Notebook computers are a perennial favorite for holiday gift giving. This holiday season is no exception. If someone on your shopping list is wishing for a new notebook computer this year we can help you pick a good one.
There are some things you need to consider when shopping for a new laptop. The most important is how the computer will be used. If you are buying a notebook for someone who simply wants to use IM services, browse the web and check email that any computer will do. Honestly, you don’t even need a fully fledged laptop for that sort of duty. Something along the lines of the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet might do the trick for chat heavy users. The N800 will surf the web via WiFi and should allow viewing of most web pages. The drawback is that the device has an onscreen keyboard, which isn’t ideal for many and the screen is small at only 4.1-inches.
Someone needing more of a traditional laptop, but not needing a particularly powerful system could consider the new ASUS Eee PC. The Eee only costs about $100 more than the Nokia N800 but features a more familiar notebook style package and is more powerful. The Eee has a 7.1-inch screen and a real keyboard, albeit a compact one that some users may find too small. The Eee retails for $399.99 and features 512MB of RAM and a 4GB SSD for storage. Built-in WiFi and Ethernet jacks provide connectivity and the Eee runs on a pre-installed Linux OS, though it is compatible with Windows XP. The CPU is a 900MHz Intel Mobile unit giving the Eee some oomph and the ability to operate like a low power notebook.
If you have a larger budget and need a real notebook with full options and more storage space, but don’t want a big machine to lug around on the road, a small ultra portable notebook may be ideal. One of my favorite ultraportable notebooks is the HP Pavilion TX1305US 12.1-inch notebook. This small-screened notebook is great for the very mobile user who travels a lot or for those without a lot of space in their work areas. The system is a convertible notebook, which means the screen can swivel and lock turning the system into a tablet with touchscreen capabilities. The system is available with different processors, hard drive sizes, and amounts of RAM. The lowest cost version retails for $999 and uses a AMD Turion 64 TL-58 processors, 1GB of RAM, and a 160GB HDD.
Those wanting to get away from Windows based computers will want to consider the Apple MacBook Pro and the MacBook. These computers aren’t for everyone, though they perform as well and sometimes better than similar Windows based computers. The current generation of Intel powered Apple computers can also run Windows at the same time it runs the native Mac operating system. The problem with Mac computers for users that normally use a Windows machine is that software for Windows computers won’t run on a Mac (unless you are dual booting Windows of some type).
If you aren’t on the road and just want a notebook for use in the home or office because they take up less space than a desktop, you might want to consider something with a larger screen. The HP Pavilion DV9620US 17-inch notebook has a good price of about $999.99 for a large screen notebook. Like most affordable notebooks these days, it runs an AMD Turion processor, specifically a TL-58, and the system even ships with 2GB of RAM and dual 120GB HDD. The MSRP of $999.99 is not a bad price at all, for what you get, assuming you can live with the extra weight and bulk from a 17-inch screen.