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How to choose the perfect laptop - Buy Refurbished from Techedge

How to choose the perfect laptop

What type of laptop should I buy?

We sell two types of laptops when it comes to the software (operating system) your computer runs on.

A Windows 11 laptop is best if…

  •     You prefer the familiarity of Windows
  •     Have specialist software you can’t live without
  •     Want a wide variety of laptops to choose from

A Chromebook is best if…

  •     You’re on a budget
  •     Value simplicity
  •     Don’t mind working in web-based applications or Android apps

How much should I spend on a laptop?

  • Less than £200 – Intel Celeron or Atom processors, 4GB of Ram and 32GB of storage. Won’t be particularly fast, but fine for very light note taking and browsing the internet. Avoid anything with less than 4GB of Ram.
  • Less than £300 – Newer Intel Celeron processors, 4GB of Ram and up to 128GB of storage. Again, won't be hugely fast but offers a better level of performance for lightweight tasks.
  • Less than £400 – Intel Pentium, Core i3, AMD Ryzen 3, 256GB of storage and 8GB Ram. Fast enough for web browsing and research work. Aim for a Full HD screen and an SSD if you can.
  • Less than £600 – Intel Core i5, i7, AMD Ryzen 5, 7, 512GB of storage and 8GB to 16GB of Ram. Should be ideal for photo editing and some light video work. Look for a thin and light design, a Full HD screen and a 512GB-1TB SSD.
  • Less than £800 – As above, but in increasingly high-end designs. Look for great battery life and thin and light designs.
  • More than £800 – Some stunning designs, great screens and good speakers. High-end laptops will suit more intensive tasks, such as video editing or playing games.

What is a good processor speed for a laptop?

  • Light use and note taking: Look for Intel Pentium or Intel Core i3 and at least 4GB of Ram for a good experience
  • Heavy users: Go for Intel Core i5 and i7 and AMD Ryzen 5 and 7 and at 8GB of Ram, but look for 16GB if you want
  • Gamers: Look for dedicated graphics from Nvidia and AMD

Laptop processors

This really matters if you’re planning on using a laptop for photo or video editing, or if you're a very heavy user, opening lots of programs and browser tabs. When looking at laptop processors, you’ll see two main specifications beyond the product name: clock speed (measured in Gigahertz or GHz) and number of cores.

Think of clock speed as the speed limit on a road and the number of cores as the number of lanes. As on a road, depending on traffic conditions – the tasks being done on your computer –  a road might see a greater benefit from more lanes or a higher speed limit.

In the simplest way possible, more of both is better!


Think of Ram (Random Access Memory) like a desk and your hard drive like a filing cabinet. You pull files out of the cabinet and it takes a while, but once they’re on your desk, you can reach for them instantly.

The same is true of Ram; once you have loaded a file from the hard drive, it’s now in the Ram and can be accessed almost instantaneously.

The bigger the desk you have, the more items you can access more quickly - the same goes for Ram. Most laptops come with at least 4GB of Ram, and we’d tend to recommend 8GB for people who are heavy web users or usually have lots of documents and pictures open. You can manage with less, but you’ll have to rein in your use.

If you fill up your Ram, some of the things you’re working on will be moved back to the hard drive, making things feel a lot slower. Don't pick a laptop with less than 4GB of Ram as you will likely run into issues sooner rather than later.

When you close a program or file, it's removed from the Ram and makes room for other things to be accessed immediately. This is part of the reason why closing programs you aren’t using can make your computer faster.

What laptop screen size and resolution should I buy?

A laptop’s screen is one case where bigger isn’t always better. If you want a longer-lasting battery and a more portable device, you may want to go for an 11, 12 or 13-inch display; most of these will weigh between 1kg and 1.5kg. The largest you're likely to see is 15 or 17 inches, with weight increasing to around 2kg to 3kg.

Most new models over £300 now have a Full-HD 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution display, and high-end models can have even sharper screens with even more pixels up to and beyond 4K Ultra HD. Generally, the higher the resolution, the sharper the picture.

Only cheaper laptops should have a lower screen resolution of 1,366x768. This is OK and usually usable, but these screens not only lack fidelity; their cheap nature means they're also lacking when it comes to how well colours are displayed.

How much storage do I need on a new laptop?

Storage capacity determines how many things your PC can hold. Documents, photos, music, movies, programs – they all take up space.

Bigger is usually better, although Solid State Drives (SSDs) are often more expensive for considerably less space. This is because they load much quicker and are completely silent.

A lot of the cheaper laptops (including Chromebooks) use eMMC (embedded Multi-Media Controller) flash storage, which is slower than SSDs and gives you very little storage space.

A hard disk drive's storage capacity is measured in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB, equal to 1,000GB). Most laptops over £300 will come with at least 128GB of storage, with 256GB and 512GB becoming common above £400.

Which laptops have the best battery life?

If you're buying a laptop that you intend to use when out and about, make sure the battery life is at least six hours. Some models can last for more than 15 hours before they need recharging.

Battery stamina on large, desktop-replacement models won't be as crucial, as they'll almost always be near a power socket.

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