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Buying New Laptop (Computer Tips)

Buying a new laptop computer tips can be challenging given the numerous choices and options available. Frequently the new laptop buying process can be a bit overwhelming. A good method for simplifying the buying process is to start with narrowing down some of the key options and choices. Read Care fully this article on computer tips and tricks.

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Identifying and focusing on the most important requirements and features will help ensure that you get the best laptop computer for your money and for your needs. While it is not difficult to spend $1,500 on a laptop computer,

there are also many very good laptops that fall in the $600 – $900 range.

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How Will You Use Your New Laptop Computer?

Common factors to consider in buying a new laptop go far beyond performance, the size of the screen and the types of connections the computer has. A good place to start your laptop buying quest is to determine what you will be using the laptop computer for. This step will help clarify your needs in terms of performance, size, weight, storage capacity and battery life. Points to consider are:Latest and amzing computer tips.

Will you be using this system anywhere other than your home?  If so then weight of the system and screen size will be a factor to consider.
Will you be running several different programs at the same time? Editing photos or videos?  If so then having enough computing horsepower will be important or your computer may not deliver sufficient performance and seem to run slow.
Will you want to watch movies and videos on this system? If so then you may want a dedicated video processor and perhaps a larger screen.
Will you frequently be using the laptop while running only on battery power? If so then battery life and power consumption will be important considerations.

If you will be using the laptop in bright rooms or outdoors then consider a non-glare screen.
Do you have large number of documents, music and video files that you will want to store on your laptop?  Then opt for a larger hard disk drive of 320 gigabytes (GB) or more.

Taking a little time to think about these items can help focus the laptop buying process and ensure that you get the most bang-for-the-buck with your new laptop. If you are interested in a smaller lighter portable netbook computer be sure to check out the Netbook Computer Tips Primer.
Buying a New Laptop Computer – What to look For

After getting a better idea on how you will use your new laptop and which features are most important to you it’s time to dig into the specifics. Some features are standard on most laptops such as a CD/DVD-RW drive. Other components can vary significantly from laptop to laptop.
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1.  Laptop Weight and Screen Size

A key buying factor is laptop size and weight. The screen size and the weight of a portable computer are closely related. The larger the screen size, the larger (heavier) the computer, and the heavier the battery to power the larger screen.

Laptop computers come in a wide variety of screen sizes with the most common being 12.1?, 13.3?, 14.1?, 15.4”, 16” and 17?. There can be many choices and the models and screen sizes available will vary depending on the manufacturer. The weight of laptop computers can range from a hefty 10-pound desktop replacement class laptop to small ultraportable lightweight laptops that may weigh only 3 pounds.

Although weight tends to vary proportionately with the screen size, there are some exceptions including ultra lightweight laptops. This class of laptop computer Tips may have a screen as large as 16” yet still weigh as little as only 4 pounds. Large ultra lightweight laptops do have tradeoffs which include:

Ultra lightweight laptops tend to have somewhat lower processing power.
Many ultraportables do not include an internal CD/DVD drive.
Cost – larger ultraportables generally cost significantly more than a standard laptop.

If you will be transporting your laptop frequently you may want to avoid a laptop with a 16” or 17? screen size as this size of portable computer won’t feel quite so portable. An exception would be a laptop like the Dell Latitude Z which has a 16” screen and yet weighs only 4.3 lbs. The base price on the Latitude Z starts around $1,850.

For questions on the comparison of laptop and netbook computers, be sure to see my earlier post “Laptop Computers – Netbook Computers – 8 Key Differences.”

2.  Computer Performance and CPUs

There was a time when laptops could not match the performance of a desktop computer. That is no longer the case and there is a class of laptops actually known as desktop replacements. A key component in laptop performance is the CPU or central processing unit also known as the “brains” of the computer. The two CPU manufacturers for laptop computers are Intel and AMD.

Intel’s current line of laptop CPUs includes the Core i7 (fastest), i5, i3, and Core 2 Duo. Intel also has several Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) CPU variations that provide extended battery life although with somewhat reduced processing power. The Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs also feature advanced power management capabilities which can significantly extend battery life.
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AMD’s current family of laptop CPUs includes the Phenom II, Athlon II and Turion II. There are earlier, lower performance versions of the Phenom, Athlon and Turion CPUs included in some laptop computers. One benefit of the CPUs from AMD is that they are generally lower cost than Intel’s.

Along with all these different models there are also variations on the actual speed of the CPU itself. CPU speed is measured in GHz or gigahertz.

A good rule of thumb is to buy at least a dual-core CPU which provides improved performance when multi-tasking and running multiple application programs. Some CPUs offer three or four processing cores which can provide additional performance benefits when running demanding applications. There are also still some laptops in the retail channel with older Intel Core D and Celeron CPUs. Laptops with these CPUs provide lower performance levels that many people find undesirable.

Important performance fact to remember: the CPU is only one component in the overall performance of the laptop. The amount of system memory (RAM), the availability of a graphics processor and the size and speed of the hard disk drive also figure into overall computer Tips and performance. For instance, if you get a laptop Computer tips with a fast CPU with too little RAM the overall laptop performance will suffer.

3.  System Memory or RAM

Most new laptops include at least 2GB of system memory (RAM) and many come with 3GB of RAM or more. It is recommended that a new laptop computer have at least 3GB and preferable 4GB or more of RAM. The amount of RAM or system memory is an important factor in performance. The more installed RAM your laptop has, the more applications you can run at once, and the better your computer will perform.

The version of Windows installed on your new laptop will determine how much RAM your computer can effectively use. A 32-bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 can efficiently use a maximum of 4GB of RAM. A 64-bit version of Windows 7 can use up to 8 GB or more. Configuring your laptop with more RAM at the time you buy it is convenient and helps extend the laptop’s useful life.

4.  PC Operating System

All new PC laptops sold at retail stores ship with Microsoft Windows 7. Most of these retail computers have the Home Premium version of Windows 7 while many business class laptops will have Windows 7 Professional pre-installed. Some will have the 32-bit version and some will have the 64-bit version. The 64-bit version will allow the computer to process data in larger chunks. Business laptops generally ship with Windows 7 Professional which provides management and networking benefits in an enterprise environment

This difference of 32-bits vs. 64-bits does not result in a significant performance difference today, however it may make more of a difference in the future as more software packages takes advantage of the newer 64-bit technology.

Windows XP Still Available
If you have an unusual need that requires you to run Windows XP as the native operating system on your new laptop you have two options: buy a laptop directly from a manufacturer that still offers XP on some computers (Dell and Lenovo are two that do); or wipe out your copy Windows 7 on your new laptop and install Windows XP (ouch!). Do yourself a favor – avoid the nearly ten year old Windows XP and stick with Windows 7.

5.  Cost

Laptops costs can range from $400 to $4,000 or more depending on configuration. As mentioned earlier it is not difficult to spend $1,500 on a laptop computer tips, however there are also many very good laptops that fall in the $600 – $900 range. For a laptop being used in business I would not recommend anything below ~$800 unless you do not plan on using it for more than a couple years. I generally recommend not buying the very top end (unless cost is of no concern) but I also recommend not buying at the very low end as this can result in unsatisfactory performance over time. latest and amazing computer tips and ticks.

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