Notebook/ Laptop Versus Desktop PC

Notebook versus Desktop PC
Current high-end DTR (Desktop Replacement) notebooks should be capable of replacing a desktop PC (as the name implies). Throughout the last years the performance of the components used in notebooks approximate those of desktops. Nowadays they are already capable of providing performance for every field of operation. A few years ago it was still unimaginable that notebooks could come close to the performance of desktops. Current top processors and video cards for notebooks technologically even out desktops components. Still, the cooling system and the energy demand of high-end desktop computer is superior.

The Dell XPS M1710 is a powerful example of DTR notebooks with fast (even potentially overclocked) Dual Core processors
Current mobile processors, e.g, Core 2 Duo and Turion X2, run with slightly lower clock rates in notebooks (e.g., Core 2 Duo: 2,93 GHz versus 2,33 GHz for the notebook). Furthermore, their kernel voltage is reduced and they provide further energy saving mechanisms (whereby performance possibly suffers). Therefore, even processors with the same clock rate are maybe slightly slower than desktop processors, however, they are superior regarding energy demand.

At the time of writing 4-core processors (Quad Core) are not yet available for notebooks (despite you would use desktop processors) and it is even not planned to make them available for notebooks in the short run. They still demand too much current, and emit far too much waste heat, and are, therefore, not yet adapted for use in small cases like those of laptops.
Still, the performance of current high-end notebook CPUs is sufficient for running all applications (and games) fluently.

Video Cards
High-end desktop video cards, e.g., 8800 ,or X1950 (in SLI mode) are clearly faster than high-end notebook video cards, because they are run at higher clock rates. Also regarding this matter, the performance is limited by energy demand and waste heat. Video cards with more than 100 Watt power output, cannot be efficiently cooled down, and would also empty the battery in no time.

Today, notebook models still lag behind regarding DirectX 10 features, but you can expect that more and more notebook video cards with DX10 features will be available soon. Top notebook video cards, e.g., the NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GT (or SLI) still provide sufficient power for current games (see also our comparison of video cards and the sortable benchmark list of mobile GPUs).

2 video cards linked together by SLI are also available for notebooks for high performance (here Nexoc Archimedes E407).

Other Components
Memory - most modern notebooks have two (mostly easy to access) memory slots. This is half of desktop PCs, which in the majority provide 4 memory slots. Also regarding clock-rate and timing the smaller notebook SO-DIMMs are slightly slower than desktop memory chips.

However, the main difference can be experienced at hard disks. Today the mainly used 2,5" hard disks are still clearly slower that the 3,5'' hard disks of desktops. Also regarding capacity the smaller notebook hard disks lag behind desktop hard disks. However, big 17 - 19" DTR notebooks offer the opportunity to link two 2,5" hard disks together by RAID. This makes a considerable performance possible, but has disadvantages regarding data security (if one of the two hard disks fails, all data are lost).

You'll also notice the energy and space saving at the display. The panels used in notebooks are clearly worse regarding all aspects than desktop displays. The vertical and horizontal stability to the vantage point could generally be better and also the maximum brightness is clearly behind those of desktop displays. However, an external monitor can be connected to nearly all notebooks in order to resolve this shortcoming.

