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Buying a Laptop

A guide to buying a laptop or Netbook. What type and specifications will suite you



 Buying a Laptop. What you need to Consider

The best laptop for you will depend entirely upon what you intend to use it for. There can be considerable variations in size and weight. For example a small netbook may be only 1 kg while a large laptop could be as much as 3 kg. Your requirements in terms of weight will vary depending upon whether you intend just to use a laptop in one room or to use it in various parts of the house or travel with it a lot.

You need to consider how much storage space in the hard drive you're going to need for your files. You may not think you will need a lot but bear in mind that with the large file size of current digital pictures you could find yourself running out of space if you choose a small sized hard disk. I would suggest that if it all possible you choose a hard disk of least 500 GB. This will generally require a larger laptop. If you prefer to have something smaller and more portable then another way round the problem is to purchase a portable hard disk to go with your computer. These are readily available now at reasonable prices for up to around 1 TB capacity. These are remarkably small and light.

You need to consider screen size and keyboard size. The larger these are the more usable the device will be.

The processor is the most important part of the laptop. This device determines the speed at which the laptop works and how many simultaneous tasks it can handle. To work out how good the processor is you need to look at the figure for the processor speed and also the number of processor cores. Basically the limitations on the speed of one chip are nowadays overcome by putting together a number of chips in series which are the different cores. A high number of cores and a higher processor speed are especially important when you intend to use software which utilises a large amount of the computers capacity. This includes image editing software and movie editing software as well as gaming.

If you intend to use your laptop for high-end gaming you need to choose one which specifies a separate gaming graphics card. Basically gaming is usually done using the processor which includes an onboard graphics card within the processor. For any serious gaming is better to have a separate graphics card although depending upon the speed of the card this could push up the price.

The next specifications to consider is the RAM which is short for random access memory. This is the type of memory the computer uses to carry out everyday tasks rather than the hard drive. When you have a number of software programs running at the same time the computer can run out of RAM and then has to fall back on the hard drive which is much slower. It is best to choose a minimum of 4 GB of RAM. Bear in mind that to go higher than this such as 6 GB or 8 GB you have to have the 64-bit version of Windows. The vast majority of laptops now are sold with the 64-bit version.

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