How to Select the Right Laptop Computer Without Spending a Fortune

Right Laptop Computer
Tips & Tricks

Ah, yes! The technology demon continues to rear its face, not only in the consumer market but in schools, businesses and entertainment industry as well. Keeping up on the influx of technological advancements would be like having a second job. Computers, televisions, Blue-Ray and upconverter DVD players, gaming, Global Position satellite units and surround sound speaker systems, oh my! Those not ready to embrace the technological advancements of the times could be tail spinning back in time, to the days of the cave man. The laptop computer has become such a staple product in today’s day and age, that it seems like everyone has one, and for good reason! Like the American Express Card states “don’t leave home without it”, families across the world have incorporated that slogan to include cell phones and laptops as well. Selecting the right laptop should not only be geared towards you own unique specifications but could save you money as well by not going over board by purchasing a laptop that contains features over and above those needed by you.

When it comes to selecting the right laptop there are a number of excellent brands with which to choose from. Sony, Hewlett Packard, Dell, Acer, Compaq, Toshiba and Mac and the most common brands on the market when it comes to laptops. You have to next decipher what it is that you want out of a laptop? Is this for business, recreation, gaming, surfing the web, graphical wizardry, multi-tasking, downloading and looking at pictures, movies, songs and videos and convenience. All of these features should be looked at, to some extent, to help you weed out features you don’t need. Taking this step will probably help to reduce the price you will have to pay for the laptop by not paying for the extra features. Comparable to purchasing a car, you wouldn’t buy a vehicle with a V-8 engine if you don’t need the power, or purchase Satellite Radio if you have no intentions of listening to the radio much, or buy the DVD player and monitor for the car if you don’t have any children. These present extra price burdens that don’t need to be felt in your wallet or pocket books.

Some of the more pertinent aspects that can have an impact on the price of the laptop you plan on purchasing are: amount of memory, size and weight, Blue-Ray and Blue tooth compatibility, processor speed, graphics card and memory dedicated to it, size of hard drive, ease of operation, web camera, sound, brand name and place of purchase.

Weeding through these variables will allow you to come up with a plan of action while being your tool and guide in selecting the laptop that is going to best suit you and your objective for buying a laptop in the first place.

If you are one of those who uses a computer to check E-mail, web surf, download files and pictures occasionally, then you really don’t need to be concerned with the amount of memory, processor speed, graphics card details, Blue-Ray and Blue tooth compatibility and other advanced features as a standard model laptop will suffice. Why spend an extra couple hundred dollars on options and features that you are not going to use? A basic laptop costing in the $300.00-$500.00 range should offer you the right amount of features to get you on line, allow you to listen to music while downloading songs, pictures and videos can also be accomplished. You are looking at 2-4 gigs of memory and 100-250 GB hard drive which is more than enough to do what you want to as far as multi-tasking and downloading. Depending on the brand you will be dealing with either AMD Athlon or Intel Celeron or the Pentium Dual Core processor with a speed of about 1.7 to 2.0. The faster the processor speed, the quicker the computer will perform the function you want, including loading and opening times as well as programs requiring steeper processor speeds. In all likelihood, if you are just a casual computer user, you will have no problem with this processor speed range. If you are a programmer by profession and want the best laptop for programming, powerful processor is a must.

For the more advanced computer literate person looking to upgrade their laptop in terms of memory, video/graphics card, sound card, processor speed and type of processor as well as other key features, you will likely be spending closer to the $800.00-$1300.00 range. Processor speed will be of utmost importance as many programs and processes that you will be running will require fast CPU usage and processing speeds for spreadsheets, graphs, presentations, power point, and games. Many of today’s games are very detailed, intricate and realistically stunning, but without the faster processor speeds with memory that is designated to the video card and a special video mode known as Open GL, the graphics will not look as vibrant and the game will not work like it should, smooth and continuous. Laptops in this price range will also contain 4-8 gigabytes of memory and 250GB – 1TB hard drive to store all sorts of data, music, videos and pictures, and make your computer work more efficiently. A great way to ensure that you have enough memory (RAM) dedicated to a laptop is to look at some of the requirements for various games and programs you plan on running. Take the requirements of the more advanced programs and games and double that number. This will ensure that you have enough memory to handle the various programs and games you wish to perform. Hard drive is important as well with transfer rate(RPM’s) being a good indicator of how good the hard drive is. Long transfer rates will slow down a computer’s performance when transferring large files. Thus it is best to have a hard drive that puts out 7200 RPM IDE or greater to assure that your specifications are met. Standard RPM is 5400 RPM IDE with the highest transfer speed being an SCSI drive which requires its own card.

As for the sound aspect, most laptops are pretty even with sound card and speaker support. For the most part, the speaker and sound cards are OK for many of the programs, music, movie and presentations. However, if you are like me, it helps to purchase external speakers and noise reduction headphones to reduce noise and increase crisp highs and deep lows associated with great music, movies and games as well. If you love the high quality of Blue-Ray Movies there are laptops that are Blue-Ray compatible, though pricey! Blue Tooth compatibility, web cam, fingerprint scanner, instead of memorizing passwords, can also be obtained.

What it all boils down to is what you ultimately want to do with the laptop, how much you plan on using it and what features tickle your fancy with the price you are going to pay. It always helps to read up on customer reviews as well as reviews by professionals in electronics magazines and also check various stores and on line venues for deals. Just to offer some insight, it makes no sense to pay more, out of pocket, for features you don’t care about or will likely never use. Save the money you would have spent and get a nice firewall and anti-virus program such as those provided by McAfee or Norton!!!! That will be money well spent and safeguard your computer, privacy and peace of mind! Don’t forget to read my post – Cheap Computer Desks – Guide To Get The Perfect.

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