Laptops buying guide

Take the guesswork out of choosing your next laptop.
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Tablets are the hottest tech toys these days, but they can’t match most laptops for performance. They range from basic, budget models all the way up to powerhouse performers that can replace a desktop PC.

With many models available across several categories, finding the right laptop to suit your needs and budget can be tricky. We examine:

  • Choosing a laptop to suit your needs.
  • Typical laptop usage scenarios.
  • Different laptop categories.
  • What to look for when shopping.
  • Technical jargon simplified.

Advantages of a laptop?

  • Portability: Laptops are small, light and battery powered. You can take a laptop just about anywhere.
  • Energy use: They typically use much less power than a desktop PC when connected to mains power, and have a low annual running cost.
  • Performance: Modern laptops pack just as much of a processing punch as many of their big brothers and they do it in a smaller package. 

Advantages of a desktop PC?

  • Connectivity: A wider range of connection ports than laptops due to space restrictions.
  • Price: Desktops can offer better performance at a lower price, especially if you build one yourself.
  • Power: Even the most powerful laptops can’t match the performance and storage capacity of top-end desktops, which can take advantage of the fastest processors, graphics cards and full-sized hard drives.
  • Upgrading: Upgrading a desktop with new components generally is easier and cheaper than a laptop.
  • Expansion: Desktops offer more internal space for processors, hard drives or SSDs and cooling systems.
After reading our guide, you may find that a desktop is better suited to your needs. See our desktop buying guide for more information.



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