The ultimate guide to choosing a new laptop in 2020

Offering portability and a powerful computing, a laptop is the best tool if you’re looking for portability and versatility in a computer. With a wide range of laptop options available, it can also be a challenge to zero in on the right device for you.

Here are some of the most important considerations when shopping for your next laptop.

1.    Choose Your Platform

The competition between Mac and Windows continues and now we also have the option of Chrome OS. While all three are fantastic options, you should put some thought into this decision. If you’re used to one system already, consider sticking with it. Learning a new operating system takes time and can sometimes result in frustration. Unless you’re looking for new features or a change, it’s convenient to stick with what you know. If you’re starting from scratch, look for opportunities to try out all three. In general, you’ll find Windows machines to be most flexible and widespread. Windows laptops are available from less than $200 all the way to several thousand dollars for feature rich models. The operating system also supports touch screens and tablet modes, making it great for 2-in-1 laptops.

While MacOS offers less flexibility, it enjoys a loyal following. Once you have the hang of it, this operating system is extremely user friendly. You won’t find any cryptic error messages here!

Finally, Chrome OS is simple and secure, but it’s the least flexible of the three. This operating system works mainly with web apps, rather than with installed software, so it can be limiting when you’re offline.

2.    Find the Right Size

Size might not seem like an important consideration, but it quickly becomes one if you need to carry your laptop to meetings or on business trips. It’s also an important consideration if you’re doing detailed work and need a larger screen size. If portability is on your wish list, look for a laptop that’s 13 inches or smaller and pay attention to weight. If you need a little more monitor real estate, stick with a 15-inch or larger model.

3.    Traditional Laptop or 2-in-1

Laptops have had a clamshell design for many years, but in the past few years we’ve seen 2-in-1 devices that can quickly change from a laptop to a tablet with a touch screen. While this feature might not be for everyone, it’s a worthwhile consideration if you use both a tablet and a laptop.

4.    Pick Your Specs

The specifications of your new laptop is the biggest consideration of all. This is when you really need to consider how you’ll be using your laptop: whether for business, gaming, school, or general browsing. Make sure you choose a laptop that can handle the work you plan to do on it by selecting the appropriate processor, RAM, hard drive, display, ports, and graphics card. You’ll really have to do some research here and look for a device that will meet your needs.  

5.    The Longer the Battery Life, The Better

A laptop is meant to be portable and portability doesn’t just mean size and weight—battery life is also an important factor. Look for a laptop that has at least 7 hours of battery life, especially if you’ll be using it outside of your home or office.

By Mike Agerbo

January 01, 2020