High-end notebooks are unlikely to catch up with high-end desktop computers, because it is more difficult to cool them down, because of their limited size. Despite this, notebooks have a considerable performance, which is comparable to upper middle class desktop computers. This makes it possible to handle nearly all fields of applications. Especially mobile game computers are possible since the introduction of fast notebook video cards. Furthermore, a notebook is a balanced complete system, which is optimized regarding energy demand (75-150W compared to 300-500W of desktops), noise emissions (in average), and, most important, mobility.
Upgrading Laptops
Due to the compact construction of notebooks they can not be upgraded as easy as Desktop PCs. In addition usually the warranty is lost as soon as someone changes something in the equipment. Processor can be upgraded sometimes, but usually only up to speeds, which were sold in other models of the type. The reason is the cooling of laptops which is coordinated very precisely with the used processors.RAMRAM usually can be changed or extended easily, because most manufacturers insert the modules under an easily accessible opening.
Normally the modules are standardized and can be exchanged by putting them in simply.Hard DiskUsually 2.5" drive assemblies are used, which can be exchanged without problems in most cases. Nevertheless problems can arise with the Bios or the Jumpering (master - slave).WLANFrequently mini PCI-modules are used for internal WLAN, which can be relatively simply exchanged. Unfortunately some manufacturers do insert non-authorized modules, or the antenna socket is in another place and therefore the antenna can not be attached. Optical Drive AssembliesCan be exchanged usually relative simply, however many manufacturers use own specific cover plates with the provided models.
Therefore sometimes the new drive assembly cannot fit well optically.Video CardMany manufacturers promise exchangeable modules with the new PCI-express-standard. The question is how to get other suitable video cards, which fit and are provided with a corresponding cooling system. Up to now it is very rarely possible to exchange the grafics card in a notebook. Usually they are soldered firmly (up to now except of Dell with some models).OtherThe remaining components can hardly be upgraded, except the manufacturers supply corresponding parts or plan it.
About Laptop Graphic Memory
How much graphic memory makes sense?

How much memory needs a video card and how much graphic memory is useful for specific application purposes?

Shared Memory / Onboard Graphic Cards

Onboard video cards like GMA 950 are sufficient for office, internet and image editing.
For graphically not demanding jobs like internet surfing, office, image editing (e.g. with Photoshop), 2D games and some elder 3D games an onboard graphic card (a video card without own memory like e.g. Intel GMA 900 / 950 or ATI Radeon Xpress 1150) is clearly sufficient and now remarkable speed losses can be measured compared with graphic cards with own memory. However, a fast RAM (Dual Channel) is recommended, because the graphic card uses parts of the RAM.

TIP: Caution with denominations like TurboCache (NVIDIA) and HyperMemory (ATI). They also indicate dynamically from RAM reserved memory. He is used additionally to the graphic memory, but clearly slower than the integrated memory. Also cards without these techniques can use additional memory from RAM, but this is even solwer than with TurboCache and HyperMemory.
32 MB, 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB o 512 MB?

Weaker graphic cards like ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 hardly benefit from more than 128 MB graphic memory.

NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 can benefit slightly with highest settings with antialiasing easily from 512 MB (compared to 256 MB).
If you want to execute graphically more demanding applications (3D) and 3D games, you often need faster graphic cards than current onboard models (see our comparison of graphic cards). How much memory is necessary and useful for such applications?
Basically, a lack of memory only slows down, when it is needed (that means, when the settings of resolution, texture details, anti aliasing or anisotrope filtering needs more memory than available).

Up to 128 MB graphic memory
Most current games (10/2006) need 128 MB with a resolution of 1024x768 pixels and without anti aliasing / anisotrope filtering. If graphic cards are used, whose performance is not able to represent these resolutions with high details, 128 MB are too much and unnecessary. So, video cards below the performance of a NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 or ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 don't need more memory than 128 MB.

256 MB graphic memory
256 MB video memory are sufficient for almost all current games with high settings and a resolution of 1024x768 or similar. An improved performance with 256 MB only is possible with video cards of the mid range or high end class like NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 or ATI Mobility Radeon X1600.

512 MB graphic memory
At moment, only few games benefit from 512 MG graphic memory (for large texture maps). Examples are Doom 3 and Call of Duty 2. Other current games gain an increase of 10% performance with 512 MG graphic memory with a resolution of 1280 x 960 pixels and quadrupled antialiasing. Nevertheless this affects only high end video cards like NVIDIA Geforce Go 7900 GTX or the new 7950 GTX.

Depending on video card and application purpose the size of graphic card memory differs. For office, internet and image editing models without own graphic memory (onboard chips) are sufficient. For current games without antialiasing 128 - 256 MB are sufficient. Only high end graphic cards compined with newest games, highest resolutions and antialiasing need 512 MB.
Nonetheless the requirements are increased with every new generation of games ...

