Buying a laptop

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When buying a laptop the first thing you should consider are the internal parts of the laptop. The main characheristics that you should take into account are the proccessor (CPU) speed of the laptop, the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) it has, the amount of harddisk (HD) space, and the accessories you get with it (e.g. CD-Rom drive, Floppy drive, internal Wi-Fi card).

Another thing of an interest to you is the connections that the laptop has available, e.g. PCMCIA slot, S-Video output, USB v1 or v2, Modem, LAN etc. You should also take into account the size of the screen of the laptop, and the input device(s) it has e.g. mouse pad, tracking ball.

Laptop video cards do not usually have very big processing power, but there are difference in them, as with everything you buy. They are fairly complex to compare, ie. the chip set speed, the amount of colours it produces, the refresh rate, the actual board chip type, the size of the RAM (128,256, etc.). *REMEMBER*, unlike computer RAM, more RAM in a video card doesn't mean its better than the one which has less amount of RAM. Some have faster processing speed and better refresh rate because of the different chips sets available, which all accounts for better performance. So, I would recommend that you do some research before deciding on which video card would best suit your needs - ask yourself the question, will you be using this notebook for drawing/games or just for simple word processing, email and web browsing?

Here are some main points worth remembering:

  1. The better the CPU the faster your computer actually is.
  2. That you should have a sufficient amount of RAM especially if you plan to do complex drawings, play games, etc. since more RAM will allow the computer to run "smoother" and essentially allow bigger amount of data to be processed at one time.
  3. The amount of Hard Drive space that is required by the end user will vary based on their requirements, e.g. storing pictures, music, documents etc.
  4. The faster the video card chip set and the more RAM it has, the faster and more accuratelly will images (still or motion) display on your monitor.

You should make sure that the laptop meets your minimum requirements (if not exceeds them) and that you are satisfied with the overall appearance of the laptop before committing to buy.

I hope that this information will be of some use to you.

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