September 26, 2012 / IST / Science & Technology.

Today’s laptops are much more powerful than even the hottest desktop computers of yesterday. They’re also lighter and much more stylish. Many people are opting out of desktop computers altogether and use a laptop for all their computer needs. If you’re thinking of going this route, check out these shopping tips

Instruction

1) The “Before you shop” points and most of “The basics” also apply when shopping for a laptop.

2) Pick up the laptops at the store. (Ask to have them unlocked if necessary.) Choose one that feels sturdy, solid and not too heavy.

3) Try the keyboard. Since you can’t replace it (except with the exact same item), make sure you’re comfortable with its touch and responsiveness. Test it on a desk and on your lap.

4) Test the pointing device, track pad or track ball, the laptop alternatives to a mouse. Some of these can be hard to master. You’ll be able to connect an external mouse, but the built-in device is more handy when you’re mobile.
5) Check if the computer’s bottom gets uncomfortably hot when it’s running–a problem if you actually use the laptop on your lap.

6) Pay attention to screen size and resolution. Current liquid-crystal display (LCD) screens on laptops measure from 13 to 21 inches diagonally. Screen resolution may be as low as 800 x 600 pixels or as high as 1600 x 1200. The more pixels, the crisper the screen image. View the screen in a variety of settings: A screen that looks great in normal room lighting can look terrible in bright or dim light.

7) Choose a laptop with at least two USB 2 connections and at least one Firewire (IEEE1394) connection. USB 2 and Firewire are very popular and fast ways of connecting iPods, digital cameras and some phones to computers.
8) Check to see if the laptop has built in wireless capabilities, most do these days. A wireless network card (also called Wi-Fi or 802.11) will free you from having to be wired to your Internet connection . Also, Bluetooth capability will let you share information wirelessly with other Bluetooth-equipped devices, such as your cell phone or personal digital assistant.

9) Check to see if the laptop has a DVD Burner. That makes backing up documents, music files and pictures a snap because of the high capacity of the discs.

10) Get an antitheft device. Hundreds of thousands of laptops are stolen every year. Look for cables that secure the laptop to a desk. Install software that disables a stolen laptop, or better yet, reports the laptop’s location when it connects to the Internet.

11) Buy a good Heat Cooler.

12) Always beg Driver CD. (A driver CD is collection of your laptop’s hardware driver. Ex: Audio, Graphics, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc).

How to Choose the Right Processor Speed for a Computer

A computer processor, often considered the brains of the machine, has the most significant effect on performance and price. If you want a computer to be able to keep up with technology over the next few years you should invest in a fast processor.

Instructions

1) Think about what you will be doing with your computer for the next 3 years. That is about the timeframe for machines these days.
2)  If you are just using your machine for casual use, such as word processing, web browsing and the occasional card game, consider an Intel Pentium Dual Core or AMD Sempron processor. If you prefer Macintosh machines, look into an Intel Core 2 Duo. For High Graphics gaming purpose or multimedia purpose you should buy i3 or i5.
3) If you are a middle of the road user, who likes all of the above things but also the occasional heavier game and multimedia use (i.e. pictures and mp3s), an Intel Quad Core would be better. The Quad Core is also great for heavy online multimedia games and heavier multimedia use.
4) If Macintoshes are your taste and you are a heavier user, the Intel Dual Quad Core processors can take care of all your needs.
5) If your budget allows it, try and spend as much as you can on the fastest processor. This is because technology evolves at a very fast pace and your machine will be able to keep up after a few years.