Buying A New Laptop

If you’re in the market for a new laptop, here are some specs to keep in mind. I always advise clients to aim for mid to high-end laptops, so that you will not need to upgrade for awhile and have a better overall experience.

Processor (CPU)

Intel Core i7-12800H
AMD Ryzen 7 5800H

Intel is the top of the line, running fast and staying cool. The Core i7 has hyper-threading so it’s that much faster. AMD is competitive as far as casual users are concerned. There are i9 and Ryzen 9 processors also, but those are geared for enthusiasts and has a price tag to match. Lowest I would consider is, i5 and Ryzen 5 but if you can afford the i7 and Ryzen 7, then by all means.
Memory (RAM)


This helps the CPU move things around, so the more you have the better. Programs are stored in memory so more is better for multi-tasking. Check to make sure it is DDR4 memory, which is the latest 4th generation. The 5th generation is around the corner but will take some time to flood the market. 8GB is the minimum memory I’d look for but 16GB is becoming the new standard with manufacturers.
Hard Drive

Solid State Drive (SSD)

Traditional platter hard drives are on the decline but are still available as they are cheap compared to SSD’s. Solid state drives are up to 7x times faster, so speed is dramatically improved and will not deteriorate as fast as traditional hard drives over time. Be wary of “hard drive” and “5400/7200 rpm” when describing the storage medium, as they refer to platter hard drives.
Video Card

Dedicated Graphics

Dedicated graphics chips add more processing power just for graphics and video capabilities. It is like an additional graphics processor that will benefit any system. Onboard graphics will work for most average users, usually labeled “Intel HD Graphics.” Geared towards designers, video editors, and gamers.
Build Materials


Generally, aluminum casing is desirable. It will be more durable and help with keeping your system cool over plastic. Usually higher-end laptops will offer this material. Plastics are better than early laptops and will work just as good and fall within your budget.