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Laptops for Work: What Should You Look For?

by Ethan more

Modern smartphones and tablets are capable devices, but they have their limitations. When it comes to work, we all need a fully fledged computer to get things done. Since desktops cannot be carried around, the laptop continues to be the most important piece of electronics for most professionals across multiple fields. So, if you need a new laptop right now, what should you look for? Let’s find out.

Relevance to Your Work

This is the most important factor here because any laptop that you buy for work should obviously have some relevance to the kind of work that you do. Obvious as it is, matching your needs with a make and model is more complicated these days than most of us would like the process to be. Therefore, let’s go through the ultimate checklist that will help you match your laptop features with your workload.

  • Media (video, image and audio) editing, rendering, graphic designing, digital art: Powerful CPU, touchscreen, high resolution display.
  • Mobile app development, light coding, web development, regular typing, browsing, MS Office: Moderately powerful CPU, high quality keyboard, and a large, clear display.
  • Game development, desktop-grade software development, multimedia creation and 3D animation: Powerful CPU, discreet and powerful GPU, high resolution display (optional touchscreen), and a good keyboard.

Head on over to Lenovo.com and you will find a sorted list of their best professional laptops. Keep the points mentioned above in mind and you should be able to find the best model in your budget in no time. Don’t overspend on laptop features that you do not need, but don’t be afraid to stretch your budget a bit if that helps you land a better, more relevant deal either.

The Best Suited Internals

Here is where consumers are often confused and may end up either buying a laptop with outdated hardware or overspending on useless hardware. To avoid making those mistakes, all you need to do is go through the following pointers:

  • Intel’s Core-i3, i5, i7 & i9 processors are approximately (but not exactly) comparable to AMD’s Ryzen 3, 5, 7, & 9 processors respectively.
  • As of mid-late 2022, Intel 12th gen (12xx-series) and AMD 6th Gen (6xxx-series) CPUs are their latest releases respectively.
  • You should not buy a laptop with an Intel processor that’s older than 11th Gen (11xx-series).
  • If you are going with AMD, the CPU should not be older than 5th Gen (5xxx).
  • DDR4 RAM is sufficient, and you don’t need to pay significantly extra money for DDR5 RAM right now.
  • The RAM’s configuration, memory, and speed is more important than whether it’s using DDR4 or DDR5.
  • Spending on RAM with speeds above 4,000MHz is wasteful as you will not see a performance boost because of it.
  • The laptop should at least have a 512GB internal SSD, and preferably a 1TB SSD.

The Display You Need

Since we are discussing work and not gaming, you can invest in a laptop that has a high-resolution display, but not a discreet GPU. Keep in mind that having a decent GPU will still help make things go a lot faster and run smoother, but it will also bump up the cost quite significantly. For creative work, understanding the following factors is critical to making the right choice.

  • “16.7-million colors” is the expected standard for a high-resolution display.
  • “1.07 billion colors” is a term that indicates the laptop has a 10-bit color panel, irrespective of the resolution (1080p, 1440p, 2160p).
  • Having a 10-bit panel would be highly desirable if you are a media professional or a digital artist.
  • If a discreet GPU is needed for work, do not settle for anything below an NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti or an AMD RX 6600.

Laptops come in all sizes these days, but 15” – 16” is the sweet spot for most users in general. So, where does the 17.3 laptop fit in? The sub-2” size difference may seem insignificant on paper, but it does look bigger in real life usage. However, that difference may not be enough to justify the extra cost unless you spend a lot of time coding, typing, and looking at small details (numbers, words) while working.

If you do decide to go with a 17.3” laptop, ensure it has a higher resolution (1440p+). The higher resolution will be needed to make everything look a lot sharper, especially the small details. It should be noted that you can always connect an external monitor to your laptop via an HDMI/DisplayPort/Thunderbolt cable. At the same brightness level, a 13” FHD (170-PPI) display will show the same level of detail as a 17.3” QHD (170-PPI) screen using the same panel tech (OLED, IPS, VA, etc.). Therefore, saving money for an external monitor if needed might be a better idea than overspending on a bigger display.

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