Update: Ultimate Links PC Tips - 12 Tips for Buying a New Laptop

1. Opt for an Intel Pentium 4 or an Intel Centrino processor. The processor forms the computing core of your laptop and is one area where you must not compromise.

Invest wisely here. The processor is the first component likely to get outdated and it is not possible to upgrade it.

2. Opt for a 256 MB DDR SDRAM. A RAM of lower memory capacity will make it difficult to run certain applications and software.

Upgrading from 256 to 512 MB DDR SDRAM could cost you between $100 and $150.

3. Choose an Active-matrix (TFT) display, preferably an LCD. The display is an active matrix if you can see the arrow while it traverses the screen. Most displays nowadays are TFTs as the Passive-matrix (dual scan) is now outdated.

TFTs are highly preferred because of their sharper images, better resolution and smoother images of motion on the screen.

Wide screen laptops are a visual treat and recommended for those interested in the movie experience. But they cost 8% to 10% more than the conventional laptops, are obviously bulkier to carry and slightly low on battery life.

4. If you travel extensively, take care that your laptop weighs under 5 pounds. If your laptop will be confined to your room, you could go in for a slightly heavier one. It will be cheaper. It will also have a few more features.

5. Check the battery life on the laptop. Insist that it is a Lithium-ion (Li+) battery (nearly all laptops will have this one). Choose batteries with a high voltage and a high mAh. Do not go for NiMH batteries, as you will have to keep charging them frequently.

6. If you have no intention of using a CD frequently, an external DVD and CDRW drives may be preferred to inbuilt ones. The main convenience being that they reduce the weight of the base piece and provide lesser complications later on.

If they are an integral part of your work, you might as well opt for an inbuilt version.

Incidentally, the prices of

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