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Invest Wisely When Buying A Laptop
by: Ryan Larson
Have you priced a laptop computer lately? Buying a new laptop is a big investment; and just how big of an investment you want to make is entirely up to you. Look in your Sunday newspaper flyers to see countless models on sale each week. Initially selections were made by looking at the specifications and the general appearance. However that’s not the sole criteria any longer. Everyday more and more people are now stepping inside the mobile world. With so many models of laptops now available, how can you be sure about the choice you make? Below are several factors you should consider: CPU (Central Processing Unit), Video Card, hard disk, noise, battery life and RAM (Random Access Memory).

CPU is the main component which determines the performance of your computer and also the heating and the battery life. There is a trade-off between the CPU performance and the battery-life and power consumption (heating). If you want a laptop which would replace a desktop and if you are not planning to travel with it a lot then there are several different offers with desktop CPUs integrated in the laptop main board (such as a P4).

If you are fond of mobility and are going to use your new laptop for your business purposes or school, then you should consider buying a laptop with more suitable CPUs. AMD Athlon can be a solution: Athlon processors are designed for users who are looking for economical solutions, both purchase and usage. Older models of Athlon are no where near Intel Pentium products from the point of performance, and yet new models like 2800 are potent enough to compete with P4 2.8 GHz.

There is one more model of CPU that many of the customers prefer: Centrino. Centrino is the new attempt of Intel to balance the tradeoff between the performance and mobility issues. With the 2 MB second level cash, the Pentium CPU is modified for the laptop which eases the burden of the CPU and implicitly pulls down the levels of heating and power consumption.

RAM and the graphic card are also two important factors for the quality of the laptop. There are two kinds of RAM on the market: SD RAM and DD RAM. In any case, there is no tradeoff, no comparison: DD RAM is better, and yet, you still have to be careful about the clock specification of the RAM. If you buy a RAM with 3.0 MHz clock speed, you will see the performance improvement it supplies to the whole system. Another thing to consider is that some computers have 512 MB RAM with two slots (256 x 2) which is not very good for the new laptop you are going to buy. Overall, if you want a good laptop, you should consider one equipped with a 3.0 MHz, 512 MB, DD RAM.

There are various video cards on the market today. The first thing you should check is the “ON-Board” specification in the video card. These cards are integrated into the main board and generally use your main RAM as for the video memory. If you are going to use your laptop for general purposes, not for gaming or 3-D design which would require 3D hardware acceleration, these laptops with onboard video card are for you. However, if you are a professional Counter Strike player, you would be disappointed with the screen delays and freezes.

The last technical detail is the hard disk. While buying a hard disk there is a detail which is much more important then the capacity: RPM. Rotation Per Minute determines how fast the data transfer rate is to the CPU to be processed so this specification also plays a huge role while dealing with multimedia stuff.

So if you’re in the market for a new laptop computer, one suggestion is to consider buying a Centrino laptop with an onboard video card with a big RAM if you are planning to use it for school or business purposes and also randomly for movies and music. Nevertheless, Pentium computers with AGP or PCI Express video off-board video cards would give you the performance of a desktop if you don’t mind the weight, noise and the heating of the laptop.

With so many decisions to make, take your time; do your homework and invest wisely.

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