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Tips - Finding the Best & Cheapest Laptop

Be it watching a movie, listening to music, watching television, editing pictures, make records and file them, etc., all this and more is now possible by owning a good laptop - Want to watch a movie? Pop in a DVD. Want to listen to music? Try a CD, or play your MP3 collection or stream music from the Internet. Want to watch television? Stream shows from the Web, or get a digital tuner and get local broadcasts for free. Got a digital camera? Use a laptop to preview your pictures and edit them. You can even make phone calls, with an app called Skype. And to top this off all this is available at a price that is easily affordable even for a middle-class audience - less than $400. A dilemma however is that there is a whole lot of choices to opt from (numerous brands to pick from).

To make sure you pick the best one, here are some simple tips:

1. Netbook is not a Laptop

It must be kept in mind that there is quite a lot of difference between a laptop and a netbook. Netbook is a smaller version of a laptop and hence is termed as ‘cute’. They are built generally with a 10-inch or smaller screen and weigh 3 pounds or less. Due to its small size, there is not much space to include a DVD drive onto it. But. Wi-Fi for networking and Internet access is generally included. Though a netbook is seen as a good pick for those who tend to travel a lot, it is not recommended for everyone. Hence it is important to know the difference between a laptop and netbook. And for those who travel here is a good looking netbook option - Asus’s neat $375 Eee PC 1000HE.

2. CPU

Simply expanded it is known to be the ‘Central Processing Unit’ of a laptop which translated into the main engine of the entire system. For purposes of the sort like writing e-mails, surfing the Web, writing papers and so on a CPU made by Intel or AMD should work well. On the other hand, if you are looking at doing something more complex like fancy photo or video editing, you’ll want a “dual-core” processor, which simply means it has two brains in one chip.

3. Memory

The general notion is that a memory that is made of 1GB is enough. Truth is, it is not enough. The laptop is prone to becoming quite slower. It is therefore advised to buy one with a 2GB memory. Having said that it must be noted that most netbooks are limited to 1GB of memory, especially those that come with Microsoft Windows XP Home. So it becomes wise to opt for another version of Windows and then upgrade to 2GB memory.

4. Screen Size

The choice of availing a laptop with a smaller screen size is up to the user. But if buying one for purposes more than checking mails, composing mails and other office chores like watching movies, uploading photos, etc. buying a laptop with a smaller screen size becomes irrelevant. One added benefit of a 10-inch screen, like the one on the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 : You can use it on an airplane tray table in coach, even if the seat in front of you is cranked all the way back.

5. Memory Card Slots

This feature comes quite handy. It helps in reading memory cards without actually plugging in your camera, phone or any other device from which you want to upload things onto your system. It is best for you to go for the Acer Aspire One D250 which has embedded in it a multi-card reader that can read all kinds of cards and save you the trouble.

6. Batteries

The one feature that most laptop brands promise and fail to deliver is long-battery life. None of them actually enable you to work for hours longer than 4 or 5. Thus, it’s a good idea to buy a spare battery so that you have more power if the first one runs down. The HP Mini 110 packs a bigger-than-average battery, though it’s somewhat bulky.

So now you know what you would want in your laptop that will make your computing life easy and affordable.

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