It's never been a better time. Prices are the lowest they've ever been and features are good, even on entry-level machines.
Here are a few things you need to know:
Laptop or notebook? Though most folks use the terms interchangeably, "laptop" generally refers to machines on the large size, over 6 pounds. Many are used as desktop replacements because they typically have the CD-DVD drives built in and are loaded with most of the options you'd have on a big desktop PC.
Notebooks are lighter, less than 6 pounds, and they often have separate CD-DVD drives that plug into a USB port and are left behind when you pack the notebook up in your briefcase.
Memory: If you are going to use a laptop as your main machine, you want at least 512 megabytes of memory. Some of the entry-level machines come with 256 MB. That's probably enough for most on-the- go tasks, though performance can lag if you want to open multiple programs, do some serious number crunching with a spreadsheet, watch video or listen to music.
Finding the best price: Whether you buy online or from a store, always run the model you're interested in through a comparison- shopping site such as pricegrabber.com or shopping .com.
If you buy online, realize that shipping costs often make it just as costly as if it were purchased from a brick and mortar retail outlet.
That said, here are my 2005 laptop and notebook recommendations:
-Apple 15-inch G4 PowerBook www.apple.com
-Toshiba Satellite M45 www.tigerdirect.com
-Fujitsu LifeBook P1500 Tablet PC http://store.shopfujitsu.com
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