What Laptop / Notebook to buy

When it comes to purchasing a notebook computer, the choices are endless - for many buyers, this can make it something of a challenge to know which notebook is best to suit your needs. From the latest tablets to netbooks, gaming notebooks or simple desktop replacements, the number of options available is immense. Knowing what to look for makes it far easier to decide on the right notebook. ONESHOP has put together a handy Notebook Buying Guide that gives you plenty of tips and other factors to consider before making that purchase.

What Type of Notebook Do You Need?

The very first question you need to consider is what type of notebook would suit you best. Notebook types are broken down into four different categories, which factor largely on the size as well as specifications of each notebook type. These categories include the following:

  • Tablet PC - this is the smallest notebook, and is roughly the size of a paper tablet or notepad
  • Ultra-Portable - another small notebook, this type includes netbooks and other compact notebooks, and weighs under 1kg, making it easy to fit into a handbag easily
  • Thin and Light - these notebooks are mid-size, and can also include netbooks, weighing 1kg or just over to make them easy to use on the go
  • Desktop Replacements - the largest notebook type, these are designed to be used in one location, as a PC replacement

The type of notebook you get depends entirely on how you plan to use your notebook. If you are always on the go, and need a compact, light notebook for meetings, email and other basic programs, then a table or ultra-portable notebook would suit your needs perfectly. If you are a student, and use your notebook for classes, studying, homework and projects, but still need to take your work with you wherever you go, then a thin and light notebook gives you access to a wide range of programs, while still allowing you to easily take it from class to home without too much hassle. If you are a gamer needing a reliable notebook that you can take with you wherever you need to go, then ultra-portable or thin and light notebooks offer a fuss-free option with plenty of features on offer. If you work from home, or you use a notebook as your primary computer in the office, then a desktop replacement is your best bet - allowing you to use your notebook much like you would a desktop computer.

What Technical Specs Do You Need?

While the technical specs you may need will depend on how you use your notebook, there are certain things that every notebook user needs to consider. These include the following:

  • Hard drive - this is essentially the amount of data that your notebook is able to hold, and most notebooks can store anything from 80GB to 250GB. If you use your notebook for casual browsing and basic applications, this should be sufficient data space, but if you need space for gaming, media and other files, then look for notebooks with a larger hard drive, or purchase an external hard drive to use for media and other large files that take up a lot of memory.
    Entry Level: 250GB Harddrive notebooks 
    Mid Level: 500GB Harddrive notebooks
    High End: 1TB Harddrive notebooks
  • RAM memory - the more RAM your notebook has, the more applications you can run at once. If you do not need to run many applications and use your notebook only for the basics, you could just about manage with 1GB. If you will be using your notebook often and need full access to applications, then 2GB should be the minimum size, with 4GB being the optimal RAM you would need. Notebooks running on Windows tend to need more RAM than MAC notebooks, so your operating system is another thing to consider.
    Entry Level: 1GB RAM notebooks
    Mid Level: 2GB RAM notebooks
    High End: 4GB RAM notebooks
  • Processor - this is one of the most important things to consider, and affects the way that your notebook runs. Current high end notebook processors are the Intel i7 and AMD Phenom II. Mid range processors include the Intel i5, Intel i3, AMD Turion 64 and Core 2 Duo CPU's. For lower end, cheaper processors look for Intel's Celeron M, Intel Atom range and AMD Athlon 64 range CPU's.
  • Graphics Card - A graphics card is a big thing to consider if you wish to do more than just use Microsoft Office applications, play movies, listen to music, average photo editing and working with applications that don't require a graphics accelerator. If you would like to play pc games on your notebook then you will need to buy a Gaming Notebook. These tend to be in the higher price ranges: R7000+. Remember high end notebooks with graphics cards will be heavier than cheaper less performance notebooks.
  • Screen size - despite their small size, the smallest of notebooks often have a surprisingly good screen resolution, but if you use your notebook for extensive work and need a larger screen, thin and light or desktop replacements have the best screen size.
    Small screen sizes: 7", 10", 12"
    Medium screen sizes: 13", 14", 15"
    Large screen sizes: 17", 18", 20"
  • Optical drives - most notebooks come with rewritable CD/DVD drives installed, but netbooks and other ultra-portable notebooks do not always have these installed. If you need a small, compact notebook but also need access to DVD or CD drives, then your best bet is to purchase an external DVD writer.
  • Multiple USB ports - many notebooks now come with two or more USB ports, which is useful for connecting gadgets such as external hard drive, camera, phone and so on.
  • Touchpad pointing device - for on-the-go use, these make it easy to use your notebook without a mouse. If you use your notebook at home or work only, then these are not essential, but for smaller notebooks these make a handy feature.

What Notebooks Are Available to Suit Your Needs?

Now that you know what to look for to suit your needs, all you need to do is browse the range of notebook computers that we have in store for each type. Browse & Buy Notebooks Online

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