Laptop buying guide: What to look for in 2020, and what to avoid

Laptop buying guide: What to look for in 2020, and what to avoid
Laptop buying guide: What to look for in 2020, and what to avoid

Laptops have now become a necessary tool for everyone in their studies and work. The frequency of use is second after mobile phones and plays a vital role in our lives. However, like most electronic products, the purchase of a notebook still requires specific basic knowledge. I always remember the scene when I first purchased a computer a few years ago. Faced with many parameters and models, I was confused. Various channels have successively learned some hardware knowledge. I have compiled the essential information, combined with the problems that often encountered when buying machines, and wrote this article, hoping to help more students who do not understand hardware knowledge.

  • Where can I buy a Laptop?

Don’t go to the physical store!

admin | Tech Gut Laptops

The reason for the cheating of physical stores is that the price of the same computer is often higher than that of online stores, and there are a large number of low-configuration computers in physical stores. I searched a lot of specific physical store routines and cheating cases online, so I won’t start here.

Unlike clothes, shoes, and hats that require an offline try-on experience, laptops are very suitable for online purchases. When buying a laptop online, please try to buy it at the brand’s official store. Personally, I am used to buying electronic products because the service attitude is good, the return and exchange are convenient, and express delivery is also reliable. 

  • Hardware knowledge necessary to purchase a computer (Lite version)

Hardware you need to pay attention to when buying a Laptop:

CPU (processor): currently designed by Intel and AMD

Intel Core processor:

Intel Processor
admin | Tech Gut Intel Processor
  • CPU Series: i9>i7>i5>i3 (notebook platforms are mainly i5 and i7). Note that this performance order is only valid when comparing the same generation processors and the same type.
  • CPU Versions: i5 and i7 by a horizontal bar. The first or two digits after the flat bar are algebra. For example, i5-9300H is the ninth generation, and i5-10210U is the tenth generation.
  • CPU type: marked at the end of the CPU model, divided into low voltage version (14nm is U, 10nm is G+number) and standard voltage version (H). The low-voltage version has average performance, but low power consumption and less heat, mainly used for light and thin laptops; the standard press version has excellent performance, but has high power consumption and generates more heat, mainly used for gaming laptops.

The latest Intel Core model:

Tenth generation standard processor: i5-10300H (4 cores and 8 threads); i7-10750H (6 cores and 12 threads); i7-10875H (8 cores and 16 threads)

The tenth generation low-voltage processor model is a bit more complicated because there are two specifications:

114nm processor: i5-10210U (4 cores and 8 threads); i7-10510U (4 cores and 8 threads); i7-10710U (6 cores and 12 threads)

10nm processor: i5-1035G4 (4 cores and 8 threads); i7-1065G7 (4 cores and 8 threads), etc. However, the current 10nm process is not yet mature, and the actual performance is not much different from that of 14nm.

How to choose i5 and i7?

First of all, don’t think that i7 is better than i5, but consider whether the two sides are the first generation, standard pressure, or low voltage. Different types of processors cannot be directly compared.

  • For standard CPU, if your purpose is to play games, then i5-10300H is fine because most of the game’s configuration requirements mainly focus on graphics cards rather than multi-core performance; if your needs are professional video editing, 3D architecture For tasks that require higher CPU requirements for modules, it is best to choose i7-10750H.
  • For low-voltage CPUs, you can choose i5-10210U or i5-1035G4 for daily use/general office; users with specific performance requirements for thin and light notebooks/with sufficient budget can choose the 6-core i7-10710U. (The other low-voltage i7 not recommended, the improvement is too small compared to i5, and the cost performance is low)

AMD processor:

AMD Ryzen
Getty Images AMD Ryzen

Ryzen series: Similar to Intel’s Core Duo, there are R9, R7, R5, and R3 series, which are also divided into low-voltage and standard-voltage versions.

The latest Ryzen processor model:

Low voltage: R5 4500U (6 cores and 6 threads); R5 4600U (6 cores and 12 threads); R7 4700U (8 cores and 8 threads); R7 4800U (8 cores and 16 threads)

Standard Processors: R5 4600H (6 cores and 12 threads); R7 4800H (8 cores and 16 threads); R9 4900H (8 cores and 16 threads).

Talk about the Ryzen 4000 series:

Attentive students may have found that Ryzen R5/R7 is ahead of Intel’s Core i5/i7 in terms of specifications. Due to the use of TSMC’s 7nm process, this generation of AMD processors can achieve R5 to i7 and R7 to i9. Considering that AMD processors’ price is lower than Intel, in addition to some professional software that is poorly optimized for AMD, it is recommended that students who pursue cost-effectiveness give priority to AMD. (Because the 4000 series has a considerable upgrade range compared to the previous generation, it is not recommended to purchase the Ryzen 3000 series)

GPU (graphics card)

They are used for image processing, such as playing massive games, rendering of video special effects.

(1) Core display/set to display: The graphics card function integrated into the CPU. There is no discrete graphics card, and the performance is weak. Therefore, it can not play high graphical games, but it consumes less energy and has long-lasting battery life. It is very suitable for thin and light office notebooks.

(2) Discrete graphics card: mainly designed by NVIDIA and AMD.

