If you are looking to purchase a new laptop, whether you want it for business or a more portable option to game with friends, you should always nail down a price range that meets your budget and what specs you are looking for. In this day and age, the laptop section has changed significantly, with ultralight laptops for greater portability to gaming monsters. Consider these things to help you make a more informed buying decision.

Determine Your Ideal Screen Size

According to PC Mags “The Best Laptops of 2018,” there are three main screen size categories to consider. On the more compact side of things, you have laptops with 12 to 13-inch screens. With them being smaller, they really are limited in terms of the purposes they can serve. If you are only looking for something that gives you the option of having access to the internet or need something to handle primarily word processing, then this may be a good choice for you.

The next size up would be 14 to 15-inch laptops. With these laptops being slightly bigger, they have more port options along the sides, typically have more battery cells, and are built with better internal parts. You don’t sacrifice much on portability when it comes to these laptops, though you will notice that they will be a couple pounds heavier.

And lastly, the largest screens that you find in laptops are primarily used at workstations or for gaming. The largest screens are a little over 17 inches, though you could obviously overcome this limitation by connecting to a larger monitor or a television via HDMI. The weight of these laptops can range from 6 pounds to up to 20 depending on its components. Naturally, portability is limited, however, some gamers don’t mind the extra weight because this gives them an option to go to a friend’s house and play games without losing out on performance.

Other Ways to Narrow Your Search

Screen size is not the only way you can help narrow your search for an ideal laptop. You can also determine what style really fits your needs best. Most websites break down your different kinds of laptops into categories. Known as ultraportables, these are the ultra-thin laptops that you will typically see when you browse down the electronics aisle at a store. As suggested by its name, it is designed to be highly portable, but you may lose out on certain components due to this purpose. If you are thinking about a tablet, you could also get a hybrid called a 2-in-1 or a detachable hybrid that allows you to dock with keyboards. And if you need something more powerful, consider searching for the mobile workstations or gaming laptops categories.

Depending on what your needs are, the price ranges will vary. From $200 to all the way up to $3,000, you will need to make a need-to-have list, such as certain features you require, how much processing power you need, what sort of graphics capability you need, and the size of the screen and keyboard. To make it easier, you can just make a list of things that you will need it to do or run. For a gamer, processing power, hard drive space, graphics cards, and internet connectivity will be at the top of the list. Determine your own needs first, your budget, then limit your scope base off of these criteria.