Power laptop buying advice



Sometimes that money will be spent on getting the thinnest and lightest notebook while sacrificing the least amount in performance (see What is an Ultrabook?). Else, you may be needing an industrial laptop able to withstand workforce abuse, with a rugged build to match. Or simply a performance-first high-powered workstation in laptop form. At the higher price point you’ll also find laptops dedicated to gamers, sporting the best mobile graphics processors and large screens to play out on.

At this price accept no compromises in build quality. Some manufacturers still cut corners and costs by using cheaper plastics, often camouflaged with silver paint.

For enduring looks and dependable strength, the body should be constructed of lightweight metal such as aluminium or magnesium, or with advanced composites such as carbon fibre. Quality of fit and finish should be beyond reproach.

Where budget laptops almost universally are fitted with low-grade displays with poor viewing angles and reduced colour gamut, £1000+ models should take the best panels – you’ll even find IPS technology in professional graphics workstations. As with any laptop, beware of glass or shiny screens that will impact on viewing comfort in all but darkened room conditions.

In the ultraportable field, there are still limits to what can be squeezed into a thin and light chassis. But extra expenditure here will be rewarded with increased performance and larger storage – where entry-level ultraportables may get 128GB or 64GB of flash storage – or even hard disks in some cases – the higher price band will allow for a 256GB or greater SSDs.

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