Buying a laptop computer is not a child’s play,especially when there so many features and options available in the market in this regard.It is indeed a big purchase to make.Most of the people who use desktop computers are not much familiar with the features and options to focus on when it comes to buying a laptop computer.Computer vendors and dealers usually twist and exaggerate facts to entice the customers into buying their products.An average user who does not has a deep understanding of the technicalities of laptop computers may easily be overwhelmed by the features and options available in laptop computers that are advertised by the vendors.so an average user who is familiar with the use of desktop computers may easily end up buying a laptop computer which might prove to be a trash later on.Therefore it is suggested to do some research in this regard before you decide on buying a laptop computer.
In my view here are a few features and options that you should concentrate on when buying a laptop computer.
1. Figure Out your requirements
The most attractive feature of a laptop computer, as compared to the desktop computer, is its portability.Portability means it can be easily carried anywhere you like.If you need to travel frequently or you work out doors and you need to carry your computer with you then you definitely need a portable laptop computer.Laptop computers are usually much more expensive as compared to the desktop computers.Roughly a laptop computer costs almost twice as much as a desktop computer does.Downside to buying a laptop computer is its lack of flexibility to be upgraded like a desktop computer.Unlike a laptop computer a desktop computer can be easily upgraded according to user’s needs.The portability of a laptop computer depends upon its size and weight.The lighter in weight and smaller in size a laptop computer is the more portable it is supposed to be.However,the portability comes at the cost of reduction in computing power of the computer.The more portable a laptop computer is the lesser the computing power it is equipped with.Therefore,it is highly recommended that until unless potability and mobility of your computer are your inevitable requirements,you should not buy a laptop computer instead of a desktop computer.
Processor (Microprocessor) is the heart and soul of your laptop computer.The performance of your computer is greatly dependent upon the type,brand,speed and cache memory of the processor of your computer.One of the two most reputed brands of processors available in the market are Intel and AMD.You can choose either one of these two.At the moment Intel’s Core 2 Duo is considered to be the best processor for laptop computers that caters to needs of an ordinary user.The choice of processor greatly depends upon the type of the application programs that you mostly like to run on your laptop computer.For gaming enthusiasts Intel’s Core 2 Quad and Core i7 CPUs are a more appropriate.
The speed of the microprocessor of computer is usually expressed in terms of Giga Hertz (GHz).This is an important factor that should be considered while buying a laptop computer.This figure represents the clock speed of microprocessor.It is actually the measure of the millions of instructions a microprocessor is capable of processing in one second.The higher the clock speed of the microprocessor,in terms of GHz’s, the faster is the information processing capabilities of your computer.In my opinion the speed of your processor should be at least 3GHz.
Although the processing speed of the microprocessor is a very important factor that greatly affects the performance and computing power of your computer,but it should be noted that ,its not the only factor that you should concentrate on while buying a laptop computer.There are scores of other factors like cache memory,bus speed,RAM etc., as well that greatly affect the processing power and performance of your computer.
RAM stands for random access memory.This is the volatile memory where your operating system,application programs and data being used in different processes currently ongoing in your computer is loaded by your processor for fast acess.Data stays in RAM as long as your PC is running.As soon as your PC is powered off all the data loaded in your RAM is lost.RAM is much faster to read from and write to as compared with other types of storage media in your computer like Hard Disc,USB disc and CD ROM etc.Whenever your PC is turned on again,operating system and other files from your hard disc are loaded again into the RAM of your computer.RAM comes in the form of computer chips.These chips plug into special connectors in your computer.RAM is usually measured in terms of Mega Bytes (MBs).The processing speed of your computer also depends upon the amount of RAM in terms of MBs and access time of the RAM installed in your computer.The access time of the RAM is the amount of time the RAM takes to write data and to read it once that request has been placed by the processor.Typical access times vary from 9 nanoseconds to 70 nanoseconds depending upon the type of RAM.
