Are You a Data Scientist Who is Searching For A Good Laptop for Processing Heavy data. Data scientists know a normal laptop can’t do data processing tasks easily. That’s Why You Need The Best Laptop for data science.
if You looking laptop for data science than I ensure you that you have landed in the right place and I can help you to make the right decision for selecting a good laptop.
A Data Scientist’s Work needs a heavy-duty laptop with excellent specifications so that they can focus on their work rather than fixing a problem of their older laptop.
The laptops which I’m going to show you below are best and perfectly suitable for a data scientist and you can choose your preferred option according to your budget.
- Top 9 Laptops for Data Science and Data Analysis
- Keyboard and touchpad
- 3. Asus ROG Strix GL702VM-DB71- A gaming Laptop for Data Analysis
- 4. Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS- An Affordable Data Scientist Laptop
- INTERFACE AND CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS
- PORTABILITY AND BATTERY LIFE
- 5. New Microsoft Surface Pro- A Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Data Science
- 6. Lenovo Y700 17 data science and data analysis
- 7.ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71 15-Inch Gaming Laptop
- 8. Apple MMGG2LL/A MacBook Air- Best Lightweight Laptop for Data Analysis
- 9. Dell XPS9560-A Complete Laptop for a Data Science
- Laptop Buying Guide For a Data scientist:
- THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A LAPTOP
Top 9 Laptops for Data Science and Data Analysis
1. Apple 15″ MacBook Pro- A Perfect Laptop for Data Science
Apple 15 Pro is an old Model of 2016. I would recommend you to go for the latest one like. Apple MacBook Pro
for good performance and reliability. The New model price almost the same as the older one, so you don’t have to worry about your budget. that this new 15″ MacBook Pro as the perfect laptop for data analysts or data scientists because it has the high-end specifications.
With the new MacBook Pro, Apple is just trying to keep pace with the rest of the computing industry. The biggest upgrade is Intel’s latest CPU, which is popping up in the PC since the last fall. And there are also some other minor hardware tweaks. Actually, this is a classic Apple refresh:
Nothing has changed. Keep the MacBook Pro side with the model of last year and it is impossible to tell the difference. However, if you are a committed Mac user, then this is what you were waiting for. Everyone in the competition should take a long, harsh look.
The Good The latest 15-inch MacBook Pro offers major internal upgrades to the CPU, RAM, storage, and display. The Core i9 version delivers a worthwhile speed boost on processor-intensive tasks.
The Bad The basic design hasn’t been updated, keeping the same advantages and flaws. Adding the new high-end options drives the cost way up.
The Bottom Line The 2018 MacBook Pro 15-inch laptop delivers the serious computing muscle that power users and creative pros crave — but everyone else should wait for the rest of the line to be updated.
2. Acer Predator Helios 300- The Best Value for Money Laptop
Well, there are many good laptops available on the market. if you have a good budget I will recommend you to go for Acer Predator Helios 300. Because it’s a gaming laptop and you know gaming laptops have excellent hardware configuration. This laptop is reviewed by more than 400 customers with a rating of 4.0 out of 5. It is currently maintaining the 3rd Best Selling laptop on Amazon right now (As of July. 2020).
Let’s move on to the hardware and specs of this Predator.
Designed for those with a need to speed, the Predator Helios 300 gaming notebook combines powerful 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with high-performance NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics driven by the new NVIDIA Pascal architecture that is VR Ready. Two all-metal AeroBlade 3D Fans and stellar audio capabilities support intense gaming sessions while the sporting red accents and black chassis with geometric lines add to the drama.
8th Gen Intel Core i7- 8750H processor With a killer combination of smart features, the Intel Core i7 processor is devastatingly powerful.
Full Throttle Acceleration Conquer the competition with the powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics.
Superfast Loading Speeds Fast 256GB SSD and 16GB DDR4 memory accelerate boot-up times and shorten in-game loading times.
Supercharged Refresh Rate
The 144Hz refresh rate speeds up the frames per second to deliver ultra-smooth 2D motion scenes. The rapid refresh rate shortens the time it takes for frame rendering, lowers input lag and provides gamers an excellent in-game experience.
The Predator notebook features the PredatorSense gaming control panel, providing customization and control of gaming features, including system temperature, CPU fan speed, and system fan speed.
