by March 1, 2012 0 comments

Portable computing isn’t just about laptops and netbooks anymore. The category has expanded to also include tablets, ultrabooks, and many other in between devices. Presented here are a few things you should know before you buy any of these devices.

Price: The first step before you start thinking of buying a laptop is deciding your budget. This solely depends on the type of work you’re going to do on your notebook: from home usage to watch your favorite DVDs, to basic office use for working on documents or for pure gaming action. The price of a notebook can vary from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2,00,000 depending upon the features it has.

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The Processor: Choosing a processor totally depends on the work you are going to do, if your work involves more of ‘content creation’ (such as running heavy applications) and lots of multitasking, you should be looking for a notebook with an Intel Core or an AMD Athlon processor. While the Intel Core i3/i5 processors are sufficient for most office applications, the Core i7 caters best to your heavy application usage.

Memory: One very important aspect to look out for in a notebook is how much memory (RAM) it has and what the graphic capabilities are. If you are a light user and use few applications and software then you should be comfortable with 2GB of RAM. However, most notebooks now come with a minimum 3GB RAM if you spend over Rs 35000. Whereas if you use applications like 3D MAX or play graphic hungry games then go for a notebook with 4GB of RAM.

Graphics: Graphics has now taken up a significant factor in performance of a notebook. With HD content and graphic intensive user interfaces, the GPU plays a significant part in a notebook. If you don’t need image editing or gaming then we suggest a notebook with Intel on board graphics.

Hard disk: Storage is what every user needs to keep their files, larger the storage better is for you to keep more important files with you. You should look for laptops with at least 320GB storage space. To enhance the performance and power backup of your laptop, you can look for Solid state drive instead of conventional hard disk drive.

Portability: Notebooks are meant to be portable. If you are a frequent traveler then you would need an extremely lightweight notebook which can be carried around easily. There are a variety of netbooks that weigh from 1.5 kg onwards depending on the screen size. In case you want a laptop for home use, then the weight factor is not of importance and you can go for a heavier notebook. These notebooks usually have a larger screen and better multimedia capabilities, but suffer from poor battery life.

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Connectivity and ports: Notebooks incorporate wireless connectivity such as Infrared, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Wi-Di to transfer data and access Internet. Almost all laptops now come with Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 3.0 integrated. One more thing to check out is WiMAX and 3G support in your netbook, as both these are slated to become quite popular wireless connectivity standards. However, when it comes to ports you need to be careful. You should give preference to a laptop having USB 3.0 as USB 2.0 is a feature of past now. The notebook should have audio in/out jacks, ethernet port, DVD RW, card reader as well as a display out port.

Multimedia: Earlier laptops were meant only for business use, but now laptops are available that work as a multi-media center. Laptop with antiglare widescreen displays, inbuilt TV Tuner cards, memory card readers, web cameras and built in mic along with Blu-Ray readers are easily avail-able. Coupled with software such as Power cinema, AudioDJ and Power DVD these laptops provide for an enriched multimedia experience.

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Webcam plus speakers : Good quality webcam and optimally placed speakers are also important. Both these come handy not only as entertainment features but also are critical for video conferencing and video chatting which are the integral part collaboration suits of your organization.

Points to consider before buying a tablet

Processor: Almost all tablets today are based on are based on ARM processor technology. Different companies have produced their own versions of the ARM chip design and many of them are now dual-core, like a lot of PC processors. Apple’s iPad 2 runs the Apple A5 chip, while Android tablets generally use Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor.

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Wi-Fi and 3G : All tablets support Wi-Fi so you can wirelessly connect them to your home network or to other devices via bluetooth. However, many tablets also support 3G so you can put a mobile Internet-enabled SIM card into it and use the Internet while on the move. The 3G versions are generally more expensive and you would have to subscribe to a data plan.

Applications: It’s a nice feeling to know that when you buy a tablet, you get access to hundreds and thousands of apps from the various app stores. There are more than 3,00,000 apps in apple app store, While Android has more than 5,00,000 applications, so you should consider the one having more free apps according to your need.

Cameras and speakers : Most of the Tablets today offers 2 cameras: front facing and rear facing. But what needs to be looked at is the quality, for doing simple video calling the front-camera should be of atleast 0.3 MP, so that you can use skype, Gtalk effectively. The rear-camera can be used to take pictures or videos. Indeed, many tablet cameras are capable of taking 720p high definition video, so check that out if it’s important to you. The speaker quality should also be checked since without that there is no fun having a tablet.

Storage: To make it portable and cheaper tablets does not offers much storage space to you. You always need to carry external storage device with you to keep your files with you which is not a big problem. Today tablets are coming with 32GB storage space which is enough to keep your documents, presentations, music and video files but for keeping HD videos and movies you need more storage so choose accordingly.

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Bandwidth: The bandwidth issue is pretty much self-explanatory, because you’ll need lots of it to install all those great apps. Plus, many of them would also access the Internet as one of the features. So long as you use Wi-Fi from your office or home, you’re fine, but move to 3G and you’ll start getting hefty bills!

Auxiliary connections: Many tablets can also connect to monitor displays and televisions via an HDMI cable. This is great if you have video content on your tablet that you can then play on the bigger screen. Upcoming models also includes ports like card reader, mini HDMI etc.

What to look for in a Ultrabook

Processor : Most of the ultrabooks present today includes Intel Core i5/i7 processors which are sufficient for both office and gaming applications.

Memory : Almost all the ultrabooks are coming with a 4GB RAM for performing fast and multiple applications. For keeping documents, music, video files you should go for ultrabook offering 320GB or more storage space for which price may get increased. For better performance you should choose device having SSD’s which are easily available in Acer Aspire S3, Lenovo U300s, Apple Macbook Air 13 etc.

Connectivity and Ports : Due to its sleek design ultrabooks does not includes DVD. You should be careful as per your need of connectivity ports, if you need regular USB, Headphone, or card reader jack then there is no problem but if VGA, HDMI, USB 3.0, 5-in-1 card reader ports are also your requirement then you should go with Acer TravelMate, Sony Vaio which even offers Ethernet port for you. While for connecting wirelessly, almost all devices includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Battery life and Portability : The major thing to consider about ultrabook is the battery life it has. If you can spend around 80k you can get around 6 hrs battery backup in an ultrabook, which are offered by Acer TravelMate, Asus Zenbook and Apple Macbook Air. The weight of an ultrabook is also a key aspect before you buy one, it varies from 1Kg to 2Kg you can choose according to your convenience.

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