How to Pick an i9 Laptop – The Ultimate Guide

Intel’s Core i9 has become the go-to chip for many creative professionals and steadfast gamers when it comes to handling resource-hungry applications, as it flaunts Hyper-Threading tech and 14nm microarchitecture. Nevertheless, choosing a laptop for the simple fact that it houses an i9 processor can be regrettable, as there are a few other constituents of superior performance.

You should also keep in mind that laptops are a lot less flexible than desktop computers when it comes to customization, meaning that once you’ve made your choice, you can’t go back. With a desktop computer, however, you can always replace your defunct hardware. In this post, we will be highlighting the factors that should influence your choice of an i9 laptop, so stick around.

Size

Laptops are categorized in terms of size based on the diagonal length of their screens. Laptops with larger 17-inch screens are perfect for gaming and work, but they’re not as portable as their smaller 13-inch counterparts. In addition, larger laptops tend to feature proportionate keyboards that allow for easier typing. Deciding on the size of your laptop boils down to your requirements.

For example, if you’re mostly going to utilize your laptop at home, why should you bother with its portability? If you’re always traveling, on the other hand, purchasing an ultra-light 13-inch laptop would be optimal. If you’re looking for a compromise between 17-inch and 13-inch models, then opt for a 15-inch laptop. Note that screen size is somewhat congruent with laptop pricing.

Form Factor

Traditional clam-type designs are still the most popular laptop designs, with the foldable screen, touchpad, and keyboard. However, there are other laptop designs that you may be interested in trying. Some laptops come equipped with touchscreens while maintaining the clam-type design. These types of laptops are highly recommended if you’re into design or making music.

There are also laptops equipped with screens that can fold back behind the keypad rather than onto it, transforming the laptop into a tablet, technically. What you might not be aware of is that there are laptops that feature completely detachable screens like the Asus Transformer and the Microsoft Surface, freeing you from the weight of other components for great portability.

Note that 2-in-1 laptops and laptops that feature detachable screens tend to be more expensive than standard laptops, so unless they serve a specific purpose for you, there’s really no point in wasting the extra buck on them. Since we’re talking about i9 laptops, it’s safe to assume that you care more about performance than you do about flexibility, so just stick to clam-type designs.

Resolution

Screen resolution is another important factor to take into consideration, as it governs how well a visual is detailed. Obviously, higher resolution equates to greater detail. Generally speaking, the lowest resolution you’ll find nowadays is 1366 x 768 pixels, which is fairly decent, but since we’re talking about high-performance i9 laptops, you should consider opting for higher resolution.

Note that larger resolution doesn’t necessarily mean extra desktop space, especially if you have a smaller laptop screen. If the screen is too small to accommodate the number of pixels that the laptop can support, the operating system will automatically scale things for optimal view. Without scaling, desktop elements like icons, text, and so forth will be too small to be seen properly.

When in the market for a new laptop, it’s recommended that you pay your local electronics store a visit so that you can test things out for yourself and see the difference between various modes of resolution. You might not know exactly what you’re looking for in a laptop screen until you see it with your own eyes.

Connectivity

Don’t make the mistake of forsaking device connectivity when shopping for a new laptop, as it’s going to govern the number and type of peripherals that you can plug to the laptop. You need to keep in mind that laptops don’t offer many connectivity ports due to the limited room around the base, so think carefully about the peripherals you’re going to plug before buying the laptop.

Most modern laptops tend to feature at least three USB ports, with one of the ports being a USB 3.0 port. This is ample for most people, but then again, it all boils down to the number of devices you plan on connecting. Moreover, most modern laptops don’t feature DVD drives, so if you plan on reading and burning DVD discs, you might need a USB drive, which requires a USB port.

In addition to USB ports, you want to make sure the laptop’s networking capabilities. Some units feature wireless networking, but not all laptops offer wired networking (Ethernet plug). Moreover, you must take video outputs into consideration. Your laptop must have an HDMI port so that you can connect it to TVs and monitors. You might also need a VGA output for projectors and such.

Graphics

Graphics handling is one of the most critical factors to consider when buying a new laptop. Most laptops come equipped with an integrated graphics chipset like Intel UHD Graphics. While these are fine for playing games at low or medium settings, they’re not designed to deal with intensive applications. If you’re a gamer or a creative professional, you’ll need a dedicated chipset.

Dedicated graphics come in the form of Nvidia or AMD chipsets. We recommend you check out benchmarks and reviews for the many laptop-specific graphics chipsets so that you can pinpoint the right one for you. Just keep in mind that laptops equipped with dedicated GPUs tend to be a lot more expensive than units featuring integrated graphics, especially if it’s an i9 laptop.

RAM

The vast majority of i9 laptops feature at least 8 GB of RAM memory, which, nowadays, is a very common amount of RAM even for inexpensive laptops. Gone are the days when having 4 GB of RAM was considered a cut above the rest. If you’re into hard-core gaming, then you might want to consider a laptop that offers 16 GB of RAM, as that will ensure superior performance.

Storage

With desktop computers, you can easily purchase an SSD card for the operating system so that the computer boosts faster and feels more responsive, and a cheap HDD for other files. With an i9 laptop or any other type of laptops, however, this simply isn’t possible. With that in mind, you’ll need to look into buying a laptop that flaunts an SSD, which will cost you some extra bucks.

Laptops are pretty small compared to desktop computers, and so they don’t have enough room to accommodate more than one disk, so make sure you buy a laptop that offers plenty of space. If you store your files in the cloud, then don’t settle for less than 120 GB of SSD storage. If you’ll be storing your personal files on the laptop, then you must have at least 500 GB of space.

Most high-end i9 laptops nowadays feature PCI-Express (PCIe) SSDs, which are notably faster than standard SSDs. It’s also worth noting that there are laptops that feature hybrid SSHDs. It’s a type of drive that combines a small SSD cache with the mechanism of a hard-disk drive. These drives are excellent choices if you’re on a tight budget that won’t allow for a large SSD.

Battery Life

If you’re purchasing a new laptop primarily for home use, then battery lifespan might not be that critical to you, but if you’ll be traveling with your laptop on a regular basis, then battery life needs to be at the top of your priorities list alongside weight and size. We recommend reading reviews to see how long a battery actually lasts, as manufacturer-advertised estimates tend to be false.

Oddly enough, small laptops tend to offer higher battery life than larger counterparts, as they’re equipped with smaller screens and low-voltage components. You should expect anywhere from 5-7 hours of continuous use from a general-purpose 15-inch laptop, whereas, with smaller units, expect up to 10 hours of use. The more capable a laptop is, the less battery lifespan it offers.

Final Thoughts

Deciding on a new laptop is never ever an easy task considering the host of factors that must be taken into consideration. Some are okay to bypass like RAM and storage since the vast majority of modern laptops are pretty impressive in these regards, but others require serious thought and deliberation to ensure reliable performance, like screen resolution, graphics, and battery life.