At present, the standalone notebook display is still based on NVIDIA:

Thin and light notebooks: MX350, MX250: The mainstream entry-level graphics cards used in small and light laptops have slightly better performance than the nuclear display. Other MX graphics cards are not recommended (MX230, MX130, etc.)

Gaming Laptop:

Performance ranking: RTX2080 SUPER>RTX2070 SUPER>RTX2070>RTX2060>GTX1660 Ti>GTX1650 Ti>GTX1650

It is recommended that large game players choose RTX2060 or higher, and users who do not have high requirements for graphics cards can choose GTX1650 (1650Ti upgrade is too small and cost-effective)


It’s all 2020 year, and 16GB is recommended.

Interested readers can understand the concept of dual-channel memory by themselves.

(The memory of most gaming laptops, all-around laptops, and a small number of thin and light laptops can be upgraded later)

Hard Disk

They are divided into mechanical hard drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD).

There must be a solid-state drive. If there is not much storage data, 256G is enough. If there is a specific storage requirement, 512G is recommended. If the budget is sufficient, you can choose 1T or more. Some computers have extra hard disk space for later installation, and too much data can also be connected to an external mobile hard disk.


(1) According to the material, it is divided into IPS and TN screens. Must buy an IPS screen!

(2) The resolution must be at least 1080P.

(3) Color gamut: the range of colors displayed on the screen, 100%sRGB≈72%NTSC>45%NTSC. It’s all 2020 years; it is recommended to buy a high color gamut screen as much as possible.

So the question is, the current computer sales page may not indicate the screen parameters, so how to choose?

It’s simple!

  • If the merchant does not specify that it is an IPS screen, 99% are spicy chicken TN screens;
  • If the merchant does not state that the resolution is 1080, then 99% is low resolution;
  • If the merchant does not specify that it is a high color gamut screen, 99% are low color gamut screens.

Refresh rate: 

The standard notebook screen is 60Hz, and some gaming laptops use high refresh rate gaming screens (120Hz, 144Hz, 240Hz, 300Hz, etc.) to reduce screen tearing during games and make the look and feel more smooth.

Notebook computer type and configuration options

The current notebooks on the market can be divided into three categories: thin and light notebooks, gaming notebooks, and all-round notebooks.

Thin and light notebook: Generally 13.3 or 14 inches, the body is very thin and light, equipped with a low-voltage processor, no independent graphics card or equipped with MX series graphics card, the performance is sufficient for daily use, the battery life is good, and you can play some games that do not require high configuration.

Gaming notebook: generally 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch, standard pressure processor + game graphics card, strong performance but poor battery life, thicker and heavier body.

Simple notebook: Between the thin and light notebook and the gaming notebook, the body is not too heavy, and it is equipped with an entry-level gaming graphics card.

Before buying a computer, you must first clarify your needs and determine the type of computer. If you choose the right notebook type, you will be half the battle.

Configuration requirements for some common applications:

Programming: There is no requirement for the graphics card; light and a thin laptop is recommended.
PS: There is no requirement for the graphics card, so a thin and light notebook is enough. It is recommended to choose a high color gamut screen.
Pr, AE: Light editing (short video, etc.) can be satisfied with a thin and light book. The recommended memory is 16G. The graphics card can help to render acceleration but is not necessary. Professional video editing/special effects production is supported for desktop or game notebook.
CAD and another two-dimensional drawing: no need for the graphics card, just light and thin.
Small games such as Valolant, CSGO: Low graphics card requirements, light, and thin laptops equipped with MX350.
PUBG, Battlefield and other high graphic games: Mainly require graphics card and CPU single-core performance

The configuration requirements of other software and games can be found in the detailed software introduction.

Three, common problems when purchasing a notebook

1.Should I buy a laptop?

Although the topic of this article is laptop shopping, I want to ask this question first.

The design idea of the notebook is to sacrifice some performance in exchange for portability. Therefore, it is recommended that it does not need to be portable, and students with extremely high-performance requirements should give priority to desktop computers

I only play XX games occasionally, can I choose a lower configuration?

Whether the computer can run a certain game/software depends only on whether the configuration meets the requirements, and has nothing to do with the frequency of use. For example, if you only play Chicken Eater once a week and spend the rest of the time in the office, then this computer should also be a gamebook that can drive Chicken Eater.

2.Which brand should I choose?

One of the misunderstandings in buying electronic products is to only consider the brand. Nowadays, most PC manufacturers have a complete series of high-, middle- and low-end products. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the specific models and do not think that “XX brands are good” and “XX brands are not good.”

Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Asus, and other major manufacturers have many after-sales outlets, and maintenance is more convenient. Therefore, from the perspective of after-sales, it is recommended that Xiaobai, who is afraid of trouble, should give priority to these first-line brands.

Let’s talk about Apple computers again: students who only use Windows systems/play large-scale games/have no need for MacOS ecological applications do not need to consider Apple laptops. Other users: daily use, the general office recommends MacBook Pro13; professional creators recommend MacBook Pro16. Go to Starbucks; please choose MacBook Air.

3.Computer after-sales

If the laptop has a problem, repair it at the official after-sales service outlets. Most items are free during the warranty period.

Never go to a physical store that sells computers to repair your computer! The physical store is just a dealer. I have seen Xiaobai go to a physical store with a malfunctioning machine more than once, and the repair items that were originally free are charged by profiteers.

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