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Laptop/Notebook Processors Review

Notebook Processors
In the following report we present all laptop processors which are available at the market at present and give a rough classification of the current consumption and the performance of the different architectures. An approximate rating with average benchmark values can be found in our beta version benchmark list of mobile processors (coming soon).
Intel Core 2 Duo (Merom)

This is the Core Duo and Core Solo successor with a longer pipeline and 5-20% more speed without more current consumption. As an addition to the Core Duo design there exists a fourth decoder, an amplified SSE-unit and an additional arithmetical logical unit (ALU).
Features are 2 cores, a 64-bit EM64T command amplification and 2 or 4 MB L2 Cache and 291 millions of transistors, which are finished in 65 nm. Furthermore all types support "Execute Disable Bit" technics, SSSE3 (SSE4), Enhanced Speedstep, LaGrande and most types the virtualisation technics (VT) Vanderpool.

The Core 2 Duo for laptops is identical to the desktop Cure 2 Duo processors but the notebook-processors work with lower tensions (0.95 to 1188 Volt) and a lower Frontside bus clock (1066 vs 667 MHz). The performance of equally clocked notebooks is 20-25% lower than Desktop PCs because of the lower Frontside bus clock and the slower hard disks.

The energy need of the processors is marked by pre-set letters in front of the type designation (number).E ... 55-75 WattsT ... 25-55 Watts (standard version in notebooks)L ... 15-25 Watts (low boltage)U ... <15> Intel product informations
Intel Core 2 Solo (Merom)
This is the successor of the Core Solo and technically a Core 2 Duo with only one core. It will be available for laptops starting with the 3. quarter 2007 and only as an Ultra Low Voltage (ULV). Therefore the core tension is very low (=economic). 2 versions are planned at moment:
U2100, 1.2 GHz, 1MB L2 Cache, 533 MHz FSB, 5 W max. TDP
U2200, 1.06 GHz, 1MB L2 Cache, 533 FSB, 5 W max. TDP
Intel Core Duo (Yonah)

Pentium M successorDouble Core processor with a very good relation of performance to current consumption. The 2 MB L2 Cache are used together by the double. The maximum capacity of 31 watts is only 4 watts more than with the Pentium M (predecessor). Both cores are lowered automatically and independently of each other by speed steps down to 1 GHz. In addition it now supports also SSE3 instructions.
After first benchmarks the Core Duo completes all tests at least just as fast as a equivalent Pentium M. With applications, which were designed for multi-processors, the performance can be nearly twice as fast as with the Pentium M (e.g. CineBench around 86% fast)
Models (clock, TDP):T2700 (2.33 GHz, 31 W, FSB 667 MHz)T2600 (2.16 GHz, 31 W, FSB 667 MHz)T2500 (2.00 GHz, 31 W, FSB 667 MHz)T2450 (2.00 GHz, FSB 533 MHz)T2400 (1.83 GHz, 31 W, FSB, 667 MHz)T2350 (1.86 GHz, FSB 533 MHz)T2300 (1.66 GHz, 31 W, 667 MHz)T2250 (1.73 GHz, FSB 533, MHz)T2050 (1.60 GHz, FSB 533 MHz)T2050E (1.60 GHz, FSB 533 MHz): current saving version with 1.3 instead of 1.4 Volt supply voltageL2500 LV, 1.83 GHz, FSB 667 MHzL2400 LV, 1.66 GHz, 15 W, FSB 667 MHzL2300 LV, 1.50 GHz, 15 W, FSB 667 MHzU2500 ULV, 1.20 GHz, 9.5 W, FSB 533 MHzU2400 ULV, 1.06 GHz, 9.5 W, FSB 533 MHz
Pentium Dual Core T2060: 1.6 GHz, FSB 533 MHz, 1 MB L2 Cache (the return of the name Pentium, though Yonah core)Pentium Dual Core T2080: 1.73 GHz, FSB 533 MHz, 1 MB L2 Cache

