This is what you need to know before buying a notebook laptop:

Through the years I’ve learned that the first thing we need to know before buying a portable computer is not the brand.  That’s a big mistake people make at the time of purchasing a portable computer.

The first thing we need to know is what that computer has inside its case. Many buyers are attracted by certain brands and they purchase a laptop without having enough information about the type of product they’re purchasing. They feel happy with their brand but later on they realize only the brand, itself, cannot meet their expectations. By then, it will  be a little late. Maybe you will have used the product for some time and the returning/refund grace period will have already expired. And there you are, stuck with a laptop that was probably not what you intended to buy.


In a nutshell, this is what you need to know about a laptop before you pay for it:


Hard drive disc (HDD): it is the conventional storage of a laptop computer.

The more storage in the HDD the better it is.

128 GB is acceptable (everyday users).

256 GB is good (everyday users).

500 GB is very good (light business user everyday productivity)

-1 TB (terabytes) is excellent (business users, multimedia users.)

2 to 8 TB is great (power business users, gamer and work stations.)

Attention! If you buy 128 or 250 GB, I suggest you buy and additional portable storage drive to put your heavy data(tons of pictures, videos or any other thing that takes up too much space). Don’t use up more than 75% of your computer hard drive capacity. Keep your operative system relaxed with enough room for faster performance.


Solid state hard drive disc (SSD):

it is a newer and more efficient storage drive.

The same storage capacity as a HDD but better functionality.





128 GB SSD. It is good.

-256 GB SSD. It is very good.

-500 GB SSD. It is excellent.

-1-8 TB SSD. It is great.


 Please read the pros and cons of the HDD and SSD drives

Hard drive disc (HDD)







  • Less expensive                                                                   
  • Most of laptops use it
  • Higher storage capacity


  • It makes some noise
  • It Gets fragmented
  • More vulnerable to crashes and damage
  • It’s bigger in size
  • It heats up
  • It’s heavier than SSD

Solid state drive (SSD)


  • Silent, noiseless
  • More reliable
  • Don’t get fragmented
  • More durable
  • Smaller in size
  • Energy saver
  • Prolong battery charge/life


  • More expensive
  • Some are permanently attached to the motherboard making the replacement more difficult

         and therefore more expensive. (Ultra thin laptops)

  • High capacity SSDs are not very common and therefore less affordable.

Dual drive: a solid state drive (SSD) in combination with a hard drive disc (HDD) It is a good idea as long as the primary drive is the SSD with a storage capacity over 125 GB.

The memory RAM:







If it supports 8 GB max, it is good.

If it supports 16 GB max it is very good.

If it supports  more than 16 GB it is excellent

If it supports 32 GB or more it is great

Video quality:   






  • If resolution is 720p (pixels), it is good (HD)
  • If resolution is 1080p, it is excellent (FHD)
  • If resolution is 2k, 4k or 8k, it is great (UHD)

There are 2 types of graphic processors (video cards) in a laptop: Integrated or shared graphic cards and dedicated or discrete cards.






Integrated cards: They don’t have their own memory RAM. They take their memory from the general memory of the CPU. If the laptop comes with 8GB of DDR the integrated graphic card would use between 1% and 7% of these 8GB of memory RAM. They are not recommended for professional graphic work or advanced games.

Dedicated or discrete graphic cards: They are separated video cards with their own capability of memory RAM. They do not use the general memory RAM of the CPU and they are plugged into a motherboard. They promise a better resolution and a higher level of graphic controllers. They are always recommended for games, graphic design works and professional multimedia work.


Attention Powerful machine users and gamers:

When you read the specifications, make sure the resolution of video quality has a dedicated video memory of at least 2GB. If it has 4GB of dedicated memory RAM is excellent; while 6GB+ is great.

I strongly recommend Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon video cards if you are a gamer, a graphic designer or any other user that works with professional multimedia and or designs that require powerful graphic controllers.

Processor speed:

This part is a little bit more complicated but I’m going to give you the necessary info for you to make a smart purchase decision.





