When you first walk into a computer store or go online to a laptop manufacturer's website, you might be overwhelmed by the number of laptops from which to choose, and you might be confused because from the outside they look largely the same. Add to this the dizzying amount of mumbo jumbo when looking at the technical specifications, it can make you reach for an aspirin. But take heart! This section gives you a basic understanding of a few broad categories into which most laptops fall. With this information you can quickly cut through all the technical gunk and focus on the capabilities that really distinguish one laptop from another. With this understanding you will be able to focus on just the models that meet your needs and know this is the right laptop for you just by looking at the specs.
Let's begin to break down the laptops that are out there into categories that will make it easier for you to sort out the type that's right for you. The three major categories are
There are other product categories than these three. For example, laptops that are ultra compact, laptops that are exceptionally rugged with cases made of exotic materials, laptops that can be used as writing tablets, and so on. However, these types of mobile computers are not what most readers of this book need or are looking for.
Value-Priced Laptop Computers
This category offers good basic features at a reasonable price. These laptops are easy to spot on just price alone; they're generally between $1,000 and $1,400. Value-priced machines will meet the needs of most buyers, so unless you know you need high computing performance or ultra-long battery life, concentrate on products in this category. Don't worry; you will have plenty of models to choose from.
High Computing Performance
Laptops in this category have the fastest Intel mobile processors, use the highest-speed memory technology, and have powerful video chips. This type of laptop is well suited for people who run complex spreadsheets or perform some other task that is highly compute-intensive. The most advanced PC-based video games often require this type of power. So, if you are a financial analyst or a serious PC gamer, you might want to have a look at high-computing performance systems. Laptops in this category range in price from $2,000 to $3,000.
Ultra-Long Battery Life
The latest generation of Centrino technology based on the Intel Mobile 915 Express chipset now offers support for low-voltage (LV) and ultra low voltage (ULV) Pentium M CPUs. LV and ULV processors are extremely frugal when it comes to battery power and can go for six hours or more on a single battery charge. But expect to pay top dollar\u-3945\'3flaptops in this category range in price from $1,500 to $3,000.