Laptop buying tips
Buying a new laptop can be an expensive business. With the top of the range models changing hands for close to a thousand pounds and a
mind-boggling array of dual-core processors, VGA graphics and other techno-speak to confuse the uninitiated, it can also be an intimidating process.
So if you're planning on investing some of your hard-earned cash on a laptop, what should you be looking for?
Comfort and ergonomics
If you're going to be spending any length of time working at a laptop, you want it to be comfortable. Neck strain is a real problem when using a laptop,
because the monitor is rarely at the optimum position for comfortable usage. Problems such as RSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are also associated
with extended use of keyboards, and as the keyboards on laptops can be considerably more cramped than those on desktop PCs, the advice here is
try before you buy. The larger the laptop, the closer its keyboard will resemble a desktop PC design.
Most laptops also incorporate either a touchpad or tracking pointer as a replacement for an external mouse. Although fine for occasional use, if you're
using a mouse constantly (such as with gaming or graphics packages), you may find that a touchpad makes the cursor more difficult to control. Check
the sensitivity of the touchpad on the laptop you're interested in and if it doesn't match your needs, shop around for one that does.
Upgrades are not as practical an option on a laptop as they are with a desktop PC, so being able to connect to external devices is important. Cheaper
laptops may not have as many USB ports and often will not have a printer port at all, so if you're using external devices that require connectivity
through a printer port, a laptop may not be the answer. The best option is to look for a laptop that more than meets your needs, and has plenty of
â€˜wriggle room' if you want to use it for more advanced applications.
Connectivity to the Internet is also vital. Internal modems that will connect quickly and easily to Wi-Fi