>Core Duo produkt description

Intel Core Solo
Single core version of the Core Duo and successor of the Intel Pentium M; Because of the 65nm reduced structure width also smaller current consumption than Pentium M (maximally 27 Watts); the performance is comparable with the equivalent clocked Pentium M (somewhat faster because of a few improvements).
Models:T1200 mit 1.50 GHz, FSB 667 MHz, 2MB L2 CacheT1300 with 1,66 GHz 2MB L2 CacheT1350 with 1.86 GHz, FSB 533 MHz, 2MB L2 Cache (about the same level like Pentium M 750)T1400 mit 1.83 GHz, FSB 667 MHz, 2MB L2 Cache
Ultra low voltage models (maximum 5.5 Watt):U1300 mit 1.06 GHz, FSB 667 MHz, 2MB L2 CacheU1400 mit 1.20 GHz, FSB 667 MHz, 2MB L2 CacheU1500 mit 1.33 GHz, FSB 667 MHz, 2MB L2 Cache

> Core Solo product description

Pentium M
Intel Pentium M
900 - 2260 MHz, 1-2 MB level 2 Cache, 90nm and 130nm production process, 400 and 533 MHz front Side bus (FSB);With Intel chip set (855 or 915) and Intel WLAN also available with the name Centrino (name for the package).In the comparison very fast per megahertz and very modest with weaknesses in floating point operations.It is also available as a low voltage version with very small current consumption.

Celeron M
Intel Celeron M
800 - 1500 MHz, 512KB - 1 MB level 2 Cache. It is a Pentium M with halved level 2 Cache and limited on FSB 400. The characteristic of this processor is the speed, which is hardly slower than an equivalent Pentium M. However it can change the speed not dynamically like the Pentium M and therefore needs without load more current.It is also available as Low Voltage Version with very small current consumption.
The 4xx series is based upon the Core Solo and has a Front Side Bus (FSB) of 533 MHz, but only 1 instead of 2 MB L2 Cache. It seems to be bring enough performance for office applications (as the 3xx series).
The 5xx series is based upon the Core 2 Solo (Merom architecure) and is slightly faster than an equally fast 4xx Celeron M. The Celeron does not support any virtualisation technics and has no ViiV and vPRO certificate (in contrary to Core 2 Solo).
410: 1.46 GHz, FSB 533, 1MB L2 Cache420: 1.60 GHz, FSB 533, 1MB L2 Cache423: 1.06 GHz, FSB 533, 1MB L2 Cache, Ultra Low Voltage = current saving
520: 1.60 GHz, FSB 533, 1 MB L2 Cache, 64 Bit530: 1.73 GHz, FSB 533, 1 MB L2 Cache, 64 Bit
523: 0.933 GHz, FSB 533, 1MB L2 Cache, 5 Watt max TDP, Ultra Low Voltage = current saving (starting with quarter 3 2007)

Intel Mobile Pentium 4 M
2,4 - 3.46 Ghz (in former times starting from 1,4 Ghz) with FSB 533 (in former times 400) and 512KB to 1 MB level 2 Cache. It is produced in 90 - 130 nm production process and is relative slow, but uses much current and heats up considerably per megahertz (compared with mobile processors like Pentium M). Technically it is a Pentium 4 with some current saving mechanisms (e.g. speedstep) and less current consumption.
There existed type variants of Mobile Intel Pentium 4 for DTR (desktop replacement laptops). It supports Enhanced Speed Step and other features for the reduction of current consumption, but needs clearly more current than the Pentium 4-M models. It was intruduced with FSB533-connection and clock frequencies between 2.4 and 3.06 GHz.

Intel mobile Celeron 4 M
Technically it is a Pentium 4 M however without speed steps and with less level 2 Cache. In contrast to the Celeron M it is very slow, since the long pipeline of architecture needs a large level 2 Cache. Slow, warm and very hungry for current per megahertz.

