Sunday, January 29, 2006

How to Buy a Cheap Laptop Computer

When planning to buy a cheap laptop computer, you need to consider factors that go well beyond performance and memory. You need to consider many factors like size, weight, screen dimensions, battery life, keyboard quality, built-in memory, and also certain other options like wireless connectivity.

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.

Robert Scheer
researches and writes about laptop
and notebook computers for

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Europe overtakes US as top PC market

Global shipments of personal computers rose 15.3 percent in 2005 with Dell (Nasdaq:DELL - news) extending its lead over Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ - news) and Europe overtaking the United States as the largest market, a survey showed on Thursday.

Worldwide sales of personal computers (PCs) rose to 218.5 million units in 2005 from 189.5 million in 2004, according to preliminary data from market research group Gartner.

Shipments in Europe, Middle East and Africa grew 17.1 percent to 72.7 million units, overtaking the United States which grew 7.5 percent to 67 million. In 2004, the United States still slightly exceeded Europe, both regions taking about 62 million units.

The fastest growth in 2005 was in Asia Pacific and Latin America where units sales increased 26 percent to 42.8 million and 14.7 million respectively.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Dell boss: 'No $100 laptops and no AMD deal'

The UK head of Dell has said the company has no plans to be drawn into the game of producing cut-price 'no frills' computers.

He also told a select group of journalists that there is no 'done deal' with AMD over the use of its chips in Dell kit, despite rumours to that effect late last week.

Josh Claman, UK head of Dell, said: "I wish I'd invested in AMD stock before the rumour came out."

He added: "As far as I'm aware Dell has not put out any statement about AMD," repeating that it is still little more than a rumour.

Explaining what constitutes an official statement, Claman said analysts and the media have been reading far too much into Michael Dell's assertion when speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show that an AMD deal is "a distinct possibility".

Claman said: "He'd probably have said that last year, or even two years ago," adding that Dell has been in constant discussion with AMD over the past few years and would 'never say never' to a deal with AMD.

Story Continued

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Low-End Laptops Any Good?

It’s a fair question, and something a lot of people are probably asking. Ken Colburn of Data Doctors helps Dean, who writes:

Are the notebooks (computers) that some companies are selling in the $400-$500 range worth pushing and shoving over or ordering online, sight unseen?

Article Continued

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Apple prepares to launch low-cost laptop and cheap iPod

APPLE, the US computing and consumer electronics giant, is to launch a low-cost laptop. Company founder and chief executive Steve Jobs hopes to be able to unveil the device this week in San Francisco along with a new low-cost iPod and some other surprises.

As revealed by The Business last year, Apple has been working to develop a low-cost laptop to encourage consumers using Apple iPod music players to buy its computers.

Despite recent legal attempts by Apple to silence US-based website ThinkSecret, which has been predicting the imminent launch of a cheap laptop, US analysts believe Apple plans to unveil a new laptop this week. Apple has taken ThinkSecret to court with allegations that recent postings on its site outlining planned Apple products revealed trade secrets.


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