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Five things to know when Buying Laptop Computers

By Maria Gini Subscribe to RSS | December 30th 2011 | Views:
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Buying a new laptop computer is more confusing than ever. Between net books, notebooks, desktop replacements, thin and light, ultra portable, convertible tablets, there are so many classes of laptop computers that walking into your local tech store can make your head spin. If you've just started thinking about buying a laptop computer, these five questions can help you narrow the field and decide which of the many laptops on the market is the right one for you.

What am I Going to Use My New Laptop For?

If you're going to be carting your laptop around campus or on your trek back and forth to class, a thin-and-light computer, an ultra portable or an ultra-light computer, like the Mac Air, Apple laptop computers' super-thin machine, may be your best choice. You'll probably be trading some processor power, screen real estate and maybe even an optical drive for the reduced weight, but if you're only planning to use it for things like browsing the Web, checking email, writing papers and playing some low-powered games, your back will thank you.

On the other hand, if you're a dyed-in-the-wool gamer or if you need to run power-sucking graphics, CAD and processor-intensive applications, you may want to consider laptop computers in the desktop replacement class. Many HP laptop computers, particularly those aimed at media users, fit this category, and Dell laptop computers, aimed squarely at the business/student market, offer some of the best desktop replacement computers available.

Gaming laptops, of course, are in a class of their own. If you're a serious gamer, you'll want a desktop replacement computer assembled with additional RAM, bulked up video processing and ultra-sensitive controls.

How Much Do They Cost?

Expect to spend anywhere from $250 on a bargain basement net book to $2,000 and up for a top-of-the-line development machine with all the bells-and-whistles including high-powered graphics card and processor, maxed-out RAM and cutting-edge design. In general, you can get a decent all-around laptop with an operating system and basic applications for about $400 to $700.

What Connectivity Options Do I Need?

Wireless is an absolute must for all laptop computers these days, and without it, you might as well be tethered to your desk with a wire. Some ultra-portables have dropped the Ethernet connection, but you may want it if you want to be able to hook into a faster, more reliable office LAN on occasion. Look for at least 3 USB ports that will allow you to connect peripherals and portable media, and Bluetooth so you can easily sync with your iPhone, smart phone, PDA and other personal electronics.

What Hot Options Do I Want on My New Laptop Computer?

Keep your eye out for laptops with built-in TV tuners, dedicated video memory and the ability to upgrade with more RAM as applications get ever more memory-intensive.

What Kind of Battery Do I Want?

A battery determines how long you'll be able to work without an outlet nearby, so consider carefully. More battery power will add weight and size as well as time, but a 9-cell battery will let you work for as long as 6 hours without having to recharge. You can extend your unwired use time by picking up a spare battery for your laptop computers so you can keep one charged and ready to pop in when you need it.

Maria Gini - About Author:
Maria is an author of Latest Laptop Computers, one of the world's MOST popular Latest Laptop reviews website on the web and get complete information regarding Laptop Computer.

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