When choosing a laptop remember that while upgrades are possible (unlike most tablets) they are more difficult to apply to a laptop that a desktop so be clear what you want before you purchase:

  • Bigger screen size can provide a better computing experience, but results in a larger, heavier machine. If your lifestyle requires a PC that you want to use it on the daily train commute, maybe smaller is better.

  • Keyboard layouts are not quite as standard as you may think. The larger laptops offer numeric keypads, a must for some people working in the financial sectors. Others offer backlit keys, very useful if you want to use the laptop in darkened rooms.

  • Many laptops these days save bulk by not having a DVD Player. While most media is now available via download this can be irritating if you want to load your favourite software or Music CD.

  • Many people dislike using touch pads, preferring to carry a mouse with them. It can be worth taking the time to get comfortable with the touchpad. An alternative is a touch screen but if you go that route consider investing in a stylus as small screens and big fingers don't compliment each other.

  • A docking station either at home, in the office, or both can turn your laptop into a full multimedia PC with all the benefits of a full desktop.

  • Get the right hard drive. Estimate the space you are likely to require and then add a bucket load. Solid state drives (SSDs) are more expensive than traditional Hard disk drives (HDDs) but are generally more robust and load faster.
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