This article is written for the casual user, but should be useful for an advance user as well. By the end of this, I hope you will know how to make a smart, affordable decision that fits your needs. I, the author of this article also run a blog called Watocw
Gigahertz can be defined as the number of cycles per second of a processor. The top industry speeds are around 4.0 ghz or gigahertz (4 billion operations per second). Unless you are an advanced gamer playing a very high end game you will not need 4 gigahertz. The average user needs approximately 1.6-2.4 gigahertz, anything in that range should be adequate for basic online games, videos, music, and most software.
2. Hard Drive
A hard drive,HDD,or hard disk is the part of your computer that stores all your files. The average netbook comes with 160 gigabytes of memory while the average laptop has around 320. Most users will never need more than 160, and considering how cheap external hard drives are hard drive space should never be an issue.
Some businesses offer you the option to add “accessories” to your order, but usually if you shop around you can save money on these accessories. The accessories they offer range from cases , extra batteries, chargers, keyboards/mice.
RAM or random access memory is a form of data storage similar to your hard drive. To explain simply RAM is one of the things that determine how fast your computer will run applications, and start programs. If you plan on running games or very intensive software you will need at least two gigabytes of memory/ram.
5. Webcam/Microphone/Input Devices
I would wish you luck in finding a laptop or netbook that does not have a microphone or webcam. The type of webcam or microphone should not really go into a computer purchase.
6. Usb Ports
So if you have ever hooked a mouse or keyboard into a netbook/laptop then you have personally used a usb port. Most netbooks/laptops come with three usb 2.0 ports, but occasionally they only have two. The issue with using two is if you have a mouse/keyboard plugged in you have to unplug one to use a usb flash drive or printer. So your best option is to get three usb ports.
7. Card Readers
There a lot of different types of cards that store data, but the two most commonly used ones are SD and micro SD cards. Every laptop/netbook on the market has an SD card slot, but very few have micro SD card readers.
8. Battery Life
Now battery life is a very important factor when choosing a laptop/netbook. If you travel often you’re going to want a much longer lasting battery than say, someone who rarely travels. Depending on how often you cannot keep your laptop/netbook plugged in easily will determine how important battery power is. The length of laptop/netbook batteries is between 3-8 hours; this is usually advertised.
9. Screen Size
The preferable screen size really depends on your uses, but the recommend size is about 14-15 inches. If it is any smaller some programs/websites may not display correctly, but if it’s too big the laptop could be too heavy to carry around. Statistically the cheaper laptops have smaller screens.
Not everyone needs a cd-drive, but if you do then you should not buy a netbook because the fundamental difference between a laptop and netbook is that netbooks have no cd-drives. Remember you can buy an external cd-drive for less than $50.