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If you believe the headlines, the first rule about buying a laptop today is to forget about buying a laptop today. These bloated, annoying, space-hogging gadgets are apparently painfully obsolete compared to modern, sleek and sexy tablet computers.

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Www.batteryfast.co.uk-Laptop Buying Guide, Found You Needs

  1. 1. October 24, 2011 batteryfast.co.uk Laptop Buying Guide, Found You Needs Laptop Buying Guide, Found You Needs photo and music collections. Where things start to get trickier is if you’re heavily into gaming, want to watch (or edit) HD video or need a computer that works well away from power sockets or in extreme conditions. Fix a budget before you start browsing — although leave a little wriggle room for extras like a laptop sleeve, software, a separate mouse and possibly an If you believe the headlines, the first rule about external hard drive. buying a laptop today is to forget about buying a lap- top today. These bloated, annoying, space-hogging gadgets are apparently painfully obsolete compared to modern, sleek and sexy tablet computers. But just hold on a minute! Laptops still outsell tablets four to one, and sales in 2012 are expected to top a quarter of a billion worldwide for the first time ever.Laptops are faster and more powerful than tablets, have convenient full-size keyboards, are easy to connect to printers and cameras, and can glide between work and games in a flash. (Plus they can all actually run Flash.)If you want an affordable, practical digital all-rounder, laptops come in an array of shapes, colours and prices that make flat, grey tablets look boringly identikit. There are lap- tops for students, laptops for artists, even laptops for mountain climbers. The only drawback to this The basics variety is that it can be all too easy to end up with a computer that’s either under powered or overpriced Laptops come in three categories. At the small and for your needs. portable end are ultra-lights, designed for stressed- out executives formatting Excel spreadsheets on the First things first Heathrow Express. Not to be confused with budget netbooks (we have a whole buying guide just forjoliprint You’ll need two things when shopping for a laptop: a them), ultra-lights tend to be nicely designed, a little clear idea of what you want to do with it; and a firm sluggish and shockingly expensive. Their screen budget. The good news is that all new laptops will be sizes range from around 11.5 inches to 13 inches. fine for checking email, surfing the Web wirelessly, Printed with working on office documents, and enjoying your http://www.batteryfast.co.uk/battery-technology/laptop-buying-guide-found-you-needs/ Page 1
  2. 2. October 24, 2011 batteryfast.co.uk Laptop Buying Guide, Found You Needs The next step up is everyday laptop computers, so- actually a netbook rather than a laptop — hop over metimes called notebooks, with screens from 13 to our netbook buying guide for more info. inches to 15 inches. This is the sweet shop for laptops, where the most are sold and prices are keenest. A bigger decision is what brand to buy. Unlike des- Notebooks are light enough to carry occasionally ktops, where even no-name companies can make and can usually manage half a day’s work away great computers, the technical challenge of squee- from power, but budget ones often lack style, speed zing hundreds of components into a tiny case favours and build quality. multinationals. Stick with top electronics brands (such as Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and Toshiba) The final category is multimedia (or desktop repla- or laptop specialists (Acer,Asus, HP/Compaq, Dell). cement) laptops. These monsters have screens up to Some retail chains also have ‘in-house’ brands that 17 inches (and sometimes even larger), and come can be good value, if a bit plasticky. packed with smart graphics cards, super-fast pro- cessors and lots of memory. They’re the first choice of gamers, graphic designers and anyone who wants the power of an old-school desktop squeezed into a portable body. Well, we say portable, but these laptops can be heavier than a case of duty-free and bulky enough to need a Business Class seat to them- selves. See Also: Windows or Mac Switch on the telly and it seems that everyone using a computer has an Apple Mac, except perhaps those hardcore hackers you see surrounded by monitors, empty pizza boxes and Star Wars figurines. In real Tech specs life, however, the choice is not quite so clear-cut. Laptop specifications change all the time and consist Macs are built well and age slowly but cost at least of a brain-melting alphabet soup of letters and num- two to three times as much as the cheapest Windows bers. In general, there are three things to consider: machines. Even at those prices, the most affordable the processor; memory (RAM); and storage. You