Laptop Buyers Checklist

Published: 22nd August 2008
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If you don't want to be disappointed, here's a quick Checklist of the features you want to check before you buy your notebook computer.

* Processor: The heart of your notebook or computer. It does the processing and applications. Most people prefer Intel Pentium Processors; the higher the number the faster it will process! Go with Pentium 4 if you can. Intel Celeron is another choice.

* Speed: This is how fast your computer can process data and perform your tasks. The faster the better! Latest models get up to a blazing 3.6 GHz.

Tip: You might also want to check the rotational speed

of your notebook's hard disk as it can affect performance

a 5,400rpm notebook disk is much faster than a 4,200rpm

model. How fast the disk spins, will also determine the

performance level of your notebook.

* Hard Drive: Check if it has a fixed drive; some units have drives you can swap. As for size; around 20GB for most notebook drives. You'll need only a 20GB or 30GB for most

tasks on your notebook. If you handle large graphics or large amount of files (dvd, M3Ps,etc.) you need more -- 50 to 60GB or higher.

Also, keep in mind, that you also have the external drive(s) option for storing and media-burning.

* Memory: How much do you need?

RAM (random-access memory). This is what the computer uses to run applications and data on your operating system. It's generally agreed that you need at least 256MB for Windows XP and Mac OS X. You will only need 128MB for other operating systems in Windows or Mac.

* CD-RW Drive: You will need a CD-ROM for installing. And a CD-RW drive for burning your own CDs if that's one of the tasks you want your notebook to do.

Keep in mind another option - many notebooks can access or use external drives for data storage, cd burning, etc.

* LCD Displays: Most have LCD screens; this is different from your desktop CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitor but most people are famaliar with this type of displays -- it's

commonly found in digital camera and video recorders.

* Screen Size: You have to consider what size LCD displayyou want. If you're going to be viewing a lot of pictures or movies on your notebook - a large 15 or 17 inch would

be better suited for your needs.

Usually, LCD screens range in size from 12 inches to 17 inches (diagonal). Viewing is usually set at 1,024x768 resolution. Quality is almost standard in all these notebooks. But check them out at your dealers if picture quality is your main reason for buying a notebook.

Note- Fujitsu LifeBook P ultraportable series has the smallest displays 10.6 inches. The Apple PowerBook has one of the largest at 17-inches.

* Modems: Most if not all notebooks have 56Kbps-modems and Ethernet connections. As well as connections (ports) for printers, VGA for external monitor and there should

be one or more USB ports for keyboards, drives, MP3's and digital cameras.

* Antennas: Most notebooks have built-in antennas for wireless networking and portability. But check before you buy!

* Portability: Might sound like a strange question to ask about notebooks. Not really, most notebooks are very portable, easy to carry - what they were designed for.

However; larger notebooks like the 'desktop replacemets' with 17 inch screens and weighing over 7 pounds might not be the best choice for the heavy traveler. For example

the new HP Pavilion zd8000 weights a whopping 12 lbs!

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