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What is the Difference Between a Cheap Laptop and an Expensive one?

Laptop

The price range for laptops is very wide. Top models can cost hundreds of thousands of rubles, although they may look similar to budget models. Why such an overpayment, and is it worth it? In our material we will tell you how cheap laptops differ from expensive ones.

CPU

The speed of a laptop depends primarily on the central processor. It also has a significant impact on the cost of the laptop. Processor manufacturers have several lines for different tasks. The higher the line of the CPU model installed in the laptop is positioned, the more expensive it will be.

Basic processor lines – Intel Celeron/Pentium and AMD Athlon

The power of these processors is enough for working with documents and light surfing the Internet, but you shouldn’t count on anything more. As a rule, the most inexpensive laptops are equipped with such CPUs.

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More productive lines – Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3

Their speed is enough to quickly run many programs. Laptops with these CPUs are a bit more expensive. But the scope of their comfortable use is much wider than that of models with basic lines.

Mid-budget lines of manufacturers – Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5

These processors have more serious computing power. Therefore, they are suitable for both programs and computer games, provided that the laptop has an appropriate video card. Laptops with these CPUs can cost either a little or significantly more than the previous line.

Top processor lines – Intel Core i7/i9 and AMD Ryzen 7/9

They offer maximum computing capabilities that can be compared with fairly powerful desktop processors. They are equipped with expensive laptop models.

GPU

The GPU or video card is the second most important component that significantly affects the cost of a laptop.

Integrated Graphics

A video card built into the laptop’s central processor. Ensures responsive operation of the system interface and programs, allowing smooth video playback. It’s unlikely to be suitable for games: even top-end integrated graphics installed in expensive AMD processors only allow you to play modern projects at low settings. The majority of built-ins are incapable of this. But the built-in graphics have a huge advantage – it does not add cost to the laptop.

NVIDIA MX series video cards

Basic video cards, which in terms of performance are not far from top-end integrated graphics. But they have their own video memory, which is useful for slight acceleration in programs for working with 3D and in multimedia editors. However, you will have to pay a little extra for them.

NVIDIA GTX/RTX xx50 and AMD RX x300/x400/x500 video cards

Video cards from the initial gaming series, with which you can play many games at medium settings. They significantly add to the cost of the laptop. But, taking into account graphic performance, models with such video cards are often the most favorable in terms of price/quality.

NVIDIA RTX xx60 and AMD RX x600 series video cards

Average gaming series of video cards allow you to play games at high settings. Compared to the initial line, they significantly add to the cost of the device.

NVIDIA RTX xx70/xx80 and AMD RX x700/x800 series video cards

Top models of mobile graphics cards can provide maximum settings in games, combining them with a high refresh rate of the screen. They are equipped with the most expensive laptop models.

Screen

The cost of a laptop also depends on the quality of the screen. It is worth noting here that this parameter usually depends on two other main characteristics – the processor model and video card. That is, no manufacturer will install a high-quality, expensive screen in conjunction with a Celeron or Athlon. And vice versa: paired with a Core i9 or Ryzen 9, you won’t find a cheap screen either.

Depending on the characteristics, the screen matrix can affect the cost of the laptop either slightly or quite noticeably.

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Influence of matrix type:

  • As a rule, the cheapest models are equipped with TN+Film matrices, or their slightly modified varieties – SVA and WVA. Their color rendering quality is usually average, and the viewing angles are not great.
  • A more advanced IPS matrix eliminates these shortcomings, and at the same time costs only a little more. This is the best option for a laptop.
  • Top-end laptops are equipped with OLED panels, which, in addition to the benefits of IPS, can provide deep blacks and the fastest response times. But they are expensive, so such a matrix affects the price of the laptop very noticeably.

Impact of matrix resolution:

  • The most inexpensive models are equipped with a basic matrix with a resolution of 1366×768 or 1600×900. This is enough for working with documents and surfing the Internet, but for more serious work it is better to prefer a higher resolution tanzohub.
  • Full HD or 1920×1080. As a rule, the most optimal resolution for modern laptops, allowing you to comfortably perform any task. And one more plus – all other things being equal, such matrices are not much more expensive than basic ones, which is why they are the most common in laptops.
  • Matrices with a resolution from 2560×1440 to 3840×2160 are the top category. Considering that they are usually intended for gaming laptops and are based on OLED or IPS technology with zonal backlighting, their contribution to the cost of laptops is the most significant.

Impact of matrix update frequency:

  • Standard screens have a refresh rate of 60 Hz. If a laptop is designed for work, this frequency can be found in absolutely any matrix, regardless of its type and resolution.
  • Matrices with an increased refresh rate of 120-165 Hz are found in entry-level and mid-level gaming laptops. They are more expensive, but you can hardly find gaming models without such screens.
  • Top gaming laptops are equipped with screens with a frequency of 240 Hz and higher. Such fast matrices make the biggest contribution to the cost of the device.

It is worth mentioning that the laptop screen also increases the cost of having touch input support.

RAM and storage

The amount of RAM and storage also affects the cost. Usually not as strong as the components described above, but it all depends on several factors.

For example, between the same laptop model with 8 and 16 GB of RAM, the price difference may not be very large. It will be even less between two identical models with 4 and 8 GB of RAM. But between 16 and 32 GB the difference can be noticeable. Additionally, the type of memory plays a role – DDR4 or DDR5. The second, if it is installed in a laptop, can be more expensive with a similar volume.

The situation is similar with solid-state drives. The difference between models with 256 and 512 GB of memory is usually small. For an SSD with a capacity of 1 TB instead of 512 GB, you will have to pay a noticeable difference, and for a model with 2 TB – even more.

The SSD interface does not affect the cost as significantly as it did a few years ago. Therefore, even in budget models you can find NVMe SSDs, although recently they were equipped only with SATA models. At the same time, NVMe drives are different. In ordinary laptops, mass-produced models are installed, but in gaming laptops you can increasingly find top-end fast SSDs. Their use also contributes to the cost of the laptop.

In addition to SSDs, some laptops also have hard drives. This is usually the cheapest way to expand your device’s memory. It may well be that a laptop with a 512 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD will even be slightly cheaper than its counterpart with a 1 TB SSD.

Other

In addition to the main components, the following factors increase the price of a laptop:

  • Availability of pre-installed Windows OS (its cost is included in the price of the device)
  • Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports
  • USB-C ports with fast charging support
  • Fingerprint’s scanner
  • Advanced sound system with many speakers
  • Metal or carbon body
  • Relation of the device to the category of ultrabooks or convertible laptops

With similar technical characteristics, prices for laptop models from different manufacturers may differ slightly. For example, Dell and HP laptops are almost always a little more expensive than Acer solutions, and so on.

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