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Laptops Buying Guide

This is relatively geared toward consumers. If you sell laptops or procure a number of them for business/organization purposes, it’s information you’ll want to keep in mind.

Though not everyone today owns a laptop, chances are favorable they probably own a tablet, smartphone, desktop computer system, or some other Internet accessing device. When deciding on which laptop to choose there are a number of things to consider. Here are some of them:

  • Top brands
  • Budget
  • Battery life
  • Specs
  • Ergonomics
  • Screen size
  • Adaptable/Adjustable
  • Platform


Some people won’t buy an item unless it is a top-name brand or, at the very least, a brand they recognize. Where laptops are concerned, check out the top brands first. Your best bet is to Google (or use some other search engine) “best laptop brands.” Ordinarily, you will see a relatively detailed comparison between the current leading brands. As technology changes, so does the list.

You can also consider searching “worst and best 2021 laptop brands.”


Your budget can have everything to do with the kind of laptop you purchase. Today, there are nice laptops, with a number of desirable features, that are completely affordable. Naturally, if you want to spend a bundle, you can get all the bells and whistles on one of today’s high-tech, modern laptops. Not everyone can afford that, however.

  • Chrome books and notebooks are at the lower end but cost $250 or less
  • On the other end of the spectrum are more powerful and more portable laptops for $900 and up. These may have discrete graphics, faster processors, higher resolution screens, and more
  • Lots of laptops fall between the top and bottom categories
  • Mobile workstations and high-end gaming systems can cost considerably more than $1500 and as much as $3000 (or more)

Battery Life

Whatever you do, don’t skimp on battery life! This is a crucial consideration. The last thing you need when you’re in the middle of a big project is for your battery to die – worse yet, if you’re not near an electrical outlet. One of the most desirable qualities of laptops is their portability. Don’t forgo that luxury by using a low-quality battery.


There are seemingly endless specs to consider, so choose those that are most important to you. Specs can, however, be confusing and difficult to understand. Try to find a salesperson who can talk to you in plain speak rather than in technical terms.

Talk to them about things like Blu-ray drives/DVD, conductivity, graphics chips, touchscreens, display, SSD (storage drive), RAM, Bluetooth, ports, and more.


When we discuss ergonomics, we’re mainly referring to the touchpad and keyboard.

What to look for in a keyboard:

  • Enough space between keys
  • Plenty of key travel
  • Solid tactile feedback
  • If desired, between the G and H keys, should have a nub or pointing stick

Your touchpad:

  • Should respond consistently to various gestures/touches
  • Should not provide a jumpy cursor

Screen Size

Are you looking for 11 inches (screen wise), 18 inches, or something in between? Generally speaking, here are your choices:

  • 17 to 18 inches – good for workstation level productivity or high-end gameplaying. Great processing if the laptop is going to stay on your desk all day
  • 15 to 16 inches – weighing between 4 and 5.5 pounds, 15 inches is the most popular size.
  • 13 to 14 inches – good balance of usability and portability
  • 11 to 12 inches – light and thin

Adaptability or Adjustability

Decide whether you want a hybrid device that can switch positions. Today, there are laptops referred to as “two in one”. They can switch between tablet mode, traditional clamshell mode, and various additional positions (stand modes, tents, etc.). Usually, these are either flexible laptops with hinges or those that have attachable keyboards.


A platform must be chosen (example: Mac vs. Chrome OS, Windows 10 vs. Mac, etc.). This can be a difficult consideration if you are not familiar with PCs and Macs. It will help, however, to check out a quick overview of the weaknesses and strengths of each platform. You can very likely find a quick and easy comparison online by searching for one versus the other.

One of three operating systems is used for most laptops:

  • macOS (only for MacBooks)
  • Chrome OS
  • Windows

Do you sell laptops, or have you been tasked with procuring a number of them for your business or other organization? For the best prices – wholesale, rather than retail – count on Ambar Distributors.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.