AMD Turion64 X2
64 bit dual core (2 core) processor, code name Taylor (2 x 256 KB L2) and Trinidad (2 x 512 KB L2), DDR2-667 support, Pacifica (AMD-v) virtualisation technics, 31-35 W TDP, socket S1, 90 nm fabrication, separated L2 Caches, integrated 333 MHz DDR, 800 MHz Hypertransport
AMD Turion 64 X2 is intended to be positioned against the Intel Core Duo was presented in 17. May 2006. The current consumption is not higher than with Centrino-Duo-notebooks (TL-45 with ATI Xpress and Mobility Radeon X300). This means, that approximative the same battery runtime and fan functions can be expected (with this chipset). However, the performance was 20% below the T2300 (1.66 GHz) due to the lower L2 Cache (Core Duo has 2048 Kbyte shared L2 Cache). Nevertheless, the performance is sufficient.
In March 2007 a Turion 64 with reduced structure was announced (as a response to Intels Santa Rosa Core 2 Duo), which have up to 2.3 GHz.
TL-50 1.6 GHz 2 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 31 Watt TDPTL-52 1.6 GHz 2 x 512 KB L2 Cache, 31 Watt TDPTL-56 1.8 GHz 2 x 512 KB L2 Cache, 33 Watt TDP, 65nm (31 Watt after May 07)TL-58 1.9 GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache, 31 Watt TDP, 65nmTL-60 2.0 GHz 2 x 512 KB L2 Cache, 35 Watt TDP, 65nmTL-64 2.2 GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache, 35 Watt TDP, 65nmTL-66 2.3 GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache, 35 Watt TDP, 65nm

AMD Turion 64
This is a derivative of the Athlon 64 with SSE3 with nx storage protection, 32 and 64 bit support, integrated memory controller for PC3200 memory, mode for low capacity, HT800 and 2 variants ML with 35 Watt and MB with 25 Watt consumption.
Speeds:MT-30 / ML-30 (1.6 GHz, 1 MB L2)MT-32 / ML-32 (1.8 GHz, 512 KB L2)MT-34 / ML-34 (1.8 GHz, 1 MB L2)MK-36 (2.0 GHz, 512 KB L2, 31 Watt TDP)MT-37 / ML-37 (2.0 GHz, 1 MB L2)MT-40 / ML-40 (2.2 GHz, 1 MB L2)ML-42 (2.4 GHz, 512 KB L2)ML-44 (2.4 GHz, 1 MB L2)
Regarding the consumption MT might be very similar to a Pentium M. The speed is moderate and approximately as fast as an Pentium M with equivalent clock speed.

AMD Mobile Athlon 64
2700+ (1,6 Ghz) - 4000+ (2,6 Ghz). The rating is comparable with the clock rates of Pentium 4 M. It is a 32 and 64 bit processor relative fast per megahertz and uses moderately much current (and produces heat). The top versions are DTR (Desktop replacement) versions for large laptops.

AMD Mobile Sempron
2800+ to 3000+ mobile Athlon 64 with reduced level 2 Cache; The rating is not comparable with Athlon 64 Rating. A 3000+ Athlon 64 is faster than a 3000+ Sempron. There is no 64 bit support.
Especially: Sempron 2100+, socket S1, 9 Watt TDP, 1 GHz

AMD Mobile Athlon XP-M
Mobile version of the Athlon XP regarding rating comparable with Pentium 4 clock frequencies; Somewhat more slow than Athlon 64 with same rating and no 64 bit support.

