Laptop Configuration Guide

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You can often customize your laptop with a CPU, screen, memory, storage and other components when you purchase directly from a manufacturer, such as Dell, Lenovo or HP. You may be very able to choose from a variety of configurations containing different combinations of features, even if there isn’t a menu with several options for each part of the notebook. We will provide you a complete guide on Laptop Configuration Guide.

Laptop Configuration Guide

The following is a condensed version of our laptop buying guide, which explains what each component does and which ones to choose: 

CPU: Go for Core i5

The best laptop processor for balancing price and performance is a Core i5 chip, which we have detailed below. Core i7 processors cost between $100 and $200 more, but the performance boost is relatively modest.

The Intel Core i5-8250U (which we tested) is 91 percent faster than the predecessor, the Core i5-7200U. This is because it has four cores instead of two, so the new chip provides better performance. Compared to Pentiums or Celerons, Core i3s are likely to provide considerably better performance in cheap laptops. There is some marginal boost in speed from Pentium to Celeron, but it isn’t worth paying extra for.

RAM: Roll with 8GB

Most users are most likely to benefit from 8GB of RAM when multitasking or performing other tasks. Adding 8GB to your order costs around $75 if you’re configuring it. A 16 GB hard drive is best for gamers and multitaskers. If you upgrade from 8GB to 16GB, you will normally have to pay $100 to $150 more.

Storage: 256GB SSD or better

In general, solid-state drives (SSDs) offer more speed and better responsiveness than hard drives. It is better to buy a 256GB SSD as opposed to a 512GB model if you don’t plan on storing many media files or PC games. There are usually no options to choose from SATA and PCIe-NVMe SSDs; if there is, go for PCIe, as it is two to four times faster.

A 256GB SSD can cost $100 to $200 if you decide to upgrade from a 1TB or 500GB hard drive. In order to get a 512GB drive, you’ll have to pay over $300 more than 256GB. You may be able to save money by buying and upgrading a laptop with a 128GB SSD or a standard hard drive. Unlike Lenovo, you can buy a 256GB PCIe-NVMe SSD for $119 instead of $270, which is the cost of upgrading from a 500GB hard drive.

All new components that you add yourself will be excluded from the warranty on your computer. Some laptops cannot be upgraded, however. If you’re considering adding a SSD, please review our article on whether your laptop can be upgraded.

Screen: At Least 1920 x 1080 resolution

The majority of consumer laptop screens have a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, most of which have a resolution of around 66 percent. Due to the small display size and inability to stack full windows side by side, you’ll need to scroll a lot and switch between windows at that resolution. If you want to buy a new laptop, you should opt for one with a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080 (1080p).

In most cases, upgrading from a 720p screen to a 1080p one costs only $70 to $100 on Lenovo, Dell, or HP websites, a bargain compared with the benefits you receive. It’s actually more expensive to get a touchscreen laptop (if it’s not already a 2-in-1), a feature that’s not necessary if your laptop has a clamshell design. A 4K display is usually $300 to $400 more than a 3K display, so it’s better suited to artists and media mavens.

Battery: Bigger is better

Several business laptops, such as ThinkPads and Latitudes, come with options for regular- or high-capacity batteries. Upgrades to larger batteries are often as inexpensive as $15.

You’ll only gain a couple tenths of a pound by doing so. You should always, however, choose the extended battery, since you’ll typically get twice the capacity. It lasted seven hours, 33 minutes with a three-cell battery, as well as sixteen hours, one minute with a six-cell battery.

Wi-Fi Card: 2×2 is better

If you buy a laptop priced over $200, you will almost certainly get 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which is the current standard. A typical card comes with either a 2×2 antenna or a regular antenna. The latter features doubles the throughput and costs more (less than $30). An antenna card that is labelled 2×2 has two antennas, each capable of carrying its own data stream. 802.11ac networks are capable of transferring data at speeds up to 867 Mbps, while 1×1 cards can barely hit 433 Mbps at this time.

Windows Version: Don’t go Pro

You can configure your laptop with Windows 10 Home or Pro depending on your needs. Even though Windows 10 Pro comes with extra features – such as remote access, BitLocker encryption, and group policy manager (to set permissions across a fleet of computers) – most of these additional features are only useful for large organizations with IT departments. So, Pro does not provide any additional value.

4G Cards: Only for deep pockets

A 4G LTE card is often included in laptops, making traveling easier. Data is an additional charge of $100 to $200 that you must pay to your wireless provider before Their services are available to you. Business people who rely on laptops for an Internet connection are in a bind, but you can probably make do by using your phone as a hotspot and connecting to it.

Bottom Line

There are the same best specs no matter which components you pick from a menu on or choose between two Asus models on To get the best performance, you need a laptop with a 1080p display, an 8GB of RAM, and a more than 256GB SSD.

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