The age of the personal computer has truly come with the advent and rise of the notebook. A notebook can be a household machine or a corporate worker's computing device. In this article, learn more about the parts and specs of a notebook computer with a notebook feature comparison, so that choosing the ideal notebook for your needs becomes easier.
Physical Features of Notebooks
The physical body and structure also constitute as notebook characteristics. They are:
Today's notebook computers come in different screen sizes and weights, from thin-and-lights (13 inch screens) to desktop replacements (17 inch and above screens).
Shortcut and Hot Keys
Handy little buttons and icons usually located above the keyboard for quick performance of certain functions. For example, there could be a hot key for opening the notebook's media player or sending the computer into the sleep mode.
Mouse and keyboards are 2 input mediums of a notebook, that can be externally connected (through USB). The mouse system in a notebook is called a trackpad.
Notebook Features - Function and Power
RAM is the notebook's memory or speed with which tasks and functions are carried out. How fast a program opens, opening more than one program at a time, handling large and complex software like video games or development tools. Just a few points that a notebook's RAM takes care of. Today's technology and programs demand at least 2 - 3 GB of RAM at a minimum. To be capable of handling most tasks with ease, including PC games, 4 GB of RAM is needed. High performance machines are equipped with 8 - 12 GB of RAM.
Both the processor and RAM work in tandem. The processor thinks or plans a task out and the RAM performs it as fast as it can. A balance in power is necessary between the two. The best processor is hindered by a lack of RAM and similarly very high RAM capacity is of no use without a decent processor.
If a processor is the brain of a notebook, then the hard disk is the data warehouse. It's no use having a fast and sharp brain, if you can't remember anything. This hard truth applies to notebooks in particular, as sufficient hard disk capacity is a must. Another hard truth is no matter how much GB your notebook has, it is never enough. A safe or decent amount is at least 250 GB - 300 GB, a standard capacity among most notebook models. If your notebook is going to be an entertainment hub or media center for photos, movies and videos, then 500 GB is the minimum capacity required.
From voice recorders to MP3 players and wireless adapters, every electronic device nowadays has a USB port to transfer content. So USB ports on a notebook are a given, how many is the question? The answer is the more the merrier. At least 2 or 3 at a minimum, 4 are good. And make sure the USB technology is 2.0 for quick data transfer rates. 1 Ethernet or LAN port, 1 headphone jack, 1 PCI slot, these are the normal connection ports. If your needs are specific, then accordingly some special types of ports will be required on your notebook.
For example, those who work with video and camera equipment might require a FireWire port, which is a rare type of port to find on a notebook. Another type is a HDMI port, which allows your laptop to connect to a High Definition TV. MMC and SD card slots are also common to allow reading of storage cards. Some laptops come with 6-in-1 or 8-in-1 readers, capable of reading different card types and formats.
Who doesn't want to connect to the Internet? For that, a notebook must accept both wired and wireless connections. Wired is through the Ethernet port. Recent laptop models are all fitted with built-in wireless antennas, so they can detect and connect to any wireless network. The current wireless standard employed is 802.11g but 802.11n is quickly taking over as the next favorite, so a notebook should be both 802.11 g and n compatible to handle both types of networks.
Another new trend in notebook networking is connection to wireless broadband networks like 3G or 4G, with the help of a built-in broadband antenna. These sort of networks are everywhere, so it helps to have this sort of connectivity spec, if you travel and need an Internet connection handy.
Unique Notebook Features
This neat wireless protocol allows data transfer between 2 or more paired devices. You can even use it to connect to certain Bluetooth-compatible wireless networks. Especially useful for connecting to cell phones and certain peripherals like headsets.
Blu-Ray and HD-DVD
The ability to play Blu-Ray discs or HD media is rapidly becoming a popular perk among notebooks. But the notebook screen should support the appropriate 1080p image resolution needed to display such high quality content.
At first, a CD and DVD drive was a necessity on a notebook. But nearly all media nowadays is downloadable from somewhere and the immense popularity of pen drives and USB ports have rendered the optical drive old fashioned and thin-and-lights and netbooks do not have them at all.
In all this talk of features and specifications, one must not forget about the price or cost. Depending on your needs and budget, it is easy to get an appropriate laptop at a reasonable rate. Look out for warranty and store policy regarding returns.