Buying a Laptop/Notebook, what to look for?

I need to buy new computer soon, so im thinking of going mobile!
Now all my experience has been with desktops. I mean hell, blindfold me put a screwdriver in my hand and let me loose on a desktop, and im basically sorted! :sunglasses:

But now, mobile territory.

What to look for? I definately need Wireless access, and a CD-RW drive. Other perks would include a decent VGA card to play the odd game of CS. I also need to be able to use music creation software like Reason or Cubase, and a decent sound card to go with it.That probably means a lot of RAM…

I’ve never bought a laptop/notebook before so I need some advice…What say the masses?

I think you’re on the right track.

When I got my asus godsend last winter I wanted:

Fast fast fast
wireless
a port to slide in my digital camera memory stick
i wanted to download music and burn files
I wanted the ability to burn vcds and edit
My memory is huge

and the ASUS brand means that problems can be easily fixed…

I’m completely clueless in things tech…but I knew what I wanted to be able to do.

Start from there and go on.

:slight_smile:

the number one thing is a kick *SS warrenty.

with a desktop, if the monitor goes bad you get another one. same with the video card. or keyboard or whatever.

with a notebook if anything goes bad its BLING BLIONG $$$$$$$

[quote=“chichow”]the number one thing is a kick *SS warrenty.

with a desktop, if the monitor goes bad you get another one. same with the video card. or keyboard or whatever.

with a notebook if anything goes bad its BLING BLIONG $$$$$$$[/quote]

yes, I had to get my memory chip replaced recently…all for free. :slight_smile:

So warranty hey? That means going for a reputable dealer. That ALSO means paying more! :frowning:

What are the things that uaually break in a laprtop. I wont be dropping it a lot(hopefully), but I mean, there must be some wear and tear on the parts. (I am gonna be walking around with it).

What about upgrades? Is it possible to upgrage a laptops CPU, RAM or HDD? That would mean I dont have to fork out for a top of the range.

The most common fault with Laptops is software faults by the user. But physically the most common are the moving parts such as optical drives and harddrives.

Laptops are limited with upgrades unlike desktops. The most common upgrades is the HDD and RAM. Rarely would people upgrade their CPUs. Some notebooks have their cpu soldered onto the board and the only way to upgrade the cpu is replace the mainboard.

Unless you are going to use your computer to kick ass in a computer game (which it will never happen), I would recommend to get a mid-range notebook that would do you for 2-3 years and update for a new model down the track.

Check on the warranty and what is in the warranty. Beware of the difference between a manufacturers warranty and a warranty supplied by the dealer. Too many people get sucked into a warranty that may end up to be worthless.

So what sort of company offers the biggest bang for my buck? i’ve heared of many of these taiwanese companies, should I go with them or stick to the big guns(Sony, Acer etc…)

Whats the difference between a laptop and a notebook anyway?

No difference between ‘laptop’ and ‘notebook’ other than the names. Tablet PCs, however, are a whole different thing. Very cool, but still pricey.

One suggestion: if you plan on using it for a while and want to keep up with things coming out in the near future, shoot for getting a 64-bit processor. The OS are already out for them; Windows will be launching theirs (Longhorn 64) sometime next year.

I paid an extra $150 over what I was originally going to buy when I bought my new laptop. But for the money I got the AMD Athalon 64-bit processor (which kicks a$$ with the new SUSE Linux 64-bit OS) and a 6-in-1 media card reader. The processor upgrade alone was worth it.

[quote=“Mianbao”].

I paid an extra $150 over what I was originally going to buy when I bought my new laptop. But for the money I got the AMD Athalon 64-bit processor (which kicks a$$ with the new SUSE Linux 64-bit OS) and a 6-in-1 media card reader. The processor upgrade alone was worth it.[/quote]

Thanks Mianbao, I guess shooting for the best will mean the Laptop will have more staying power in the future.

One thing tho, whats the situation with accesories? I mean like battery and cables? What should I be getting with the laptop? Will i also get the OS and device drivers in case i need to format?Im not sure if the 6-1 card reader is necessary. I dont have a Digital camera at the mo- still thinking of getting one… :sunglasses:

Well, you don’t have to go for the best, but somewhere inbetween is a good place to start. First off, figure out (1) what you need in terms of specs- memory, screen size, weight, processor speed, etc.; (2) how much you want/ can afford to spend. The higher end models will have more of the bells and whistles, and often they’re not necessary for most users. Some things you might find useful and more reasonably purchased after-market, some things not.

I bought a large, widescreen unit. It serves more as a replacement to my desktop pc than something I want to carry around town with me. Had I wanted to be lugging it everywhere with me, I would have purchased something smaller and lighter. Figure out what your needs are first, match that with your budget, and you’ll have an easier time narrowing in on the choices.

I like my powerbook. :slight_smile: Wide screen 1280x854 resolution. 1.5 gigs of RAM so far; I’ll make it 2 gigs soon.

Apple Logic Express works nicely. many audio apps are available.

Logic Pro/Express
Reason
Digital Performer
Cubase

tons more. I’m not big on audio yet. I’m starting to try out Logic Express, Sibelius, and Finale 2005 for scoring as I get more into it. I haven’t done much composition yet. But for basic recording, Logic is really amazing. Very simple and the keyboard commands as so well well thought out.

Other people may be able to tell you more about the audio architecture of OS X. Here’s something about Core Audio. I haven’t read much about it.

apple.com/macosx/features/coreaudio/

If you read up about it, you’ll find studies showing people are more productive on Macs. :slight_smile: