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5/8/09

Laptops, big is not always best

So your in the market for a new computer. You may be better served by a laptop than a traditional desktop computer. Laptops in today's market have capabilities similar or superior to desktops and can be purchased for a comparable price. Their small size and ability to run from a battery make them very convenient. Laptops do not have any tethers except when charging the battery, cable messes are a thing of the past with laptops.

When choosing a laptop, consider how often you will travel with it. If you plan to travel only once in awhile, get a model with a larger screen and lower price. If you intend weekly travel or long stays then concern yourself mainly with size, weight, and battery life. A laptop that weighs less than 3.5 pounds, has a 12” or smaller display, and a minimum of 4-hour battery life would be idle for such a traveller.

Laptop computers can be expensive to upgrade and a challenge to do so. When you buy a laptop, get a lay of the equipment and internal features such as CD-ROM, hard drive that you may want to upgrade later and will be difficult to replace. USB and Fire Wire, or a PC Card slot are often used to add and upgrade hard disks or external CD drives. These methods however are external, and your laptop will become less portable the more peripherals you have to carry around.

One type of laptop to consider is a Tablet PC. This is a custom laptop that allows you to write on the screen to save notes and work with programs. These laptops are typically smaller than regular laptops and utilize processor that are very battery-efficient.

Net books are now the latest rage. These small laptop juniors have all you need to surf the web and utilize email programs. Most have a decent size hard drive of 150-200 GB and sufficient memory to run office programs. They all do not have CD drives and if you rely on one of these drives you will have to go the USB route mentioned above. The price of these net books is reasonable and start at about $ 250.

If a portable computer is not your cup of tea, a "desktop replacement" may be. A desktop replacement has usually a large screen 17" plus and a large hard drive 500GB and up. They are priced competitively with desktops. The desktop replacement I am using is such an animal. If I need to I can pop it in my suitcase and take it with me. You can be sure though whatever laptop you choose they are not as expensive as years gone by and will perform equally or better than there traditional desktop cousins.

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