A laptop is a very crucial piece of tech you need to have now no matter what you do. Everyone, from a student to a businessman needs a laptop for productivity and entertainment. But how do you know which one to buy? With the plethora of laptops existing on the market, it’s very tough to pick one unless you know exactly what you want. So here are 5 major things you need to keep in mind before you buy a laptop.

1. Default Operating System of the Laptop

MacOS vs Windows 10

Now, this maybe a no-brainer for some people but it is really important for you to decide what OS you want on your laptop out of the box. There are quite a few options these days with Windows and MacOS leading the pack and popular Linux Distros trailing behind.

If you want to do basic tasks and don’t really care about the specifics of your OS, Windows might suit you just fine. If you are an engineer who needs to do a lot of CAD and simulations on a day-to-day basis, Windows is for you. Or even if you just like the UI offered by Microsoft, you should get a device with Windows on it.

You should get a laptop by Apple if you are a person who deals with graphics to earn a living. It is no mystery that MacOS is amazing for video editing and the likes, so if you’re into that, you should get a MacBook. Another major reason would be if you already have an Apple device. This makes a lot of sense as you are logged into an always accessible, easy-to-use ecosystem.

(I didn’t mention Linux here because there aren’t many laptops that ship with Linux)

2. Build Quality and Hardware of the LaptopMain types of build of laptops

This is a very important aspect of any device. It ensures the longevity of the laptops and the material gives it a unique look. A metal chassis is what you want because it will be very rigid thereby protecting the internals really well.

A great keyboard and a good trackpad/clickpad are also very crucial in a laptop. If you have a keyboard that has enough travel, good tactile feedback and is well spaced, it improves your productivity immensely and you would notice the difference in your workflow. A precise trackpad will also improve your experience and efficiency.

3. Internals of the Laptop

Laptop Processor

Now, this varies according to your use-case. If you are a content creator or a gaming enthusiast, then you need a strong processor and GPU capable of handling whatever task you throw at it. In most cases the best bet is to go for the top of the line offerings from AMD, Intel or Nvidia. If you are a student or your use-case includes media consumption, internet browsing or a lot of typing, you could compromise on specs and go for a laptop with better hardware than internals.

4. I/O of the Laptop

Laptop ports: Old vs New

With Apple cutting down the ports to just type-C in 2017, the whole industry followed suit and this is a very important thing you need to consider before getting yourself a new laptop. If you have your heart set on a new MacBook, you could skip this part as the choice has already been made. For Windows users, you still have a lot of variety to choose from. You can get all ports on bulky gaming laptops, but if thin, small and light is more your style, then you’d lose out on some ports, like the HDMI port, Ethernet port and in some cases, even a regular USB port. But in most laptops less than 2mm thick, you could get a decent selection of ports, both old and new with a couple of USB A’s, a couple of USB type-C’s and even a SD card slot.

5. CostMoney you need to spend on a new laptop

This is probably the most important thing you need to keep in mind. Cost is what you need to keep in mind after you decide what exactly your use-case is. If you are getting a gaming laptop, you wouldn’t go wrong with a $800 laptop or a $2000 one. There would be differences, both cosmetic and internal but boils down to whether you are willing to pay the differential amount.

These are parameters by which I generally choose what laptop to buy as my daily driver and I recommend laptops to people. If you think we missed out on certain crucial points, do tell us in the comments below!