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1. Features to Look for in the $1,000 Notebook

2. Features Not
Found in $1,000 Notebooks

3. Reviewer Comments on Toshiba Satellite Notebooks and Toshiba's Feature List

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Shopping for the Low Cost, Full
Featured Notebook
Toshiba Satellite 1135-S155,
A15-S127 Notebook Review

Introduction

In this article we will discuss what features to look for when you are shopping for a full-featured notebook in the $1,000 price range. We'll use the Toshiba Satellite 1135-S155/A15-S127 2.0 GHz Celeron notebook to demonstrate the features that you should look for when buying a notebook in this price range.

Features to look for in the $1,000 Notebook

If you're going to spend $1,000 or more on a notebook then you want it to be as full-featured as possible. As notebooks are not easily upgradeable, you have to buy a notebook that has the features you need now, and you also have to buy with your future needs in mind.

To help you buy a full featured low cost notebook, I have listed and explained the core features that I like to see in the $1,000 notebook family below.

- 2 GHz or faster processor. This processor will run your laptop for the next 3 years, don't buy a super cheap laptop with a slow processor.
- 256 MB or more of main system RAM (expandable to at least 512 MB). Windows XP needs 128 MB of system RAM to run efficiently, and that only leaves 128 MB for your programs to use.
- 30 GB or larger hard drive. The time will come when your hard drive will be full of data and you wished you had a bigger hard drive.
- 14 inch or larger TFT screen. This is a personal choice, try some notebooks with different size screens.
- USB 2.0 ports. USB 2.0 ports allow you to use external drives of all kinds including CD-RW, DVD-RW, and hard drives. Plain USB (or USB 1.1) is 40 times slower than USB 2.0 and cannot run external drives at full speed.
- CD-RW/DVD combo drive. CD-RW drives are great for making backups of your data, sharing large files, and for burning music CDs. DVD drives are great for watching DVD movies when you're on the road. The fact that you can get both in one combo drive saves space and weight.
- Modem, LAN connector, or wireless cards. Decide how you are going to connect to the Internet and then buy your notebook with the correct device. Wireless cards are usually and extra feature in the $1,000 notebook category.
- Weighs less than 7 pounds. Notebooks typically weigh less than 7 pounds. When desktop processors are used in notebooks to give the notebook a speed boost, this adds weight (see our newsletter Desktop Replacement Laptops for more information). This can be a bad thing if you lug your notebook around all day. 

With this core set of features, your $1,000 notebook should efficiently run most business software programs, seamlessly play DVD movies, easily connect to the Internet, and allow you to play older 3D games.

Reminder After 1 month or less of ownership, you can't return your notebook for a refund, so if the processor is too slow, the hard drive isn't big enough, it doesn't have a CD-RW, it doesn't play DVDs, or it crashes because it doesn't have enough memory, that's too bad because now you have to spend more money to upgrade your notebook or you have to buy another notebook that meets your needs.
So remember when buying a new notebook, it's best to buy the notebook with the features you want.

 
 Next - Features Not Found in $1,000 Notebooks >>