Top Things to Look for in Laptops

Many people decide to buy a laptop computer because it offers flexibility and portability.

Laptops are most suited for those who do light computer work such as surfing the internet, word processing, accounting, and to help manage bills and home organization. There are many features available now on laptops that used to be available on top-line PC computers. When choosing a laptop that is right for the job, consider these top things to look for in a laptop before purchasing.

Laptop computers are often a perfect choice for those wishing to work from anywhere whether it is in a plane, a car or in meetings. This type of computer can also be suitable if you are looking to replace an older desktop computer and require more processing power and memory.

Price is the first thing to consider when purchasing a new laptop. Basic laptops with minimal memory can be purchased for much less than a laptop with complex programs and very high speed and memory. Consider what you will use the computer for. Will it be a primary household computer or will it manage your business? Will it be the computer the kids will use when completing school assignments? If you are looking for a computer to help do basic computer functions such as word processing and Internet access, you may not need to spend the extra money for added memory.

Also, consider the physical size of the laptop. If you need to travel with your laptop on a regular basis, look into the more compact versions, also called ultra portable. These ultra portable laptops often weigh in at less than 3-1/2 pounds. A heavier laptop might be too cumbersome when traveling with other luggage. Some of the larger laptop versions can weigh up to ten pounds or more.

Also, if you travel frequently with your laptop, look into laptops equipped for wireless fidelity or Wi-Fi. Most laptops now come with Wi-Fi capabilities. This is usually crucial for people who travel often and need access to the Internet. One type of Wi-Fi is Intel’s Centrino. This is a good choice for those needing a longer Internet access time. These computers can stay on between four and six hours on one charge.

The next thing to look for in a laptop is the processing speed. More expensive computers will have faster speed. There is a wide range of different processor names. A Pentium 4 processor is common on older versions of the laptop. While it is powerful, the battery will only last about two hours before requiring recharge. The Pentium 4-M is a little less powerful, but they hold a charge longer and are lighter in weight than some of their counterparts. An Intel Pentium M will run slower than a Pentium 4, but cost less and often does just as well. Both the Celeron and the Celeron M are made by Intel and are cost effective. These however, will be much slower than the Pentium chips. For top of the line speed, check into the Athlon 64 made by AMD. These are very fast and much more expensive than other chips.

Another thing to look for when choosing a laptop is the port. The Universal Serial Bus or USB for short are used for the mouse, digital cameras, and the printer. The FireWire is used for digital video and external high-speed hard drive. It is recommended that a laptop should have both of these built in. The USB 2.0 is faster than the older 1.1. It is not recommended to get a parallel port for laptops, as this can cost more and add unnecessary bulk to the computer. Another added connector that you will want to add to a laptop is an Ethernet and a video output connector used for projectors and high speed connection.

When looking at RAM, (random access memory), get at least 256 megabytes. If you spend a lot of time on the laptop, choose 512 megabytes of RAM. If you plan to store a large amount of video, music or photos, you should opt for a larger amount of RAM. For gaming purposes, try a video card with at least 32 MB of RAM. The general rule with memory is that the more RAM the computer has, the better off you are.

CD and DVD drives are also an important part of choosing a laptop. Most of the readers are built in. These are used for installing software, playing music, and to read multimedia projects. Laptops with DVD players can play movies and create CDs. If this is something you need for your computer, it is better to buy it already installed.

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