Transmeta Efficeon
Successor of the Crusoe processor; not as fast as comparable Intel and AMD processors, however very economic current consumption;

Transmeta Crusoe
Not as fast as comparable Intel and AMD processors, however very economic current consumption;

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Tips To Choose A Cheap Laptop/ Notebook Computer

Cheap is synonymous with poor quality, but it doesn’t have to be so. There are plenty of deals to be had, especially if you are willing to buy a computer that is more down-to-earth than the most cutting edge, overpriced technology.
Old does not equal bad.
Older models are not to be looked down upon, especially as they have been well tested and you are sure to know what you are getting into before buying. Just because it doesn’t have 37 cores, and 93.2MB of XYZ, doesn’t mean it won’t be up to the tasks you want it for.
For web browsing, editing documents, putting together presentations, checking email and the like choose something which is Centrino or Centrino Duo Mobile based. With either of these you are on the right track.
Systemax laptop with 15 inch wide screen display. You can customize nearly all the specifications to get exactly the laptop you need.
512MB of RAM will do, 1GB is better, but not completely necessary. I recommend at least 512MB for Windows XP and 1GB for Windows Vista.
Get a hard drive with 40GB or more. Also get a DVD writer, then any data you need to store safely or need to move to free up space can be burnt to a DVD.
Get a wide screen monitor if possible. Laptop screens are smaller, extra width makes a more roomy desktop environment. 15 inches and up make for more comfortable viewing, but take up space, get smaller for greater portability.
USB 2.0, firewire, built-in audio (in/out/mic) are must-haves, all laptops should have them.
Get a power supply, and an extra battery if you plan to be away from power for a long time (think long plane trips).
New laptop or notebook computers will set you back from $1000 upwards and from $600
How To Increase The Battery Runtime

Here are easy tips for current saving, which allow significantly longer battery runtimes.

How to avoid unnecessary load of processor and video card
Deactivate all unnecessary programs, which run in the background. Also small tools in the task bar often need some percent of performance.
Reduce the display brightness

Reduce they the screen brightness as low as still a pleasant working is possible. Good modern displays show a brightness of over 150cd/m². If one does not use the laptop outside in fresh air or direct sunshine the brightness can be shifted back to 100cd/m². This can save some watts. With the last tested mobile computer we could measure a difference of 10 watts between minimum and maximum brightness!

Enable current saving functions
Modern mobile video cards got special current savings functions implemented. So one can limit the performance, but also restrain the current need. Powerful graphic cards like Nvidia go 7800gtx or ATI Radeon Mobiliy X800 need very much power.
ATI calls the current savings functions "Powerplay" and increases the battery runtime with the setting "optimal battery life" (about 4 watts of savings with a ATI X700). With NVidia graphics cards the same function is called "Powermizer".

Disable WLAN and Bluetooth
If you do not need integrated functions such as Wireless LAN, Bluetooth or infrared, turn these functions off (best by existing hardware switches) for current saving.

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Tips to buy laptop / notebook (Tips to buy laptop) is the definitive online destination for laptop reviews and buying guides/tips. If you want to buy a new, used or refurbished laptop, you'll find here relevant and valuable advice for your own review that will allow you to make an informed buying decision. tries our very best to make the content of this site simple yet very helpful and hopes that what you will read will save you a lot of time, money and unnecessary hassles in buying laptops!

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Laptop Computer ?

When considering buying a used or even a new laptop, the first thing you need to do is to determine your computing needs. * word processing * e-mail * browsing web pages * moving the laptop from home to work (weight) * gaming * on-line shopping * a database application * personal finance * is battery power important Check out the Minimum Systems Requirements needed to do all of the your applications. They will not come with the laptop, as refurbished laptops often only include the Operating System (OS).

1. Portability - The main reason to have a laptop or notebook computer is portability - the need to take your entire computer from one place to another. If you don't need portability, then you should probably buy a desktop.

2. Expense - Laptop computers cost almost twice as much as comparably equipped desktops. Shocking isn't it?You can actually buy two comparably equipped desktops for the price of one laptop. So if you have to have a computer in two separate places, you would be better off with two desktops (if they were reasonably close together you could hook them together in a wired or wireless local area network (LAN).

3. Speed - Laptops are 20-30% slower than a desktop with the same features (CPU, hard drive capacity, etc.). Slower CPUs, motherboards, hard drives, and video systems all contribute to the speed loss.

