So, you are looking to buy a less beefy laptop and you are a bit puzzled on how to start your search for it. And, your trimmed budget is the key player here. We believe that you are not alone with this query. Mainly students, small industries, and early startups always face a tight budget situation and it’s important for them to find the right balance between the price and the needed features in a laptop. Computer Science Engineer Muhammad Umer Farooq of GuruVerdict is quoted as saying “You should never opt-with an underpowered and old-fashioned laptop that will make you a laughing stone in the classroom“. You may have a constrained budget but this shouldn’t stop you from owning a decent laptop.
Nowadays, it’s a real pain to look for a budget laptop that swiftly performs all of your demands. Moreover, it becomes next to impossible if you do not know how to refine your search in this sea of modern laptops. That’s why this guide is for you to shape the process of finding the best laptops without making a heavy dent in your wallet.
The web is flooding with laptop buying guides about how to choose a laptop without spending too much and most of them fail to draw the fine line between the required bare minimum features and the needless geeky features of a laptop. Eventually, Laptop Discovery is one of those places which addresses these issues in a feasible way and delivers a clear understanding to its readers.
Let’s get to the focal point of this guide.
Before we dig deep, the budget laptop doesn’t mean poor performance and you don’t have to trim down every hardware piece for a shallow budget device. The basic computing should not get affected for any cheap hardware piece or the very purpose of buying a laptop will get defeated.
Chromebooks are the nearest solution here
Eventually, ChromeBook is that kind of laptop that can assemble a strict budget with optimized performance. If basic computing tasks are concerned like web surfing, document editing and light gaming Chromebooks offer great value for money. They are portable, offer optimized user experience and the best part is the Google integration. Google office tools are the best of the hosted office applications out there on the web.
Now, when it comes to buying Chromebook, there is a dark side too. Firstly, you need to check the Google update policy for a particular Chromebook device series. The ‘end-of-support-date’ is the vital issue here which defines the valid tenure of the Chrome OS updates from Google’s end. Secondly, you need to check whether a Chromebook got the Google play store support or not. The pleasure of playing android games on a laptop is phenomenal.
Lastly, current Chromebooks are coming with decent processors and display units. So, Chromebooks accomplish much as a budget laptop and you should consider these facts wisely. Having said that, It’s also true that Chromebooks are not the ultimate option for you. There exist other budget optimized laptops that run on Windows and Linux OS which offer a sound range of hardware options.
Display: Don’t just buy more pixels
Coming to the display unit of a budget laptop, there are many options. But, each type of display unit depends on the actual size of your budget. Let’s not talk about the rich 4K UHD and retina display screens that come with Macbooks as that will kind of an overshooting your fund but HD display screens(1920×1080 pixels) are the bottom line here. Even, the latest entry-level laptops are offering full HD display units that run on IPS technology. It will be good to remain within a 15 to 17 inches screen size segment.
Laptops with good display screens worth your hard-earned budget as these help you to stay attached with your laptop day long. Added to this, touch-sensitive screens are also optional. If your requirements greatly demand a touch-enabled screen then that’s a must-have. Else, a touch screen is also an added pressure on your budget.
Processor, RAM & Graphics: Go for a laptop that has a good brain
If performance is your bull’s eye, then this section is the most crucial part to grab your attention. Even the least expensive laptop can run with lightning speed if you keep an eye on spec combinations inside its gray matter.
To summarize, everyday works play smoothly in Core i5 processor, handed with 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD storage. But, if you are a heavy software guy or a coder you may go through the details below:
- Processor: Most of the modern high-end laptops are housed with 7th, or 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU with at least 4 cores. They are some monsters on performance. But, Core i5 is not so different from i7, if you are not planning on heavy computer games. Moreover, the heat consumption is higher in i7 than i5, and sometimes the price goes up too. Recently, AMD Ryzen Mobile chips are giving a hard competition to the Intel Core i5 and i7 chips.
Still, if your requirement is mere web surfing or light document editing, you can even consider Core i3 processor shipped with entry-level systems.
Also, 8th Generation CPUs are enough to power up multitasking while using almost all the academic or professional software. 10th Gen Ice Lake or Comet Lake chips tackle the burden of heavy graphics and raw performance, but with a greater cost.
- RAM: It’s the one who permits the CPU for direct access, hence performs quicker than ROM. Therefore, the RAM quantity defines the quality of the performance of your PC.
Generally, Modern PCs come with at least 4GB RAM in low-priced devices. But, we recommend 8GB RAM for your laptop to go on without a hiccup. Of course, RAM costs money. But, all the applications alongside the OS eat up this main section of the memory of your computer. So, you must open your hands for more RAM, when more high-end software run together. But, for gaming requirements, less than 16-32 GB RAM is a big no-no.
- Memory: Gone are the days of bulky hard disk drives. Why should anyone bother for these slow-runners, when you get a lot faster solid-state drive within a decent price? Moreover, SSDs work silently compared to their HDD predecessors. Produces less heat, and boots up the OS quicker. But, they are expensive. Hence, mid-range laptops are housed with only 128- 256GB SSD.
But, for gaming or heavy-duty applications, you should spend some more bucks on a minimum of 512GB storage. Also, you may opt for the combined storage of SSD with HDD. This will keep you from burning your pocket that much.
- Graphics: You have come this far because you are on a tight budget. Right? Then I’m convinced that you don’t bother much for PC gaming. If not, you don’t need to pay more on dedicated graphics cards like Nvidia or AMD. Light gaming, photo or video editing, and even 4k video playbacks run watery smooth on integrated Intel graphics. If you work over ultra-high resolution videos, I’m sure you are not seeking for a budget-cutter device.
Lastly, always remember you are your budget maker and only your computing requirements can define the best laptop for you. This guide simply helps to you for making that informed decision.