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 »  Home  »  Hardware  »  Buying a laptop? 12 tips for you!
Buying a laptop? 12 tips for you!
By  Super Admin  | Published  06/27/2005 | Hardware | Rating:
Buying a laptop? 12 tips for you!

1. Opt for an Intel Pentium 4 or an Intel Centrino processor. The processor forms the computing core of your laptop and is one area where you must not compromise.

Invest wisely here. The processor is the first component likely to get outdated and it is not possible to upgrade it.

2. Opt for a 256 MB DDR SDRAM. A RAM of lower memory capacity will make it difficult to run certain applications and software.

Upgrading from 256 to 512 MB DDR SDRAM could cost you between $100 and $150.

3. Choose an Active-matrix (TFT) display, preferably an LCD. The display is an active matrix if you can see the arrow while it traverses the screen. Most displays nowadays are TFTs as the Passive-matrix (dual scan) is now outdated.

TFTs are highly preferred because of their sharper images, better resolution and smoother images of motion on the screen.

Wide screen laptops are a visual treat and recommended for those interested in the movie experience. But they cost 8% to 10% more than the conventional laptops, are obviously bulkier to carry and slightly low on battery life.

4. If you travel extensively, take care that your laptop weighs under 5 pounds. If your laptop will be confined to your room, you could go in for a slightly heavier one. It will be cheaper. It will also have a few more features.

5. Check the battery life on the laptop. Insist that it is a Lithium-ion (Li+) battery (nearly all laptops will have this one). Choose batteries with a high voltage and a high mAh. Do not go for NiMH batteries, as you will have to keep charging them frequently.

6. If you have no intention of using a CD frequently, an external DVD and CDRW drives may be preferred to inbuilt ones. The main convenience being that they reduce the weight of the base piece and provide lesser complications later on.

If they are an integral part of your work, you might as well opt for an inbuilt version.

Incidentally, the prices of DVD drives are expected to fall considerably over the next one year.

Don't stress on your laptop having a floppy drive. Floppies are getting obsolete by the minute and will soon be terminated.

7. If you are on the move, buy a laptop with a spill-resistant keyboard and shock-resistant hard drives. This will ensure your hard disk does not crash and you don't lose data in the event of a minor crash or fall.

8. Ensure the laptop has two or more USB ports, as you will need them to attach your peripheral devices like printers and scanners.

You could even consider buying a pen drive to act as a reliable data transfer mode.

Choose a laptop with wireless connectivity in the form of Bluetooth and Infrared. These make data transfer very convenient and reliable and you can send data to multiple recipients at one go.

These facilities on your laptop would cost you around $30 more and are independent of any service providers.

9. Windows XP Professional is an ideal system for a laptop meant for office use. In laptops, it is very inconvenient to upgrade your operating system, so choose the latest one.

Windows is the most popular operating system, with XP Professional being the latest that supports all the software available today.

10. Some people prefer a touchpad mouse as the navigating option while others prefer the rubberised button situated between the keys G, H and B. Try working with both and pick the one you are most comfortable with.

Some laptops come equipped with both. You could also consider a cordless mouse, which is half the size of the regular one.

11. Insist on an inbuilt LAN card and modem.

There are basically two types of modems on offer -- internal modems and PC card-based modems. Make sure the internal modem is fast enough for your needs. Else, opt for the PC card-based one that sticks out of your computer, but is slightly better performance wise.

12. While budgeting for your laptop, bear in mind that a cheaper machine might prove expensive if you plan to upgrade it.

Do not compromise on the processor, the RAM and the operating system.

The memory capacity (GB) can be upgraded later on, so can the CD/DVD drives.

When you are buying your laptop check on upgradation. You can upgrade your machine with or without discarding it. If you plan to change your machine within two years, don't invest too heavily on it.

Where brands are concerned, do note that the IBM laptop division has been taken over by the Chinese company, Lenova.

HP and Compaq are the same brand when it comes to laptops. The good thing about this brand is that it is in a position to provide good service simply because of an established network of service centres.

Despite all the advice you get, make it a point to test your laptop before purchasing it. Don't just take someone's word for it.

Check if you are comfortable with the interface, the keyboard, the touch pad and the display. After all, it is you who are going to be using it and paying for it.

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Comments
  • Comment #1 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    good
     
  • Comment #2 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    I just bought one and Iove it didn't buy the Extras yet but they will be comming along shortly
     
  • Comment #3 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Straight forward and helpful.
     
  • Comment #4 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Not enough detail.
     
  • Comment #5 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    The key inputs are explained lucidly and it is very handy to use as a checklist.
     
  • Comment #6 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    gud info.
     
  • Comment #7 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    It is giving all essential information for someone looking to buy a laptop.
     
  • Comment #8 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Simple nfo for beginner buyers of notebooks..:)
     
  • Comment #9 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    try to give more information about the system
     
  • Comment #10 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    good information
     
  • Comment #11 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    I rated this way because the advice was excellent. Why else?
     
  • Comment #12 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    this article has given minute details about every thing like if i'm travelling more ,then go for lighter laptop and more.
     
  • Comment #13 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    useful
     
  • Comment #14 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Because it was clear and short, easy to understand for a first buyer of a laptop.
     
  • Comment #15 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Need to upgrade the specs.
     
