Guide to buying a laptop in 2020

Laptop buying guide

Remember the first laptops? They came with a hefty price tag. Not only that, but they also measured three times the weight of a newborn baby. It was not something you would strut around with.

Today, we have a very wide selection of laptop computers. Students buy it, parents buy it, grandparents buy it, there are no limits.

Whether you want something light and compact or sturdy and powerful, they offer it all. It all sounds so perfect until you actually have to buy one.

With all those options it is easy to get lost and fail to choose the right laptop for you. That is why I decided to write this guide for you.

It is impossible to cover every buyer so I tried to split them into a few main categories. I will list them in no particular order. If you find yourself in some of my descriptions, check out recommended laptops.

There will be two options; steal (for a bargain option) or splurge (for the ones that are willing to spill more on laptops).

Best Laptop For Office Use

You want something that combines power and portability. You don’t want it to glitch on a heavier excel sheet, but you also don’t want to carry a bulky laptop.

This is the option for you – a perfect balance.  Don’t forget an HDMI port for easier display on a projector or a TV.


Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 14

Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 14 To get an office laptop starting at $154 is really a bargain. It is a mostly online-oriented Windows laptop that gets you into the cloud faster with Cloudbook 14.

While you won’t get the best performances, you will get a laptop that is portable and has great battery life. It won’t have issues with office work while still keeping your wallet safe.


Screen Size 14 inches
Processor 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron
Hard Drive 64 GB
Graphics Coprocessor Intel Integrated Graphics
Chipset Brand intel
Card Description integrated

Check out the Cloudbook here.


Apple MacBook Pro with Retina

Apple MacBook Pro Laptop with Retina Display Starting at $1,249.00, it is far from an affordable laptop. If you don’t have a problem with MAC OS, and you are willing to splurge – this is the right choice for you.

You will get a longer battery life with incredible performance. It is not designed bulky so a 13.3-inch display will pair up with 4.49 pounds.


Screen Size 13.3 inches
Screen Resolution 2560 x 1600
Max Screen Resolution 2560×1600 pixels
Processor 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory Speed 1866 MHz
Hard Drive SSD
Graphics Coprocessor Intel Iris Graphics 6100
Chipset Brand intel
Card Description integrated
Wireless Type 802.11A, 802.11 A/C, 802.11B, 802.11G, 802.11n
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 2
Average Battery Life (in hours) 10 hours

Check out the Macbook here

Best Laptop For Students

This category doesn’t need much introduction. However, it is worth noting that you don’t have to be a student to fit into this category.

Anybody who wants a solid performance with longer battery life and portability with an affordable price tag is welcome here.


Asus Chromebook Flip (C100PA-DB02)

ASUS Chromebook Flip 10.1-Inch Convertible Very thin and lightweight. It comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen featuring a 360-degree hinge so you can transform it into notebook, tablet, stand or tent mode.

It is perfect for taking notes in class or browsing the web in a coffee shop. Even pulling an all-nighter is made easier with it since it has up to 9 hours of battery life. For $249 it doesn’t get much better.


Screen Size 10.1 inches
Screen Resolution 1280 x 800
Max Screen Resolution 1280*800 pixels
Processor 1.8 GHz Rockchip RK3288
Hard Drive SSD
Chipset Brand ARM Mali
Card Description Mali-T764
Wireless Type 802.11 A/C

Check out the Asus Chrombook Flip here


Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS13 At 13 inches it won’t be hard to transport it around and long battery life will keep you online the whole day (lasting around 12 hours).

Price starts at $899.99 for a non-touch option so it is for students with a bit larger budget. You will get a combination of great display, design, performance, and portability.

The only choice left here is getting the touch or non-touch option.


Part Number DELL XPS 9343
Item Weight 2.6 pounds
Product Dimensions 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.8 inches
Item model number DELL XPS 9343
Pattern Core i5/ 4GB/ 128GB/ Non-Touch
Power Source AC
Item Package Quantity 1
Display Style Backlit
Batteries Included? No
Batteries Required? No

Check out the Dell XPS 13 here

Best Laptop for Professional Gamers

You want a real powerhouse. You crave speed and power, with a large screen of course. What do you trade? Battery life and portability. You are not interested in moving your laptop every day.

Why would you carry it around when you can have it stable on your desk. You want it to be so good that it will have you glued to your desk. Here are two options for you, if you think this category suits you.


Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series (7559)

Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK 15.6 Inch Starting at $799.99 it is far from a steal, but keep in mind that this is the most expensive category you could pick.

What differs it from other gaming laptops is that it actually has a great battery life at almost 10 hours. It even has a 1TB hard drive.

It is an excellent value for money as it can pair up with much pricier laptops. I just had to put it in the steal section.


Screen Size 15.6 inches
Screen Resolution 1920×1080
Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Processor 2.6 GHz Core i7 6700HQ
Memory Speed 1600 MHz
Hard Drive 1 TB Hybrid HDD + Flash Cache
Graphics Coprocessor NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5
Chipset Brand NVIDIA
Card Description dedicated
Graphics Card Ram Size 4
Wireless Type 802.11 A/C
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 3
Average Battery Life (in hours) 10 hours

Check out the Dell Inspiron here


Alienware 15

Alienware It is hard to imagine listing a gaming laptop without mentioning Alienware. It starts from $1,649.99 so you will certainly have to cash out a nice sum.

For that sum, you get a solid design and excellent gaming performance. It is everything you want in a gaming laptop with all sorts of customizable and upgradeable features.

An added bonus is that it actually has a solid battery life (+5 hours) but at 7.1 lb you won’t be carrying it around too much.


Screen Size 15.6 inches
Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Processor 2.6 GHz Core i7 6700HQ
Memory Speed 2133 MHz
Hard Drive 1 TB HDD + SDD
Graphics Coprocessor NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB GDDR5
Chipset Brand NVIDIA
Card Description dedicated
Graphics Card Ram Size 3
Wireless Type 802.11 A/C
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 4

Check out the Alienware 15 here

A Traveler’s Laptop

It doesn’t matter if you actually travel, or you just carry your laptop all day with you. For you, ultra high performance is not a must since you will do (mostly) basic tasks on it.

You want it to be light, 4 lbs should be a maximum. You also want it to be thin. Since you carry it with you all the time, it is nice to have a sturdy laptop. You would also prefer a solid battery life.

Is it possible to get everything in one? It sure is, if you filter all your choices. Fear not, I already did that for you. Here are two best options when it comes to traveler’s tech equipment.


Lenovo IdeaPad 100S-11 (80R2003XUS)

Lenovo ideapad 100s - Chromebook At $163 it is certainly a steal. For that little sum of cash, you get an ultraportable laptop. It has a light, but sturdy build and above-average battery life (up to 8 hours).

A light build is guaranteed since it is 0.7” thin and weighs only 2.2 lb.

Just be careful when storing all those photos from your trips. You get 32GB Hard Drive so it is best to keep at least 32GB memory card with you.


Screen Size 11.6 inches
Screen Resolution 1366 x 768 pixels
Max Screen Resolution 1366×768 pixels
Processor 2.16 GHz Intel Turbo N2840
Memory Speed 1333 MHz
Hard Drive 16 GB flash_memory_solid_state
Graphics Coprocessor Integrated
Card Description integrated
Wireless Type 802.11 A/C
Number of USB 2.0 Ports 1
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 1
Average Battery Life (in hours) 8 hours

Check out the Lenovo IdeaPad here


Dell Latitude E7440 Touch

Dell Latitude E7440 Touch With 14 inch screen and 3.6 lb it is not as portable as above mentioned, steal option. Instead, performance is in the focus here.

I won’t get into details here because you can check it out in the link below, depending on your choice the price will go from $1,000 upwards.

It is perfect for travelers because it’s made of the durable aluminum case.

Underneath it is a Tri-metal™ chassis designed to survive challenging physical environments, also it has a carbon-fiber-backed display with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT™. It will ensure that this laptop will survive not-so-gentle environments.


Brand Name Dell
Series E7440
Item model number 462-4181
Operating System Windows 8;
Item Weight 6.7 pounds
Product Dimensions 20.6 x 17 x 3.8 inches
Color Black
Processor Brand 2.1 GHz Intel Core i7
Processor Count 1

Check out the Dell Latitude here

There you have it, the top eight laptops that suit any wallet no matter what you will use it for. I hope this made it easier to pick your laptop in a sea of options.

Don’t forget my final tip: Before buying make sure you hold the laptop and try to use it. You might love a laptop for its performance but later realize you don’t feel it.

It may be because the keyboard is too shallow, or you don’t want so small screen after all. No matter what the reason is, make sure you like the way it feels under your hand.

Trust your intuition, however, weird it may sound.

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