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24 Sep, 2022
16 min time to read

September is the time when young people who have had a good summer rest (I hope you had one?), with renewed vigour take up studying. In between classes and lessons they want to entertain themselves with something, like video games for example.

Both studies and games require a computer. But it is not always convenient to have a full-fledged desktop PC at hand, which usually takes up a lot of space on your desk (I know, ha, ha). As an alternative, you might consider a thing called laptop. However, when choosing a laptop, the inexperienced user may face a number of challenges, the main one being the oversaturated market!

Indeed, every year manufacturers release more and more laptop models, which often do not differ much from each other. Indeed, it's difficult to choose the ONE; you always want to buy the best device in terms of price / features offered, if though there plenty such models.

I hasten to please you - you do not have to spend hours on electronics stores websites and study the characteristics of laptops in an effort to choose the coolest device. I've done this work for you. That is, I simply selected the best ten laptops for you.

The first five are laptops for students. They are equipped with average hardware, which is enough to ensure the stable operation of the system and the programs (do not worry, you will be able to play Counter-Strike after school as well).

The second category is the gaming machines. These are very powerful laptops, which certainly can also be used for studying, but their main task is to entertain their owner with video games, running at high graphics settings and a stable fps.

For convenience, I have divided all devices by price. The price tag starts at around $500 for the most affordable laptop in the "For studying" category and falls slightly short of $1,500 in the "For gaming" category. I didn't put any more expensive devices on the list.

If you want, later, I can compile a list of the most expensive and powerful laptops for you, but today I have chosen a bit more modest laptops.

For Studying

ASUS Vivobook Go 14 (E410)

Screen: 14", 1920x1080, 60Hz, 16:9, IPS
Processor: 4-core Intel Pentium Silver N6000 (up to 3.3GHz) or 2-core Intel Celeron N4500 (up to 2.8GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
Memory: 4/8GB (DDR4), 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 or 128GB eMMC
Connectivity & Ports: 1xUSB 2.0 Type-A, 1xUSB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A, 1xUSB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C, 1xHDMI 1.4, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm, microSD
Battery: 42Wh
OS: Windows 11
Price: from $259
So, let's start with something simpler. I say at once, for $259 you cannot buy a laptop, which will be powerful and beautiful enough and so on and so forth. But for that money you can get the ASUS Vivobook Go 14 (E410).

It's a very entry-level solution. There's a 14-inch screen, simple processors to choose from and integrated graphics that is not enough to run modern games, unless you just want to play CS 1.6 in between. But, as I said, in the study category, we don't want the performance that's prohibitive. We are looking for a rugged notebook that will work quickly and for a long time, and sell for a reasonable price - ASUS Vivobook Go 14 (E410) is just one of these solutions.

A compact and stylish 1.3kg machine in a cool design (there are versions with patterns on the back cover). You can buy it in blue, grey or pink. Another design element is the yellow Enter button. Such a bright colour does not make any special sense, but it looks interesting. In general, the appearance is probably the main feature of this model.

One can also mention the NumberPad, which is a touchpad combined with a numeric keypad. One touch is all it takes to display the keys for entering numbers. The notebook can also be opened 180°, so you can share content with colleagues or friends. The keyboard is backlit and has a key stroke of 1.4 mm.

The manufacturer promises that the notebook will work on a single charge up to 12 hours. Quite a good indicator. The notebook is also very quiet - there is a passive cooling system inside.

The MyASUS App Center is a collection of various applications and utilities that help you get your work done. I don't know what else to say, it's a solid device - despite its modest price tag.

TCL Book 14 Go

Screen: 14", 1366x768, 60Hz, 16:9, TN
Processor: 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen1 (2.4GHz)
Graphics: Adreno 618
Memory: 4GB LPDDR4, 128GB SSD
Connectivity and ports: 1xUSB 3.0, 2xUSB 2.0 (Type-C), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G, Bluetooth 5.1, microSDXC, 3.5mm
Battery: 41Wh
OS: Windows 11 ARM
Price: $349

The TCL Book 14 Go is quite simple in terms of the technical part of the device, which weighs 1.28 kg and is equipped with a mobile processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen1 with Adreno 618 graphics. It's made of plastic and aluminium.

The device does not shine with performance, but this laptop is enough for studies and simple tasks, like writing a text or working in spreadsheets. The screen is 14 inches. Yes, not much, but again, it will be enough for watching videos or searching for information on the web.

On the plus side, you'll find a pretty impressive battery life - the device will work for up to 12 hours on a single charge. A 30W power adaptor is included. One of the USB-C ports supports DisplayPort output and the notebook can also access the network via LTE - great for schools without Wi-Fi. Stereo speakers come as a nice bonus.