  • Comment #16 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    It made sense to my non-computer mind, and was very helpful. Thank you.
     
  • Comment #17 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    had most of the information I needed
     
  • Comment #18 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Can be used as a checklist
     
  • Comment #19 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Gave all information about buying a laptop to get rid of cheating from shopkeepers.
     
  • Comment #20 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    the given points are ok ..but what about the first time users .if more detail is provided then .it would be more help and we shold not be confused .
     
  • Comment #21 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Good clear advice with no apparent agenda other than to help potential buyers. Thanks for that.
     
  • Comment #22 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    because it provides some good info on how to make a good choice when it comes to buying a laptop.
     
  • Comment #23 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Not true statements: The processor is the first component likely to get outdated and it is not possible to upgrade it. This is done by a technician (provided the Motherboard can support a faster processor). Where brands are concerned, do note that the IBM laptop division has been taken over by the Chinese company, Lenova. (The name of the company is Lenovo, and it was sold not taken over) Opt for an Intel Pentium 4 or an Intel Centrino processor. No reason for this, the P4 is a good chip but more expensive than AMD. This branding is a choice for you (intel's return is pretty good). it is very inconvenient to upgrade your operating system, so choose the latest one. Very not true Other than those this is an ok article, best person to ask local computer store, not a chain store, Reason: the local computer store usually hires people that are interested in computers and will help you.
     
  • Comment #24 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Good article, but needs to be updated keeping in mind current developments. Now that DVD RW drives are more common than before in Laptops, it would have been nice to have a line stating why these are good to have and what to look out for eg. Multi-format drives (that can do DVD RAM are better than the ones that do only DVD +/+ R & RW formats only. Another addition is the Lightscribe feature for those who need to label / design their disks. As regards RAM, there should be a minimum of 512 MB given today's resource hungry applications and also about Core duo and Core 2 duo / 64 bit processors and why they are important for future proofing. And many more - but I trust you get the Gist. regards John
     
  • Comment #25 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Becoz I came across so many things which I didn't knew when it is concerned to buy a laptop.The tips really helped me and gave a clear picture.Thanks for the tips
     
  • Comment #26 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    it was good....
     
  • Comment #27 (Posted by jenkinsdavid)
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    Really very useful
     
  • Comment #28 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    I had the WORST SERVICE EVER on my HP laptop. I am not kidding, 40 hours on the phone to get a new hard drive. It was a nightmare.
     
  • Comment #29 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    it is summarised in very simple manner so easy to understand
     
  • Comment #30 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    good
     
  • Comment #31 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    A good piece of advise
     
  • Comment #32 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Way out of date
     
  • Comment #33 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    It answered 95% of the questions I need to know before shopping.
     
  • Comment #34 (Posted by Disabled in 2003)
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    I would like to thank John for his comment. ****ADVISE TO ALL***** BUY AN EXTENDED WARRANTY... OR be prepared to dish out $100.00 just to ask Tech support a question. :(
     
  • Comment #35 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    You amswered my questions about key components. You advised repeatedly about giving priority to the important parts of the laptop we must not compronmise - choice of processor and operating system (to name just two)
     
  • Comment #36 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    It is giving all essential information for someone looking to buy a laptop.
     
  • Comment #37 (Posted by vanessa calalang)
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    very informative
     
  • Comment #38 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    helped me to understand a little bit more on the workings of a laptop
     
  • Comment #39 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    in very lucid manner a novice like me gets her ideas clear
     
  • Comment #40 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    the information is not comprehensive and lacks technical depth.
     
  • Comment #41 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    informative checklist.
     
  • Comment #42 (Posted by karunakar reddy)
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    poor
     
  • Comment #43 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    u guys have covered all the major points.
     
  • Comment #44 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    its written in simple words and give quiet a good picture abt the laptop purchase.
     
  • Comment #45 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    good, though i dont know when this article was written..
     
  • Comment #46 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    It's a little dated but the advice is still good.
     
  • Comment #47 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    easy to understand for beginners who dosent have an idea of how to buy a good worth laptop and yet not be cheated and ignorant when buying : )
     
  • Comment #48 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Good to know the comprehensive info about check list.
     
  • Comment #49 (Posted by manjumca30)
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    good info mama....
     
  • Comment #50 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    I have very little knowledge of computers
     
  • Comment #51 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    ok
     
  • Comment #52 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    very useful suggestions,after all money comes with hard work
     
  • Comment #53 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    i've been looking on the web for advice like this for days, (dont know why I only found it today) makes sense to the non computer literate buyer. thx
     
  • Comment #54 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    very good and reliable to unknown users.
     
  • Comment #55 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    terrific... this article gives me a full-scale awareness about how I gonna buy my laptop.
     
  • Comment #56 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    primary, known, generalised knowledge given. be more specific
     
  • Comment #57 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    nformative. thanks a lot
     
  • Comment #58 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Thankyou so much...
     
  • Comment #59 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Great Advises
     
  • Comment #60 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    This article is very helpful. It provides non bias information for us dummies who don't know what to ask for!
     
  • Comment #61 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Thats nice
     
  • Comment #62 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    This information is very good and needs little bit of updation as now there is revolution in the market of processors. Otherwise a person like me who does not have much knowledge really could talk to shopkeeper on the basis of this info and could negotiate well.
     
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