The Complete Guide to Buying New Laptops – Everything to Know

| Updated on February 28, 2024
Buying New Laptops

Even though most businesses use desktop PCs in their daily operations, laptops still captured over 50% of the global market for PC sales during 2021. 

That’s because laptops now boast a level of advancement where they can almost outperform desktops in some areas. When you add portability to the picture, these devices have it all when it comes to meeting most consumers’ computing needs.

Negotiating all the latest laptop features is a minefield for those considering buying new laptops in 2022. Here’s how to navigate the process and find the best one for your needs.

Consider the Best Types of Laptops for Your Needs

It’s tempting to pick a brand you like and simply buy the latest model, but there are many things to think about when comparing laptops. The main aspects to consider include:

  • Size
  • Screen resolution
  • Design
  • Keyboard
  • Operating system
  • Connectivity
  • Performance
  • Graphics
  • Battery life
  • Storage capacity

You can’t have it all when it comes to choosing a laptop. A smaller laptop may lack the performance and ports you need, while larger laptops will let you down when it comes to portability.

Let’s take a deeper look at the main types of laptops and what they have to offer.

Laptops by Size and Weight

There are four main types of laptops, all designed with different consumers in mind. Usually, bigger laptops offer more storage and enhanced performance.


The term, ‘notebook’ refers to most laptops, i.e., those with a screen size of around 15.6″ weighing from four to nine pounds. Their dimensions are usually, 

Notebook dimensions are usually around 14″ by 9.6″ by just under 1″. These laptops have wide-ranging characteristics when it comes to processor speed, performance, storage, RAM, and price. 


Ultrabooks, or ultraportable laptops, are light, thin, high-performing machines. They boast great security features, long battery life, and a good size screen.

The best ones feature the following aspects:

  • Fast boot-up
  • Thunderbolt ports
  • Wi-Fi 8
  • Razor-thin bezels
  • In-built chipsets

They can weigh as little as two pounds, so they’re ideal for travel, too. 

Ultraportables also feature durable casings and weigh as little as two pounds, so they’re laptops for work if you’re out of the office a lot of the time.   

Desktop Replacements

Desktop replacement laptops offer most of the abilities of their desk-bound peers. They’re much heavier and larger than most notebooks and can weigh as much as ten pounds.

With these laptops, you can expect large 17-inch screens, superb hardware options, many I/O ports, and excellent configuration.

Most gaming laptops fall into this category. 

Hybrid Laptops

Hybrid laptops, also called convertibles or two-in-ones, occupy the middle ground between laptops and tablets. Most of them offer some of the conveniences of tablets, like touch screens, but you also enjoy the perks of PC operating systems and keyboards.

In most cases, you can detach the keyboard or fold it out of the way when you want to use your hybrid laptop like a tablet.   

Laptops Defined By Operating System

There are three main types of operating systems available nowadays. These are:

Linux and Chrome OS

You’ll find Linux-based operating systems in Chromebooks. This technology relies on Cloud technology for data storage, freeing up a lot of space inside the casing of the laptop.

Linux-based systems work best for web applications, video streaming, surfing the internet, or data processing. They boast minimal, easy-to-use configurations and work off apps downloaded directly from the Chrome web store.  

Google developed this lightweight, graphical operating system that runs independently of any hardware. As a result, Chromebooks are very fast and efficient and made with low-cost hardware.

These features make them some of the cheapest laptops you’ll find nowadays. 


Apple products have the Mac Operating System that works slightly differently from Windows, although you can run an Apple laptop with a Windows OS too.

Macbooks are exceptionally durable with outstanding security features, high performance, and huge storage capacities. 

Apple manufactures a wide range of laptops, from the everyday MacBook Air to the MacBook Pro for gaming.  

Windows OS

There are over 1.3 billion Windows devices in operation today, making it by far the most widespread OS in existence. Most laptops feature this operating system.

As such, you’ll have no problem finding compatible programs and apps for laptops with this OS. 

Processors and Performance

There are two types of processors used to build laptops, namely AMD Ryzen or Intel. Intel is well established as the leader when it comes to CPUs, but AMD is catching up fast.

The main difference comes down to price when comparing these processors. AMD is usually the cheaper choice, although they are fractionally slower than Intel processors.

Despite the slight speed issue, these processors use less battery power and run cooler. 