The TCL Book 14 Go is worth considering as a basic and inexpensive solution for studying and doing some simple tasks.

HONOR MagicBook X 14/15 (2021)

Screen: 14/15.6", 1920x1080, 60Hz, 16:9, IPS
Processor: 4-core Intel Core i5-10210U (up to 4.2GHz) or 2-core Core i3-10110U (up to 4.1GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
Memory: 8/16GB DDR4, 256/512GB PCIe NVME SSD
Connectivity and ports: 1×USB 3.0 (Type-A), 1×USB 2.0 (Type-A), 1×USB 2.0 (Type-C), 1xHDMI 1.4b, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11aс, MIMO 2×2, 2.4 and 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm
Battery: 56Wh
OS: Windows 10
Price: from $699

Already a more serious machine than the first two laptops. Inside, there's a very capable 10th generation Intel Core processor. Yes, the graphics are still integrated, but that's not a problem - for watching videos, working and even running some simple games the configuration is quite enough.

Top features include a 14 or 15.6-inch screen with Eye Comfort mode and TÜV Rheinland certification, a 15.9 mm thin aluminum enclosure that weighs 1.38 kg, a multiscreen function with the ability to sync a HONOR smartphone with a laptop and display a picture on it, 65W fast charging capacity (you can charge a laptop up to 70% in an hour), a built-in fingerprint reader in the power button and a webcam, which is also built into the button. On a single charge, the device will last for 7-10 hours.

In addition, the manufacturer stresses the increased reliability of the device. For example, HONOR claims that the HONOR MagicBook X 14/15 (2021) touchpad will last up to 1 million touches and the notebook hinges won't fail before the user has made 50,000 openings.

The HONOR MagicBook X 14/15 is a stylish, compact, affordable and productive everyday machine. One of the best value for money solutions, in my opinion. And if you want something more powerful, consider the higher end MagicBook range without the X prefix. For example the MagicBook (2022) in its top configuration comes with an Intel Core i7-12650H and a GeForce RTX 2050 card, with the help of which you can play games more or less comfortably.

Redmibook Pro 15 (2022)

Screen: 15.6", 3200x2000, 90Hz, 16:10, IPS
Processor: 10-core Intel Core i7-12650H (up to 4.7GHz), 8-core Core i5-12450H (up to 4.4GHz), 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 6800H (up to 4.7GHz), 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 6600H (up to 4.5GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics, AMD Radeon 680M, GeForce RTX 2050
Memory: 16GB LPDDR5, 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD
Connectivity & Ports: 1xUSB-A 3.2 Gen1, 1xUSB-C 3.2 Gen2, 1xThunderbolt 4 (40Gbps), 1xHDMI 2.0, 3.5mm jack, SD/SDHC/SDXC support, Wi-Fi 6 (2.4GHz, 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.2
Battery: 72Wh
OS: Windows 11
Price: from $820

While writing this piece I kept asking myself the following question: What if our reader wants just the most modern device with the most current hardware and at a reasonable price? Looking for an answer to this question on the web, I came across the Redmibook Pro 15 (2022).

The metal case, the beautiful 90Hz screen (120Hz in Redmibook Pro 14 models), inside there's the latest Intel 12th generation Core and Ryzen 6000 processors, and fast LPDDR5 memory coupled with PCIe 4.0 storage. A 72Wh battery will provide impressive battery life and a 130W charger will quickly replenish the battery. There are speakers with DTS. Finally, Windows 11 is preinstalled on the laptop.

In basic configurations, laptops are sold with integrated graphics, if you pay a little bit more, you can buy a model with RTX 2050. But that's overkill, even the integrated GPU is more than enough for everyday tasks: working, watching YouTube videos or movies, reading, surfing the web, the Redmibook Pro (2022) is up to the task.

I'll be honest, if I were choosing a laptop for everyday use, I'd go for the Redmibook Pro 15 (2022). I could have opted for a 14-inch model as well, but the bigger the screen, the better, that's the way I am. You can also have a look at the 14" model which has a nice screen and 12th generation Intel Core processors but with GeForce MX550 discrete graphics. And a 56Wh battery with 100W charging.

HP 470 G8

Screen: 17.3", 1920x1080, 60Hz, 16:9, IPS
Processor: 4-core Intel Core i7-1165G7 (up to 4.7GHz), 4-core Core i5-1135G7 (up to 4.2GHz), 4-core Core i3-1125G4 (up to 3.7GHz)
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Memory: 8/16GB DDR4, 256/512GB M.2 PCIe
Connectivity & Ports: 2xUSB 3.2 Gen1, 1xUSB 3.2 Gen1, HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0
Battery: 41Wh
OS: Windows 10 Pro
Price: from $1329

So, this model is primarily notable for its large screen - 17.3 inches. Intel Core 11th generation processors take care of its "speediness". The battery will provide about 8 hours of continuous work. You can communicate in Zoom via a 720p webcam.

