Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Laptop Is Best For You? How is a laptop different from a desktop?

Part 2 of The Laptop Buyer's Guide.

Possibly, the greatest mistake that unhappy notebook owners made was to buy their mobile computer without determining its use. In other words, they knew that they wanted a laptop but never got around to asking themselves what they wanted their portable computer to do. I certainly hope that this article will help you avoid unnecessary frustrations

This time, ask yourself...

What will I be using notebook computer for?

(Btw: you'll notice that I emphasize on asking yourself questions. I have found that being curious before I spend my precious money usually saves me from making decisions that might be fatal to my bank account. Besides when someone asks himself or herself "why?", it forces them to come up with logical reasoning instead of acting on emotional impulses)

Why do I say "for the next three years?"

Because this is the usual maximum lengthy of a laptop warranty. Believe me, owning a computer that is not covered by some sort of warranty is almost the same as living without medical aid. You simply have to be extra careful or lucky and able to afford to have your laptop repaired when something goes nasty. For instance, did you know that the cost to buy a new laptop screen is so high that it's much better to consider purchasing a new unit?

Where were we?

Ah yes, "What will I be using notebook computer for?"

Nowadays, it is hard to determine where life will take you in three years time (for me at least) so jotting down the exact purpose of your laptop can be quite a task. This is why I suggest determining your overall notebook use. Now, things are going to get a little bit technical but please fear not, it's not that hard.

When I was new to the world of notebooks or laptops, everyone I approached for advice (mistake number one: asking too many people for advice which is usually a mere opinion) usually asked me: "What are the specs you need?". On my silence, they usually proceeded in bombarding me with terms such as processor, resolution, speed, swappable drive that almost made me believe that I was a freaking idiot!

It wasn't until a colleague in the IT department at the company I work for asked me what exactly I wanted to do with a laptop. As I spoke, he wrote down all my answers and at the end of the conversation, he told me that a Pentium III with at least a 1GHz processor, 256 Kb of RAM, 30 Gb of hard drive space and with a CD writer would be the best choice for me.

To help you come up with the purpose of your laptop computer, I have put together a hotlist of features that are found on notebooks. All the features will be listed with their meaning and it's up to you to determine if you need them.

So, get a piece of paper and a pen and do this easy exercise. Write down what you plan to use your notebook computer for. Don't be shy, jot down as much detail as you can, yes even the most mundane tasks like receiving email. Spend a full day at it if you must.

What are we going to do with the end results?

Good question. We'll use them to track down the best machine for you... How? Click below to find out!

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