Here we have prepared a comprehensive list of special laptop features so that you should know about. A laptop is different from a desktop computer. It has different features and functions.
You should also know about these things because, when you go to buy
a laptop if the salesman understands that you do not know much, he will
try to dupe you. Knowing about these basic things, you can pretend that
you are technology savvy!
laptops weigh between 1 - 2 kgs. (Some heavier, some even lighter!)
When you're buying your laptop, ask yourself if you'll be taking it
outside your house often. If the answer is yes, you'll want to buy a
thinner, lighter laptop that will fit into your bag or briefcase.
On the other hand, if your laptop is going to stay in your room most
of the time, you might want to consider investing in a laptop that has
more features; it'll be bulkier, but it will be packed with each and
everything you need.
Size: The most
common screen sizes on laptops are 12.1, 13.3, and 14.4 inches
(although some really tiny laptops have screens that are as small as
8.4 inches). Again, a tiny screen is appropriate for frequent
travelers, but it'd be ideal to have a larger screen if it’s
convenient and you do not have to move around much.
Instead of a hand-driven mouse, laptops come with other more
cumbersome "input devices" for navigating a cursor around the screen.
You have to get used to them. Hard-core gaming with these devices might
be a little problematic. The kinds of devices that come with laptops
touchpad is a square-shaped surface located below the space bar of a
laptop keyboard. It is touch-sensitive and you navigate the screen by
moving your finger around the box, as if you were drawing. The majority
of laptops have a touchpad as their input device. A touchpad can be a
bit tough to get used to (you have to be careful not to let your thumb
fall on it while typing, or it'll move the cursor), but they work quite
Pointing stick or rubberized nipple:
This input device is a tiny rubber dot that sticks out of the keyboard
right between the G, H, and B keys, and it responds to pressure from
your index finger. So you navigate the cursor by applying pressure in
the direction you want the arrow to go (like a joystick). Sounds easy,
but most people find nipples very frustrating to use - the slightest
touch causes the arrow to go flying across the screen. However, I love
the nipple. My laptop's red nipple has helped to make all the great
pages of indiahowto.com so far.
Batteries act like your laptops in-built UPS (Un-interrupted power
supply!). You can charge your laptop and then you don’t need a
plug point to use it. It will run on battery for a few hours. However,
it is important that you check up how many hours your battery will run.
Some batteries last long. Some don’t. You want a battery that
lasts the longest and is still in your budget!
There are three main types of batteries:
Li+: Most people
get Lithium-ion (Li+) batteries. These batteries range in quality;
batteries with a high milliampere and high voltage measurements are
best. These are generally good, safe and secure.
NiMH: If you want
something cheap, a nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) battery will do.
However, be aware that they'll require you to recharge them every hour
probably won't be an option, but if a dealer does try to sell you a
nickel cadmium (NiCad) battery, run away. NiCads are the worst
batteries because of their requirements for constant recharging.
However, all this may not be true in the near future. Technology is
changing. Things are getting better. So, if you are reading all this
many years after it has been published, you might want to check up on
the latest developments in the battery world.
There are two types of displays (that is, screen images) to choose
between: active-matrix (a.k.a. thin-film transistor or TFT) and
passive-matrix (or dual-scan).
Go for an active-matrix display if you've got enough cash. It'll be
worth it. Pictures come out sharper and moving images play out
smoother. In fact, nowadays most laptops come with active-matrix
displays because they're so commonly preferred.
This is the older and cheaper display. Images that run on this display
react more slowly. It's not a that great, but it’s cheap. If you
need a laptop purely for word processing, or excel or accounts, this
kind of display should be good enough. If you want your laptop for
hard-core gamming and making 3d animations, then this may not be a good
To figure out what type of display you're dealing with on a laptop,
move the cursor very quickly across the screen. If the cursor
disappears while moving, the display is passive-matrix, and if you can
keep your eye on it, it's active.
laptops have cramped keyboards, but at least try to find a laptop with
a keyboard with which you can comfortably type. Also, consider getting
a spill-resistant keyboard if you have kids or work in a
“spill” type environment.
Durability: If you
plan on taking your laptop just about everywhere, you might want to
consider a model with shock-resistant hard drive mounts. These are
specifically designed to protect your laptop from bumpy rides and
Your Compatibility: If possible, “test-drive” a laptop before purchasing it. A laptop is different from a computer. In a computer if you don’t like your mouse or cd-rom drive you can replace it. In a laptop that is not possible. Once you buy it, you either keep the complete piece or you throw away the complete piece. (Please don’t throw it away. Give it to me!) It is hard to replace an annoying keyboard, an irritating touch pad device, or a poor display. So make sure that you're okay with your laptop by playing around with it.
Having seen all the laptop specific things you have to worry about,
let us look at other things you have to worry about. Basic computer
things you have to worry about while buying any computer.
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