Even though technology has evolved miraculously, to the point that today these devices that fit in our pockets are capable of almost anything, the laptop is still essential for certain tasks. The rise of telework in this troubled period is the perfect illustration of this. This is probably also the reason why manufacturers, including Apple, still sell more than one hundred million PCs and Macbooks each year.
But finding a laptop can be tricky, given the plethora of choices. Here is a checklist to better understand which characteristics correspond to your preferences.
Choice n°1: the operating system
Contrary to what we can sometimes hear, Mac and PC are not interchangeable. And macOS or Windows will be your basic first choice, before you even look at the different models available to you. The answer to this question will indeed determine both which device to go to, but also the potential software investments.
Apple’s computers have a built-in advantage in that they can run Windows (via Boot Camp or in a virtual machine), while attempting to run MacOS on a Windows machine (so-called “Hackintosh” ) requires sleight of hand probably involving black magic.
Consequence: if you are a fan of Windows and you plan to do most of your work on this platform, avoid Apple products. Unless you want to pay more for hardware that is not intended for Windows, especially with regard to the keyboard.
Choice n°2: weight and shape
Do you want a touch screen or is it useless? Full HD resolution is enough for you, or would you prefer to pay more for a 4K screen? Which format suits you best: the standard 16:9 or rather a 3:2? And finally, what about the screen size? Your choices will have a direct impact on the weight and shape of the computer.
By definition, any laptop is portable, but how portable? If it sits on your desk most of the time, with only the occasional trip to a conference room or coffee shop, the weight probably isn’t that important. On the other hand, for those who collect a few thousand miles a month, an extra kilo quickly becomes a burden.
The choice of shape is closely related to weight. Do you prefer a traditional shell or will you make good use of a 2-in-1 like the Surface Pro or Lenovo’s Yoga line? In general, the engineering that goes into making a lighter than average laptop or one with exotic shapes tends to drive up the cost. And in general, the heaviest component of a modern laptop is the battery, the next criterion precisely.