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Article Index

Laptop Buying Guide Chapters

1. What to Consider Before Purchasing a Laptop

2. Recommended Laptop Features

3. Video Memory and Screen Resolution

4. Notebook CPU Speed Index Chart

5. Hints on Buying a Laptop

6. Best Selling Laptops and Notebooks

7. Notebook Reviews and Links




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Laptop Buying Guide

Forward - The purpose of this article is to provide you with unbiased information for your laptop/notebook computer buying decisions. We've tried to make this guide easy to read and informative, however it also includes detailed technical information for the more advanced reader.
There are many different ways of finding information on the laptops you wish to buy.
After reading through this article you can use your mobile phone to quickly find deals on laptops or other computer items by scanning the barcodes made by a quick response code generator. After quickly scanning the code you could potentially find some great information or deals on the computer you are interested in.

This guide is divided into several different chapters which include: what to consider before purchasing a laptop or notebook computer, recommended laptop features, an explanation of laptop video memory and how it effects screen resolution, a notebook CPU speed index guide, details on the mobile CPUs that are in the speed index, hints on buying a laptop, and a list of other laptop/notebook computer resources.

The right menu bar contains a list of the different chapters that you can use to jump to the chapters you are most interested in.

Be sure to select a reliable computer for work and home at an affordable price. Dell produces renowned and time-tested products and best laptop deals can be found online.

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Laptop Computer

1. Portability - The main reason to have a laptop or notebook computer is portability - the need to take your entire computer from one place to another.
If you don't need portability, then you should probably buy a desktop. Or if you really need portability but don't want the weight and size of a laptop, a well equipped cell phone/pda/net book/tablet might be a good choice. Laptops come in all diferent weights, sizes, and speeds.

2. Expense - Laptop computers cost almost twice as much as comparably equipped desktops. Shocking isn't it?
You can actually buy two comparably equipped desktops for the price of one laptop. So if you have to have a computer in two separate places, you would be better off with two desktops (if they were reasonably close together you could hook them together in a wired or wireless local area network (LAN)).

3. Speed - Laptops are 30-100% slower than a desktop with the same features (CPU, RAM, hard drive capacity, etc.). Slower CPUs, motherboards, hard drives, and video systems all contribute to the speed loss.

4. Upgradeability - Laptop computers are mostly non-upgradeable. Whatever CPU, video card (built into the motherboard), sound card (also built-in), and screen, that come with the laptop are the same parts the laptop will end with.
While it is possible to upgrade main memory, DVD drives, hard drives, and sometimes CPUs, these upgrades can be expensive.

You can also upgrade newer laptops through their USB, EIDE, and Firewire ports. While much improvement has been made in the speed and price of external drives, upgrading a laptop this way adds weight and decreases portability.
(However, it is a very good idea to back up all your important files to a CD, DVD, external hard drive, web storage etc. at least once a week. - ed)

5. Serious Gaming. You will need to spend at least $1,500 - $2,500 for a laptop that can play new games at a respectable speed. I don't recommend laptops for serious gaming no matter how much you are willing to spend. Why?

Because if you love to play games, about 1-1.5 years after you purchase your laptop you will find it isn't fast enough to keep up with the latest new game. At that time, you will regret buying a gaming laptop. However, if you have the money, and want to throw down $2500 every year or so, more power to you.

On the other hand, if your computer budget is limited, it's better to have a functional laptop/netbook, and spend your gaming dollars on an upgradeable desktop.

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