Tips For Choosing the Best Notebook

Choosing a notebook is a personal journey that reflects your ambitions and lifestyle. Every component, from the battery to the quality of the screen, influences how you connect and interact with the digital world.

In this brief guide, we’ll explore the key factors for selecting a notebook that’s not just a device, but a true partner in your daily activities. Join us on this discovery and find the notebook that perfectly fits your needs.

The first step is to identify the purpose of use of Notebook

Before diving into the technical specifications, it is essential to identify what you will use the notebook for. This decision directly influences the choice of device characteristics. 

If your focus is study or administrative work, a basic model may be sufficient, offering essential features without the high cost. For gaming enthusiasts or professionals who use video and image editing software, a notebook with greater processing capacity and a robust graphics card is essential. 

And for those seeking a balance between mobility and performance, there are mid-range options that meet a variety of needs without compromising portability.

Therefore, always ask these 10 questions:

  1. Nature of use: for what main activities will I use the notebook? (E.g.: internet browsing, document editing, games, video editing, programming, etc.)
  2. Frequency and duration: how often and for how long will I use the notebook daily?
  3. Mobility: do I need a lightweight and portable notebook to take frequently on trips or trips, or will it be used mainly at home or in the office?
  4. Performance: am I going to run applications or games that require high performance and advanced graphics or just surf the internet and watch some videos?
  5. Storage and data access: Do I need a lot of storage space for files, photos, videos or programs?
  6. Connectivity and accessories: Will I need to connect external devices such as monitors, USB devices or audio equipment?
  7. Budget: What is my budget for this notebook? Am I looking for something economical or can I invest in a high-end model?
  8. Durability and longevity: do I want a notebook that will last for many years or do I plan to update it frequently?
  9. Brand and design preferences: Do I have specific brand or design preferences, such as screen size, backlit keyboard, or aesthetic finish?
  10. Software and operating system: Is there a specific software or operating system that I prefer or need to use?

Importance of RAM and processor (CPU)

RAM memory is like your computer’s “workspace”; the more you have, the more tasks you can perform simultaneously without compromising speed.

For those who use the computer to browse and don’t open many tabs or programs simultaneously, 4 GB of RAM is still enough, although you have to be aware that it will take a few moments to load new screens or information. So for general use, 8GB of RAM is a good starting point. For heavier tasks, such as gaming or video editing, 16 GB or more is recommended.

The processor, on the other hand, is the brain of your notebook. A more powerful processor means your notebook can perform more complex tasks and process data faster.

When evaluating processors, consider the clock speed (measured in GHz), which indicates how fast the processor can perform tasks and the number of cores, which determines how many tasks can be processed simultaneously. 

For general use, a mid-range processor is adequate, while for more intensive activities, such as using image editors, videos, and games, a high-performance processor is more appropriate.

Importance of storage: HD or SSD

The choice between a hard drive (HD) and a solid state drive (SSD ) is fundamental to the experience of using your notebook. Traditional HD offers more storage space for a lower cost, but is slower and susceptible to physical damage due to its moving parts. 

On the other hand, SSD, while generally offering less space for the same price, provides significantly faster read and write speeds, which results in a more responsive system and shorter boot times.

For those who need a lot of space to store files, such as photos and videos, an HD may be the economical choice. However, for those looking for performance and speed, especially in tasks such as booting the operating system or loading programs, the SSD is the ideal option. 

Additionally, SSD is more resistant to shock and vibration, making it a more durable choice for those who travel frequently with their notebook.

FeatureHD (Hard Disk)SSD (Solid State Drive)
DurabilityLess durable due to moving partsMore durable, shock resistant
Access Time and LatencyIncreased access time and latencyLower access time and latency
Energy consumptionHigher energy consumptionLower energy consumption
Capacity vs. CostMore storage space for less costLess space for the same price, but faster
Noise and HeatGenerates more noise and heatQuiet operation and less heat
Transfer FeesSlower transfer ratesFaster transfer rates

Choosing the right screen

The notebook screen is one of the most important aspects of the device, as it is through it that you interact with the content. Here are the main factors to consider:

Screen size

It generally varies between 11 and 17 inches. Smaller sizes are more portable, while larger ones offer a better visual experience but are less practical to carry. Which do you prefer?

Resolution

HD (1366×768) is the minimum acceptable, but Full HD (1920×1080) is recommended for a clearer, more detailed visual experience. Higher resolutions, such as 4K, are ideal for graphic design and video editing professionals, but they significantly increase the price of the device.

Panel type

TN panels are more common and economical, but have limited viewing angles. IPS offers better colors and viewing angles. OLED, although more expensive, provides excellent contrast and vibrant colors.

