Buying a Laptop

By: Sean Clark

Laptop Technology

A laptop, or notebook, computer (the term "notebook" was originally coined to describe smaller laptop models, but, as technology has advanced, the two terms have become virtually synonymous) is a lightweight, portable device, with the capability of running from battery power - usually in the form of NiCd ("Nickel Cadmium"), NiMH ("Nickel Metal Hydride"), or, more recently Li-Ion ("Lithium Ion") or Li-Po ("Lithium Polymer") rechargeable batteries.

Compact size means that laptops can physically accommodate cooling components - used to dissipate the heat generated by the CPU ("Central Processing") unit - of the same size as desktop models, and counteract this by running at slightly slower processor speeds, and at a lower voltage. RAM ("Random Access Memory"), therefore, is often configured more ingeniously, residing on, or very to close to the processor itself, so that data can be accessed and transferred more quickly.

The absence of a large cooling fan typically makes laptop operation much quieter than that of desktop alternatives. The Hewlett Packard HP 510 RU962AA Laptop, as one example, offers a 1.4 GHz Intel processor, and 512 MB of RAM, while the Toshiba L30-105 Laptop, as another, offers a 1.6 GHz processor, and 1 GB of RAM.

Input devices, aside from the keyboard - which, rather obviously, should be large enough to make the keys legible and to comfortably accommodate your fingers - are usually provided in the form of a touchpad, or other pointing device, which effectively operates in the same way as a traditional, external mouse, is an integral part of the keyboard. These devices are not always easy to master, especially if you are a novice, so a little extra investment in an external mouse (perhaps a small, wireless, optical version) may be wise.

Conclusion

A laptop computer can be a great acquisition, but think carefully about how - which may have an impact on your choice of screen form, resolution, colour depth, and overall performance - and where - from a battery, and connectivity, perspective, before you make your final choice.

Laptops
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Laptops
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles