1000 is too much for a laptop
Tech Guide: This is how much you should spend on a laptop
The sales figures for laptops have recently fallen slightly. Nevertheless, portable PCs remain the most popular work tools, as they combine mobility with performance and flexibility. The range is more differentiated than ever: from the inexpensive entry-level model for 200 euros to the high-performance device for over 2000 euros, a large number of variants are available. But what do laptops offer in the individual price ranges? And what not?
Laptops up to 200 euros - entry-level models
Laptops that can be used for mobile or stationary work are already available in the price range up to 200 euros. However, the processors are among the least powerful variants, so that only simple Internet and office applications can run without problems. 3D games, video editing or complex calculations are out of place here.
This is also due to the comparatively small amount of storage media. Instead of a hard drive, manufacturers mostly use flash memory in this price category - and only 32 GB of it. This is not enough for larger picture collections. The screen is usually only eleven inches diagonally. The keyboard is correspondingly small.
That sounds like massive restrictions. But the entry-level models are ideally suited as a second device for accessing information and e-mails or as a typewriter. Typical representatives of this category are currently the “100S” from Lenovo and the “ES11” from Acer.
Laptops up to 300 euros - little performance, decent equipment
If you spend a little more money, you get a lot more laptop. In the price range up to 300 euros, manufacturers are already installing screens in the 15-inch category, which enables a larger laptop with a keyboard in standard size overall. The resolution is comparatively low. It is also important to make compromises in terms of performance, because powerful and energy-saving processors are not yet available in this price range. A 500 GB hard drive is standard and even an optical drive such as a DVD burner is possible.
In terms of weight and size, however, such devices are not optimized. Video editing and 3D games are better left out here too. Otherwise there are hardly any restrictions - as with the “B50” from Lenovo.
Laptops up to 500 euros - the middle class
Most laptops are sold in the price range between 300 and 500 euros. No wonder, because for this price there are versatile devices that hardly demand any restrictions from the user. The built-in processors are powerful and energy-saving. The screen usually measures 15.6 inches. The cheaper the model, the lower the resolution. The capacities of main and mass storage devices are also suitable for everyday use. More and more often there is a solid state drive instead of a hard disk. This speeds up data access and system start-up.
In most cases, however, an additional graphics chip is still missing in this price range, so that laptops in this category are not recommended for 3D and architectural applications. And game fans won't get their money's worth here either. Last but not least, the devices are not optimized in terms of dimensions, weight and appearance.
Typical representatives are the “250” and “350” series from Hewlett-Packard, numerous “Travelmate” and “Aspire” models from Acer, the “E50” from Lenovo and various devices from direct mail order company Dell.
These are the components that count in laptops
Screen: Here, the size and the resolution determine the price. 15-inch displays are the most commonly produced, which is why they offer the best value for money. The decisive factor is the resolution: a moderate 1366 by 768 pixels are standard in the cheapest laptops, a Full HD resolution with 1920 by 1080 pixels is available in the mid-range price.
Working and mass storage: The rule here is: "the more, the better". Due to the small price differences, 4 GB has established itself as the minimum standard. 500 GB are now the lower limit for a classic hard drive. Solid-state drives are an energy-saving and noiseless alternative. They enable faster work and, in particular, a quick system start. However, they are even more expensive than a conventional hard drive.
Processor: Above all, it determines the performance of a laptop. However, the performance of inexpensive processors is sufficient for office and Internet applications without any problems. The power consumption should be noted: Inexpensive processors require a lot of power, which reduces the battery life.
Operating system: For most users, the question of the right operating system does not arise: They are used to Microsoft Windows at work and want to use it at home as well. MacOS is only available on Apple devices. And they are significantly more expensive than the Windows competition.
Laptops up to 900 euros - the more upscale models
Those who spend an above average amount of money also get above average: Laptops in this price range are not only powerful and optimized in terms of energy consumption, they are usually also comparatively slim and light. Most of the models are also particularly visually appealing, as they not least serve as lifestyle objects. Apple has demonstrated this with its “MacBook Air” - and manufacturers such as Asus with its new “Zenbook UX3410” are imitating it. They are cheaper than Apple.
Energy-saving processors in this price range ensure long battery runtimes of up to ten hours. And a solid state drive is just as standard here as a high, eye-friendly screen resolution.
Laptops up to 1500 euros - devices for professionals
Attractive design, powerful and energy-saving processors as well as a screen with eye-friendly, high resolution are a matter of course in this price range. Laptops beyond the 1000 euro mark have to offer even more today. This is either MacOS from Apple as the operating system that is used exclusively in Apple devices, or particularly powerful individual components. This is either a solid state drive with a particularly high capacity, a powerful graphics chip or a particularly high-resolution screen.
Typical devices in this price range are the “MacBook Air” from Apple, various “Elitebook” models from HP, “Thinkpad” models from Lenovo or the “Latitude” series from Dell.
Laptops for more than 1500 euros - the luxury class
The time for compromises is over here: the fastest processors and graphics chips, high capacities for RAM and solid state drives, long runtimes and an attractive design are mandatory in this price category. Especially for special applications there are the right models: The “Toughbook” devices from Panasonic, for example, are designed for use outdoors and under the toughest conditions, the “Alienware” models appeal to game fans and the “MacBook Pro” is popular its buyers in the video and media sector.
More on the topic: Expensive equals better? What you should consider when buying a laptop.
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