How to Get a Notebook Computer at a Great Price  

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How do you get a notebook computer with the functions you need and a price you can afford? I have looked at computer stores and in the Sunday flyers in my local newspaper and while the prices have gone down considerable, notebook computers are still not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. A notebook computer can offer you the chance to work without being tied down to your desk or home office. To get one at a good price, though, takes some research and patience on your part.

First of all, you need to decide what you need in your notebook computer. Most are going to be equipped with office programs, internet access, and other basic computer functions. For most of us, that is plenty. If there is more you need, then you should consult with a professional to find out what exactly it is you need to have on the notebook computer when you go to look for it. With most being similarly equipped, though, you will probably want to find something affordable and reliable.

For affordability, you may want to consider a refurbished computer. Many electronics retailers and even online stores offer these computers. Refurbished notebook computers are one that have been used and are a little older, but have been erased and given fresh memory and programs so that they are basically as good as new. They are generally significantly cheaper than new laptops, but are usually still reliable. Some stores may even offer a limited warranty or guarantee on their refurbished notebook computers.

You can also, if it makes you more comfortable, get yourself a new notebook computer at a decent price by looking around a little bit. Check online first, as many retailers offer their computers online at a discounted price. By shipping it straight to you, rather than one of their physical stores, they are saving a little bit of money and might pass that savings on to you. They will also sometimes begin a closeout online before doing so in the stores. It is a way to get an early jump on removing outdated notebook computers from their national inventory.

Finding a good notebook computer is important to those who want to be able to work, surf the net, and email without being tethered to the office or desk at home. They are however, not a small or cheap purchase. Because of that, you should do some research before buying a notebook computer. Check out refurbished models at your local electronics shop or even online. If you are not comfortable with a used laptop, then consider shopping around online to find closeouts and pre-closeouts available at online retailers who may specialize in notebook computers. Either way, be patient and make sure you find the computer that works for you at a price you can afford and you will not regret your purchase.

How to Find Cheap Laptop Computers  

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Ah yes, I want a laptop but I am not going to spend a couple of thousand dollars for one. Well guess what you don’t have to. Laptop prices have come down dramatically over the past year alone and they will continue to do so as technology advances. But the trick here is to find good quality laptops that fit your needs at the cheapest prices available today.

I would say that there probably is a store near you right now that has cheap laptop computers. In fact, many stores already have them. The reason being, like any other new product, laptops were once considered the cream of the crop in the computer world which made them very expensive. However, all that has changed now. Laptops are a dime a dozen! The hand held digital assistants, Bluetooth cell phones and tablet pads are the new rage making laptop computers cheap.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that they are cheaply made. Thanks to the wonders of the technological cycle, laptop computers are decreasing in price as their capabilities rise. Of course, there are the latest and greatest monsters out there that are made for gaming or high powered multimedia applications and these babies still cost a pretty penny.

But for the average user, you can find cheap laptop computers that provide all the power you need and then some. Every major manufacturer out there, like Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway, and IBM have their lower end and intermediate models that come with more than enough speed and usability.

Now here is the key to finding the right cheap computer laptop for you, and that is to figure out exactly what you need it for.

Are you going to use it mainly for surfing the web or word processing? Do you need it to work from home or mainly to save your MP3s and digital pictures?

Ok, so now you have an idea of what you want to use your laptop for. Now lets go out shopping and compare. You can visit any of the top manufacturers websites or visit your local store and find their low end or intermediate models that may suit your needs. The three top components of a computer you want to look for is the hard drive size, memory, and processor speeds and take notes of each model you find on each component and model.

The hard drive, you can consider this the brain of your computer, this is where all your files, applications and folders are stored. If you plan on using your computer for MP3s and digital pictures your hard drive should be large since these files are usually very large. I personally would look at 80gb as minimum.

