Written by Daniel Fletcher Category: Laptops
Published on 16 August 2011
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Laptop

You’ve decided that you need a mobile computing. How do you decide what to buy? There are many reviews of actual laptops available, but before even going there, you need to examine the basics so as to determine the most appropriate solution for your needs.

 

 

 

 

 

The mobile computing industry has matured to the point that it is similar to the auto industry. Much as you would need to determine what type of vehicle you need, so too you should when purchasing a portable computer. Another point to keep in mind is of course our budget. Remember, though, that one generally gets what one pays for. Features and Warranty are also key.

Types of Mobile Devices

Do you need a pick-up truck with the largest bed possible and crew cab, or do you need a Ferrary? The first step is to identify how much mobility you need and what type of use you require. There are desktop replacement laptops and general use laptops (sometimes also called notebook PCs) , netbooks, tablet PCs, and tablet devices. By the way, Acer, one of the manufacturers, used to have a model called the Ferrary, complete with red case, styling, and a boot-up sound of a Ferrarry racing by.

Desktop Replacement: If you need to carry your office PC with you, then the desktop replacement laptop is your best choice. These are the equivalent of the pick-up truck mentioned above. They generally have larger screens up to 17”, large hard drives, large amounts of memory, full size keyboard that may include a numeric keypad, optional docking station, and a good warranty (3 year international). They are designed for the professional that needs all of the computing power of a powerful desktop computer, but purchases a single portable PC only. These laptops also tend to be heavier. The average price point is about $1,200 to $3,500.

General Use: The general use laptops are usually smaller and less powerful. They will typically have a smaller hard drive, less powerful video adapter, smaller screen (14” to 15.5”), and may have less memory expandability. The average price point ranges from about $650 to $1250.

Notebook PCs: Notebok PCs are scaled down versions of the general use laptops. They will have smaller hard drives, less memoryNetbook PC expandability, and smaller screen (average of 10”). Physically, they are smaller (about 1” thick, 10” wide by 8” deep and weighing about 3 Lbs). Their price point is in the range of $300 to $400. These laptops are generally suitable for light use only! I have seem many a time when people purchase these notebook devices and are then disappointed with the performance. Remember that you get what you pay for!

Tablet PCs: Tablet PCs are notebook PCs that either have a keyboard part that folds away, or may not have a keyboard at all. Their screen is normally used as a touch screen with either a finger or pointing device fashioned in the shape of a pen. One moves the mouse around the screen, then taps or presses on the screen to make a selection. These devices normally run a tablet-pc optimized version of Windows and are typically used for specific purposes that require a fully mobile computer for field work. Their price range is usually $1,200 to $1,600.

Tablet PC

Tablet Devices: Tablet devices are a bit of a confusing market segment at the moment. They are selling by the millions, but their use is targeted more for the home and multimedia / entertainment applications. Despite being technically full fledged computers, they offer limited functionality because of the underlying software that runs them. They are also generally smaller than even the netbooks, although the price point is higher in the $400 to $900. Their typical use includes music, picture taking and display, making phone calls, browsing the web, reading digital books, playing games, and taking notes. For now, they are more of a personal productivity device.

 

 


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