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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to choose your laptop/notebook/netbook

Choosing your laptop/netbook is a very time consuming thing. You wouldn't want to waste your hard earned cash, right? Follow this guide and you might save your hard earned cash.

Be sure of what you want
This is probably the most obvious thing, is to make sure what you want? Are you for complete mobility? If you are, then get a netbook or a 13" laptop. But be sure that you're getting a slower processor and limited RAM. Usually, people who get netbooks only wish to surf the Internet, do their Facebooking and chatting. 'Cause that's what its made for.

Or maybe you're for everyday computing? Its more powerful than a netbook. I have one, and it pretty does what I want it to do. Since I'm not a hardcore gamer, this will do for me. And I do photo editing too. It does get a bit sluggish some times, but its a cheaper alternative than another type of laptop which I'm gonna talk about later.

Screen size?
Yeah, screen size also helps you limit your choice. I'll just tell you what my opinions are for each of the screen size.

9-11" - For those who just want to surf the internet, chat with their friends and want mobility.

13-14" - For those who want to watch movies and do gaming(not hardcore). Battery life at this size are quite good. Depending on the model, an average 13" laptop will last around 5 hours(some brands like Acer have laptops that last for 8 hours). I have one, and I'd say its pretty good for its price. I use a Compaq(by HP), and battery life for my laptop is crap.

15" - For those who are multimedia freaks. People tend to buy these laptops to exploit the graphics and sound. Gaming on 15" tend to feel better since that graphics on 15" are much better. I call these 'the bridge between 13" and 17" laptops.

17" - For those who wants a desktop replacement. They never use their desktops, or they like bringing their laptop with them wherever they go. Gamers buy 17" because they usually have processors and graphic cards that are at the higher end. Photo and video editors buy these too, because they need a lot of graphics and processor speed.

What I recommend
I'll recommend a few.

Netbook(Remember, netbooks are not supposed to be powerful):
Acer: Acer Aspire One D255 | Acer Aspire One 532 (I'm not sure of the price, but I've read its about RM1,000 for the Aspire One D255)[You might find problems installing applications on the Acer Aspire One D255, since its a custom Windows 7 OS]
Dell: Inspiron Mini 10 (RM 999)| Inspiron M101Z (RM 1,399)| Inspiron M301Z (RM 1,699) [You can customize your hardware, but your price will change]

Everyday computing
Acer: Aspire 4738 | Aspire 5741 | Aspire 5745Aspire 5943 | Timeline X

Dell: Inspiron 13R (RM 1,999) | Inspiron 14R (RM 1,999) | Inspiron 15R (RM 2,199)

Acer: Aspire 4738 | Aspire 5745 | Timeline X

Dell: XPS 14 (RM 3,299) | XPS 15 (RM 2,899) | XPS 16 (RM 2,999)

Why do I only recommend Dell and Acer?
I only recommend, Dell and Acer. That's it. Why? 'Cause the others cost more for less. You're paying more, just for the brand. If that's okay with you, then go ahead. HP and Sony, they both cost a fortune. I don't expect much, but at least I'd get a decent processor, with decent RAM in the RM2### price range.

Final recommendations?
Yeah, I gave you quite a number of netbooks/laptops to choose from. My choice leans more to Dell's side. I'm not saying that Acer's netbooks are useless. Dell just really did it this time. Among all the netbooks I've seen, Dell seems to stand out more. And, there are those colours to choose from.

For the laptops, Acer's Timeline X is quite impressive. With their unbelievable 10 hour battery life, it might very sellable. It's 15" which is too big for me(Update: Acer made 11.6", 13.3" and 14" models). For those who seek multimedia, this is the perfect laptop for you.
Dell XPS 14
My personal choice, would be Dell's XPS 14. It's perfect. It has a 14" screen, perfectly sized for my needs. Not to mention, it can fit my school backpack, if I were to travel. Yeah, battery life for the XPS 14 isn't worth talking about. Upgrade to a 9-cell battery, and you got everything you'll ever want. As a photographer, I edit my shots, and they're mainly in RAW format so graphics play a huge role in choosing a laptop for me. As for space, I'd just rather buy a 1 or 2 TB external hard drive to store my shots.

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