Refresh Rate

Importantly for gamers, a higher refresh rate (such as 120Hz, 144Hz, 240Hz, and 360Hz) provides a smoother and more fundamental gaming experience in competitive first-person games.

Touch technology

Consider whether a touchscreen is required, which may be useful for designers or for use on convertible tablets.

Gloss and Coating

Screens with higher brightness are better for outdoor use. Screens with anti-reflective coating reduce eye strain indoors.

When choosing a screen, think about how you will use the notebook. If it is for work and study , a medium-sized screen with good resolution may be sufficient. For entertainment and gaming, a larger screen with a high refresh rate may be more appropriate.

Operating System and Compatibility

Choosing the operating system (OS) is fundamental, as it defines the user interface and compatibility with software and applications. Here are the main operating systems and what to consider:

Windows

The most popular and versatile, compatible with most software and games, ideal for users who need a wide range of applications and for gamers.

Linux

A free, open-source option ideal for programmers and power users who want to customize their system. Less compatible with popular software and games.

Chrome OS (Google)

Cloud-based, it’s optimized for web and Google apps. Ideal for users who carry out most of their activities online and are looking for a simple and secure system.

The Importance of the GPU for Gaming and Video Editing

The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is a critical component for those who use their notebook for gaming, graphic design, 3D modeling or video editing. Here are the points to consider:

Integrated GPUs vs. Dedicated:

  • Integrated GPUs are sufficient for basic tasks and some light gaming. They are more economical and consume less energy.
  • Dedicated GPUs, like those from NVIDIA or AMD, offer superior performance, essential for modern games and heavy video editing software.

GPU Performance:

  • Evaluate graphics processing capability, especially if you plan to play graphics-intensive games or work with editing software that requires fast rendering.

GPU Memory:

  • A GPU with more dedicated memory (VRAM) can better handle complex textures and visual effects, providing a smoother, more detailed experience.

Software Compatibility:

  • Make sure the GPU is compatible with the software you intend to use. Some design and editing programs have specific hardware requirements to function optimally.

Cooling and Energy Consumption:

  • Notebooks with powerful GPUs can generate more heat and consume more power, which can affect battery life and require better cooling systems.

For users who don’t need advanced graphics performance, an integrated GPU may be sufficient, offering a balance between cost and power efficiency. 

However, for gamers and creative professionals, investing in a dedicated GPU can make a significant difference in the quality and fluidity of the visual experience.

Connectivity and Ports

When choosing a notebook, think about the devices and accessories you use regularly and whether the available ports and connections meet your needs. A good variety of ports increases the versatility of the notebook and ensures that it can adapt to different usage scenarios.

USB ports

Check the number and types of USB ports (such as USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB-C) . USB 3.0 and USB-C offer faster transfer speeds and are ideal for connecting modern devices.

HDMI and DisplayPort

Essential for connecting the notebook to external monitors or projectors. An HDMI or DisplayPort port is crucial if you plan to use multiple screens or presentations.

Ethernet connection

Although many modern notebooks rely on Wi-Fi, an Ethernet port is useful for a more stable and faster internet connection, especially in corporate environments.

Card reader and other ports

An SD card reader can be convenient for photographers or for transferring data from mobile devices. Other ports, such as Thunderbolt, can offer additional connectivity options.

Wireless connectivity

Check Wi-Fi (such as Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6) and Bluetooth specifications to ensure compatibility and performance with wireless devices.

Audio

Good audio quality and the presence of a headphone jack are important, especially if you use your notebook for entertainment or conferences.

Additional tips: keyboard, touchpad and battery

These aspects may seem secondary, but they have a significant impact on the comfort and convenience of daily notebook use. A quality keyboard and touchpad improve interaction with the device, while a long-lasting battery ensures greater mobility and productivity.

Keyboard

  • Comfort and layout: Make sure your keyboard is comfortable to type on . If you type a lot, a keyboard with good tactile feedback and an ergonomic layout is essential.
  • Backlight: A backlit keyboard is useful for typing in low-light environments.
  • Numeric keypad: For those who work with numbers frequently, an integrated numeric keypad can be very practical.

Touchpad

  • Size and sensitivity: A larger, responsive touchpad improves navigation . Check whether the touchpad supports multi-touch gestures for a better using experience.
  • Build Quality : A touchpad with a quality build prevents accidental clicks and improves accuracy.

Battery

  • Battery life: Battery life is crucial, especially if you plan to use your notebook away from an outlet for extended periods. Look for notebooks with a good battery life (ideally more than 8 hours).
  • Removable vs. removable battery Integrated : Consider whether the battery is removable or integrated. Removable batteries can be easily replaced, but are less common in thinner, lighter models.

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