Are You Looking to Buy a Laptop?
Buying a laptop is a big deal. From picking your operating system to knowing your CPU's and GPUs. Just navigating the manufacturers' websites to try buying the model you want is frustrating. While there are certainly comparable hardware and features offered with these platforms, there are some stark differences between them that are important to consider.
We hope this guide will help you navigate the morass of modern laptops. There are many options available to you for both Windows 10 and Chrome OS, whereas Apple limits its MacBooks to a limited number of configurations. Read on to find out which laptop is right for you.
If you aren't interested in the latest technology and powerful components, a cheap budget laptop will satisfy your needs. If you are looking for a stronger laptop with cutting-edge technology and beautiful graphics, then you will have to dig deep into your pockets for all the cash you can scrape together.
Generally, a decent laptop is between R14000 - R25000 depending on what you want.
SIZE AND WEIGHT
I generally believe that 15" laptops are the perfect size for business needs and personal errands or online banking. Consider a 15.6-inch laptop for maximum screen real estate.
Carrying a laptop around with you is not as handy as carrying a phone and sometimes a tablet to some degree can be a daunting task.
If you are replacing your desktop PC with a laptop and wont be carrying it around, connecting it to a computer screen could be essential and if you are not wanting to spend extra money buying a new PC screen then investing into a 17-inch laptop would be the best bet.
Portability and faster navigation are among the top pros of having a touch screen laptop. While switching between tabs and apps are easier, there are higher blue light emissions with touch screen laptops as well as cons such as the battery draining faster and higher pricing.
You must decide if drawing with your finger is more important than having fingerprint marks all over the display.
Intels Core i5 and Core i7 CPU's are more common still than AMD's Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 but all of these offer plenty of power for everyday computing tasks.
Modern software is designed to take advantage of as many CPU cores as possible so it can run on multithreaded chips.
Meanwhile, budget laptops typically use AMD's A-series or Ryzen 3 processes or Intels Celeron, Core i3 or Pentium silicon which generally have just two-four individual cores.
Integrated graphics is great for streaming, gaming, editing and design work. If you are looking to purchase a budget gaming laptop try looking for anything better than a Ryzen 5 with a 1650 GPU.
The GPU comes hand in hand with the CPU and memory. Without a good CPU and enough memory, a GPU is useless.
A GTX 3050 is more for the professional gamers and if you are just thinking about a work laptop then having Intel Iris Xe Graphics or the GTX 1650 is perfect.
The more pixels you have, the more content you can fit on-screen, and the sharper it will look. Sadly, some budget laptops still have 1366 x 768 displays and so do a few business laptops, but if you can afford it, we recommend paying extra for a panel that runs at 1920 x 1080, also known as Full HD or 1080p. Higher-end laptops have screens that are 2560 x 1600, 3200 x 1800 or even 3840 x 2160 (4K), which all look sharp but consume more power, lowering your battery life.
STORAGE AND MEMORY
Even more important than the speed of your CPU is the performance of your storage drive. If you can afford it and don't need a ton of storage, get a laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD) rather than a hard drive because its close to three times the speed.
If the laptop you do get has an HDD, you can swop it out with an SSD instead.
These days, you'll probably want to think about 8GB as a minimum. If you're a power-user, 16GB is the way to go. Meanwhile, gamers should look at dialling things upwards all the way to 32GB (or beyond) if they want the best experience.
There are simply too many variables that affect battery life. There is the screen brightness, the screen resolution, the number of applications you have running in the background plus whether you actively remain connected to Wi Fi networks or Bluetooth devices.
The operating system a laptop runs on can also play a major role in determining battery life. It's for this reason that Ultrabook's and convertibles running on Chrome OS tend to offer superior battery life than those running on Windows 10.
LAPTOPS TO CONSIDER
Best Budget Laptops
Solid Work Laptop
- Lenovo IdeaPad IP3 Ultra Slim: i3-1005G1, 8GB, 512GB SSD, Win 10 Home - R9428.85 ex VAT (R10 843.17 incl VAT)
- Lenovo IdeaPad IP3 Ultra Slim: i5-1135G7, 4GB, 256GB SSD, Win 10 Home - R10 348.85 ex VAT (R11 901.17 incl VAT)
Best Desktop Replacement Laptop
- Lenovo IdeaPad E15: 15.6", i5-10210U, 8GB, 256GB SSD, Win 10 Pro, 3 Yr Warranty - R16 558.85 ex VAT ( R19 042.67 incl VAT )
- Dell Mobile Precision Workstation 7560: 15.6" FHD, Intel Core i7-11850H, 16GB, 512GB SSD, Win 10 Pro, 3 Yr Warranty - R43 583.85 ex VAT (R50 121.42 incl VAT)