In today’s Wall Street Journal, Walter Mossberg provides a concise cheat sheet to help clarify some of the issues that makes buying a new laptop easier.
Walter has been providing IT advice in the WSJ for as long as I can remember. Here’s a summary of Walter’s recommendations.
Cost: Windows thin and ultrathin laptops can be purchased between $500 and $800 with bigger screens and keyboards. Net books prices range from $300-$500. A desktop tower can be bought for $400 or less. Acer has a 15” laptop for $299! Micro Center chain is selling Apple’s entry level Mac Book laptop for $200 off the $999 retail price.
Processors: The new Intel Core series of chips called i3, i5 and i7 come in both PC and Mac. Good new chips that come with “Turbo Boost”. AMD still makes a solid chip for less money. Older chips like the Core Duo still work fine also.
Graphics: For most users integrated graphics are fine. Discrete graphic have more power for games and video but take more batter power. Nvidia graphics package called, Optimus works between both platforms saving your PC power on battery.
Windows vs. Mac: The new 7 operating system competes with Apples Snow Leopard system. Windows 7 costs less than the $1199 Apple version. Mac’s have a cooler design, are super reliable, boot faster and aren’t affected by malicious software. Apple also scores highest on customer support.
Memory: 4 gigabytes of RAM should do it. Never less than 2 gigs.
Hard disks: 320 gig should be the minimum. On a net book, 160 gigs works OK.
64 bit: The better choice for software to use more memory and run faster.
Touch: Make sure your PC has a full multi-touch screen that supports all Windows 7 apps. The I-Touch is surely hard to beat.
My daughter just bought a new laptop for a great price. Getting online has never been easier.