Which Laptop Should I Buy ?

Laptops have gained increased notoriety as useful computer gadgets. With multiple manufacturers and systems the question arises, which one is best for you?

Laptops are the new trend in computer gadget technology. Next to cell phones laptop computers have overwhelmed the mobile technology. Useful and portable, in most cases, they are a great tool for workaholics as one is no longer stuck behind a desk, but can continue working from a coffee shop or front porch.

The problem arises when you want to purchase one. With so many manufacturers and competing computer systems, finding the best laptop can be overwhelming. After fifteen years as a technical analyst I would like to share my computer knowledge, and help you make the best decision, or at least a very well informed one, in the purchase of your next laptop computer.

Your Computer Need

The most crucial thing to ask oneself when preparing to purchase a new laptop computer is the reason for it. Are you a student and need it for school? Are you a professional person needing the laptop to take work between the office and home? Will you be working with graphics? Do you travel much?

The size, shape, processing power, or graphic hardware do make a difference, both in the price and the functionality of the laptop. You must also consider the software you need to use. Is it compatible with that laptop? If it is not can it be made so? Not all applications made for Windows are also available for Mac, or vice versa.

The Stability of the Computer

The information regarding this aspect of the computer, although a real concern, depends much on the experience people have had with either PC laptops or Mac laptops. If price is a top priority for you, choosing a PC version, such as a Dell or a Toshiba running Windows or Linux, will be the way to go. What you must know though, is that maintenance will also cost you, and PC laptops require higher maintenance than Macs. For example the battery of a Mac laptop lasts three or four times longer than a Dell battery.

The stability of the Windows system is much less than the Mac OS. Windows computers tend to slow down after some use. This slowness depends partly on how Windows installs and removes applications. The start-up speed will also decrease noticeably. Mac computers, although more expensive, will not have this problem. Linux computers also run faster than Windows and they are very inexpensive due to the fact the you only need to pay for the hardware of the laptop, as the Linux operating system is free.

Available Software

The limitation of the Linux machine is software. Most software is made for Windows with Mac a close second. Not all software available for Windows or Mac OS is available for Linux though, although lately more and more software has become available. Important to remember is also that software for Linux is all free, so if you need a suite such as Microsoft Office, you can find the entire Office for Linux free of charge.

Your Decision

In the end, purchasing a computer should be a positive experience as well as an educational one. As you look at more laptops and ask questions of the sales technicians you’ll start to get a feel of what’s out there. And in the end the last tipping point may actually be the color of the laptop, which is as good a tipping point as any. After all, you’ll have to look at it for hours on end, so might as well choose a pleasant one.

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