Amazon Prime Day 2021 will kick off in India on July 26. During its mega sale, Amazon is set to offer big discounts and various other deals on a ton of products, electronics being chief among them. And as the popularity of remote working and learning surges, there’s no doubt that several consumers are going to be on the lookout for new laptops. So, if you have any doubts about the specs of a laptop, here’s the ultimate cheat sheet to help you navigate through the sale and pick the laptop that best suits your requirements.
First off is your run-of-the-mill consumer notebook. These notebooks start from Rs 35,000 and can go up to the Rs 75,000 mark, depending on the specs and brand. In the display department, look for a laptop with a Full HD (1080p) IPS panel with at least 250 nits of brightness. 8GB of RAM and NVMe SSD storage is also a necessity while having the ability to support up to 16GB of RAM could also be beneficial in the long run.
In terms of processors, 11th Gen Intel or AMD Ryzen 5000 series chips offer the latest and greatest in terms of performance. However, you can also get by with 10th Gen Intel or AMD Ryzen 4000 processing hardware. It is worth noting that the middle children in Intel’s Core processor (Core i5) family and AMD’s Ryzen CPU (Ryzen 5) family tend to offer the best price-to-performance. If your work demands more graphic intensive tasks or you prefer playing older, non-AAA titles casually, then we’d recommend buying a laptop with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX or GTX 1650 GPU.
If you are looking to buy a gaming laptop, then you are going to want to start out with a budget of at least 60K. Some of the key specs to look out for are a 10th or 11th Gen Intel H series CPU (Minimum Intel Core i5) or an AMD Ryzen 4000 or 5000 H (Minimum Ryzen 5) series processor paired with an Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti GPU. These laptops usually tend to start from 60K and scale up, although you will need a GPU upgrade for more competitive or graphic-intensive titles.
And while a laptop backed by an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti or Nvidia RTX 2060 mobile GPU should get the job done, we’d recommend opting for one with a newer Nvidia RTX 3050, RTX 3050 Ti, or RTX 3060. However, these mid-range laptops tend to start from 80K, going all the way up to Rs 1,20,000. While mid-range RTX 30-series laptops are rare, the Asus TUF and Acer Predator models tend to offer the best value.
Some other things to consider when buying a gaming laptop is 16GB of RAM should be the standard. You may be able to get away with 8GB, but we’d recommend getting a model with memory expansion as 8GB of RAM won’t be enough in the long run. Additionally, PICe NVMe SSD storage is also somewhat of a must. Another important aspect of a gaming laptop is the screen, which should offer a high refresh rate of at least 120Hz or 144Hz. It is worth noting that entry-level laptops usually opt for 60Hz panels as they are unable to achieve higher frame rates in games.
Don’t worry too much about low battery life on a gaming laptop because gaming on a laptop’s battery isn’t advisable. Also, make sure that you have a sufficient number of ports on your gaming laptop, at least two full-size USB ports, a USB Type-C port, a headphone and an ethernet jack. Lastly, gaming laptops aren’t light and tend to look quite bulky, but these models tend to offer more optimised cooling for longer hours of gaming as compared to thin and light gaming notebooks. A new breed of gaming laptop worth considering is the Asus ROG Flow X13, a 13-inch ultrabook with an entry-level GPU and an external mobile RTX 3070 or RTX 3080 graphics card.
There are a few things premium laptops offer over regular consumer notebooks. While premium laptops offer marginally better performance to similar specced consumer notebooks, they do feature better displays as well as a few more perks like solid build quality, a comfortable keyboard, excellent battery life, and additional features tailored towards increasing productivity. The Dell XPS lineup is the gold standard for premium Windows laptops but brands like Asus and Lenovo do offer better value.
The new M1 powered MacBook Air and Pro models are also worth considering if you are looking out for a top-end laptop. And while we aren’t fans of MacBooks, there’s no denying the superior capabilities of the new M1 Macs. Another excellent laptop for content creators is the Asus ZenBook Duo model, which offers all the benefits of a premium laptop with an additional display. When it comes to specifications, for a premium Windows laptop, the requirements are more or less the same as consumer notebooks.
Chromebooks may not be as powerful as Windows laptops, but Chrome OS is a light operating system as compared to Windows and macOS. However, the drawback here is that you can only download apps for the Google Play Store. Chromebooks are perfect for education and are quite affordable as compared to regular Windows laptops. Another great aspect of Chromebooks is that they are quite affordable, although they are available across various budgets and configurable with everything from Intel Celeron to the latest Core processors.