You need to place yourself into one of the following groups

and then decide which processor is more convenient for you:

Everyday computing productivity:

  1. Core i3 series processor is good enough                                                       
  2. Core i5 series is very good
  3. Cores i7/i9 series are excellent
  4. AMD Ryzen 3 is good enough
  5. AMD Ryzen 5 is very good
  6. AMD Ryzen 7 is excellent
  7. AMD A series 2.0 GHz and over is Ok.

Since each model comes with a different capacity, please see the categories below to have a better idea: If any of the model mentioned above is over 2.0 GHz, then it is good enough for an everyday user.

Business laptop Processors:

Core i5 and i7 series over 2.5 GHZ is a good idea due to the fact that with the turbo boost feature the CPU is going to reach about 4GHZ.

AMD A series with a minimum of 2.8 GHZ is more than enough for a light business laptop.

Gaming/workstation users:                                                           

  • Core i5 and i7 HQ series and HK series                                          
  • Xeon E series with VPro
  • Core i7U series with VPro

Budget laptop Processors:

  • Celeron and Pentium CPUs
  • Core i3 U series
  • AMD E1, E2 series
  • Atom series CPUs

Even though the CPU (central processing unit) speed is so important for the efficiency of a laptop, it is not going to have any good result if the other components don’t have the required capacity to make the whole machine work properly.

The portability and trendy aspect of a laptop is something that attracts most of computer users; however, we need to understand a fanless notebook does not have the same capacity and performance as a more conventional portable computer. We recommend using fanless laptops for everyday productivity instead of using them for gaming, workstation or businesses that require powerful internal hardware.


The peripherals: devices connected to the outer part of a computer. They can be output peripherals or input peripherals.





output peripheral devices.

  • -Monitors
  • -Printers
  • -Speakers
  • -Headphones, etc.

Input peripheral devices: 


  • Keyboard
  • -Mouse
  • -Scanner
  • -Drawing pad
  • -Microphone, etc

Input/output peripheral devices

  • SD card Reader
  • -USB ports
  • -HDMI ports
  • -External Hard Drive (storage drive), etc.

Recommendation: at the time of buying your laptop, make sure it has the following peripherals:

  • 3 or 4 USB ports. If at least one of them is a USB-C port, it would be great. Type-C is the latest technology in USB ports.
  • A back-lit keyboard                                                                       
  • One HDMI port(for a projector or monitor)
  • One SD card reader
  • A headphone/microphone port

Note: The newest Apple notebooks don’t have conventional peripheral ports. They only use USB-C ports. Due to the fact the type-C port is smaller than the regular 2.0, 3.0 0r 3.1 USB port, you will have to use an adapter (a type-c adapter or a USB-C multi port hub) to connect different devices to an Apple laptop.

The wireless technology:

WiFi and Bluetooth

Nowadays new laptops come with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth for any kind of wireless connections, including mouse, keyboard, printer, audio and video devices, etc.



Size and Quality of a laptop Screen:

The most common laptop screen sizes are:                                                                              

   13.0 inches

   14.0 inches

   15.6 Inches

   17.0 inches

   17.3 inches

The most popular screen size is 13”, followed by 14”. The size of your laptop screen is going to depend on your need or preference. You need to keep in mind the bigger the screen is, the heavier the laptop. In addition to that, the battery charge is going to drain faster if it is a big screen.

The Screen Quality

The quality of the screen picture of a notebook depends on one of the following categories:                              

  • HD: High definition (720p) good                                                              
  • FHD: Full high definition (1080p) excellent
  • QHD: Quad High definition (1440p) 2k Great
  • UHD: Ultra high definition (2160p= 4k) (2880p= 5k) The best

While the 4 categories mentioned above refer to the screen quality, other categories, such as LED, LCD, OLED and AMOLED, describe the type of display a laptop screen has.

Recommendations: If possible, the 1080p screen resolution is the most recommendable. You’ll enjoy a quality picture and it is not as expensive as a 2k or 4k screen.

We also recommend LED display. It is more energy-efficient and brighter than LCD. OLED and AMDLED are better than LED but they are more expensive and not available in the market.

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