Your Buyer Guide to Choosing the Best Laptop

Mark Preston

When choosing the best computer for your needs, there are many features to consider. You can start looking for the perfect match by browsing for the top ten laptops, for example. Reading comparisons and reviews will give you an overview of what each laptop can deliver. Here are some of the key features to look for when comparing laptops. 

TLDR: This guide offers an overview of the essential features to look for when purchasing a new laptop.

Features to Look for When Buying a New Computer 

Operating System 

If you’ve been using Windows all of your life, you might not be ready to switch to MacOS or Chrome OS. Conversely, if you’re looking for a new Mac to replace your old one, you might not even consider Windows. If you’re neutral, here are the key advantages each operating system offers:

  • Windows: increased flexibility and availability (the most popular operating system), affordability, adaptability (works on both tablets and laptops).
  • MacOS: digital assistance, connectivity with other Mac devices, excellent performance, increased stability (no bugs and errors), almost no viruses.


The laptop’s screen is one of the main features buyers weigh when getting a new computer. Smaller or average monitors might only work well for you if you get a laptop for personal use. By small, we refer to monitors measuring 11 to 12 inches. Average laptops measure 13 to 14 or 15 to 16 inches. 

However, if you need a bigger screen for work, you might want to get a laptop with a 17 to 18 inches screen. Yet, the bigger the screen diagonal, the heavier the laptop. You’re unlikely to carry with you a laptop with an 18-inch screen very often.


The display refers to how your laptop renders images. A laptop screen that boasts a larger number of pixels provides a quality image thanks to its enhanced resolution. Full HD laptops are the most popular options these days for those who are looking for excellent picture quality with good resolution and brightness.

Battery Life 

Battery life is another essential feature you shouldn’t overlook when buying a laptop. If you want to use your new laptop on the go, you need a good battery that lasts for around eight hours, at least in the beginning. Ask for battery life specifications when buying a laptop, look for recommendations, and read reviews.


Connectivity is crucial if you work remotely. You might not be able to connect to free WiFi all the time. So, you should consider a laptop with good connectivity. You want to be able to connect to the internet even if you’re not close to a router. 

Look for a laptop with 4G, 5G, or LTE support. If you want to go the extra mile, you can opt for Wi-Fi 6. Computers with this type of connectivity offer an even more powerful and stable connection.


Ports are also important for connectivity. You might want to connect your laptop to different devices and chargers. More and more laptops offer USB type-C ports these days, which gets you covered in many situations since they ensure charger connectivity. Other common types of ports include USB 3.0 and HDMI.

Keyboard & Touchpad 

Your computer’s keyboard is essential, especially if you use it for work and your job involves a lot of writing. In this case, you’ll want to look for a laptop with good tactile feedback. The distance between the keys is essential. So is how they feel when you press them. 

If you buy a laptop from a brick-and-mortar store, test the keyboard if this element is crucial for you. Also, the touchpad should be high quality. It shouldn’t make the cursor jump and move frenetically on the screen. It should also respond to different multitouch gestures.

Touchscreen Features

If you’re a fan of touchscreens, this function is nowadays incorporated in many laptop models. You might want to opt for a laptop with touchscreen if you’re used to working on your tablet or smartphone and expect the same ease of use from a laptop. But keep in mind that this feature also increases the laptop’s price. You might want to get a computer with touchscreen only if you’re looking for a 2 in 1.

Cooling System

If you’ll mainly use your computer for gaming, a good cooling system is another aspect to take into account. Heavily used laptops can reach high temperatures that slow them down as the CPU’s capacity diminishes. Choose a laptop with a robust incorporated cooling system to avoid spending extra on an external one. 

CPU and Storage Drive 

The computer’s CPU is its processor or ‘brain.’ You might need a strong processor or an average one, depending on the computer’s purpose. From Intel 5 to Intel 11 Gen, AMD, or Apple processors, there are many options to choose from. 

To pick the right one, you need to know what type of performance and endurance you want to get. If you’re not a pro, tell the shop assistant what you’ll be using the laptop for and ask them to offer you recommendations. Or ask a more knowledgeable friend to guide you. 

The storage drive is the component that’s responsible for data storage. The storage drive also plays a key role in the computer’s speed and performance. If you don’t need a lot of internal storage, which might make you want to opt for a hard drive, an SSD drive can help your computer work faster. 

Other Considerations

Here are a few more aspects you’ll want to consider before investing in a new laptop.

Classic vs. 2 in 1

Two-in-one laptops have become increasingly popular since tablets became trendy. There are two types of 2 in 1 laptops:

  • Convertible: you flip the keyboard under the laptop’s screen, and you get a tablet. 
  • Detachable: you detach the keyboard from the screen to use your laptop as a tablet.

If you’re looking for increased portability and ease of use, two-in-one models are a good choice. If you’ll be using your computer for work or at home, a classic one might be a better (and more affordable) choice.

Customer Reviews 

Learning what others have to say about the laptop you plan on buying can help you make a safe choice. Customer and specialist reviews are a great source of information and feedback. Start with something generic such as the top ten laptops reviews. Then, make a shortlist of models within your budget and look for reviews for those laptops.


A warranty helps you avoid paying hefty amounts on computer repairs. Look for a laptop with a generous warranty period. This will allow you to experiment with the laptop for a while at no risk to your pocket. Many laptops only offer a one-year warranty. Some come with a 2-4 year warranty. You also have the option to purchase an extended warranty.


Your line of work might matter when choosing a computer. Think about graphic designers, for example. They need large monitors with good resolution. Some people might still work with DVDs. If this is your case, you should look for laptops with built-in DVD drives. 

Gaming computers also have their specific features. For example, some of the top ten laptops in this niche come with curved screens that offer a more immersive gaming experience. 

If you’ll be using your laptop for personal tasks, a simple model with good battery life and a prolonged warranty might do just fine.


When it comes to price, no laptop is cheap. You must first set a budget for this expenditure. This is not something you buy every day. So, you might want to put aside some extra cash to afford a quality laptop. Mainstream models can cost anywhere between $500 and $1,500. If you want a premium laptop, get ready to spend more than $1,500.