In my view at least 1GByte of RAM should be installed in your laptop computer,preferably it should be 2GBs.
Motherboard is the main circuit board of your computer which has interfaces for connection with CPU and all the peripheral devices like hard disk,CD ROM and BIOS etc., which are essential for the functioning of your computer.Motherboard also contains expansion slots and ports like serial port,USB port and parallel port etc.,for connection with peripheral devices like mouse,keyboard and display etc.The design,architecture and brand of the motherboard of your laptop computer greatly affect the performance and computational power of your computer.Usually the motherboard of the laptop computer is proprietary.You cannot just fit any motherboard in your laptop casing.Keeping in view the significance of motherboard in laptop computer,while buying a laptop computer,you must overview the salient features and architecture of the motherboard of the laptop computer that you intend to purchase.
4. Battery Life and Quality
The most important motive behind purchasing a laptop computer is its portability and mobility.A good laptop computer is considered to be one which has battery which is good enough to last for at least two hours,once it has been charged,under normal operation conditions of laptop.So you should pay special attention to the type,quality and life of the battery of your laptop computer.So there is no use buying a laptop whose battery cannot last more than thirty minutes when the battery is fully charged and laptop is being powered by the battery.
5. Display Screen
All laptop computers come with built-in LCD displays,however you can also hookup an LCD monitor externally with your laptop computer.LCD screen of your laptop computer is an important factor that dictate the cost,power consumption,size and weight of your computer.The bigger the size of the display screen of your laptop computer the bigger will be the weight,size and power consumption requirements of your laptop computer and consequently the more difficult it will be to carry your laptop along with you.So the size of the display screen of your laptop computer greatly affects the potability and mobility of your laptop computer.
So,if you are a highly mobile type of person and you have to carry your laptop a lot along with you while traveling by road or by air then you definitely need a light weight and portable laptop computer.In such a case 14 inch display screen will be good for you.Otherwise,if you do not have such constraints then 17inch display screen is a good option.In short to decide upon the size of the display screen of your laptop computer you should first figure out your needs for portability and mobility of your laptop computer.
One of the most important factors that you should take into consideration while buying a laptop computer is that your computer should be equipped with fairly a good number of ports to meet your potential requirements for interfacing peripheral devices with your computer.These days due to growing competition in computer market and to reduce the cost of laptop computer many manufacturers are keeping the number of ports in new designs of laptops very low which may not be enough for potential needs of the end user.So be careful while buying a laptop ,so that your laptop should not be deficient in number of ports that you may need for your applications.
The laptop computer you intend to buy should be equipped with features for wireless connectivity like bluetooth,wifi and Infra-red connection etc.Your laptop should preferably equipped with a built-in integrated wireless network card (like 802.11b/g/n)and an integrated bluetooth device.
There are three well known operating systems Microsoft Windows,Mac OSX and Linux that a laptop computer may be shipped preloaded with.Each of the three operating systems has its own individual advantages and disadvantages.However,it is recommended that the laptop computer you intend to buy should be preloaded with windows operating system.Although Microsoft Windows has security related bugs and is usually infested with viruses but because of wealth of applications available for Microsoft Windows,it is deemed to be industry standard operating system.Therefore by and large Microsoft windows Operating System is a good choice for a laptop computer.
The hard disk of the laptop computer that you intend to buy should be capacious enough to contain your essential soft-wares and back up of your important data that you may need off and on.In addition to the capacity of hard drive in terms of GBs,it is also important to take into consideration the rpm speed of the hard drive.The bigger the rpm figure the faster the hard drive will be.
10.DVD ROM Drive
Soft-wares are usually available on CD and DVD ROMs,also you need to store the back up copies of your important data and softwares by writing them on CDs and DVDs.The laptop computer you intend to buy should be equipped with a DVD ROM Drive that should not only be able to read CDs and DVDs but also it should be able to write your data on CDs and DVDs.
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