Need determines the laptop specifications. Need is categorized into 3 types:-
Type 1 - Web browsing, listening to music, basic productivity tasks, handling office suites, HD movie viewing & some photo editing.
Type 2 - Heavier workload like encoding/decoding HD video, advanced photo editing, multi-tasking & high end gaming
Type 3 - 3D graphics, 3D rendering, video editing, video rendering tasks, extreme multi tasking, future proof gaming.
Intel & AMD are the world's best processor companies.
Intel core i3 (6th, 7th or 8th generation) or AMD A4 or A6 processors (6th or 7th generation) (For Type 1 need)
Intel core i5 (6th, 7th or 8th generation) or AMD A8, A10 or AMD Ryzen processor (6th or 7th generation) (For Type 2 need)
Intel core i7 (6th, 7th or 8th generation) or AMD A10 (6th or 7th generation) (For Type 3 need)
Recommended to buy processors from current generation so that you can future proof your investment for next 3 to 4 years.
4 GB RAM - For Type 1 need;
6 GM to 8GM RAM - For Type 2 need.
12 GB to 16 GB RAM - For Type 3 need.
Graphic Processor (GPU)
Intel's HD Grahics (520, 530 or 550) or Intel's Iris HD/Plus Graphics or (AMD A4, A6, A8 & A10 (6th & 7th generation) processor chips already include graphics processors and are better than Intel's graphic card. - Type 1 need.
Nvidia GeForce GTX, GeForce GT or AMD Radeon - Type 2 need
Nvidia Quadro or AMD FirePro graphics card - Type 3 need
1 TB Hard Drive - For Type 1 need
1 TB Hard Drive + Solid State Drives (For faster read, write & load time. Quicker boot up and wake times) - Type 2,3 needs
13.3 inches - For browsing & emails. Better battery life, easy to carry
14-15.6 inches - For Type 1 need
17 inches & above - For Type 2 & 3 needs
Display can be matte, glossy or anti glare. If working outdoors, avoid glossy due to it being reflective.
Windows 10 - Pre-installed, legal copy guarantees future updates.
Touch screen - For internet use entertainment. Costly.
Wi-Fi - opt for dual band Wifi for Wi-Fi speeds
Back lit Keyboard - For working in dark
Audio - Use speakers from JBL or B&O, Software optimization of sound (Dolby) for configurable outputs.