How to Choose the Right Laptop


The holidays are fast approaching, and if you’re a tech geek like me, you’re probably hoping to snag a cool new laptop this season. Maybe you’re expecting one as a gift, or you’re saving up to buy one after the holiday rush. Whatever the case may be, they can be very handy to have as a college student, and you want to make sure that the laptop that you get will suit your needs and fit your lifestyle. So here’s my little guide to finding the best laptop for you (or for a loved one):

For the media obssessed, television addict you’ll want to pick out a system that has top of the line features. A laptop with a widescreen monitor is definitely a must for this one. You will also want CD and DVD playing capabilities, as well as CD/DVD burning functionality. If you really want to go all out, get one with HD playback, a TV tuner, and HDMI, S-Video, and VGA ports. Consider the Toshiba Quosimo G35-AV660, available for about $3,500. Or, there’s the Sony VAIO Digital Studio Notebook (model #VGN-AR290G), also available for around $3500.00. It features a Blu-Ra disc recorder, TV tuner, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and more.

Gamers will do best with laptop computer that has a great processor, superior graphics cards, and a nice widescreen monitor. I would recommend the Dell XPS M1710, CNET’s reigning Editor’s Choice notebook computer. It features everything that a gamer needs: Intel Core 2 Duo processor, nVidia GeForce Go7900 GTX graphics, a 17-inch 1,920-by-1,200 monitor, and integrated 802.11n wireless.

The style-conscious and creative types will enjoy a new Apple notebook. This year, the must-have Mac is the Apple MacBook Pro with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a DVD burner, ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics, lots of RAM, and a sleek new sexy design. This will also appeal to other traditional Mac users.

Laptops with a wider appeal would include those with the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 3D graphics, at least 1 GB RAM, at least a 15 inch widescreen monitor, CD/DVD burner, lots of USB ports, a card reader, and integrated wireless. You can find laptops meeting these specifications by nearly every manufacturer, and at a variety of price ranges.

Don’t enough dough to buy one yet? Why not save that Christmas money and put it towards your future notebook computer. Many companies also offer special financing deals on computers, and if you get lucky, you can sometimes find a no-interest for 6 months or a year deal. If you go the financing route, make sure you’re not agreeing to make payments for more than a year, and you aren’t paying a ridiculously high interest rate.

There’s a perfect laptop out there for everyone, and its just a matter of finding it. Hopefully the above guidelines will help you in you quest. Happy shopping, and happy holidays!

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