|Notebook Computers Are Sexy!
Granted, the notebook computer may just be the
sexiest accessory this side of a Baywatch Extra!
But are they worth the extra money? Should your
next PC be a notebook or laptop computer?
What are the pros and cons of owning a notebook
computer? More importantly, can they get the job done?
There's no denying it -- notebook computers are sexy!
Slim, svelte and lightweight; they always come across as
looking sexy, the ultimate in high fashion accessories.
Maybe sexy isn't the most appropriate word -- we
are talking about chips, hard drives and bits of metal.
But you have to admit; they do look good on just about
However; don't let the good looks fool you! And don't
get blinded by all that sleek metal and flashy designs.
The notebook is one little workhorse whose time
may just have come. Growing in popularity as prices
decline, it's definitely worth considering
when you make your next PC purchase.
All kidding aside, just what are some of the practical
pros and cons of owning a notebook computer? What points
should you consider before buying a notebook computer?
Basically, you have to narrow it down to a few simple
steps. Then consider all your options before you make
First, ask yourself -- what types of tasks, jobs, do
you want the computer to perform? Do you want it
for traveling, business, or for use in the home?
Do you want it for simple tasks like email, web
browsing or to use as a word processor? Do you want it
for gaming, web authoring, heavy graphic work, dvd
or MP3 downloading?
Next, consider all these options and find the notebook
that best suits your needs. Remember, it's your needs
that have to be fulfilled. Don't let a pushy salesperson
talk you into buying something you will never need
At the same time, make sure you buy a notebook that
has all the features that will complete all the tasks
you throw at it. In other words, make sure it
can do the job!
Keep that question in the back of your head as you
read the rest of this article. Especially, keep it
in mind, as you browse thru all these sleek models and
makes of notebooks. Don't be dazzled by all that
Keep your eyes on the cursor!
Keep asking yourself -- what does my new notebook
computer need in order for it to get the job done?
Lets take a closer look at all the options.
First, like anything sexy; notebooks come in all
shapes and sizes.
SMALL - How small can they be?
They can be as tiny as well -- the small traditional
paper notebooks -- with 10-inch displays. There is
even a sub category known as Tablet PCs; these are
very small tablets where you enter the data using
a stylus. Common in certain fields, like health
care or real estate.
Up a step from there -- are the 'Ultraportables'.
You can easily take these anywhere as they fit nicely in
a handbag or carry on bag. These are used by fliers
and travelers, they are light and small with 12 inch
screens without internal CD or DVD drives. They
don't match the performance of other larger notebooks.
LARGE - How large can they be?
They can be as big as 6 or 7 pounds or more. Over an
inch thick and come with 15 or 17-inch displays
these are often referred to as 'Desktop Replacements'
And just as their name states -- these can replace
your old desktop computer. For most purposes, these
notebooks can perform all the tasks of a regular pc,
have large screens, big keyboards, combo drives and very
large hard drives. But you have the handy option of
moving these from room to room for wireless networking,
or even for traveling.
In between these two groups; we have the business
class notebooks. These are often referred to as
'Thin-and-lights' -- they offer the best all around
convenience of performance, portability and the
Mostly preferred by the business travelers. They
have 14-inch screens, CD-RW/DVD drives, wireless
networking, because they are so versatile, these
'do-it-all' notebooks or laptops are becoming
That's a basic overview or rundown on the different
types of notebooks. But you have to compare and
contrast the different features in a little more
detail if you want to figure out the best notebook
that's suited for your needs.
Since there are so many types and varieties of notebooks;
not to mention so many technical requirements... buying
a notebook can sometimes be confusing. And for some
people downright worrisome!
Will the notebook you choose get the job done? Will it
be able to do the applications, or tasks you want
it to perform?
Ease your Burden -- Make a Checklist!
If you don't want to be disappointed, here's a quick
'CheckList' of the features you want to check before
you buy your notebook computer.
* Processor: The heart of your notebook or computer. It
does the processing and applications. Most people prefer
Intel Pentium Processors; the higher the number the faster
it will process! Go with Pentium 4 if you can. Intel
Celeron is another choice.
* Speed: This is how fast your computer can process data and
perform your tasks. The faster the better! Latest models get
up to a blazing 3.6 GHz.
Tip: You might also want to check the rotational speed
of your notebook's hard disk as it can affect performance
a 5,400rpm notebook disk is much faster than a 4,200rpm
model. How fast the disk spins, will also determine the
performance level of your notebook.