Keyboard and touchpad
The engineers managed to fit into the dimensions of the Helios 300 a full-fledged keyboard with a separate digital unit. A trifle, but nice: greatly facilitates and speeds up data entry. However, there are some limitations. The distances between the buttons are minimal, and the number pad is located close to the main part of the keyboard. Sometimes this leads to involuntary clicks and misses when typing (in this regard, the proximity of the Backspace and Num Lock keys is particularly inconvenient in this respect).
The keys themselves have a nice move and are made of rubberized material. With mechanical keyboards, of course, do not compare, but you can play and type texts on the Helios 300 comfortably. For lovers of play and work at night, there is a button illumination. Unlike the more advanced (and expensive) models, it is the same color – no RGB to you.
The touchpad is shifted to the left and has a relatively compact size. The functional standard supports multiple touch processing. There are no dedicated keys, and the corresponding actions are performed by pressing on the left and right sides at the bottom of the site. Everything works exactly and correctly.
You can use This laptop up to 4 hours without playing any games or doing any heavy work and 1.5-2 hours while doing some heavy demanding tasks.
3. Asus ROG Strix GL702VM-DB71- A gaming Laptop for Data Analysis
the Asus ROG GL702VM is a good multimedia/gaming 17-inch laptop. It performs flawlessly, it gets a high-refresh IPS screen with GSync that’s great for gaming, as well as a nice keyboard and good IO, all in a fairly portable body. On the other hand, it’s perhaps not as well built as some of the other options out there, gets very hot and noisy under load and the forums mention a fair amount of quality control issues, with the screen, keyboard, and even the hardware malfunctioning after just weeks or months of use.
There’s a market for laptops with massive displays and stable overall performance in a package deal that’s no longer going to wreck the financial institution and is not going to be a burden to raise around either.
The Asus ROG Strix GL702VM is one such machine, a gaming laptop with Intel HQ processors and Nvidia 1060 snapshots that start off evolved at around $1400 and weighs simply underneath 6 lbs. This is not the most powerful 17-inch notebook you can discover out there, however, it’s the best balance between speed, portability and price and will do well as an all-around multimedia machine that can additionally take care of FHD gaming smoothly, in particular when you consider that it comes with a GSync screen.
The ROG GL702VM has been handy in stores for quite a few months now, so you’ll find plenty of opinions about it online, but I ultimately acquired to spend some time with it myself and I’m going to share my impressions and findings below. By the cease of this put up, you’ll be aware of the place this laptop shines, the place it fails, and how it compares to different notebooks with similar traits, like the MSI GS73, Acer Aspire Nitro V17, Acer Predator Helios 17 or the HP Omen 17
Hardware, performance and upgrade options
The Asus ROG Strix GL702VM is available in a few different configurations in stores and we got to test the base one, which comes with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics with 6 GB of VRAM, a 128 GB M.2 SSD and a 1 TB HDD.
Higher tier options include up to 32 GB of RAM and a faster SSD, as the one included here is only a SATA drive, but the M.2 connection is hooked up via 4x PCIe lanes and supports M.2 PCIe and NVMe 80 mm SSDs.
Upgrading the RAM and storage requires opening the entire back panel, but it’s only held in place by a dozen Philips screws and fairly easy to take apart. Once inside, you’ll be able to access the two storage drives, the two RAM DIMMs, the Wi-Fi chip and the battery
I’ve added benchmark results below, for those of you interested in numbers, as well as info on temperatures and frequencies in various use scenarios, including gaming.
- 3DMark 11: P12418;
- 3DMark 13: Sky Driver – 22497, Fire Strike – 9004, Time Spy – 2482;
- PCMark 08: Home Conventional – 4364;
- Geekbench 3 32-bit: Single-Core: 3836, Multi-core: 14046;
- Geekbench 4 64-bit: Single-Core: 4576, Multi-core: 14028;
- CineBench 11.5: OpenGL 64.48 fps, CPU 8.13 pts, CPU Single Core 1.62 pts;
- CineBench R15: OpenGL 98.93 fps, CPU 735 CB, CPU Single Core 144 CB;
- x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 – 170.03 fps, Pass 2 – 45.65 fps;
- x264 HD Benchmark 5.1 64-bit: Pass 1 – 79.62 fps, Pass 2 – 16.79 fps.
