So you want to buy a laptop but don’t know where to 
start. You’re not alone. Buying a new laptop can present 
many challenges, especially if you’re unfamiliar with 
laptops or notebook computers.

Over the last little while so much new laptop technology 
has hit the market… Intel Duo Processors, SLI, Dual 
Graphics… it can all be totally mind boggling to the average 
consumer. For the first time laptop buyer understanding 
all the techno jargon can be downright scary.

Mainly because a whole new generation of notebook technology 
comes around every two years or less; probably much less 
when you consider all the new advances made recently. 
It can even be a little overwhelming even for someone 
like myself who runs an online Laptop Guide and who has 
a keen interest in all things laptop.

Regardless of all these fancy new improvements, devices 
and notebook technology, you must remember you’re buying 
a new laptop for you and you alone. You must first 
decide if all this new stuff is important to you? 
Do you really need all this new notebook technology?

But most of all before you can consider that question you 
must first figure out WHY you want a laptop? Why are you 
buying a laptop? What chores or tasks do you want the 
laptop to perform?

If you just want a laptop for simple web browsing and 
emailing, a laptop made five years ago will do the 
job nicely and cost you a heck of lot less. You really 
don’t need a top of the line laptop unless of course, 
you’re keeping up with the Jones and want the latest top 
model of everything. But that’s moving into Dr. Phil’s 
territory… lets not venture there!

So what do you need the laptop for?

Do you need a lightweight portable laptop for business 
trips or meetings? Do you need a student notebook for 
classes? Or do just want a desktop replacement computer 
that you can easily move around in your home?

Your answer will greatly determine which type of laptop 
you should buy.

In my case, I needed a desktop replacement that I could 
easily move around my home and take on very infrequent 
trips or vacations. Long battery life was not a major 
consideration because I would mainly be using it plugged 
into an electrical outlet. Besides, the laptop I wanted 
would be 7 or 8 pounds and I had no intentions of lugging 
that baby around over any great distance.

I work full time at home and do a lot of web design so 
I needed a solid machine with a lot of RAM. I also enjoy 
downloading and enjoying the occasional movie so a DVD 
Multi Drive and a wide screen display were important. 
High quality graphics and sound was also important for 
what I needed.

* RAM

RAM is to computer what location is to real estate. RAM 
or Random Access Memory is perhaps the most important 
factor to consider when buying your laptop or any computer.

RAM will greatly determine the speed of your laptop or computer. 
How fast it will process your tasks and graphics. You must make 
sure you have enough for your needs. You can now find many laptops 
pre-loaded with 1 Gig of RAM and capable of upgrading to 4 Gigs 
or more.

Compared to yesterday’s computers that’s a lot of RAM. If you’re 
not into gaming, handling large video files/editing, all that 
RAM is not needed but it will make your laptop run faster. Also, 
remember if you’re into gaming, Video RAM will be important 
— you need a top of the line (read expensive) Graphics Card 
and it will increase the cost of your laptop.

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