I have owned a laptop off and on for a number of years. Due to battery life and accessibility, they have just not been a cost-effective solution for work or pleasure. That is until recently.
Last fall, I purchased a Dell Inspiron 700m laptop primarily for work. It has been the best computer investment I have ever made … and I have five computers in my home (Note: I am writing this sitting in the passenger seat of our family SUV after visiting Grandma.).
This is not a commercial for Dell. This is about laptops in general and the minimum specifications you should look for if considering a purchase. Keep in mind, advances are constantly occurring and the technology here will be outdated soon. Use this guide as a minimum starting point.
To me, the biggest concern or problem with a laptop has been its portability … portability meaning the battery is needed. You absolutely have to have a computer with Centrino™ Mobile Technology. The Centrino™ technology allows my battery to power my notebook for up to four hours! Four hours!
With four hours of computer time, you need to be able to access the Internet (Thank you Al Gore). That is where WiFi comes in. Of course you want your laptop to have the modem and cable adaptors, for online hookup, but it would be an absolute crime if you didn’t get WiFi capability. WiFi is nothing more than having a wireless Internet connection, thus no cables or plugs for the laptop.
Third, you want to have as light weight of a laptop as you can without sacrificing keyboard size. This makes it that much easier to carry around and you will find yourself carrying it around more frequently.
Fourth, you want a CD/DVD recorder on board and at least two USB ports. The CD/DVD player allows you to watch movies or backup important information. The USB ports allow you to hook up peripherals such as cameras, printers, etc.
Last, but not least, are the “other things” you need to make your laptop perform as good as its big brother. You want at least 256 RAM (I recommend 512), a 30 GB hard drive (I recommend 60 GB) and a screen and keyboard size that fits you.