Generally, you can get a great laptop with the right choices when it comes to basic specifications. However, there are some recent advancements in technology that are a must to have. Your experience can change completely based on whether you have these features or not.
Most Important Features of Laptops
1. USB Type-C And Thunderbolt ports
USB ports are incredibly handy, helping you connect to flash drives, docking stations, or even charge other gadgets like phones and tablets. A laptop with the regular USB Type-A port can grant you all these perks. However, with newer models that have USB Type-C ports, you can gain access to a whole other area of functionalities.
For a start, you can do a lot of things with just one cable. You can power your laptop, run external monitors, and do normal file copy-pasting through just one USB Type-C cable.
One more thing that makes life easier when it comes to USB Type-C ports is that these can be put in through either direction. So, you no longer have to be cautious about putting the cable in the wrong side up. All these things are some great features regular USB Type-C ports have.
On top of that, some can even allow you to use certain types of charging adapters as well. As in, some adapters only work with USB Type-C ports, so you’ll be able to use these adapters to charge your laptop as well, even if you initially charged other devices with them.
That’s not even the end of it. Some of the more expensive laptops also feature Thunderbolt 3, which operates through a USB Type-C port. Thunderbolt 3 is a recent connectivity solution that offers an incredible amount of power. With certain Thunderbolt peripherals, you can do a lot of things you wouldn’t be able to do normally.
For instance, you can connect two 4k monitors with a single wire and still be able to run them. Other examples include being able to transfer files to external drives with internal SSD levels of speed. You can even connect the laptop to external video cards.
Recommended Reading: Different types of Laptop Ports Explained!
2. Higher-resolution Screens
High-res screens are especially important because several expensive laptop models might scam you by offering you a lower resolution. Such laptops generally use 1366×768 screens, which makes pictures seem extremely grainy while causing many issues with scaling fonts and icons.
If you look closely, you can find laptops with similar specifications but with a higher-res at the same price, and sometimes even lower. Having a higher-resolution will increase your laptop’s entertainment value and give you a small boost in productivity as it will reduce the time you need to spend scrolling documents down significantly.
If you don’t mind spending a high budget on a laptop, though, then you can even go for 4k screens for the maximum quality. However, be advised that such a high resolution will also be quite taxing on the laptop’s battery life.
3. OLED Displays
Such displays are quite rare when it comes to laptops, as they’re just transitioning over from smartphones and other devices. However, if you find them and have the money to afford a laptop with such a screen, you should definitely go for it.
The difference between a laptop with a regular display and one with an OLED display is large. Colours are more than two times brighter and more vivid on OLED displays. Another huge advantage of these displays is that you can save a great amount of battery life when you use black wallpapers.
4. NVME m.2 SSDs
Regular SSDs are an improvement over HDDs on their own, as they provide the laptop with faster bootup speeds, and all apps load up faster as well. Not to mention, general navigation is smoother, and copy-paste speeds are extremely fast.
However, there is one more type of storage that’s faster than these are. That is their NVME m.2 variants, which provide at least two times faster speeds than the other types of storage drives.
Recommended Reading: HDD Vs SSD – Which is best for you?
5. Optane Memory
Optane Memory is the perfect balance between value and performance. You can only find these in certain Intel chipsets, and only the recent ones at that. Optane Memory can turn an HDDs speed into one of an SSD without costing the extra Rs 5000 or more.
Even if you’re not installing it right away, it’s still a good idea to get a chipset that supports such storage, as it’s certainly one of the most important laptop features for any kind of user.
6. Intel 7th Gen CPUs
Of course, having the newest generation CPU is the best, but you should get a 7th Gen CPU no matter what. These CPUs are codenamed Kaby Lake CPUs. They’ll offer much faster performance than all their predecessors, and you need these processors at least to be able to play 4k videos reliably.
If the processor can do that, then that’ll mean that it can perform the majority of tasks flawlessly. To ensure that the laptop you choose has a Kaby Lake processor, you can check if the processor’s model number begins with 7, i.e. Intel Core i5-7700.
7. NVIDIA Pascal GPU
If you’re going to get a computer for heavy graphics work such as Video Editing or just playing high-end videogames. No other GPU can match these GPUs in their respective price ranges. These are rather expensive, though. Still, they compensate for it by providing reliable power to support many recent and upcoming graphic applications.
Pascal chips can be identified by seeing if the card is a GTX card and begins with a 10 in the name. A GTX 1050 is a good example, and a GTX 1080 is even better. These cards can handle all sorts of applications at high fps, including VR applications that need a significantly higher amount of GPU power.
This is essential only for earlier mentioned tasks though; if you’re a casual gamer or only do light video editing, you’ll be set for both with a good gaming laptop that has a cheaper model of NVIDIA’s GPUs.
