- