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Complete Laptop Buying Guide
This laptop buying focuses on different configurations for students, entertainment users, gamers, working population and budget users.
Laptops are one of the unavoidable parts of modern life. This necessity increased the number and vividness of laptop market. Customers are provided with more options than ever. But to select a best laptop from the vibrant market, it is a difficult task. Customers need to know certain features like configurations of laptops, what is meant by 512MB RAM, what is graphics card, LED or LCD. This article provides a guide to different users like Entertainment users, Working Population, Students, Gamers and Budget users.
The laptop configuration makes each laptop differ from one another. To select the best laptop for your needs, it's necessary that you should know the use of these configurations also. This laptop buying guide focuses exclusively on different features of laptop, the trends and recent techniques in laptop market and the best configuration available in each feature of the laptop.
1.Motherboard of the laptop
What is motherboard of laptops? Motherboard of the laptop is a high cost component in laptop configuration. This main board is the main circuit board in any laptop. Laptop motherboards come in varieties of sizes and they are highly model-specific. It is the motherboard that selects the RAM and CPU type that can be used in your laptop. So, care should be given while selecting the motherboard.
General Trends in Motherboard Market and New TechnologiesMotherboards are varieties in configuration and prices. Generally laptop motherboards do have FireWire (IEEE 1394), USB 2.0 ports, six-channel sound chips, battery connector, Ethernet (RJ45 aka network) port, RAID controllers etc. Don't limit your needs by reducing the features of motherboard if you want the laptop for a long run. You may have motherboards which costs less than Rs.2000 or one which costs more than 15000. If you are going for the former one, you won't get the best laptop for your use. It is always recommended to go for those ones which range from Rs.2500 to Rs.9000. Remember that the cost of replacing a processor is more than the cost of buying best laptops. Before buying the laptop, check that the motherboard supports the RAM that you need for your uses. Intel, ASUS, Gigabyte and AMD are some of the leading motherboard manufactures.
Entertainment: Gigabyte H55M-S2H, Intel SH
Workstation: ASUS P617 WS Super Computer LGA 1366
Student: Intel G41 chipset
GamingAMD 880G chipset
Budget PCGigabyte G41M-ES2L
What is Laptop Processor While buying laptop, the area where one should give extra care is its processor. The processor in laptop and desktops are generally known as Central Processing Unit (CPU) or as the brain of laptop. Perhaps, these chips are the most important one in a laptop configuration. They decide the overall performance of your system.
Trends and Technologies in Laptop Processor Market The price of an individual processor can dip less than Rs. 15,000 and it also goes more than Rs. 75,000 (although they come in built with the laptop). This statics itself shows the wide range of technologies and features in processor configurations. There are many processor manufactures in the present market. The two main laptop processor manufactures are Intel and AMD. More and more processors are coming in the market due to the innovation of new technologies. It's better to go for the new processors if your uses are highly demanding. Otherwise, opt the processor according to your needs. The latest processors available with from Intel are i3, i5 and i7. Intel also released Intel Hyper threading Technology for the efficient simultaneous multitasking operations in your system. ADM Phenom excels in delivering better gaming experience than Intel processors. It's advised to not to go for processors that were released before Core 2 Duo.
Entertainment: Intel Core i5-650, 3.2 GHz
Workstation: Core i7 is the best one. Configuration depends on type of works.
Student: Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.93GHz
Gaming: ADM Phenom II X4 Black Edition, 3 GHz
Budget PC : Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.93 GHZ
3.Memory of the laptop-RAM
What is RAM? Everyone needs memory for the smooth working with laptop. But laptop memory has some limitations. You can't have the same memory in all the systems. This inbuilt physical memory in laptops is known as Random Access Memory or simply RAM. RAM stores the programs and software while they are running on the system.
Trends and Technologies in RAM MarketRAM depends on other configurations like motherboard and processor you want to run in the system etc. If you do not have enough RAM in your system, future upgrading of the laptop will be restricted. If your uses are limited go for at least 1GB RAM. 3GB RAM is considered to be a better option. RAM is generally specified by its clock rating or clock rating along with the bandwidth. Nowadays, most of the manufactures adopt for the latest DDR3 clock rating compared to the DDR2 clock rating. Higher bandwidth options are also recommended compared to the lower one to have efficient working background in your laptop. Graphics controllers are also used in RAM in some of the cases. Select the RAM with ECC (Error Correction Code) or Non ECC modules according to the motherboard specification. RAM plays an extreme role in cases of gamers, designers, photographers etc. These professionals are recommended to pay for more RAM (say more than 4GB).
Entertainment: 2X2GB Strontium S-2H
Workstation:2X2GB Strontium DDR3-1333
Student: 1GB Strontium DDR3 -1333
Gaming: 2X2 GB Strontium DDR3-1333
Budget PC: 2GB Strontium DDR3-1333
4.Hard disk of the Laptop
What is Laptop Hard diskHard disk or hard drive of a laptop is the place where you can store the data. Hard drives read and write the data in its memory. The average modern hard disk drive has several platters inside of it, stacked one on top of the other. The details in hard drives can be deleted from it.
Recent Trends and Technologies in Hard Drive MarketWhile purchasing the laptop, look for the hard drive with best interface option. There is two main interface used by modern hard discs- Serial ATA (SATA) and IDE (or ATA). IDE interface gives a wide range of speeds from ATA/33 to ATA/133. Higher rotational speed of the hard drive increases the performance of your system. Generally, it is around 7200 rpm. Some of the hard drives offer rotational speeds up to 10000 rpm. Never go for those hard drives which feature less than 5400 rpm. Most of the devices have hard drive memory ranging from 250GB to 500GB. 320GB hard disk is a good option for all users. Western Digital Caviar Green hard drive is one of the best option available in the market.