A waterproof keyboard, Miracast support, stereo speakers and fast charging can also be found in this device. The laptop weighs around 2kg, which is not bad for its size.

Yes, there is no discrete graphics card, but, as we remember, we don't really need games. Also it is possible to find fault with the fact that the computer has no Ethernet port - it is impossible to wire the Internet to it. But this is compensated for by fast Wi-Fi 6.
Otherwise, it is a good-quality machine which will serve its owner faithfully.

For Gaming

Thunderobot 911 Air D

Screen: 15.6", 1920x1080, 60Hz, 16:9, AHVA
Processor: 6-core Intel Core i5-11260H (up to 4.4GHz)
Graphics: GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
Memory: 8GB DDR4, 256GB M.2 PCIe
Connectivity & Ports: 2xUSB3 Gen1 Type-A, 1xUSB3 Gen2 Type-C (DisplayPort compliant), 1xHDMI 2.0, 1xDisplayPort 1.4 (USB Type-C), RJ45, 3.5mm, SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0
Battery: 51Wh
OS: install it yourself
Price: from $775

Let's start with the cons. Plastic case, not the most productive graphics card, 60 Hz screen, only 8 GB of RAM, battery life of about 4-5 hours and no pre-installed Windows.
On the plus side, first and foremost, the price. At the time of writing, the laptop could be found for $775, and that's modest money, because competitors sell similar configurations at a higher price.

The second point - a very productive processor, which is enough for games, for work, and for everyday use.

The third point is that the notebook has an Alienware-esque design. Not to say that the appearance is perfect, but the machine looks interesting. For example, there's blue backlighting on the top lid. The keys on the keyboard are also illuminated, in white.

There are also good Nahimic Audio speakers and built-in microphones, and the screen has a matte finish - you can use the laptop comfortably even in bright light. A full-size keyboard with number pad is included.

The notebook can be pimped in the future - a free SO-DIMM slot for additional RAM is available to the user. There's also talk of an easy SSD drive swap and the option to put another drive in the 2.5" slot. The Thunderobot 911 Air D weighs around 2kg.

As for the Thunderbot 911 Air D, it is an entry-level device. Notebook will not be able to pull the latest games on high graphics settings, keep this in mind. But some Apex Legends or Fortnite with good visuals and high fps can be played with no problem.

MSI GF63 Thin 11UC-255XRU

Screen: 15.6", 1920x1080, 144Hz, 16:9, IPS
Processor: 6-core Intel Core i5-11400H (up to 4.5GHz)
Graphics: GeForce RTX 3050
Memory: 8GB DDR4, 256GB M.2 PCIe
Connectivity & Ports: 3xUSB 3.2 Gen1, 1xUSB Type-C USB 3.2 Gen1, 3.5mm, HDMI 2.0, 1Gbps Ethernet LAN, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Battery: 51Wh
OS: install it yourself
Price: $1120

Accidentally came across this laptop while writing this material. I think that for its price - a very good solution. The main differences from the Thunderobot 911 Air D: screen 144Hz, a little faster processor and, most importantly, the card GeForce RTX 3050, which shows itself in the games much livelier than the outdated GeForce GTX 1650.

The notebook weighs 1.86kg and is capable of running for around 4 hours on a single charge - that's the figure in gaming mode. A 120W power adaptor is included with the computer.

Other highlights include MSI's signature design without looking like a Christmas tree. A backlit keyboard is available, but the colour of the backlight can't be changed - for some people this will be a drawback. Another drawback in the reviews call noise and heat, as well as only 8 GB of RAM (people write that you can put another 8 GB board, but this must be clarified) and 256 GB of storage (it seems that there is an opportunity to install another SSD).

Also the battery life doesn't shine, but that's solved by plugging in. And there's no OC either - you'll have to install it yourself or pay a specialist for it. But it seems to me that for a modern user it's not such a problem to install the OS.

MSI GF63 Thin 11UC-255XRU is not ideal, but definitely worth your money. And if you'll find it at a discount, it's a great offer!