This laptop also handled gaming flawlessly while plugged into the wall, gaming on the battery as well. Most laptops throttle the CPU and GPU in games, but that wasn’t the case here (we did notice occasional drops in CPU frequency but without a noticeable influence on frame rates).
4. Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS- An Affordable Data Scientist Laptop
The new Dell Inspiron i5577 gaming laptop computer series appears like it had been designed with the modern consumer in mind. It’s affordable, understated and truly overpowered for its price. Today we’ll have a seem at the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS notebook.
The laptop manufacturers have gradually started to steer clear of designing aggressive or flashy-looking gaming laptops. The audience has matured since, and companies took notice. We can see this trend with the new Dell Inspiron i5577 series.
The Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS has some impressive hardware under its chassis. For starters, it features a quad-core, 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. This state of the art CPU has a base clock speed of 2.8 GHz, with a maximum of 3.8 GHz under turbo mode. Also, the 6 megabytes of the cache will greatly help in dealing with the most intense tasks.
Being a powerful processor has one downside, however. It will drain your battery faster than a normal one. Overheating shouldn’t be an issue thanks to a dedicated heatsink and superior heat management technology employed by Dell.
System memory is rated at 16 gigabytes of DDR4-2400 SDRAM. It comes as a dual-channel setup (two memory modules of 8 gigabytes each). I think this should prove plentiful for most gamers and power users. However, I haven’t been able to check if this amount can be further upgraded by the user.
Still, 16 gigs of system memory will allow you to handle very large data sets, play all your games without having to suffer from bottlenecks or glitches, and multitask with ease while also using RAM-intensive software, like Photoshop, Illustrator or CAD.
The Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS comes with a new-generation 512-gigabyte PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid-State Drive. This is an SSD that is several times faster than older generation drives, and up to 15 times more fast and (arguably) reliable than a traditional Hard Disk Drive. Anyone who needs more storage space than what this laptop comes with either should invest in an external hard drive or already has multiple storage systems in place already.
INTERFACE AND CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS
Interface options are plentiful for avid gamers, and not only. I have no complaints about the fact that it doesn’t feature a USB-C port or a mini-Display port for that matter. You’ll be able to hook up to three peripherals and one external monitor to the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS. Here are the available ports:
- 3 x USB3.0 (one with SleepCharge)
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x RJ-45
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
- 1 x SD card reader
Connectivity is also rather standard:
- 10/100/1000 Ethernet
- Dual-Band 1×1 802.11ac
- Bluetooth 4.2
PORTABILITY AND BATTERY LIFE
As is the case with almost all gaming laptops that haven’t been designed with improved portability in mind, the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS is on the heavy side of things. It weighs 5.7 pounds, which isn’t what anyone would call “lightweight” in 2017. Considering that it’s also 15.6 inches diagonally and 1 inch thick, I can safely state that it isn’t much of a portable device. At least not in this context.
the Battery life of this laptop is a lot better than the above two laptops. For moderate usage, you can expect between 4-5 hours. Using the laptop in the lower settings can give a battery life up to 8 hours which is great.
5. New Microsoft Surface Pro- A Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Data Science
It looks, feels and works great, is cheaper than the preceding version and lasts longer on a charge, but it nonetheless doesn’t have USB-C or Thunderbolt 3
The new Surface Pro is today’s model of Microsoft’s category-defining detachable tablet PC, but do a rate cut, faster chips and a new paint job make it well worth buying?
From the outside, it appears like very little has changed, and that’s because the Surface Pro 6 is virtually the same as its predecessor.
It has the identical beautiful 12.3in screen, the same front-firing speakers, the identical dimensions and weight, and the same magnificent kickstand out the back. It even has the same quality-feeling magnesium physique with slightly rounded edges for handheld comfort.
The Surface Pro is arguably exceptional made Windows 10 pill going.
Ultra-light and versatile. Get productive virtually anywhere with available LTE Advanced and up to 13.5 hours of battery life. Surface Pro (5th Gen) gives you a best-in-class laptop, plus the versatility of a studio and tablet.
Create, study, work, and play virtually anywhere. Better than ever, ultra-light Surface Pro gives you total mobile productivity, all-day battery life, plus a softer, ultra-portable design with rounded edges.