Next would be the memory, memory can be considered the thought processes of your computer. As a minimum I would look at 512mb but if you plan on using your laptop for gaming of course this should be much larger, in the area of 1 to 2gb. Now memory is used whenever a program or application is running. So the more memory you have the faster your computer can process the program.

And finally your processor, now your processor is just that it processes all the inner workings of how each program runs. The faster the processor is, the faster the program instructions are processed. Again if your looking for a laptop for gaming uses you want your processor with high speeds 2ghz or more. For other uses you can go less.

Other parts of the computer to also consider are the ports involved that can connect your computer to your digital camera or your mp3 player for example. You also want to check that your laptop has wireless and broadband connectivity. Many cheap computer laptops today already come with this but you want to make sure or you will have to pay additional, for example, a wireless card to install in your laptop to have this capability.

About Discount Notebook Computers  

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While notebook computer prices have come down quite a lot, laptops still range from inexpensive notebook models to high end luxury jobs. Naturally, the notebook you eventually choose to buy will depend on your resources and requirements, but if you are on a budget like so many of us are, you should give some thought to picking up a discount notebook computer.

There are a variety of reasons that a particular model may be discounted and it’s smart to try to find out why. A legitimate retailer should be able to offer a reasonable explanation. Any discount notebook computer should be new and carry a full manufacturer’s warranty. Some specific notebooks may be discounted because they’ve been factory refurbished.

Generally this means they were bought and returned for some reason. Then the factory rebuilt them to original specifications, replacing any damaged or defective parts. Refurbished laptops may be available for even less than discount notebooks. Not everyone is willing to take a chance on a rebuilt notebook, but you might want to consider the fact that these machines have been burned in and the weak parts failed and have been replaced. And they still come with a full warranty.

Manufacturers will often discount models based on closeout of a particular notebook computer. It may not have the latest technology and is being replaced by an upgraded model. Some discounts may be for loss leaders. Often a person will upgrade later to a more expensive model based on brand loyalty or just the comfortable knowledge that the first notebook from XYZ Corp worked well so why not stick with them. A lifetime customer is worth a small loss. Retailers will often discount in order to get rid of excess inventory or prepare for new models.

You do want to make sure you aren’t being given a used notebook disguised as a discounted model. Check the warranty. A used notebook will normally not carry a manufacturer’s warranty and any warranty period may be shorter then the standard new model warranty. Never, ever be afraid to ask hard questions. It’s your money and it’s going to be your data going into the notebook you buy. If you get weak or unsatisfactory answers, evasions or hostility, walk. There’s lots of places to buy notebook computers.

One thing you must do is to analyze your own computer needs before you go looking for a notebook. Exactly what will you be using the machine for most of the time. How important is it to have a really fast machine? Do you need high end graphics? How much disk space do you require? Do you need to read both CDs and DVDs? Do you want to be able to write CDs, DVDs? What kind of sound do you need? How much memory? What other specific features do you want - wireless, networking, floppy disk? Do you plan to carry it around a lot? Then weight may be important. Do you need a long battery life? How about the size of the screen? What will you be comfortable with?

Let me share something you here. I use a refurbished Compaq for nearly everything these days. It’s been incredibly reliable for well over 2 and a half years. I rarely take it anywhere. I have an external keyboard plugged into it and I use an external monitor too. But I use the LCD at the same time. The graphics allow me to spread my desktop over the external monitor and the LCD screen. My visible desktop is over 25 inches. Depending on your graphics, you can do the same thing with a desktop computer, but it takes up a lot more room. Now I feel horribly limited when I have a little 17, 19 or 21 inch desktop. This is, hands down, the absolute best deal I’ve ever made in a computer buy - including all the computers I’ve built myself from scratch.

That was a little off subject, but I’ve found that very few people realize just how useful spreading your desktop over more than one monitor can be in terms of both comfort and productivity. OK, back to the pre-shopping analysis. This kind of analysis sounds tedious because it is. It’s much more fun to just go out and buy on impulse. Unfortunately that’s not a smart thing to do. It sets you up to be seduced by a hot sales pitch for a really neat bleeding edge high end notebook. There are very very few people who actually need that kind of technology.

