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Laptop Buying Guide

Posted on December 17, 2007
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For a person always on the go, a laptop is an obvious necessity. It is especially important for people who have the need to work while going from one place to another. It is a convenient way to be more productive as well as be more capable of doing more in less time.

Buying a laptop is not as easy as getting the best model there is. Different laptops come in different specifications to accommodate the different needs of individuals. There are those people who use laptops solely for typing documents or sending emails while on the run. There are those that make use of it to edit videos or create software programs.

In different instances, laptops with the right specifications would work well with the right applications. Aside from the specifications, there is also the quality to consider in buying a laptop. When you plan on buying a laptop, here are the key features that you should bear in mind.

Processor

Processors should be considers if you are looking for faster laptops. Today’s laptops have better processors such as Intel’s Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors which have helped notebooks gain ground in the power department. In some tests, notebooks using these dual-core processors performed considerably faster than notebooks using single-core processors, most especially when multitasking.

Some laptops today make use of AMD’s Athlon Turion 64 X2 dual-core processor, which also provides for a more improved performance. These processors both provide 64-bit support, which will become increasingly useful in the future as more 64-bit applications are developed for the market.

System memory

Most laptops generally include 512MB of system memory that is used to run different applications. Higher system memory usually means a faster operation time when opening different applications, especially at the same time. There are now many notebooks today that are available with 1GB of RAM. Equipping your laptop with 1GB of RAM at the time you buy it will help extend its useful lifetime.

Graphics memory

If you always make use of video and other graphic based files and applications on your laptop, you would want at least 128MB of dedicated video RAM. Make sure that the memory is dedicated for graphics use, rather than being pulled from main memory (the latter arrangement is usually referred to as shared memory or as dynamic video memory technology). Gamers should look for advanced 3D graphics chips, such as nVidia’s GeForce Go 7900 GTX, along with 256MB to 512MB of dedicated graphics memory.

Screen

Notebook screens continue to get bigger–and most have gone wide, enabling you to view spreadsheets or movies with ease. The luxury of high-resolution color is as important as the best and the fastest processors. There are many laptops today with 14.1-inch and 15.4-inch wide screens that come at an affordable cost. There are also a lot of laptops with 17-inch wide screens, too. This is usually the preferred models today. Frequent business fliers can choose from among the many laptops with screen sizes of 12.1 or 13.3 inches–some of which are wide-screen models, as well.

Battery

The battery life of laptops has continued to improve. Depending on the processor as well as the specs of the laptops, battery life on newer models usually has averaged about 3.5 hours on one battery. There are some notebooks can run for up to 7 hours. This is definitely something to check out before you buy a new laptop.

 
 

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