Characteristics of a good laptop computer

Of course, this is not about personal preference – 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 deprecated 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 weight too high, and the list could be extended.

Units 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.


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

Apple

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

By function

screen definition

Today, 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 to external drives, video to an external display, 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 its peripherals.


Powered by up to 12th generation Intel® Core™ vPro® processors, this 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 laptop from Lenovo features 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 generation Intel® Core™ vPro® processors, this 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 laptop from Lenovo features 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 effective, the best chips have virtually no need for ventilation cooling. After 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 price.

ram

If there’s one option that shouldn’t be overlooked when buying, it’s 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 every time you use it, and your computer will last 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

that background lighting keyboard has practically become standard on laptops, and should be part of the sought-after features.

That keyboards, it is a matter of taste and habit. There are all types of them, more or less thin, including butterfly-type keys, which were not 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 the ones Apple installs on its laptops, the autonomy has taken significant leaps, up to 18 hours of video playback for the MacBook Air M1 and M2. Without video playback, it is 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 possible processor will save you money in the long run. Choose the processor that fits your workload.

Happy shopping!

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