Exceptional power and performance
Surface Pro delivers even more speed and performance thanks to a powerful Intel Core processor — with up to 50% more battery life than Surface Pro 4.
The best of Microsoft at your fingertips
Surface Pro works perfectly with Surface Pen, Surface Dial, and Office, and runs the full Windows experience, including 3D creation tools. Enjoy fast, secured, password-free sign-in with Windows Hello.
Transform Surface Pro into Laptop Mode by opening the built-in Kickstand and adding a removable Surface Pro Signature Type Cover.
Close the Kickstand, and remove or fold Surface Pro Signature Type Cover back for a powerful, stand-alone Intel tablet.
First the obvious. The device looks and feels like a premium item. The vent slots around the top edge are even less visible than on the previous model (Surface Pro 4). Even though the edges are slightly rounded on the new version, I would not have noticed unless told about it.
My core i5 model is fan-less, meaning COMPLETELY silent. You will not hear a peep out of this device. Definitely an improvement from the previous generation.
I’m pleasantly surprised at how cool to the touch the device stays, even after hours of uninterrupted use. Definitely on par, or better than my iPad slim. I bought mine during my lunch hour from work. I came back to the office, plugged it in and ran through the initial set up.
The device was at about 40% charge when I pulled it out of the box. I then changed it to 100%, and proceeded to time the beginning, and end time for every user session. This way I could accurately measure the real-world battery life with normal use.
6. Lenovo Y700 17 data science and data analysis
With the 15-inch Y700, Lenovo is trying to claim the title of the nice price for gamers. this laptop computer presents a handsome chassis, a bright display, and in-your-face audio barring skimping on performance. Our configuration packs a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700 CPU, 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 GPU. That’s not to say this gadget does not have its foibles, such as brief battery lifestyles and a spongy keyboard, but the Y700 gives a strong journey that budget-conscious game enthusiasts ought to explore.
Lenovo appears to love cruising in that understated-chic lane — at least when it comes to its gaming/entertainment laptops. The line of notebooks has been rebranded but again, but no longer has modified from ultimate year’s Y50, other than a capital “L” on the Lenovo logo on the lid and the black-and-red grille being more prominently placed in the rear.
The Y700’s 15-inch 1920 x 1080 panel averaged 263 nits on our light meter, beating the 244-nit mainstream average. It was still no match for the Alienware 15, which hit a dazzling 311 nits, but the Inspiron 15-7000 produced a measly 222 nits.
Outfitted with a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700 CPU with 16GB of RAM, the Y700 is more than just fun and games. The laptop streamed an episode of Master of None without incident despite running a full system scan with 12 open tabs in Google Chrome.
The Y700 lasted 4 hours and 16 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which consists of continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi.
However, it wasn’t enough to beat the Inspiron 15-7000’s time of 6:45, the Alienware 15′s 6:18 or the 5:40 mainstream average.
Similar to its predecessors, the Y700 features a full-size island-style keyboard with a full number pad. The keys have that smilelike shape popular on the company’s Ideapad line of laptops. The W, A, S and D keys, central to PC-game movement, are linked in a much brighter red than their compatriot keys, making them easier to find. However, with the backlighting on, the keys only look marginally different from the others.
7.ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71 15-Inch Gaming Laptop
The most effective gaming laptops will blow your mind when you doing your data Science work, however, they may also wallop your wallet. Fortunately, you can get a certainly super cellular rig for a lot much less money. the 15.6-inch Asus ROG GL552 combines sturdy overall performance with a sexy, stealth-fighter-themed chassis, bright show, and snappy keyboard. While we want its battery existence to have been longer and its left side stayed cooler, this is the great laptop you can buy.
The ROG GL55s’s keyboard oozes sinister red light and features an extra band of red highlights along the bottom of the W, A, S and D keys. Typing on the black plastic keys felt snappy, thanks to a pretty standard actuation weight of 60 grams and a typical 1.87mm of key travel. Asus also managed to squeeze a 10-key num-pad on the right side of the keyboard, but since space is at a premium, the keys on the num-pad have been shrunk to about half size. The GL552’s 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen delights with great accuracy, spot-on colors and top-tier brightness. It makes both gaming and watching movies a pleasure, and since the non-touch screen also features a matte coating, you’re never forced to stare back at your own reflection. When I watched the trailer for The Nice Guys, the GL552’s display nailed Russell Crowe’s turquoise blue suit in a way that screamed the 1970s even louder than the teaser’s retro font.
