How to choose a laptop

When choosing a laptop you need to start first of all, for what purposes it will be used.

How to choose a laptop: what to look for

How to choose a laptop

The practicality of a laptop is affected by its specifications and ergonomics. So, when choosing a mobile computer you need pay attention to its following parameters:

  1. Diagonal and screen resolution;

  2. The amount and standard of RAM;

  3. Processor specifications;

  4. Video card specifications;

  5. Volume and type of hard drive;

  6. Operating system;

  7. Form factor;

  8. Manufacturer;

The remaining technical characteristics have a special effect on the practicality and ergonomics of the laptop are not affected.

Diagonal and screen resolution

Diagonal and screen resolution

Convenience and practicality directly depend on the diagonal of the screen. laptop, including the number of items that are placed on display. The following standards are most common:

  1. 11.6 inches or less. These are compact devices, the so-called subnotebooks and transformers. They are characterized by mobility and portability but inconvenient when working with multiple open windows at the same time;

  2. 13.3 inches Most portable ultrabooks and laptops equipped with just such a screen. It provides sufficient mobility and relatively well suited to work with multiple the windows;

  3. 15.6 inches Ideal laptops for home use;

  4. 17.3 inches or more. Such laptops are suitable for games, viewing movies, editing media content and similar goals.

Other diagonals are also found, but not so often.

  1. Screen resolution does not depend on the diagonal. It defines rather “quality” is the image density. Most common following options:

  2. 1366 × 768 pixels. Good resolution for diagonal screens 15.6 inches or less. On large displays, it leads to a sharp lower image quality;

  3. 1920 × 1080 pixels (Full HD). Good screen resolution 15.6 inches or more. Great for games, watching movies, working with media content, etc. Therefore, for example, it can be found on compact ultrabooks.

It’s worth remembering that the higher the screen resolution, the faster the display discharges the battery. But if you plan to use laptop at home for games, you can purchase models with 2K or UHD – they provide almost perfect picture quality.

The amount and standard of RAM


It directly depends on the amount of RAM and its standard computer performance, especially regarding multitasking. Most often, the following volumes are found:

  1. 2 GB Laptops with this amount of RAM can used only as a “typewriter” – for editing documents, browsing the web, playing low resolution video;

  2. 4 GB Almost universal configuration for everyday use. Suitable even for simple games;

  3. 8 GB A sufficiently powerful device that is suitable for special activities (programming, architecture, editing media content) and some modern games;

  4. 16 GB or more. Gaming laptop or mobile work station.

The standard of RAM determines its performance. For the vast majority of targets will have enough DDR3, but for a gaming laptop or mobile workstation will need DDR4.

Processor specifications

CPU Features

It is most advisable to purchase laptops with processors Intel These chips are not only fast but also low heating level, which is especially important for mobile computers with low-performance cooling system.

Intel processors are divided into separate families:

  1. Atom – ultra-mobile processors. Used mainly in transformers and hybrid computers. Do not need active cooling (cooler), however, differ in small performance

  2. Celeron – ultra-budget processors. Are found in the most cheap laptops. Differ in low price and low productivity, but sufficient for “typewriters”;

  3. Pentium – depending on the generation and specific model may be both very productive, and quite “slow.” But they always differ in low price, therefore they are found in mainly in budget laptops;

  4. Core i3 – dual-core processors with high performance. Found in middle-class laptops;

  5. Core i5 – Quad Core Processors performance. Some models are suitable for games. Meet in notebooks of the “top-middle” class;

  6. Core i7 – the most productive processors. Because of his high prices are found primarily in ultrabooks, gaming laptops and mobile workstations.

When choosing a laptop for home or office, enough models on the Core i3 or lower. For a gaming or performance computer i5 or older.

AMD processors are found mainly in budget laptops, because they are cheap – but at the same time low performance.

Graphics card specifications

Graphics card specifications

Video card in laptops can be integrated (built-in) or discrete. The first is the graphics chip, which is included in processor design. Integrated graphics cards are different low productivity, so they are not suitable for games, watching videos in high resolution or editing media content. However, laptops with such a graphic accelerator cost much cheaper than equipped discrete.

Discrete graphics card increases graphics performance computer, making it suitable for games or similar goals. However, it also leads to an increase in the price of a laptop.

When choosing a laptop for games, it is worth starting from discrete graphics card settings. The more video memory it has – the more productive the computer will be in graphics processing. The minimum amount required for games is 2 GB.

