|How to Buy a Cheap Laptop Computer|
|Written by Robert Scheer|
|Tuesday, 21 February 2006|
Are you a cheap ass looking to buy a cheap laptop computer? Do you always go around telling sales people that you want something good but cheap? Well, this article might help you make your expectations a bit more realistic. Good = Cheap? Maybe!
Let us now consider some key features you need to consider when buying your laptop.
Processor: Choosing the right processor is a very important task because the processor determines how quickly a laptop can run applications and perform on-screen tasks. Don’t settle for anything less than 1.4 GHz. This is enough for everyday work-word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail etc. Pentium M processors are good for this purpose. These processors are fast and allow for long battery life.
System memory: The more memory your laptop has, the more applications you can run at once and the better your laptop will perform. Do not settle for anything less than 128 MB. However note that upgrading memory in laptops is not as easy as in the case of desktop computers.
Screen size: The size of a laptop’s LCD screen is quoted as a diagonal measurement. The larger the screen, the higher the maximum resolution and the more information you can view at once. For cheap laptops, choosing a 12.1 inches screen is a good option.
Battery: Thanks to the Pentium M processors. Laptops now have very good battery life when compared to the old ones. Battery life in the units equipped with these chips range roughly from 3 to 7 hours. Choosing a lithium ion rechargeable battery is a good option.
Hard drive: The larger the hard drive, the more data you can keep on your laptop. For a cheap laptop, it is better to choose hard drives with 20GB or 40GB capacity depending on the usage.
Keyboard: Laptop keyboards are quite different from the keyboards we use with the desktop computers. The keys are quite small and closely packed. Get hands-on with the laptop keyboard before you actually buy it.
Pointing device: Opt for a touchpad or pointing stick built into the laptop. This is much more useful than connecting a mouse via a USB port.
Optical drives: Many manufacturers offer laptops with re-writable DVD drives. However for a budget laptop, a single CD-RW drive is more than sufficient.
USB ports: Two USB ports are enough for a budget laptop. If you need much more ports, you can always use an external USB hub. A hub usually consists of four or more USB ports and connects to one of your laptop’s USB ports.
Weight: Your laptop should weigh anywhere between 4 and 10 pounds. If you still want to reduce weight, use can use external floppy and CD drives.
Communications: Do not opt for serial ports, PS/2 ports and infrared ports as they are becoming rare. Opt for a built-in Ethernet instead.
You’ll probably spend a lot of time with your new laptop. Therefore research a lot before buying any particular brand. Check for user’s stories, consumer opinions, reviews and more. This will help you to get your dream laptop at a low cost.
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