Laptops Buying Guides

If you have never owned a laptop computer, also often called a notebook computer, before, you are in for a surprise. Many of these portable computers are just as effective and high- tech as desktop models and most have just as much processing power and capability.

With so much technology packed into them, it is a surprise that people do not automatically go for the laptops, but the reality is that most people want the larger monitors or screens along with that little bit extra power. Additionally, many laptops cannot have their memories greatly expanded due to the limited amount of space on the units, and that is one of the few reasons that people will go for the desktops.


Choosing Your System

So, what this tells us is that you should begin the search for laptops and notebooks with a few things in mind. These include the size of the screen you will need to do your work, the amount of processing power and memory you believe you will require, and also the size of the keyboard too.


Processor speed

Let's begin with processing power and memory issue as this is often one of the most substantial factors. When you shop for a laptop or notebook you want to look to see the "speeds" of the computers available. This is such a significant issue that the better vendors will often allow you to sort the available models by the speed. In other words, you will see things like 1.8-1.9 GHz and 2.3-2.4 GHz, etc.

What does the GHz mean? Technically it means "gigahertz" but it is a numeric figure that shows you the total number of calculations or processes that the computer will be able to complete in one second. It explains how quickly the CPU (central processing unit) can complete an electronic circuit cycle and so the higher the number the faster the model.


Processor types

There are different CPU types, but most people want to begin with the speed, and then look at the amount of memory that the laptop has available. The speed and memory size are not the only things to consider because some computer makers are able to offer extremely efficient and reliable systems that have relatively slow processing speeds and smaller amounts of memory. Apple computers are famous for having nearly fail-proof operating systems that make models with speeds of only 1.7 GHz and 64 GB (gigabytes) of memory extremely powerful.


Memory

Memory is going to allow a computer to run more advanced processes and to retain a great deal of data in-memory. Clearly, if you are going to handle things like graphics and videos and use a lot of programs while doing so, it means more memory. If, on the other hand, you are not going to require the computer to do a great deal of processing, you can go a bit slower and require less memory. If you do need faster systems, the Toshiba laptops and notebooks seem to have an average of 2.1 to 2.4 GHz, making them very quick. They also have the largest number of models with speeds higher than 2.4 GHz too.


Screen size

Once you understand the speed and amount of memory needed, it is time to consider screen size. A lot of consumers make the mistake of choosing a computer that is very small in size (because this tends to keep the prices lower). This can result in an unsatisfactory result because they cannot enjoy high-quality video viewing, full-size pages in many programs, and it also means a smaller than normal keyboard.

It is only computers with screens of 17" or wider that can accommodate a traditional keyboard with the numeric keypad to one side. If you know that you use the full keyboard, or that you want optimal screen sizes, go with models of 17" or more. The HP brand is well known for offering many large models with 17" screens (and larger).


Pricing

You can expect to spend from $200 to over $2,000 on a laptop or notebook. This is due to the fact that they come in a diversity of styles, formats, and sizes. If you are using a laptop as a desktop substitute, it will pay to purchase the largest and most technology-heavy system. This will ensure you get the processing power and ease of use that a standard desktop system would have provided.

Though there are a lot of computer makers in the notebook and laptop market, some of the most highly recommended names also include Sony (and their impressive Vaio models), Acer (known for extremely affordable systems), and Samsung (which is a great brand for all kinds of portable and mobile devices). The tech giants Google and Microsoft have recently also started to offer competitive laptops. Google Chromebook is a scaled-down, affordable netbook while Microsoft Surface is a more upmarket hybrid computer.