It's easy to be intimidated by all the laptop models on the
market today. There are literally dozens and dozens in every
The key to finding the right one for you is to step back and
consider exactly how you plan to use your laptop. When you
define what you need before you go shopping, buying the
right machine becomes much easier.
Here are 5 basic factors to consider:
In the world of mobile computing, size definitely matters.
The size of a laptop affects two key areas: portability and
If you're always on the go and will be using your computer
only in short bursts, a so-called ultralight will save you
some shoulder strain.
On the other hand, if you're going to spend hours in front
of your laptop, a larger display may be in order.
Today, some laptop displays exceed 17 inches, rivaling the
display size of many desktop systems. The down side is that
these monsters can easily weigh three times as much as an
#2. HARD DRIVE
Speaking of size, what about the size of the hard drive? One
way to approach this issue is to ask yourself the following
Will this be my primary computer, or will it supplement my
If the former, you should look for a bigger hard drive - 60
GB or more.
If the latter, you may be able to make it with a 20-30 GB
But even this isn't absolute.
If, for example, you plan to copy a huge MP3 library from
your desktop system to your laptop to make your music
library portable, you'd be well advised to err on the side
of too big.
In determining the right amount of system memory, or RAM,
take a look at the ways in which you intend to use your
If your needs are somewhat mundane - email, spreadsheets,
word processing, etc. - 256 MB of RAM should be plenty. This
is a common configuration for many laptops, so it means you
probably won't need to spend extra for more RAM.
On the flip side, if you're an aspiring mobile digital
photographer or videographer, you should stuff your laptop
with as much RAM as it can hold.
In fact, exactly how much RAM your laptop can hold may in
part drive your purchase decision. Applications for editing
and manipulating multimedia content are notorious resource
#4. NETWORK CONNECTIONS
Thanks in no small part to the Internet, computing in the
21st century relies heavily on being connected:
Connected to the Internet, connected to a corporate network,
connected to a wireless network, connected to a home
network, connected to an online service.
Your life will be easier if you buy a laptop that includes
built-in means to connect to them all.
If you're considering a laptop, you're probably wondering
how much money you'll need to spend.
A few years ago, you'd be hard-pressed to find one for under
$2,000. Today, there are plenty of laptops to be had for
What's more, most of the major manufacturers offer a variety
of financing options.
Laptop prices have come down, to be sure. However, a laptop
still represents a fairly major purchase for most people.
If you take the time to search for a laptop that meets your
specific needs, you should get many years of use and
enjoyment from this important investment.
About the author:
The author, computer journalist John San Filippo, has
created the definitive guide for buying a laptop computer.
It's an easy read and explains everything you need to know.
Check out ==> http://howtobuyalaptop.com/
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