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What to look for when choosing a laptop

The laptop computer has become a standard piece of equipment for many consumers.  This isn’t to say that the desktop computer is no longer used, but people do enjoy the portability of the laptop and the ability to carry information, work, and entertainment on the road.  Granted, people do have to weigh the need for a laptop computer, particularly since laptops tend to be more expensive than desktop computers.  It can be a bit confused for some people when shopping for a laptop, particularly since there are so many brands and because the technology changes so quickly.  Therefore, here are a few thoughts on what to look for when choosing a laptop. 

Features

When people are looking for a laptop, they have to be aware of the different features that can be included on a laptop.  This includes the major components such as Random Access Memory (RAM), hard disk size, screen size, drives, speed, chip sets, video card, weight, and expandability.   Again, these features change constantly so people have to be aware of specifications before they make a purchase of a new computer.  In addition, there are a number of manufacturers that make laptops, including Apple, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Sony, and Asus, just to name a few.  

Cost

Laptop computers can sell for a wide range of prices.  Obviously, machines with a minimum amount of features will sell for a lot less than those that are more powerful.  In general, people also have to be aware of costs when comparing PC-based laptops and Apple laptops.  The Apple laptop is an excellent machine, but buyers do have to be aware that they will pay more for an entry-level Apple laptop than they will spend for a PC-based laptop.  While prices do fluctuate, people typically get a PC-based laptop starting at around $500, and the “netbook” can be even cheaper.  Netbooks are good for Internet searching and basic computer functions, but they tend to be less powerful than “standard” laptop computers. 

Work and play

When buying a laptop, people should do their best to be honest about what they will be doing with that laptop.  Consumers like “bells and whistles” and it can be tempting to buy a computer that has the “potential” to do other things.  However, computers are still expensive and if people are only going to be doing some basic functions, they should be willing to buy an entry-level machine.  As mentioned, people can get a solid laptop for a reasonable amount of money if they are willing to shop around.  If in doubt, people should talk to friends and read reviews before making a final decision.