However, there is one more “but”. The more powerful the graphics card, the more it gives off heat during work. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to cooling system. This is especially important when buying a game a laptop.

Volume and type of hard drive


A hard disk is the permanent memory of a computer. On it not only the operating system is stored, but the entire user information – files, installed programs, etc. Therefore his volume is very important.

Nevertheless, the volume of the hard drive should be selected based on your needs:

  1. 32 GB – installed on ultra-mobile computers. it the minimum required amount of memory for the operating system Windows 10, so purchase transformers or tablets with 16 GB drive is not worth it. Most often, such “hard drives” made by flash drive technology;

  2. 64 GB – also installed on ultra-mobile computers, but higher class. Suitable for placement on the hard drive is not only the operating system, but also bulk software packages like Microsoft Office 365. Similarly, in most cases this is – flash drives;

  3. 120-200 GB – enough for most undemanding users. You can even have 1-2 modern ones on such a hard drive games to install;

  4. 320 GB is the standard hard drive capacity for most laptops belonging to the budget or middle class. Fit for storing several films in high quality, several modern games, etc .;

  5. From 500 GB – it is advisable to purchase only for gaming laptops or devices that are designed to store large files.

When choosing a laptop, it is worth considering not only the volume, but also the type hard drive. It determines performance:

  1. Flash drives. Differ in high speed, low price and relatively low reliability. Sensitive to changes current, so a laptop equipped with such a “hard drive” needs Use only with original charger. Also Avoid the effects of static electricity on it. body. Flash drives support a fairly large number rewriting cycles and do not need defragmentation;

  2. HDD – magnetic disk drives. Classic version which is distinguished by low price per GB capacity, high reliability recording and sufficient for everyday use speed access. However, HDDs are sensitive to magnetic field and mechanical stress, and also need defragmentation;

  3. SSDs are modern drives that use similar flash memory technology. Differ in the maximum speed of access to files and interactions with them, so they are most often installed in ultrabooks. In addition, they support a limited number of rewrite cycles.

SSDs are designed for those who need maximum performance. Flash drives are primarily used in ultracompact laptops. For the vast majority Users fit HDD.

operating system

Operating system

The vast majority of laptops come with pre-installed and pre-configured for backup copying and protection using hardware and software TPM technology for Windows 10. However, its cost (about 3 thousand rubles, depending on the edition) is already included in the price a computer.

To save money, you can buy a laptop on a free OS, such as DOS or Ubuntu. But in this case, reinstall will have to do it yourself. In addition, there will be difficulties with backup to a separate partition on the hard drive.

Thus, if you want security and there are no special knowledge in IT – it is worth buying a laptop with a pre-installed OS Windows If you want to save money or want to set your own favorite open OS – a device suitable for DOS.

Form Factor and Type

laptop type

Practicality and comfortable use. Today in the market you can find following configuration options:

  1. Netbook and Chromebook – ultraportable laptops with very “weak” technical specifications. Differ in low price. Netbooks come preloaded with Windows or DOS, Chromebooks – with Google Chrome OS

  2. Subnotebook – a portable laptop with technical characteristics similar to mid-range devices. It is compact, but not always functional enough cooling system;

  3. Transformers are laptops with a 360-degree hinge that Lets you rotate the screen around the keyboard and turn devices into a plump tablet;

  4. Hybrids – Windows tablets with a keyboard. Feature low performance (in most cases) and price;

  5. Classic laptops – no description needed;

  6. Gaming Laptops – Gaming Mobile Computers “iron”: a productive graphics card, a powerful processor, high-quality cooling system;

  7. Ultrabooks – productive laptops in a compact package;

  8. Mobile Workstations – High Performance Computers with powerful “iron”. They can be used for games, but are intended to perform special tasks, such as programming, design, modeling, etc.



Among the manufacturers of laptops, we can distinguish such companies, like Asus, HP, Lenovo, Dell and Apple.

  1. Asus and HP Launch Quality Mid-Range Laptops class – that is, suitable for use in the office, at home, for simple games, etc.

  2. Lenovo has recently specialized in portable computers – transformers, hybrids, subnotebooks, etc.

  3. Dell produces high-quality laptops of all classes – from budget to ultrabooks and gaming.

  4. There are only two laptops in the Apple lineup – the MacBook Air, which can be conditionally classified as a middle class, and MacBook Pro, by characteristics close to ultrabooks.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose laptop for work, the secrets of choosing a laptop for study, basic criteria for choosing a laptop for games, as well as our main expert answer the question – which is better – a tablet or laptop.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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