Notebook Shopping the Smart Way

By: John W. Spencer

There’s a wide range of laptops or notebook computers that cater to different needs of users. Using your own requirements and personal preferences is the best way to shop for a notebook.
You can select notebooks by category, generally they fall under one of these categories: entry-level, high-performance and ultra-portable.

If you are working on a tight budget, entry-level laptops are for you. They are affordable and suited for basic home and office use. If performance is your concern and not budget, look at high-performance laptops. They definitely cost more but offer robust capabilities for power users. Lastly, ultra-portable laptops are designed for road warriors who require mobility without compromising on features. They are pricey too but stylish, light and reliable.

Choose the processor speed that you need. If you will be using the laptop for word processing, sending emails or other similar basic needs then you do not require a lot of processor speed. It is smarter to buy more memory and hard drive space in this case than investing on the latest, fastest CPU. On the other hand, you will need serious processing horsepower for heavy gaming and graphic-intensive uses like video editing.

Never skimp on RAM. You’ll need at least 1GB to 2GB of computer memory on your laptop depending on the requirements of the operating system you’ll use. More is definitely better when it comes to RAM so add as much as your budget allows. When it comes to display memory, some of it is taken from the RAM on entry-level computers which slows down performance. It is best to choose a laptop with a separate video display memory.

Split your storage. Hard drives are quite affordable these days with most computers normally having 160 GB of storage or more. It is recommended to partition the hard drive to optimize performance and make data back-ups simpler.

Are you comfortable with the keyboard? It is best to choose a notebook with a keyboard that has a layout that you’re familiar with. Otherwise, it will take some time to get used to where the keys are. Test the keyboard to see if the keys are spaced just right for you to avoid straining your hands when you type.

And, of course, look at the battery life. You want a notebook with a battery that can last at least 3 hours. Mini notebooks will give you the longest battery life up to six hours or more. Again, weigh your options based on your needs. Indeed, notebooks have become normal accessories in our modern, tech-driven world. With so many choices out there, taking the time out to do your research will make all the difference to your purchase.

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