The reality is that 97 to 99% of the notebook computer buyers could do at least 95% of their typical tasks with the cheapest, slowest notebook on the market. You need to be certain about how much you’re willing to pay to do that remaining 5% a little faster. And if your needs aren’t typical, you probably already have a good idea of just what’s required. The advantage of a discount computer is that you can put some of the money you’ve just saved into more memory, an external hard drive for backup, an additional (big) external monitor, an extra battery, a new printer or whatever additional accessory will make your work easier. And you’ll probably still come out ahead.

We all have a tendency to overestimate our needs - and to want the biggest, fastest, best, coolest whatever. Salesmen know this. After all a discount notebook computer just isn’t as sexy somehow, is it? But let’s be real here, a notebook is to work. It will not get you that really hot lady or that primo guy. In any case, the truly cool people have minions to carry around their stuff and wouldn’t be caught dead lugging around a computer or using one in public.

A little thought, a little rationality, and you can end up with a high quality discount notebook that’s more than sufficient for your needs without even spending your whole budget. Now that is cool.

Big Master List  

Posted by Laptop Tips

*Start Copy Here*

You do not have to be tagged to play along. This game is simple and so are the rules.

1. Copy from *Start Copy Here* through *End Copy Here*

2. Add your site(s) to the list. Just be sure to post at each site you add.

3. Tag or don’t tag, your choice, however, the more tags you create the bigger the list will grow.

4. Let me know your blog’s name and url by leaving me a comment HERE. I will add you to the master list. (If you would like a scroll box code, leave me your email address and I will email it to you.) Scroll Box Example. (I decided not to use the box for the Big Bang for ease of copying.)

5. Come back and copy the master list back to your site, often. This process will allow late-comers to get as much link benefit as the first ones in. Once you are on the master list people who have participated earlier will update their bookmarks and help everyone lower than them out on the list.

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Buying a Laptop  

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Purchasing a laptop computer is not an easy job to do because there are so many important things that should be considered before purchasing. Besides the common things that are shared by desktops such as type of CPU, MHZ of processor, size of RAM, size and type of hard disk, brand and support, there are also things like weight, battery life and connectivity.

You can easily transport your laptop from one location to another because of it’s portability. So make sure that a laptop is suited to your needs, as a desktop computer might be a better option.

Laptop technology is getting more sophisticated every day blurring the line between desktop and laptop in terms of performance. Some high quality laptops have several connectivity options such as wireless network cards (to connect to wireless networks), Centrino technology (internet connectivity almost anywhere) and much more.

Business laptops are generally light and ultra-portable and can be used in daily work, presentations and client liasing. These ultra-portable laptops are both expensive and may not have phenomenal performance but if your needs require maximum portability, this would be the best way to go.

Some laptops offer a storage space of 80 to 100 GIGS hard drives but you can increase the space with an external USB hard drive. Laptops generally need at least 256MB RAM to be able to run certain operating systems. Battery life is an important factor when buying a laptop. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of an important meeting and your laptop dying. The latest models offer 5 or more hours of use depending on what you use it for. Gaming and CPU intensive programs will deplete your battery in a lot less time.

When purchasing a laptop you should always make sure it will fulfill all your needs. If a laptop that fulfills your needs is too expensive then get a desktop. There’s no use buying a laptop that is just going to frustrate you in the end.

How to Buy a Cheap Laptop Computer  

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When planning to buy a cheap laptop computer, you need to consider factors that go well beyond performance and memory. You need to consider many factors like size, weight, screen dimensions, battery life, keyboard quality, built-in memory, and also certain other options like wireless connectivity.

Let us now consider some key features you need to consider when buying your laptop.