can MacBooks have cramped screens and some perfor- ask about other key components, like the graphics mance limitations. Windows computers offer more card and graphics memory, but don’t expect to un- choice and lower prices, but you’ll need to stay on top derstand the answer — check the model online if of upgrades and security to get the best from them. this is important to you.joliprint When shopping for a PC laptop, insist on Windows Processors are virtually all dual-core these days, and 7 software. It doesn’t really matter which version, are usually made by either Intel or AMD. There’s although anything running the Starter Edition is little to choose between the two, although AMD si- Printed with licon tends to be found in cheaper machines. Intel http://www.batteryfast.co.uk/battery-technology/laptop-buying-guide-found-you-needs/ Page 2
  3. 3. October 24, 2011 batteryfast.co.uk Laptop Buying Guide, Found You Needs chips get more powerful as their model number ’3D’ is a buzzword right now and 3D laptops are increases (ie. an Intel Core i5 chip is faster than an already trickling out. While games and films can Intel Core i3). look stunning in 3D, the technology is still fairly young, fairly expensive and suffers from low levels Processor speed, quoted in GHz, affects how fast of brightness and sharpness. Consume at your own it can crunch numbers. Anything above 2GHz is risk. fine for everyday use, but gamers and video fiends should look for higher numbers, and especially for Don’t underestimate the importance of a good Intel’s Turbo Boost feature. keyboard, trackpad or navigation nipple. Look for dedicated keys for mail, Web and especially media RAM is the other thing that affects how fast your controls — they all make smaller keyboards easier laptop runs. 2GB is an absolute minimum these to use. days — and step up to 4GB (or even 6GB) if you can possibly afford it. Open and shut the case a few times and hold it in both hands. How heavy is it? Does it flex or creak? Hard decisions How strong does it feel? While it’s hard to beat Apple for solidity and design, all the big brands have pre- Hard drives generally range between 250GB (mi- mium metal-bodied models, and Panasonic even serly) to 1,000MB (1TB, gargantuan). These deter- has fully waterproof and toughened Toughbooks. mine how much data, including music and video, you can store on your laptop. Always buy a little more storage than you think you’ll need, but don’t bankrupt yourself. External drives are getting chea- per all the time, and space-saving cloud services are increasingly popular. Apple’s MacBook Airs, and some high-end Windows laptops, have fancy solid state drives that are faster, tougher and use less power. They’re also achingly expensive and come in smaller capacities. Screen and build quality Always try to get your hands on a laptop before you buy. Start by looking at the screen indoors and — if possible — near a window or outside. You’ll In and out probably find that Apple and Sony screens have the brightest colours and best contrast. If you do have The best laptops have a choice of connectors, inclu-joliprint to buy from the specs alone, look for LED backli- ding multiple full-speed USB ports, HDMI sockets for ghting and Full HD for the best resolution, found linking to media systems and memory card readers. on pricier machines. Some laptops will have DVD or even Blu-ray players, although these add weight and suck power. A built-in Printed with http://www.batteryfast.co.uk/battery-technology/laptop-buying-guide-found-you-needs/ Page 3
  4. 4. October 24, 2011 batteryfast.co.uk Laptop Buying Guide, Found You Needs webcam is great for Skype, Facebook or FaceTime video calls — don’t worry about its resolution. Spare a thought for the battery powering all this techno wizardry. Manufacturers’ battery life figures are a rough guide, but take them with a pinch of salt and don’t expect to achieve day-long use without resorting to a socket. If you simply must have mobile freedom, choose a laptop with a replaceable battery and buy a spare immediately — they can be hard to find a year or two down the road. Ultrabooks Finally, keep an eye out for ‘ultrabooks’, a new term coined by Intel to describe ultra-thin PC laptops rival- ling the MacBook Air. Expect machined metal cases, solid state drives and even touchscreen displays to make the most of new finger-friendly Windows 8. You can read our reviews of some of the first ultra- books, including the Asus Zenbook UX21, the Toshi- ba Portege Z830 and the Acer Aspire S3. CloudTag: Laptop, buying guide, compaq 484170- 001 batteries , hp 484170-001 batteries , hp 485041- 003 batteries Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a com- ment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this de- livered automatically to your feed reader.joliprint Printed with http://www.batteryfast.co.uk/battery-technology/laptop-buying-guide-found-you-needs/ Page 4