Buying Guide »


Introduction

Who could live without their laptop computer? Today everyone from gamers to grannies has their own laptop, complete with personal preferences from screen size to colour. Many of us prefer our laptops to desktop computers, even if we don't take them out of the house.


The days of complaints about poor battery power and over-heating are far behind us as innovation ensures all the essentials process effectively. Whether you’re a Mac fan or a die-hard PC lover, your ideal laptop is out there waiting for you to find it!


However, many laptop specs can seem confusing if you’re not familiar with the numbers and terminology used by vendors – and let’s face it, most of us aren’t. Luckily only a handful of these facts and figures are really essential; many are only useful if you’re after something particular from your laptop, for example, if its primary use will be playing networked games, or if you’re a designer looking to run a particular software package.


So what are the terms you do need to look out for? Our handy guide below will equip you with all the necessary information to identify what you really need from your laptop.


The essentials
1. CPU

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is, in a nutshell, the ‘brain’ of your laptop. Working alongside the Operating System, the CPU processes the instructions you give the laptop and fetches data from the RAM to allow execution. Intel and AMD are the most well known brands of CPU.


2. RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) provides space for your laptop to read and write data to be accessed by the Central Processing Unit (CPU). When people refer to a computer’s memory, they usually mean its RAM. The more RAM a computer has, the less often the CPU has to read data from the hard disk, allowing the computer to work significantly faster. If you’re planning to use the internet and several applications/software programs outside the core Microsoft Office suite, you should look for at least 2 Gigabytes of RAM. If you work with image, video or audio editing software you may want to increase this to as much as 4 Gigabytes to help improve running speed.


by RAM Installed Size



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Latest reviews in Laptops »

A nice bit of kit

Advantages: Looks good, fast processor, no over-heating
Disadvantages: Only 3 USB ports, short battery-life

The Dell Inspiron 1545 was bought for me from PC World as a Christmas present, however due to the fact that mobility problems were preventing me from being able to sit at the computer desk, I was actually given it a good month before Christmas and have be ...

sandemp 07.01.2010 · Read full review
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Review of Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop

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The Dell Inspiron 1545 is excellent value for money

Advantages: durable, value for money, stylish
Disadvantages: possible issues with Dell Dock

I purchased the Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop nearly two years ago, to replace my freestanding home computer system. I did a lot of research before choosing the Dell Inspiron 1545 and it has lived up to all the good reviews out there, proving reliable, effi ...

sbeach000 05.10.2010 · Read full review
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Review of Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop

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Inspiring Inspiron from Dell

Advantages: Good spec, reasonable price, great processor
Disadvantages: The piano black surface attracts dust and dirt.

I purchased the Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop back in January for my daughter's birthday. I had a limited budget but wanted to get her something with decent enough spec for playing computer games should she wish to do this, and a large hard drive as she is a ...

rosebud2001 21.06.2009 · Read full review
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Review of Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop

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Dell Inspiron 1545 - very reliable, ideal for a student

Advantages: Great Performance, Attractive cover, brilliant screen quality
Disadvantages: Smudges around keyboard, poor battery life

I bought this laptop from PC World in August and I am now at university. Since coming to university, I have used the laptop everyday for a wide range of tasks - and yes, I believe it has performed very well each time. Performance Both Startup, and ...

pmorris9191 09.10.2009 · Read full review
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Review of Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop

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Look & Feel

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Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop

Advantages: Price
Disadvantages: Overheating

I got this Dell inspiron 1545 laptop back in late 2009 after hearing nothing but good reviews about the model and loved the fact there was lots of different colours available. I chose to get the flamingo pink colour which is a darkish pink. I bought my l ...

daisyleex 23.07.2011 · Read full review
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Review of Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop

Speed

Look & Feel

Comfort & Portability

Robustness & Durability

Value For Money