•Processor: Choosing the right processor is a very important task because the processor determines how quickly a laptop can run applications and perform on-screen tasks. Don’t settle for anything less than 1.4 GHz. This is enough for everyday work-word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail etc. Pentium M processors are good for this purpose. These processors are fast and allow for long battery life.

•System memory: The more memory your laptop has, the more applications you can run at once and the better your laptop will perform. Do not settle for anything less than 128 MB. However note that upgrading memory in laptops is not as easy as in the case of desktop computers.

•Screen size: The size of a laptop’s LCD screen is quoted as a diagonal measurement. The larger the screen, the higher the maximum resolution and the more information you can view at once. For cheap laptops, choosing a 12.1 inches screen is a good option.

•Battery: Thanks to the Pentium M processors. Laptops now have very good battery life when compared to the old ones. Battery life in the units equipped with these chips range roughly from 3 to 7 hours. Choosing a lithium ion rechargeable battery is a good option.

•Hard drive: The larger the hard drive, the more data you can keep on your laptop. For a cheap laptop, it is better to choose hard drives with 20GB or 40GB capacity depending on the usage.

•Keyboard: Laptop keyboards are quite different from the keyboards we use with the desktop computers. The keys are quite small and closely packed. Get hands-on with the laptop keyboard before you actually buy it.

•Pointing device: Opt for a touchpad or pointing stick built into the laptop. This is much more useful than connecting a mouse via a USB port.

•Optical drives: Many manufacturers offer laptops with re-writable DVD drives. However for a budget laptop, a single CD-RW drive is more than sufficient.

•USB ports: Two USB ports are enough for a budget laptop. If you need much more ports, you can always use an external USB hub. A hub usually consists of four or more USB ports and connects to one of your laptop’s USB ports.

•Weight: Your laptop should weigh anywhere between 4 and 10 pounds. If you still want to reduce weight, use can use external floppy and CD drives.

•Communications: Do not opt for serial ports, PS/2 ports and infrared ports as they are becoming rare. Opt for a built-in Ethernet instead.

You’ll probably spend a lot of time with your new laptop. Therefore research a lot before buying any particular brand. Check for user’s stories, consumer opinions, reviews and more. This will help you to get your dream laptop at a low cost.

Laptop Hard Drive: Speed Also Matters  

Posted by Laptop Tips in

Buying a laptop? Want to upgrade your old one with a new hard drive? Besides hard drive’s space size for storing your applications, documents, music, movies and other data, you should also pay attention to its speed performance. If you want fast access to stored data on your laptop’s hard disk, you should purchase hard disk with SATA interface, higher rotational speed and larger buffer cache size.

Buy Laptop with SATA Drive

Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives use less power, so they save your laptop’s battery. But, they also enchase your laptop’s speed performance. Most hard drives usually support ATA/66 (66 MB/sec), Ultra ATA/100 (100 MB/sec), or SATA (150 MB/sec) interfaces. The numbers refer to the maximum burst rate at which the drive can pass data to the system (66, 100, or 150 megabytes per second). SATA transmit data in a serially (in a single stream) as opposed to PATA or Parallel ATA which is commonly referred to as an IDE hard drive.
(Note: You must have SATA support on laptop’s motherboard to enjoy SATA speed)

Check the Hard Drive Rotational Speed

Don’t forget to check the hard drive rotational speed! The hard drive rotational speed tells you how fast the drive spins its disks in revolutions per minute (rpm). A higher rpm means higher drive performance. A 7,200 rpm hard drive is faster than a 5,400 rpm or 4,200 rpm and gives better performance.

Larger Buffer Cache Size - Better Performance

Buffer Cache Size is a temporary data storage area used to enhance drive performance. When the computer requests data from the hard disk if that data is in the cache, there is a performance boost directly related to the speed of the cache. Larger buffer cache size usually results in better hard drive performance. Buffer cache size on the most of laptop’s hard drives is usually 2 MB, 4 MB or 8 MB.

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