Selecting a Laptop that fits your Needs

A customer in the market for a laptop today has several categories from which to choose. Frequent business travelers who rush through airports can choose from the ultraportable category. Home users who play games or email photos to friends can look in the desktop replacement category. Students might want to select from the budget category, where they’ll be able to find a great laptop for research. Each category provides a number of options when choosing the proper size and weight, processing speed and memory, screen resolution, networking capability and battery life. These options have increased significantly in the last several years as market for laptops have increased and prices have decreased. Whatever the needs of the user, the right laptop exists to suit his or her needs and budget.

Business, Home or Student User Business users who manage spreadsheets do website hosting and create presentations should make sure the laptop is sturdy enough to stand up to a rigorous amount of travel. Home users should make sure the laptop can handle use by small children, and may want to make sure it has a CD burner for family photos, has enough power for games and can be wired to a network easily. Students can find budget laptops on which to write papers, edit artwork and make movies, although their primary concern may be that it can handle a late night coffee spill.

Size and Weight Those looking for a lightweight laptop should know that there is a trade-off between screen size and processor speed. A lighter laptop will have a smaller screen, a less powerful processor and shorter battery life. A drive such as a CD burner will also increase the weight and size of a laptop.

Processor Speed and Amount of Memory The processor, or CPU (central processing unit) is the brain of any computer. It executes the functions the user commands within a certain amount of time. Many laptops today have dual processors to provide faster response. Random access memory or RAM, allows the laptop to dynamically store the data to which a user needs access. Since most laptops come with a limited amount of RAM, all users should make sure RAM can be increased post purchase.

Screen Resolution A larger laptop screen will have a higher resolution, or clarity of pixels. A larger screen will also make it easier to move back and forth between several open documents or windows. Older users, who might have a more difficult time seeing a smaller screen clearly, may want to choose a laptop with the largest screen possible.

Networking Capability All laptops today come equipped with networking and wireless capability. For users who will connect to a work, home or wireless network, it’s best to find the laptop with the fastest Ethernet interface possible, as this will determine the speed at which the connection to the network takes place.

Life of the Battery Battery life is directly related to the power of the processor. A more powerful processor will drain the battery faster than a less powerful one. Users who regularly work on their laptops while on battery power might want to consider purchasing a second battery for use as a backup.

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Category: Laptops

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