Modern laptops come in many form factors and performance capacities. As computing components like processors and RAM have improved tremendously, powerful laptops at reasonable prices have become widely available. In this article, we look at the features and capabilities that a laptop should possess to deliver the optimal usage experience to home users for daily purposes.
Features to look for
Features required in a laptop depend on its extent of use. For basic home use like Web browsing and media streaming, almost all available market options are quite capable, because of strong processing and memory capabilities. What creates the difference is the laptop’s capacity to support heavy-load operations or to multitask.
As a home user, the first parameter you should look at is the display and build. The screen should ideally be of at least 1920×1080 pixels, full-HD resolution, with a high width and aspect ratio. It is recommended to choose a laptop of at least 38.1cm (15-inch) screen size.
Since the main purpose of a laptop is portability, select a device that is lightweight (ideally not more than 1.7 kilograms) and slim. For ease of use, keys should be big, and area covered by the keyboard should be comfortably wide. The trackpad should have decent sensitivity.
Revisiting our earlier discussion, the capacity of a laptop to take on heavy computing load depends on its components. An Intel i3 7th-generation dual-core processor or an equivalent AMD processor can be a decent deal for a mid-budget laptop. At least 4GB RAM should be selected—expandability of RAM is an added advantage.
Most mid-budget laptops come with inbuilt storage of 1TB HDD. The laptops should be Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-compliant, too. A high number of USB and Ethernet ports are desirable. Some laptops may contain SD card slots and DVD readers as well.
Battery is a critical feature of laptops. Go for a high battery capacity (denoted in Watt-hours, or Wh). Speakers can also be tested during purchase. Many laptops come with Windows 10 pre-installed (may cost more), while others come with Linux. Finally, go for the deal with the highest warranty coverage—most vendors provide one-year warranty.
Mentioned below are some popular choices available in the market. We have restricted our budget to ₹ 35,000 for the purpose of home laptops.
HP Notebook 15-da0326tu
This mid-range laptop from HP comes with a 39.6cm (15.6-inch) full-HD screen with a 360-degree viewing angle. It is powered by dual-core 2.4Ghz Intel i3 7100U processor, which is decent for daily tasks, entertainment and light gaming. It packs 4GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB internal SATA hard drive for storage. Graphics are powered by Intel HD Graphics 620 chip. It also comes with a pre-installed 64-bit Windows 10 Home OS. It costs ₹ 34,490 on HP’s website.
Lenovo Ideapad 330
Lenovo’s Ideapad 330 series of laptops pack decent specifications that can power mid-scale computing well. The laptops have 39.6cm (15.6-inch) full-HD display and components, which vary with different models. Intel i3 8th-generation processor is present at the core, with at least 4GB (DDR4) RAM. Storage starts at 1TB HDD, and graphics card starts from an inbuilt Intel UHD Graphics 620 chip. The 64-bit Windows 10 OS comes pre-installed. Available in many colours, Ideapad 330 series starts at ₹31,999.
Dell Inspiron 3567
For home use, Dell has a cost-effective offering in the name of Inspiron 3567. Its 39.6cm (15.6-inch) full-HD display has anti-glare capacities. Intel i3 6th-generation dual-core processor runs at the heart of the system. The laptop comes with 4GB DDR4 RAM, expandable up to 16GB. Graphics are powered by Intel HD Graphics 520 card. There is 1TB of internal storage and a removable 40Wh four-cell battery. The device comes preloaded with Windows 10 OS. It also includes a DVD reader-cum-writer tray. It is priced at ₹33,989.
Asus Laptop X407UA
Among the many laptops from Asus, X407UA series brings flexibility of choice for home users. The laptops come in various specifications, with Windows 10 OS pre-installed. Models come with Intel i3 7th-generation or Intel i5 8th-generation processors. RAM starts from 4GB SDRAM, expandable up to 16GB. Some models also come with faster 16GB Intel Optane memory. Display has a 35.6cm (14-inch) HD or full-HD form factor. Storage is either 1TB HDD or 256GB SSD. The laptops come at a starting price of ₹29,999, and vary according to specifications.
Acer Aspire E5-576
Budget-friendly devices for simple usage, Acer’s Aspire series of laptops are powered by Intel i3 6th-generation processor and 4GB DDR3 RAM. The laptops pack 39.6cm (15.6-inch) HD display and 1TB HDD storage. Some models come with Windows 10, while others with Linux OS. All models are available on e-commerce sites like Flipkart and Amazon, and start at ₹25,000.