* Hard Drive: Check if it has a fixed drive; some units
have drives you can swap. As for size; around 20GB for most
notebook drives. You'll need only a 20GB or 30GB for most
tasks on your notebook. If you handle large graphics or
large amount of files (dvd, M3Ps,etc.) you need more --
50 to 60GB or higher.
Also, keep in mind, that you also have the external
drive(s) option for storing and media-burning.
* Memory: How much do you need?
RAM (random-access memory). This is what the computer
uses to run applications and data on your operating
system. It's generally agreed that you need at least
256MB for Windows XP and Mac OS X. You will only need
128MB for other operating systems in Windows or Mac.
* CD-RW Drive: You will need a CD-ROM for installing.
And a CD-RW drive for burning your own CDs if that's
one of the tasks you want your notebook to do.
Keep in mind another option -- many notebooks can access
or use external drives for data storage, cd burning, etc.
* LCD Displays: Most have LCD screens; this is different
from your desktop CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitor but most
people are famaliar with this type of displays -- it's
commonly found in digital cameras and camcorders.
Screen Size: You have to consider what size LCD display
you want. If you're going to be viewing a lot of pictures
or movies on your notebook -- a large 15 or 17 inch would
be better suited for your needs.
Usually, LCD screens range in size from 12 inches to 17
inches (diagonal). Viewing is usually set at 1,024x768
resolution. Quality is almost standard in all these
notebooks. But check them out at your dealers if picture
quality is your main reason for buying a notebook.
Note-- Fujitsu LifeBook P ultraportable series has the
smallest displays 10.6 inches. The Apple PowerBook has
one of the largest at 17-inches.
* Modems: Most if not all notebooks have 56Kbps-modems
and Ethernet connections. As well as connections (ports)
for printers, VGA for external monitor and there should
be one or more USB ports for keyboards, drives, MP3's
and digital cameras.
* Antennaes: Most notebooks have built-in antennas for
wireless networking and portability. But check before
* Portability: Might sound like a strange question
to ask about notebooks. Not really, most notebooks are
very portable, easy to carry -- what they were designed for.
However; larger notebooks like the 'desktop replacemets'
with 17 inch screens and weighing over 7 pounds might
not be the best choice for the heavy traveler. For example
the new HP Pavilion zd8000 weights a whopping 12 lbs!
* Accessories: Lastly, you should look at some
accessories that you might need with your notebook
computer. Many come with a Docking station or port
replicator -- somewhere to store and access your
computer. Check on the functions of each before you buy.
You might consider buying an extra battery; especially
if you're buying your laptop mainly for traveling and
in the field work.
Laptop bag is another accessory you should definitely
consider buying. Again, notebooks might seem lightweight
and small but if you have lug it around all day and you're
going to wish you had bought that carrying bag.
Now Assess Your Computer Needs?
Finally, we come to the main question that determines which
notebook is right for you. (If money is no barrier!)
WHAT DO YOU NEED THE COMPUTER FOR? WHAT JOB OR TASKS DO
YOU WANT THE COMPUTER TO Perform?
If you want something small to carry on a plane, or if you
travel a lot, then go with an utralight -- often called
ultraportables -- these are the lightest and smallest
notebooks, about the size of spiral-bound notebook and
weighing less than four pounds.
If you're a student and need something light weight but
also a little sturdy with a large hard drive (hold MP3s)
you might want to check out the 'thin and light' notebooks.
If you want to replace your main desktop with something
more portable -- go with a 'mainstream' or
If you want something you can use at home, work and
traveling around then you need 'thin and light.' If you
want an 'all-around' 'all-in-one' 'do-it-all' notebook ...
then buy a notebook of this type.
Because it's so flexible, and covers most of your computing
needs; this is the one that's becoming the most popular.
That's it - JUDGMENT TIME!
You have considered most of the facts about buying a
notebook computer. Now weight your options. Think about
the tasks you will be doing with your notebook. Look at
the checklist and check out the specs. Is everything covered.
Will the one you choose -- have the features to do the job?
Keep that question in your mind. It's the most important.
If you're considered all these points; buying your notebook
should be just a little bit easier.
In no time at all, you may be walking around with
one of those sleek, svelte -- dare we say sexy --
accessories tucked under your arm.
About the author:
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Copyright © 2005 Titus Hoskins of bizwaremagic.com
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