Currently, these two brands are neck-and-neck when it comes to performance, so as long as you have the latest version of either one, you’re good to go. 

Storage and Speed

The drives in a laptop are where you store your programs, images, documents, and audio files. There are two main types:

Hard Disk Drives (HDD)

These original storage devices use a read/write head and a mechanical platter to access data. They offer excellent storage capabilities, but slower operating speeds than SSDs.

Solid State Drives (SSDs)

SSDs offer much faster speeds than HDDs by storing data on flash memory with individual cells for storage. These drives offer superior shock-resistance compared with HDDs, but they have limited storage capacity. 

Laptops with SSDs are currently more expensive than those with hard disk drives, although they’re becoming cheaper as technology advances.  

Some of the best laptop models have hybrid systems that offer both types of storage to maximize both storage and speed.  

Random Access Memory

One final thing to consider is RAM, or random access memory. This type of storage is like short-term memory in humans.

You’ll need at least 4 GB for an everyday laptop, while 8 GB or 16 GB work best for those running large, memory-dependent programs.  

Getting the Best Deals When Buying New Laptops

Most laptop manufacturers bring out their latest models at the beginning of the year. So you can benefit from some savings on the previous year’s model if you shop from November to January. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best times to shop for all kinds of tech, with most retailers offering incredible savings on a wide range of laptops, too.

Unfortunately, some brands come out with substandard tech designed especially for these top shopping days. So, make sure you stick to an existing model of laptop from an established manufacturer. 

There’s no doubt you’ll get more bang from your buck by shopping during the sales, but that’s no reason to go overboard with a laptop boasting numerous features you don’t need. You’ll pay even less for a less advanced model that meets your needs. 

Get started finding the best deals by comparing laptop prices, warranties, and features to ensure long-lasting convenience and satisfaction. Don’t assume you’re getting the best value when you buy something on sale. 

What Type of Laptop Suits Your Needs?

If you came to this article looking for the short answer, here it is at last. This is a snapshot of which laptop is likely to suit you best, depending on what you’re going to use it for:

Everyday Laptops

If you want a laptop for ordinary tasks like creating spreadsheets, streaming movies, sending emails, or typing letters, choose a smaller, cheaper notebook.

Battery life is one of the most important aspects related to selecting an everyday laptop, and you could find a suitable model for around $400. Expect to pay up to $1,300 if you want extras like a sharper screen, extended battery life, aluminum case, and better build quality. 

Most hybrid laptops suit everyday use. 

Business Laptops

Like gaming laptops, business laptops offer fast, powerful, expensive technology. They can run huge programs, handle tons of data, and pull off complicated presentations.  

These laptops will keep you at the pinnacle of productivity with loads of storage, full-HD screens, and super-fast SSDs. Many of them come with extras like liquid-resistant cases, cell phone connectivity, large screens, and outstanding security. 

Student Laptops

Students usually shop on a budget, and thanks to their minimal needs, can find many suitable laptops for daily word processing, internet surfing, and video streaming.

Efficiency, battery life, and portability are top priorities for students, although those studying advanced courses like architecture, photography, or graphic design might need a laptop with a little more power and storage.

Affordable ultraportable laptops and Chromebooks are a top hit with students. 

Laptops for Creatives 

Like advanced students, graphic designers need laptops with excellent graphics capabilities, abundant storage, and powerful processors. 

Business and gaming laptops work best for creatives, although some manufacturers now make cheaper creator laptops for freelancers on a budget. 

Do You Have More Questions?

You can’t go wrong if you stick to this guide on buying new laptops, whether you’re looking for the latest gaming laptop or a simple device suited to streaming your favorite shows.

If you’re new to the world of tech, it’s advisable to shop at a brick-and-mortar store rather than buying laptops online. That way, the store assistant can help you navigate all the jargon associated with the latest tech and guide you toward the best decision. 

Would you like some more practical tech-related advice and assistance? Browse some more of the articles on our website. 

L. Dias William

L. Dias William is an established writer who specializes in Apple goods, iOS, and other technology. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has years of hands-on experience in the IT business. William has a sharp eye for detail and an enthusiasm for innovation, and he has written countless articles and reviews that are popular among computer fans throughout the world. His distinct combination of technical understanding and creative flare makes him a desirable voice in the consumer electronics industry.

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