8. Convertible Laptops
If you use your laptop to do work or check emails, then you wouldn’t need this feature. However, it is a very important feature of laptops for those that like to use their laptops on the go. With a regular laptop, you’d have to set it up somewhere to be able to use the touchpad and keyboard efficiently.
However, with a Convertible/2-in-1 laptop, you can just turn it into a tablet form where the keyboard doesn’t get in the way, with touch controls available for input. Do keep in mind, though, that these laptops are expensive, especially when you want to get decent battery life.
Recommended Reading: Touch Screen Laptops- Advantages and Disadvantages Explained!
9. Expendable RAM
This feature is a must. Nearly all newer laptops have this feature, so not getting a laptop with it would be a large problem, as you won’t be able to do any sort of upgrades in the future. The more RAM you can install into the laptop, the better.
Having RAM expandability is vital for all sorts of users, including regular users, office users and gamers. On a side note, you should also ensure that the laptop initially comes with 8 GBs of RAM at least.
4GB used to be sufficient in older times, but your laptop will struggle to run now if you get that much RAM, as whenever you multitask, most programs will use up a significant portion of your RAM. This will force the laptop to use your Storage Drive as a virtual memory, which is noticeably slower than RAM.
Recommended Reading: Different Types of RAM (Random Access Memory) Explained!
10. 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Most regular users tend to overlook the Wi-Fi technology used in laptops. Each model uses a different kind of technology, and that impacts the overall internet speed. The newest among these technologies is the 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which can offer you three times or even ten times faster speeds than older wireless standards.
Even better, the strength of the connection at further ranges is much stronger as well. You might have to get a router capable of such technology though, but they aren’t particularly expensive. Such a router can also benefit your handset if it’s a new one, as most use the same technology in them as well.
11. TPM Security Chips
If you own a large business and tend to store sensitive information on your laptop, then you may benefit from one that comes with a TPM microchip. TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chips add hardware-level security to the laptop’s internal software security.
This can be extremely beneficial; here’s how; most laptops send data openly when you use them throughout the day. By certain means, this data can be intercepted and read. The TPM microchip encrypts the data at a hardware level, so no hidden software or process can interfere with the data while it’s being encrypted.
On top of that, if the chip senses that the system has been compromised, it can go into a quarantine mode to protect your passwords and other sensitive data while you work on fixing the laptop. These chips are easy to get, and you can find them in most mid-range laptops, like laptops under Rs. 40000 or laptops under Rs 50000.
12. Dolby Atmos
Many laptops don’t include this feature, but it’s a very useful feature that can create more dynamic sound and increase the quality of surround audio. This technology can come installed in software forms, but it works better with laptops where it’s embedded into the hardware itself. If you’re an audiophile and use something like a Sound System often, then this technology is a must.
13. HDMI Port
Many users tend to ignore this port, but it can give you a big advantage in any scenario. Even when you’re doing work, you can use the port to connect your laptop to another screen, so you can bring up more data on one screen simultaneously.
For instance, you can have an office document open on the laptop’s main screen, with the other one containing a webpage that contains information on whatever you’re working on in the document. That way, you don’t have to switch windows constantly. It’s also something you’ll need for other media-based peripherals, like Audio devices.
This feature isn’t very expensive, so you should make sure your laptop has it even if you go for a different model. The strength of a laptop lies in how much mobility it can offer you.
Without an anti-glare screen, you’ll find it hard to use your laptop in brightly lit areas, which will significantly cut down on the number of places you can use the laptop in.
So, you should ensure that the display of your laptop has an anti-glare coating. If it does, you’ll always find it mentioned in the display portion of the product description.
Similar to anti-glare, you can even find this feature in low-end laptops because of its affordability. Having a fast-charge feature can cut down your charging time by more than 50%, so you’ll have more time to use your laptop and can get it to a full charge when you’re in a hurry as well.
On top of that, it’s a better alternative to using the laptop while it’s plugged to charge when you really need to do so. Using a laptop mid-charge can cause harm to its battery.
16. Biometric Security
For the users that want the most amount of security, the TPM chips are the most important. However, this sort of security is more convenient for a regular user, though you can go for both if you can afford to do so. It adds an additional layer of security on top of the regular pincode. Biometric Security comes in two forms; Fingerprint and Face Recognition.
Fingerprint just requires you to put your finger down in a certain part of the laptop. Meanwhile, you need to ensure that the laptop you get has an infrared camera if you want to use Face Recognition instead. If the laptop doesn’t have such a camera, you have to buy a separate laptop camera with Infrared support, limiting your mobility more.
These are all important features of laptops. Any laptop can turn into a high-quality laptop if you have most of these, and a laptop with high specifications wouldn’t be very satisfying to use without any of these features. So, you should try to include as many of them as possible on the laptop you get.
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