Shopping for a laptop computer is not the same as choosing a desktop system. Along with the performance issues that drive the choice of a desktop computer, you must consider several additional factors when you buy a laptop. Screen size, weight, battery life, and ease of use are just a few of the things that can affect your choice.
In this chapter, you can learn how to evaluate these and other features that make the difference between an excellent laptop and one that's just adequate or worse.
Before you begin to evaluate a computer's features and options, it's essential to think about the way you plan to use it: every user has different needs, so no single laptop computer is the universal choice. The answers to these and similar questions should contribute to your selection:
Where will you use the computer?
Do you plan to carry it on your shoulder or in a backpack for long periods of time, or just move it between your office or home and your car?
Do you plan to use the computer in a classroom, a conference room, or any other location where you must depend on battery power?
Will you use the computer aboard airplanes or trains, where space might be an issue?
Do you expect to watch DVD movies and videos on this computer?
Do you need the fastest possible CPU and graphics?
Your choice of a new laptop computer should balance the size of the screen, the weight of the machine, and the life of the battery.