, faced with the boom in graphics acceleration, it may be wise to opt for a laptop equipped with a dedicated mid-range graphics card (a GeForce GTX 1650 for example) when this is possible in terms of size and budget. Ditto for video, Première Pro or Davinci Resolve being able to rely on the GPU to speed up certain processing and exports.

And if this video editing software is part of your daily routine for several hours a week, don’t hesitate to aim for a slightly more powerful graphics card like the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or the GeForce RTX 3060/2060.

Cards also form the basis of a portable gaming PC. The GeForce RTX 3070 will bring some additional FPS and will allow you to take more advantage of Ray-Tracing, but it requires a budget of over € 1,500, which is not within everyone’s reach.

Beyond that, the GeForce RTX 3080 struggles to impose itself except on overpriced gaming laptops for which everyone will be in their own interests.

What storage (hard drive / SSD) for a laptop PC?

Without the slightest hesitation, we advise you to avoid any laptop PC that is not equipped with an SSD as the contribution in terms of daily comfort is important.

After Full SSD or SSD + HDD, our preference would go towards the first solution, more comfortable but it remains a matter of preference and need. So it’s up to you to decide on your budget, you will find more details in our guide to laptop storage.

Which battery for good autonomy on a laptop PC?

If you are a student looking for a laptop with the best battery life possible to take notes throughout the day, with no hesitation, you should opt for a 13/14 inch Ultrabook equipped with an Intel or AMD low power processor.

Most will be able to offer you autonomy of 7 / 8h under these conditions. Some 15 inches will be able to approach it but in general, they will offer an average autonomy closer to 4 / 5h. As for the 17 inches, most will not be able to hold more than 4 hours away from a power outlet.

However, battery life isn’t an exact science. The battery life of a laptop will depend on many factors. These include the brightness of your screen and whether the battery is charged.

WIFI / Bluetooth, without forgetting the selected power profile and how many programs are running in the background. Don’t hesitate to close unnecessary programs. Are you unsure which format is best? Check out our guide to laptop battery life.

Otherwise, forget Windows and opt for the latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air equipped with M1 chips, inexhaustible on battery, even during intensive use!

Connectivity / Software / Operating System

What is the standard connection?

Every laptop PC now includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. A video output (at least HDMI compatible), an audio output/headphone input. And as well as at least 2 USB ports, whatever their name.

Wi-Fi is built into all laptops. It allows you to connect wirelessly to a network, including the Internet. The most widespread is Wi-Fi 802.11ac, also called WIFI 5. But Wi-Fi 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) tends to supplant it in 2021.

On the program, an increased radius of action, better stability, and improved management of multiple devices which are now connected to the boxes of each household. Note that to take advantage of these advances, your entire network, including the Internet box, must support Wi-Fi 6.

Bluetooth, present in all laptops, allows devices to communicate with each other over a short distance, wirelessly.

This standard is particularly useful for exchanging data between a laptop and a Smartphone for example. As long as they are within range of each other (a few meters away).

Bluetooth does not require a password for connection and is energy efficient. Bluetooth 5.1 is the standard in 2021.


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