How to Buy a Laptop - What Features to Look For When Buying a Laptop

12/04/2011 14:56

Looking to buy a new laptop? New to computers and don't know what features to look for? No sweat, I will explain these in a non-techie, simple to understand language so you won't get lost or confused. Hopefully by the end of this short article you will have an idea on what features to look for when buying a new laptop. So here are some basic things that you should consider:

1.Central Processor Unit (CPU): These refer to as how fast your laptop runs. You should be asking how many GHZ does it have? What are you going to use your PC for? For gaming? Then you need Intel Core 2 Duo processor. If it's for school or just surfing the net then Intel Celeron or AMD Athlon should be fine.

2.Memory Cards: These dictate how fast and how many programs on your laptop open and run at any given time. These days laptops usually come with at least 2GB of memory and that should be enough to run windows vista, and windows 7 and some basic programs. But if you plan to do multi-tasking or gaming then the more memory the better.

3.Hard Drive: Again depend on the kind of task you are going to use your laptop for. 80GB, or 100 GB should be more than enough for the average user. But if you are a heavy file-downloading kind of user then you should get a laptop that has at least 400GB to avoid going to BestBuy to buy you another portable hard drive 3 months after you bought your laptop.

4.Operating System (OS): This one refers to the base software that runs on your laptop. The common OS's are Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (the newest version of Microsoft Windows), Mac OS X (Apple Computer's OS), and open source OS such as Linux. In those OS's, Windows are used by most PC and laptops worldwide. Windows XP is the most favorite OS of all although I heard something very positive about the new Windows 7 but it's too early to comment on it.

5.Wireless network card: Your laptop should be equipped with a wireless-n network card which becomes a more standard wireless technology these day. If not then it should have at least wireless card that can support 802.11 a/g/b wireless technology.

6.Disk Drive: Most laptops now come with a DVD±RW/CD-RW drive. That drive basically let you create your own CD or DVD from music or video files from your computer. How do you know if the laptop got it? Just look on the front of the drive it should say something like this DVD±RW/CD-RW. If you are not into creating your own CD then a regular DVD drive is enough to play CD and DVD movies on your laptop. You should beware though, if you are buying a mini laptop 9" or 10" laptop, you won't get a disk drive in it. You will have to pay extra to get an external disk drive for these mini laptops. If you want to enjoy the quality of Blu-ray movies then you should consider get a laptop with a Blu-ray drive but it's going to cost you a lot more than a laptop with DVD±RW/CD-RW drive.

7.Card Reader: If you take a lot of pictures or record a lot video on your cell phones, digital cameras then you should consider a laptop with a card reader so you will be able to put the memory card in and transfer your pics or videos to your computer. If the laptop that you like doesn't have a card reader in it, don't worry, you can always buy a separate portable USB card reader for about $40-50 or a lot cheaper online.

8.Webcam: New laptops usually come with a built-in webcam for internet chatting and web conference. If you don't plan to do any of these activities then don't worry about this feature.

9.Color: The last but not least feature. Some of laptop makers now begin to make color laptops to fulfill the needs of the market but if you really really want to buy a fashion or stylish laptop, you would recommend you look into Dell laptops because they have a whole line of products and choices of colors and patterns for you to choose from. You can't go wrong with them.

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There are some more features but those above are the basic features that you should look for in every laptop that you plan to buy. If you follow these guidelines in this article, you should have a very good idea about the kind of laptop that you want to buy. I hope this article has been helpful to you and good luck to you getting a good deal when buying a new laptop.