Thursday, June 3, 2010

Which Laptop to Buy ?

HI,
      If you are reading this blog anywhere after Jul-2010, then this may not be the correct suggestion. Of late, I had been hunting for a laptop in the market that would fit my requirement as well as my wallet. The moment I thought about Laptop, DELL hit my mind. Thanks to the overwhelming ads, in all leading daily newspapers/journal almost on all days.
    Choosing a laptop should be purely from your inner conscience rather involving your friends, or relatives'. Hmm ! Then why am I writing this blog ? :) This is just my experience and this would help you to make a better decision. (Phew!, I'm safe). Let's plunge in the topic. Choosing a laptop may not necessarily be just looking for the price tag. But you may also have to give a look at the below points.

1. Usability.
             What are you gonna do with your laptop ? List down your priorities. How much importance will you give for multimedia? What you feel would be the most resource/memory consuming program that you'll be using often ?

2 Processor.
          This is the time for 64 bit computing. Choose a processor that suites this. Thumb rule states, that any new processor is gonna burn a hole in your pocket. So before going behind new processors, better wait for a while, read the reviews and feedbacks, then go for it. To me, I chose Intel Core i3 latest in the market, fits my budget and had pretty decent performance reviews.

3. GPU.
         If you are a avid games or if you are using display centric applications, then graphics card should be the second most important thing next to the processor. Though the choice of the GPU is left to you, be sure to look for the graphics memory and the pixel shader that the graphics card supports. Normally 1gb graphics card should work great for most of the new games. My choise was the bundled ATI Radeon HD with 512 MB graphics.

4. RAM.
          This is essential for swift OS responses. RAMs are getting cheaper day by day and you should not think twice to opt for at least 4gb of RAM.

5. Hard Disk
          This again depends on you budget. However be specific over the RPM(rotation per minute). The more the RPM, the faster it is. 7200 rpm should be common by now. If you store movies, music and photos your hard disk should be at least 500gb. I don't store videos and hence I chose 320 GB and it got filled up to 25%  the very first week  :-(    !!!

6. LCD Display
           The display is directly proportionate to the laptop weight and the battery consumption. The larger the display, the battery drains faster and heavier the laptop is. 15" should be a decent size for watching movies/games and great to carry along with you everywhere. Look out for High Definition display (hot in town !!). Don't forget to choose your back panel color too !! (Atlast it's the only difference that ladies visualize !!! )

7. Battery.
           By default most of the laptops come with a 6 cell battery. This should give you close to 2 hours of battery backup with moderate multimedia use. If you are a frequent traveler and tend to use laptops in disconnected mode, the it's wise to invest in 9 cell or 12 cell batteries. But beware, the batteries perform good for a maximum of 18 months and you'll have to replace it after that (no matter what brand it is !!)

8. Software/ Operating System
         Windows 7 is the latest OS from Microsoft as of today. Which choosing a preconfigured laptop, watch out for the version of windows they offer. Windows 7 has got 4 versions basic, premium, professional and ultimate. Compare these versions and choose the one that suits you best. Note that it's lot cheaper to go for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) versions rather getting it separately. This applies to add-on softwares like MS-Office and other third party antiviruse too.

Finally, it's wise to choose an insurance coverage plan, that covers your laptop from accidental damage. Say, drop your laptop from 100 feet or spill coffee in it, get it replaced at no cost !!! Cool isn't it ??

I zeroed in on Dell Inspiron 15 N5010. With few tweaks and customization it cost me around 39K INR.I had to wait for 10 days to get delivery as it was in good demand then.

Feel free to write a comment or post your suggestions.

This is not a Travelogue, but
More interesting Travelogues to come,
Watch Out !!


Ram Kishore K

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