HP Pavilion Gaming 17-cd2043ur

Screen: 17.3", 1920x1080, 144Hz, 16:9, IPS
Processor: quad-core Intel Core i5-11300H (up to 4.4GHz)
Graphics: GeForce RTX 3050
Memory: 8GB DDR4, 512GB M.2 PCIe
Connectivity & Ports: 3xUSB 3.2 Gen1, 1xUSB 3.2 Gen2, 3.5mm, HDMI 2.0, 1Gbps Ethernet LAN, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Battery: 52.5Wh
OS: install it yourself
Price: $950

A laptop for those who like a bigger. The screen it has 17.3 inches with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Inside the Core i5-11300H processor and an RTX 3050 card - a bunch enough to play all modern toys, most importantly, with graphics settings do not protrude.

There's also a full keyboard with number pad and backlight. I don't know about you, but I just physically can't accept a keyboard without a number pad, I just can't, that's all.

I don't like the design, the case is made of plastic, the backlight of the keyboard is green only. The manufacturer's website says the laptop will last up to 4 hours and 45 minutes in 'mixed use mode' and 6 hours and 30 minutes when watching video. That's typical battery life for a device in this class.

There's also a B&O audio system: two speakers, HP Audio Boost technology. An HP Wide Vision 720p HD webcam with built-in bi-directional "digital microphones" is also present. But this won't surprise anyone, everyone has a webcam. The laptop weighs 2.75kg.

What else can I say? As in the case of MSI GF63 Thin 11UC-255XRU - a compromise solution. Healthy 144Hz screen, but hardware is far from flagship, battery life doesn't shine, plastic chassis, only 8GB RAM, no OC. If you look at the price/performance ratio, the device is quite interesting. If there is also a discount, don't hesitate to take it.

MSI GF76 Katana 12UD-235XRU

Screen: 17.3", 1920x1080, 144Hz, 16:9, IPS
Processor: 12-core Intel Core i5-12500H (up to 4.5GHz)
Graphics: GeForce RTX 3050
Memory: 8GB DDR4, 512GB M.2 PCIe
Connectivity & Ports: 3xUSB 3.2 Gen1, 1xUSB 2.0, 3.5mm, HDMI 2.0, 1Gbps Ethernet LAN, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Battery: 53.5Wh
OS: install it yourself
Price: $1150

This is another representative of the MSI brand, but now with a screen of 17.3 inches. And then there is the new Intel Core i5-12500H processor with 12 cores, the performance of which will suffice for many years. With it also comes s a GeForce RTX 3050 card. The screen here is just for gaming, as it has a frequency of 144Hz.

The case is plastic. The keyboard illumination is monochromatic. The battery could be bigger, but the notebook will live for 4 hours in games - thank goodness for that. OC - no. RAM - not enough. Sound - not ok. But there's Dynamic Boost 2.0, WhisperMode 2.0 and other Resizable BAR.

The MSI GF76 Katana 12UD-235XRU could be considered as a "fresher" alternative to the HP Pavilion Gaming 17-cd2043ur.


Screen: 15.6", 1920x1080, 144Hz/240Hz, 16:9, IPS
Processor: 4-core Intel Core i5 11300H (up to 4.4GHz), 4-core Intel Core i7-11370H (up to 4.8GHz)
Graphics: GeForce RTX 3050, GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, GeForce RTX 3060, GeForce RTX 3070
Memory: 8/16GB DDR4, 512GB or 1TB M.2 PCIe
Connectivity and ports: 3xUSB 3.2 Gen1, 1xThunderbolt 4, 1xHDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm, 1Gbps Ethernet LAN, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Battery: 76Wh
OS: install it yourself
Price: from $1349

Of course, when it comes to gaming laptops, it's simply impossible not to mention ASUS. There are plenty of good-quality solutions in its range, but I chose the ASUS TUF Dash F15 FX516PC-HN107 specifically.

The laptop looks very stylish, it's the case when you don't need any backlighting for a decent look. Yes, the chassis is plastic, but it's all solidly built. And it's military-industrial-grade MIL-STD tested to make it tough, too.

The WASD keys on the keyboard are highlighted and backlighting is more pronounced than on the rest of the keyboard. The backlight, by the way, is single-coloured, and there is no number block, which will be a minus for some people.

On the inside, nothing unusual - the base is a bunch of Intel Core i5 11300H, GeForce RTX 3050 and 8GB of RAM, which is enough to enjoy interactive entertainment. Just don't mess with the graphics settings and you'll be happy. There are two types of screen - 144Hz and 240Hz. The battery is 76Wh here - more than other competitors. There are stereo speakers, but alas, there is no OC in the basic configuration. There is no webcam either. The machine weighs about 2 kg.

The conclusion is that it is a competitive notebook for average gaming.

That's all, have a nice shopping experience, stay healthy and see you soon!