Computers are probably responsible for more anger therapy sessions than golf games and three-year olds combined. A necessity for modern life, laptops come in a befuddling array of screen sizes, processor capabilities, memory capacity and more, sending the geeks to heaven and the rest of us to the corner. But this discrepancy need not be. Buying a laptop, especially for the first time, can be an enjoyable and educational experience. Here's the first-time buyer's guide to laptops.
Laptops (notebooks) are personal portable computers. Each computer has a set of external and internal components. External components affect the user's physical interaction with the device, while the internal components regulate the computer's behavior.
The LCD screen displays information. Large screens (15-19 inches) are easy to read and typically have high resolution, such as the Sony Vaio VGN-A series, but do not have the portability of small screens (10-14). Some laptops, including Toshiba laptops, have touch-screen capability.
The keyboard and touch pad are the user's venues for inputting information. Unbeknownst to many PC users, not all keyboards and touch pads are equal. Cramped and rickety designs may generate frustration, which leads to speedy fists and unwelcome expletives.
Many keyboards also come with quick access buttons, which allow the user to quickly regulate volume, screen brightness, and more.
Laptops come with a gamut of ports. The most important include the following:
• Ethernet port;
• High-speed USB port and FireWire;
• PC card & SD card reader;
• S-video and HDMI;
• Microphone and headphone jack;
• Optical drive
The Hard Drive
The hard drive (HDD) is the physical disk that stores data.
The processor (CPU) is the vibrant brain of the computer. And, like human brains, the bigger and faster, the better. The processor should also have at least 500 megabytes (MB) of RAM, with 1-3 GBs as a target.
The Graphics Card
For the serious PC gamer and his friends – wait, just the PC gamer – a fast, capable graphics card is essential. Integrated graphics cards are basic and more than enough for the average user; dedicated graphics cards are required for heavy-duty multimedia applications.
And what pink laptop is complete without a laptop bag? Warranties, laptop bags, pre-installed operating systems and more are all fantastic perks that spice up the shopping experience.
So get a superb laptop and leave the anger management therapy to stricken parents and golfers.