Featuring a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700 HQ CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB HDD, the GL552 is similarly equipped to other thousand-dollar gaming machines. However, since the GL552 features a 7,200 RPM HDD versus the 5,400 drives in the V15 Nitro and the Inspiron 15 7000, its storage speeds were three times faster. The GL552 moved a DVD’s worth of mixed media files in 51 seconds for a transfer rate of 98.59 MBps, as opposed to speeds of 33.97 MBps and 34.62 MBps for the V15 Nitro and the Inspiron 15 7000, respectively.
This advantage also showed up on Geekbench 3, which measures overall system performance. The GL552 scored 13,554 versus 12,577 for the V15 Nitro, despite the Nitro having the same CPU and amount of RAM. Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 (8,880) was even further behind, as its Intel Core i5 CPU simply didn’t provide the same level of swiftness.
As expected, when we used OpenOffice to sort a spreadsheet with 20,000 names and addresses, the Core i7-powered GL552 (3:44) and V15 Nitro (3:46) finished with almost exactly the same time, while the Inspiron 15 700 trailed behind with a time of 3:58.
With a time of 4 hours and 43 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 100 nits of brightness), the GL552 fell between the endurance numbers turned in by Acer and Dell. It lasted nearly 2 full hours longer than the anemic 2:40 mark of Acer’s V15 Nitro but fell short of Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 (6:45) by around the same margin.
8. Apple MMGG2LL/A MacBook Air- Best Lightweight Laptop for Data Analysis[amazong box=”B07K1WWS63″]
Who would pass of getting their hands on Apple products anyway? Anyone would favor doing anything for such a component to take place to them. Apple is the most famous manufacturer in the market. Of course, its products are regarded to be that of the ones in awesome quality. You shouldn’t forget about too that these products are often bought at a high price. However, take a seem to be at one of Apple laptops and talk about it further here. It is the one known as Apple MMGF2LL/A MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Laptop.
Although the look of the laptop has nothing to do with its work, it is something people would put their concern into even without them realizing it. What catches people’s eyes the most is none other than how the laptop looks after all. Of course, you will be attracted to it if the laptop has a beautiful look on it. How does it go in this Apple laptop then? There is no need to worry about such thing for this laptop is designed with beautiful chassis that covers the laptop in a nice way.
The chassis designed for this laptop is the one colored in silver. The silver look has always been a beautiful one for the laptop. So, getting it in this Apple laptop with a more inexpensive price is just great. You can always feel confident to bring it around with you anywhere you want. It is a beautiful laptop to work with after all. Every penny you spend for it won’t be something wasteful if it is this Apple laptop that you choose. You will always feel happy just by looking at it, you see.
One more aspect you need to be aware of about this Apple laptop is that it has amazingly, lengthy battery lifestyles to offer. In simply any laptop, people would always want to get longer battery life. Only then, we can do something we choose longer than we used to be. There might even be no need to look for an outlet when we are going backyard while bringing our laptop around and the use of it. As lengthy as we go away with a fully charged battery, you can be positive to use your laptop computer for exceedingly a good deal a long time, you see.
It is due to the fact this Apple laptop computer offers up to 12 hours of battery life. It is not each time we can discover a laptop computer with that a good deal battery life. Normally, it would be around 8 hours or so, whilst it can be 10 hours at most. However, Apple has made it viable for this laptop computer to continue to be up for you 1/2 a day. Apple MMGF2LL/A MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Laptop certain is amazing. Right from the price to even the features, all are made to meet your highest expectations and wants of a laptop.
9. Dell XPS9560-A Complete Laptop for a Data Science[amazong box=”B01N1Q0M4O”]
Dell XPS 9560 is a Windows laptop computer out there for my needs. It’s fantastically designed, compact, and powerful. It packs a quad-core CPU, Pascal GPU, huge battery, and Thunderbolt 3—plus the quality 4k display in a laptop out there. Sure, the TB3 is not full pace for GPUs, and yes, the Core i7 configurations throttle due to power limits from the overheating VRMs, but whilst this laptop computer nevertheless has some flaws and niggles, it has no equal at the moment. Read on for the complete story.
