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Characteristics of a good laptop

by archyde

Of course, there’s no question of personal preferences – not to mention fans of devices and systems running Apple’s macOS or Microsoft’s Windows.

Perhaps the best approach is to approach it from the negative side – the obsolete features. For example, the lack of battery life, the limited number of USB-A or -C ports, a video output and a network port absent, the price and the weight too high, and the list could be extended.

Devices dedicated to specific markets

The task of finding a laptop becomes much easier when you know the intended use well.

The video game enthusiast will therefore be looking for a device with a powerful graphics card regardless of weight, while an office worker will above all want a light and versatile laptop.

For the consumer market

Manufacturers like Apple and others on the Windows side have general-purpose lines, like the MacBook Air: price, size, weight, performance, it’s all there in a very consistent product.

Apple

The popular MacBook Air M2 with the Monterey system, from Apple

By feature

screen definition

Nowadays, a screen that does not offer a definition of 1920 x 1080 should be discarded and on a screen of 16 inches and more, the definition should be even higher than 1080p.

The ports

The bright side of laptops in recent years is that they have adopted Thunderbolt technology for USB-C ports. With it, device power, network and Internet traffic, data for external drives, video for an external screen, digital audio data, everything can pass through the USB-C port.

And if more ports are needed, Thunderbolt 3 or 4 docking stations offer great versatility for connecting all of its peripherals.

Powered by up to 12th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro® processors, this 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 laptop from Lenovo has redesigned keys, new rear exhaust ventilation, a camera transformed into a new communication bar .  Designed for multitasking and heavy workloads.  CA$1700

Lenovo

Powered by up to 12th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro® processors, this 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 laptop from Lenovo has redesigned keys, new rear exhaust ventilation, a camera transformed into a new communication bar . Designed for multitasking and heavy workloads. CA$1700

Ventilation

CPU consumption has increased significantly. More economical, but just as efficient, the best chips have practically no need for cooling by ventilation. In almost two years of use, I don’t recall hearing any fan noise on my MacBook Pro M1.

Conversely, if all it takes is opening a few browsing tabs or software on your browser to get the fans screaming, then this laptop isn’t worth the cost.

RAM

If there is one option that should not be overlooked when buying, it is RAM. Several years ago, 4 GB of RAM was enough, then it went to 8 GB, now 16 GB of memory is a minimum. It’s more expensive, but you’ll get more out of it each time you use it, and your computer will be usable longer and its resale value better.

Samsung's Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 2-in-1 is thin and light and works with the included S Pen so you can write and draw like a real pen.  CA$1300

Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 2-in-1 is thin and light and works with the included S Pen so you can write and draw like a real pen. CA$1300

The backlight keyboard has practically become standard on laptops, and should be part of the sought-after characteristics.

The keyboards, it is a matter of taste and habit. There are all types of them, more or less thin, including butterfly-type keys, which weren’t much appreciated.

Battery life

Even on low-end laptops, battery life should last a good seven hours. With the new M1 and M2 system chips like those that Apple installs in its laptops, autonomy has made significant leaps, up to 18 hours of video playback for the MacBook Air M1 and M2. Without video playback, it’s easy to last 24 hours without a power cord.

Processors

Anything running a Celeron processor or even a Core i3 should be forgotten, these laptops are only there to offer the lowest possible price.

Like RAM, choosing the best processor possible will save you money in the long run. Choose the processor that will be suitable for your workload.

Happy shopping!

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