4. Upgradeability - Laptop computers are mostly non-upgradeable. Whatever CPU, video card (built into the motherboard), sound card (also built-in), and screen, that come with the laptop are the same parts the laptop will end with. While it is possible to upgrade main memory, and removable drives, the upgrades can cost twice as much as a desktop's. Upgrades using PC cards or docking stations are also very expensive.
You can also upgrade newer laptops through their USB, USB 2.0, and Firewire ports. Only USB 2.0 and Firewire ports can run high speed devices e.g. hard drives and DVD drives. Again, all external drives cost almost twice as much as an internal drive.

5. Serious Gaming. You will need to spend at least $2500 for a laptop that can play current games at a respectable speed. I don't recommend laptops for serious gaming no matter how much you are willing to spend. Why?

Because if you love to play games, about 1-1.5 years after you purchase your laptop you will find it isn't fast enough to keep up with the latest new game. At that time, you will regret buying a gaming laptop. However, if you have the money, and want to throw down $2500 every year or so, more power to you.

On the other hand, if your computer budget is limited, it's better to have a functional laptop and spend your gaming dollars on an upgradeable desktop.
We hope you'll find as much value in these laptop reviews and buying guides/tips as many other buyers and users have...

Notebook systems have grown in popularity due to their increasing performance and portability. Many systems are even now being marketed as replacements for desktop systems, but few can perform at the same level as a desktop system particularly when it comes to graphics. This guide will help you to look at some of the key items you want to look at before you purchase your next PC notebook system.
Size and Weight
Obviously the size and weight of a notebook is important. Ultraportables offer light weight and sizes, but sacrifice items such as optical drives. Desktop replacements have equivalent power to desktop systems, but they are heavy and bulky making them difficult to carry around. When shopping for a laptop, make sure to pick up the systems and verify its something you are willing to carry. Don't forget to also consider the weight of accessories such as AC adapter when carrying around the notebook.
Processors (CPU)
Notebook processors still lag behind desktop CPUs but they make up for that with their energy efficiency. To determine the right CPU to get, look at the purpose of the system. If it is meant to be a mobile web browser, email, word processing or even DVD player, any CPU above 1GHz should be sufficient. A desktop replacement should have a high-end processor rated at least 1.6GHz or higher for mobile specific processors or 2.8GHz for desktop processors.

Memory (RAM)
Laptop computers are generally more restricted in the amount of memory they can have compared to desktop systems. When looking at computers you want to make sure to check out the maximum memory the system can handle as well as the amount that is installed in the computer. It's also useful to find out if a memory upgrade can be done yourself or if it has to be done by a technician.

When purchasing a notebook, look at the native resolution of the screen as the size. A large size screen is generally preferred but some large screens have such high resolutions that it can make standard fonts unbearably hard to read. The size of the screen also impacts the size of the laptop. Newer systems with 17" screens tend to be very large and more difficult to carry.
Hard drive size is straight forward in laptops, but the choice of optical drives is important. One of the great abilities of laptops now is their ability to turn into portable DVD players. With a DVD-ROM or CD-RW/DVD combo drive, one can watch DVD movies through the computer or even plug it into a home theater system. Many ultraportable laptops often lack an internal optical drive to save on space.
Laptop Graphic Cards Review (or GPU – Graphics Processing Unit)
A graphic card is probably the second most important in computer hardware configurations. It determines how well you run the graphic based programs (where 99.9% of the software programs today have fancy graphic user interfaces). If you ever want to use the laptop to watch video contents, view animations or play games, you must know your graphic card chart well. When it comes to graphic cards, I put them into two categories: Integrated Graphics Cards, and Add-on Graphic Cards. Simply put, if you are going to use your laptop mainly for surfing the net, checking email, word processing, 2D graphic design and occasionally playing some games, a laptop with an integrated graphic card would do for you. However, if you work with animation creations, multimedia developments (e.g. video rendering) or game playing (3D games like Quake 4, Half Life 2, Far Cry, FEAR, Battle Field 2), you do need the add-on graphic cards. The graphic cards makes a huge difference on laptop prices, but the one thing you can bet, the more expensive the graphic cards are, the better 3D support they provide.
The ability to connect to the net is integral to most laptops today. Look for systems that include a built in 56Kbps modem and Fast Ethernet. This allows one to get logged in for most situations. If you want ultimate portability, look at getting a laptop computer with an integrated 802.11b/g wireless adapter. More and more locations are available with wireless hotspots for connectivity.
Battery Life
How good is a portable computer going to be if you are only able to get 30 minutes of computing time on a single charge? Try to find the manufacturer’s listed battery life for the standard battery. Look to get a system with at least 2 hours of battery life under normal conditions. If you need extended time unplugged, look for laptops with media bays that can double as extra battery slots.

