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 youíre 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 youíre not familiar with the numbers and terminology used by vendors Ė and letís face it, most of us arenít. Luckily only a handful of these facts and figures are really essential; many are only useful if youíre after something particular from your laptop, for example, if its primary use will be playing networked games, or if youíre 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 Ďbrainí 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 computerís 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 youíre 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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