Entertainment: 540GB Western Digital Cavier Black
Workstation: 1TB Digital Cavier Black
Student: 320GB Western Digital Cavier Green
Gaming: 540GB Western Digital Cavier Black
Budget PC: 320 GB Western Digital Cavier Green
5.Operating System of Laptops
What is Operating System?Operating system or OS is the software that runs and executes different programs and software in your laptop hard disk. The operating system selection should be based on other general configurations of your laptop and your purpose. It is the operating system that executes basic operations like input interference, security, multi tasking, copying and pasting etc.
General Trends and Technologies in Operating SystemsMicrosoft Corporation is the leading manufacturer of operating system. You will get a licensed version of the operating system while buying the new laptop. Users do have the right to upgrade to higher versions by paying cash to the company. The latest operating system released by Microsoft is Windows 7. Windows 7 offers exciting features than all other OS from the same manufactures. You can go for Windows 7. It offers more customization options than its predecessors. Windows 7 comes in three different editions- Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate. Other OS from Microsoft Corporation are Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows 98 etc. If you are used to Linux, it's another option to install in your laptop. Linux is less prone to virus compared to Windows.
Entertainment: 64 bit Windows 7 home premium
Workstation: 64 bit Windows 7 Professional
Student: 32 bit Windows Vista or Windows 7 starter Edition
Gaming: 64 bit Windows 7 home premium
Budget PC: 32 bit Windows 7 home basic
6.Monitor or Display of Laptop
Screen Size of LaptopThe screen size and video processor together is known as the display of any laptop. Display plays an important role in the life of gamers and other technicians like photographers, film makers etc.
General Trends and Technologies in Display of LaptopLaptop display is also have a vivid options like screen size, pixel resolution, widescreen or standard, LED or LCD and glossy or anti-glare. The most important feature among this is the screen size. Laptops are available with 12.1, 13.3, 14.1, 15.4, 17, 20 -inches screen. Usually people goes for screen sizes close to 14.1". Too small or too large screen size will cause problem to your tasks. Larger the screen size will force you to have larger physical size and smaller screen size will cause problem in viewing videos. Nowadays, backlight LED display is preferred rather than the LCD. A recommended resolution for the display is 1,024x768. Standard aspect ratio is replaced by Widescreen aspect ratio.
Entertainment: 24" TFT LED BenQ V2400 Eco
Workstation:15.6" BenQ V2400
Student: 14.1" BenQ Display
Gaming 24" LED BenQ V2400
Budget PC: Samsung Sync Master B2030
7.Graphics Card of the Laptop
What is graphics cardGraphics card is an external expansion found in laptops to generate quality output. These graphics card or video cards are essential to have 3D or 2D features in your device. Modern laptops have graphics card pre-installed in the system. If you are buying a laptop without graphics card, you can upgrade it later to the laptop. Graphics cards or graphics accelerators are essential for gamers and entertainment editions for quality picture output.
General Trends and Technologies in Graphics CardThe pre-configured graphics cards do have a dedicated RAM for functioning in the memory. But if you are adding graphics card later, it will take a part of the RAM of your device and hence reducing your RAM. NVIDIA and ATI are the two main graphics card manufacturers. Pre-installed graphics card do have a memory ranging from 128MB to 512MB. If you want to use the integrated graphics card, see that its memory won't hindrance your RAM. The price of graphics card ranges from Rs. 1000 to more than Rs. 25000. Check that the resolution of your laptop meets the resolution prescribed by the graphics card. Graphics card generates more heat and hence it's always recommended to have cool fans in your system.
Entertainment: 1 GB Sapphire Radeon HD 5550
Workstation:2 GB AMD FirePro
Student: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator
Gaming: 1 GB Zotac GeForceGTX 460
Budget PC: On Chip Graphics Intel HD
8.Laptop Keyboard and Mouse
What is Keyboard and Mouse of Laptop? Key board and mouse are the two main user interfaces of laptops. Since laptop is a well defined unit of different hardware, a small problem in the hardware will cause a great damage on your system. It means that your keyboards should be strong. Touchpad is actually acting as the pointing mouse in all laptops. Secondary mouse is also available in the market.
General Trends and Technologies in Mouse and Keyboard MarketThe laptop keyboards do not have much variation unlike other configurations. It is always to have a secondary keyboard apart from the inbuilt keyboard for your laptop to ensure security. The size of the keyboard greatly depends on the screen size. OLED keyboards are the most promising keyboards of the time. Some of the widely used keyboards are Microsoft wireless keyboard, TVS champ keyboard, Logitech EX 100, flexible folding USB keyboard for laptops etc. The touch pads are highly case sensitive. Always go for secondary mouses which can be easily plugged in to your laptop. This will ensure long run of your system. Some of the main mouse manufactures are Razer Abyssus, Logitech etc.
Entertainment: Logitech Cordles Desktop EX90 Mouse Combo and keyboard
Workstation: Logitech Cordles Desktop EX90
Student: Microsoft Desktop 500
Gaming: Razor Arctosa keyboard and Razer Abyssus mouse
Budget PC: Microsoft Desktop 500
Apart from these configurations users should look for those manufactures who can deliver a better warranty period. Warranty period of various laptop manufactures ranges from 6 months to one year generally. There are some manufactures providing three years warranty. Dell is one of the main laptop manufacturer with good reputation in delivering warranty products.
Read related articles: Laptop Buying Guide
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