The XPS 15 9560 improves upon the 9550 in two key areas: the Kaby Lake processor (in my case an i7-7700HQ CPU) and Pascal Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 graphics. Compared to the previous generation’s Skylake CPU, you’re looking at about a 10-15% and 7% increase in single-core and multi-core performance, respectively. Beyond that, you’re getting hardware HEVC 10-bit and VP9 video decoding, which will help performance and battery life if watching or editing high-resolution video. You also get the slightly faster integrated Intel HD 630 graphics, but since you’re also packing a GTX 1050, that is mostly a moot point.
The XPS 15 9560 is comfortable to use during light tasks. The machine is, of course, cool during idle, and during light tasks such as web browsing and word processing, the CPU hovered around 45C. I was able to get those light use temperatures down to 40C. The fan is off or inaudible during casual use (35db, or equal to ambient noise), and there is no coil whine present either. Regarding coil whine, some users have reported that it is related to the model of AC adapter they received. Certain runs have coil whine, while others do not. If you do have coil whine on your unit, you might try swapping the adapter before exchanging the whole unit.
Dell has bumped up the capacity of the larger battery from 84Wh to 97Wh—roughly a 15% increase. That increase, plus the increased efficiency of Kaby Lake, adds up to a significantly longer runtime with the UHD screen and 97Wh battery.
Whereas I struggled to hit 6 hours on the UHD/84Wh 9550, I regularly hit 8 hours on the 9560 (Balanced power mode running Chrome with multiple tabs, youtube, Google Docs, etc.). If you use Edge and tweak your settings, I’m sure you’ll be able to get an even better battery life.
As someone who moves around a lot throughout the day and needs a computer to last, this is one of the spec upgrades that I’m happiest with on the 9560 over 9550.
It’s beautifully designed, compact, and powerful. It packs a quad-core CPU, Pascal GPU, huge battery, and Thunderbolt 3—plus the best 4k screen in a laptop out there. Sure, the TB3 is not full speed for eGPUs, but that won’t affect many people. Yes, it throttles due to power limits from the overheating VRMs, but that can be stopped with thermal pads and disabling turbo when gaming. While the XPS 15 9560 still has some flaws and niggles, it has no equal at the moment.
Laptop Buying Guide For a Data scientist:
Whether you’re due for an upgrade or choosing your very first one, there’s a lot to consider when buying a new laptop. Memory, processors, graphics cards and brand all play a part in how your laptop performs and how much it costs. With so many factors in play, it can feel a little overwhelming – especially if you’re not sure what all these terms mean.
Our laptop buying guide aims to make things easy by explaining key terms and narrowing down the features that best match your needs. As well as thinking about how you’ll be using your laptop from day to day, it’s a good idea to have a rough budget in mind while you’re browsing.
Laptops, as opposed to tablets or desktop PCs, are usually chosen because they combine the best of both worlds: lightweight and portable, yet still offering plenty of power and a fixed keyboard.
If you’re wondering which laptop to buy, start here – we’ll help you find the right device for you.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A LAPTOP
What is a processor? Also known as central processing units or CPUs, they’re the “brains” of your device. They’re the chips that carry out the core operations and calculations that drive everything else in your laptop. They also affect the battery drain.
Unlike RAM and other components, it’s difficult to upgrade a processor once it’s in, so it’s important to choose the best laptop processor the first time, if possible. To some extent, a laptop’s everyday running speed depends on its processor clock speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz). Higher is usually better – a good processor speed for a laptop today sits at around 2 GHz or above. But it’s not all about speed: cores also play a big role.
Most modern processors are multi-core: basically, several processors working together in tandem. More cores mean your laptop can handle multi-tasking and more demanding applications. Choosing a quad-core (four cores), Hexa-core (six) or even an octa-core (eight) processor is a good idea if you plan to play games or use image editing software.
The two main processor manufacturers are Intel and AMD. Intel tends to focus on higher clock speeds, while AMD chips normally offer more cores. If you’re not sure which to go for, don’t worry about it too much: to casual users, both offer similar levels of performance at similar price points.
More RAM is nearly always better, but it comes at a price – and there’s no sense in paying for it if you don’t need it.
