Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > The Learning Commons > Laptop Purchase
buying a laptop • netbooks • tablets • specifications • student discounts
Whenever you're buying a new computer, there are some basic areas you need to think about. These include:
Specs - see the recommended minimum specifications page for what we consider the basic bottom line in this area. Consider your main uses - do you need to store a lot of data? Look for a bigger hard drive. Use complex software? More RAM. However, when thinking about purchasing add-ons and upgrades, remember that buying from a second-party vendor is usually cheaper than upgrading through the computer's manufacturer. Check out About.com's vocabulary list for a better understanding of the lingo.
Battery Life- will you be using it in areas you can plug in? Some batteries have a maximum span of only a few hours, and bigger batteries often mean heavier laptops.
Keyboard size - sometimes a smaller screen is OK, but the related tiny keyboard will make life very difficult. Netbooks offer maximum portability, but their keyboard size can be a challenge to all but the most nimble fingered.Weight - portability is a big component of laptop purchase. Screen size, battery life and price are all interwoven into the weight question.
iPads, Android Tablets- at this time, an iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Xoom, and other Android or Windows Tablet devices are not recommended as the students ONLY computer at FHSU.
Despite all the hype surrounding tablets and netbooks, the classic laptop is a viable option for many students. Cheaper than a tablet, featuring a larger screen and keyboard, plus more media/gaming power than a netbook, regular laptops shouldn't be disregarded when considering your options.
"What's the difference between Notebooks, Netbooks and Ultrathin PCs?" by Jonathon Strickland on HowStuffWorks.
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