- Make sure the laptop come with enough USB plugs. (at the least 2)- A 5-in-1 or 6-in-1 card reader will be really handy on the road- DVD burner would be nice when you have a smaller hard drive (smaller than 80GB )- All laptops today have wireless card build in, but you might want to check on Bluetooth. It would be useful since more printers, communication devices and home appliances are Bluetooth equipped.- A IEEE 1394 Port (Fire Wire) is important for video editing- DVI Connector for the new laptops and Mac cinema displays- S-video out if you want to project the laptop content to home TV.
Warranty Plans
Laptops take a lot of abuse and are more prone to breakdowns due to their portability. When buying a system, make sure to get at least a 1 year warranty from the manufacturer. If you will be using the system heavily, a system that comes with a 3 year warranty might be a better choice but it will cost more. Third party extended plans are not a good choice unless service is done through the manufacturer.
FAQ about Laptop
Should I buy a laptop or a desktop PC?
Before we discuss what to look for in a business laptop, you should figure out whether you need a laptop at all. Desktop PCs typically cost hundreds of dollars less than laptops, and if you're able to do all of your business comfortably from one location, you need not shell out extra cash for a portable form factor.
What advantages does a laptop offer?
A portable computer provides access to your files and applications wherever you are--every corner of the world becomes an extension of your office. Riding the train or sitting in an airport, you can be just as productive as if you were sitting in your desk chair.
What are the disadvantages to using a laptop?
On top of the premium price tag, there are a few other drawbacks to buying a laptop rather than a desktop PC. For one, laptops are not as easy or inexpensive to upgrade as their desktop brethren. While it's relatively simple to add a bigger hard drive or a DVD burner to a desktop, on a laptop, the operation can be more expensive, more complicated, or both. Here are a few other limitations to note:

You'll be working on a smaller keyboard, looking at a smaller screen, probably sitting in a less-than-ergonomic position.
You'll have to become conscious of battery life, an issue the desktop PC user doesn't have to worry about.
You'll need a separate network hub and a backup solution; laptops aren't optimized for those functions.
What can I expect to pay for a laptop?
There's a laptop for every class of business user. Currently, the least-expensive and least-sophisticated laptops start at $600 to $700. The smallest and lightest laptops can run to $2,000 and beyond. Very roughly, laptops cost about twice as much as their desktop counterparts. So all things considered, you should expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500 for a nicely outfitted business laptop.
Are there hidden, recurring, or long-term costs of owning a laptop?
Because a laptop is likely to log many more miles than a desktop PC, it's inherently more vulnerable to wear and tear. You'll be susceptible to ailments such as worn-out hinges, broken keys, busted screens, and mangled optical drives. In the past, nearly all business laptops came with a standard three-year warranty on parts and labor; these days, some models include only a one-year warranty, with the option to purchase an upgrade. Read your warranty information carefully before you make a purchase. Also, a decent laptop bag will help reduce laptop deterioration

Thinking of buying a laptop?
Make sure you know what you're getting. Below, you'll find our recommendations for consideration when buying a desktop replacement class PC laptop, but the other smaller laptop classes are considered in some of the detailed descriptions. Click on any of the main components for a detailed explanation.

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