Now that you know why exactly you need a laptop and have determined what you are going to use it for, now is the time to identify the features that your notebook computer must have.
I am not a computer hardware guru and even though I know what the essential components of a laptop are I can't really explain them. I guess it's one of those things... ("Hey! I don't know everything you know" :).
But fear not, I have identified three articles to learn all about notebook specs. (These links will open new browser windows. Read all the articles and then come back here...)
- CNet: What To Look For In Notebooks
- ZDNet: The Key Decisions You Need To Make Before Choosing Which Notebook To Buy.
- PCWorld: Buyers' Guide to Notebook PCs
By the time, you finish reading the above articles, you'll be equipped with the right information to make the best purchase but not before we tackle this one question.
What is the best notebook computer brand?
This is one of those questions that will never have a right or wrong answer. Let me explain... Everyone will answer this question based on his/ her experience or those to the people this person knows.
When I asked an IT manager, he said "HP" (Hewlett-Packard). "Why?", said I. "I have bought five for the company and they have never let us down. On the other hand, a friend of mine got a Dell the other day and two weeks later the darn thing overheated and ceased to function!", he replied.
When asked the same question, one of my friends who owns a multimedia design business assured me that Dell was the best bet because, their post-purchase service is excellent and Dell computers are good and reasonably priced.
From the above anecdotes, you'll notice that each of the respondents base their answers from what they have experienced or heard.
What notebook brand should you purchase?
My answer is deceptively simple. Go for the well known global brands whose other products you already own. Let's say that you already own a Sony digital camera and a Sony MP3 player. One of your family members also happens to own a Vaio (Sony's notebooks).
What's your obvious choice? Sony of course :)
An obvious tip: if you're a Mac user, you're obviously going to go for a Mac laptop right? Right of course! It's in your best interests!
Another example. Let's say that you travel a lot.
It would be in your best interests to opt for a brand that is present in all the countries that you plan to visit. Why? Because, you want that peace of mind when you know that should something go wrong with your laptop PC, you can get local help instead of nightmare international calls.
Another reason why you should go for well known brands...
The laptop industry is *very* competitive. What would happen if you ever bought a machine from a little company that later goes bankrupt because of the tough competition? Stick with the biggies and stay on the safe side.
Here's an interesting point. I have never come across any claim that stated that a certain laptop brand was far better than an other (among the "big guys"). What I know is that certain manufactures might make a good component but another one would fail to be top-notch.
Don't be fooled by pricing either. It costs more or less the same amount of resources to manufacture a laptop wether your are company A or B. The end price is a marketing tool that is used to either attract those who are budget conscious or those who believe that high pricing equals to better quality.
This is where I am going to leave you on your own and let you choose your specific notebook brand. If I gave you my advice, it would be based on my own experiences and would be completely subjective.
As you finish reading this article, you now know the exact features that your ideal laptop should have and you also settled on a specific brand.
What you need to do now is determine where to buy your notebook at the best possible price without shooting yourself in the foot either, buying from a merchant with poor support for example.