RAM is measured in gigabytes (GB). A modern laptop should aim for a minimum of 4GB of RAM, although 8GB is quickly becoming the standard and offers more flexibility.
If you’re wondering how much RAM you need for your laptop, here’s a quick guide:
- 2GB Basic office applications, and not much more! You should only consider this if you’re on a very strict budget.
- 4GB Enough for most everyday use such as multi-tab web browsing, office applications, light photo editing, and low-end gaming. A good budget option, but may slow down when using multiple programs at once.
- 8GB Should comfortably handle everything from heavy multitasking to mid-range gaming, video editing, and image manipulation. Most people don’t need more than this.
- 16GB+ Perfect for a dedicated gaming laptop or a graphic designer’s workstation.
Often called the hard drive, the storage capacity of a laptop is also measured in gigabytes (GB), although it works very differently. The number of GBs of storage has little to do with the laptop’s power and speed, but they do affect how many data files (such as photos, videos, documents, and games) you can conveniently store and access at any time.
You can think of it as the laptop’s “long-term memory”. For light users, around 250GB to 500GB is plenty, although gamers may want to aim higher.
There are two main types of storage: standard hard disc drives (HDDs) and newer solid-state drives (SSDs). While HDDs use a platter of spinning discs (similar to CDs or DVDs) to store data, SSDs use a type of flash memory. This provides much faster access, and can hugely improve boot-up times and loading in games.
However, SSDs are considerably more expensive than HDDs per gigabyte of memory. If you’re dead-set on the best performance, an SSD can be a great investment, but it’s important to weigh the costs and ensure you’re getting enough storage.
Don’t forget that if you need more storage, you don’t have to rely on your hard drive. External hard drives, USB sticks, and cloud storage services all offer simple and low-cost ways to expand your storage to as much as you need.
A graphics card or video card is a dedicated piece of hardware that works similarly to the processor but focuses on rendering images on the laptop’s screen. They increase the power of your laptop when it comes to graphically intensive tasks.
You don’t necessarily need a graphics card at all: if you’re only planning to browse the web, look at photos, watch videos and so on, the integrated graphics processing unit already in your processor or motherboard should handle that just fine.
However, if you’re playing games, doing video and image editing, or 3D modeling, you’ll almost certainly want a graphics card.
Graphics cards can be expensive, running the gamut from a couple of hundred pounds to well over a thousand. However, even an older, cheaper one is better than none at all if you’re planning on doing any kind of gaming.
We’ll spare you from running through all the factors involved in choosing a laptop graphics card here – that would need an article in itself. If you’re not sure whether you need one, you probably don’t.
What is an operating system (OS)? It’s is the interface you use to install and use applications and to interact with the laptop in general. Windows is the OS that most people are familiar with, although Mac OS and Chrome OS have their fans too. Most operating systems work in a similar way, so even if you’re only familiar with one of the above, it’s not too difficult to switch to another.
Windows – Windows is the most established operating system, and so has the widest range of compatible software and hardware. This makes it a particularly good choice for gamers, as not all titles find their way to Mac or Chrome. While fairly simple to get to grips with, it does need a bit of knowledge to get the most out of it.
Mac OS – Mac OS is only found on Apple devices. Designed to be intuitive and simple to operate, it’s ideal if you’re not too experienced with computers and just want something you can use right away. However, bear in mind that you’re limited to Apple-approved games, applications, and accessories: while there are plenty to choose from, it doesn’t offer quite the same freedom as Windows.
Chrome OS – Chrome OS has a browser-based interface, which means it’s by far the most web-focused OS. It’s extremely lightweight, so it’s often found on budget laptops. If you just want to browse the web, send an email, stream video online and so on, Chrome OS can be a great choice, but it’s also the most restrictive in terms of available apps.
Laptop screen sizes range from around 12 to 18 inches, and the size determines how bulky and heavy the device will be, as well as the viewing experience.
For example, a 13-inch laptop is perfect for someone who wants a device they can use on the go and is big enough for a bit of viewing on the tube, but it’s not the best choice for gaming.
Meanwhile, an 18-inch laptop is great as a work or gaming laptop that you occasionally move around with, although it may be a little big to take everywhere with you.
If you’re looking for a happy medium, a 15-inch laptop with a carry case could be just what you need: big enough for work, TV and a bit of gaming, but compact enough for convenient transport.