Components to think of while considering Ultra Portable Laptop
Components to Think About:
The CPU, or central processing unit, is not upgradeable in most laptops. The CPU is high-powered enough in most laptops to function at a business level without spending extra for a more expensive chip. If you plan to watch videos or play games, however, you may need to find a computer with a faster processor. The most important factors of CPU’s in laptops are the balance between processor power and battery consumption, and heat output (the less heat, the better).
The hard drive is upgradable in a unique way: if by some strange twist of fate you manage to fill up the 60 plus GB that these featured laptops come with, you can purchase portable flash hard drives to store your extra material temporarily. Portable flash drives are thinner than a pencil, just wide enough for a USB connector, and can be shorter than a man’s thumb. A single GB is highly affordable, and up to ten GB are available for big spenders. Unless you are working extensively with digital media, however, this should not become a necessity.
The RAM in laptops is upgradable, and it is always a good investment to pack on the RAM. RAM is what stores data on what programs are running, helping them to continue to run.
The screen size is fixed for the most part, meaning it should be factored in to the purchase of your laptop. A smaller screen is harder to read, however if it is too big it affects portability. A fifteen-inch screen (measured diagonally) is pretty standard for a balance between size and resolution. A large screen or wide screen is advisable for watching DVDs or other video media.
The types of ports that your computer allows are important. Most laptops come standard with up to four USB ports, which are the most common types of port used today. If you have an older mouse that you intend to use with your laptop, remember to buy a USB adapter. USB ports make it much easier to connect peripheral gear.
The optical drive is a simple choice. If you do not want to use a CD drive in any of its variations, then you can find a smaller laptop for your use. If being able to store your data is important, at least look at a system with a CD-RW drive. If you need to backup a large amount of data, look for a laptop with a DVD-RW drive. This option will make your system heavier and more expensive. Some laptops also come standard with a place to insert your media card directly into the computer for fast photo access. This is only important to you if photography is part of your job.
The batteries that come with laptops now are much alike. The battery size matters less than the amount of power that the processor sucks up from it. If your laptop uses a lot of power, look into buying a spare battery so that you can switch them out when the power drops too low.
The video card is not upgradeable, so be sure that if you plan to play intensive games or watch a lot of movies you have a more powerful card. For the average business traveler, however, the card that comes standard is powerful enough.
Most laptops come with a touch sensitive mouse pad. Test it out to see if it is easy enough for you to use, and if you need the extra help then buy yourself a mouse. Just remember that you have to carry your mouse and mouse pad with you on trips.
Last up for consideration is the wireless capability. For a business traveler, it is often important to be able to network wirelessly and connect to the internet wirelessly when opportunities present themselves. A Centrino processor internally or a wireless LAN (local area network) card allow you to connect.