Drowning in a sea of laptop choices? Let us toss you a life-preserver!
Laptops have become more powerful, portable and as a result more popular than desktop computers. If graphics are your game, it is still hard to beat the power of a desktop computer. Current laptop models are more stylish, sporting a wide variety of colours and themes. Portability has vastly improved through weight and size reduction. There are multitudes of machines on the market, the trick being to choose the one that suits your needs the best.
Firstly, you need to decide what your needs really are, with budget being kept in mind. Will you be using your laptop for business, education, gaming, multimedia or design? There is a vast difference in configuration from basic entry level machines to all-out gaming machines.
Construction should be considered based on your intended usage. Make sure that your laptop is solid and sturdy but not at the expense of weight considerations. In this vain, laptops are made in two categories, for home and small business or for medium to large business. Home and small business laptops are made with rich colouring and design, lighter cases, less documentation, lesser warranties etc. It is important to research these before you buy. Business class laptops have much better warranties, poor colour choice but much more strict, durable design making them more reliable for those on the go. Some manufacturers make their laptops’ keyboards spill-proof for added durability. An important consideration is that if a laptop case is too flexible, it is not sturdy enough or intended for constant portability.
Ergonomics are a consideration when choosing the laptop for yourself. Choose a laptop with a keyboard that feels right for you. Make sure that you are comfortable with the keyboard’s touch and responsiveness. Some models have skewed feeling keyboards due to placement of track pads etc. Weight is another issue though models are becoming more and more lightweight due to consumer demand. Opt for a lighter laptop if you need to carry it often. If weight is a more important consideration than price, battery life and reliability, then you might choose an ultraportable laptop.
Usability is of utmost importance. Nothing is more annoying and straining than products constructed without the user in mind. Make certain the track pad or pointing device is functioning properly and you are able to easily handle the pointing device. Using the keyboard should feel natural and responsive. All buttons and gadgets should be easy to find and use.
All computing devices build up heat. Make sure that the laptop that you choose does not get uncomfortably warm on the bottom as not only is personal injury possible but also damage to the computer itself may result.
Be certain your laptop choice has at least two USB 2 connections and possibly one Firewire connection for use with digital cameras, iPods and phones, etc. For more convenience and flexibility, choose a laptop with an in-built DVD-Burner. Make sure that the laptop has a good hard drive and RAM based on your needs and intended usage. Wireless networking is a must for all of us these days. Make certain your choice has WiFi and possibly Bluetooth capabilities.
Lithium Ion is the battery of choice for extensive use as they have more battery life and are easily rechargeable.
Built in monitors or Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screens for a laptop should be from 13 to 21 inches. The resolution of the screen can be as low as 800 x 600 pixels or as high as 1600 x 1200. Choose the one which suits your needs the best.
The biggest consideration, of course is your budget. Many brands and configurations are available on the market to suit nearly every budget. For the most part, most laptop and computer assembly has been mainly in the Asian region. Two to three Asian companies manufacture up to 80% of the big name computers. Bear in mind that the major difference is in price and configuration.
Finally, find a computer expert you trust. They will be able to work through all of the aforementioned considerations in order to help you with finding the laptop computer that will suit you the best.
Now grab hold of your life preserver and head on out into that ocean of laptop colours, designs, configurations and prices with confidence!!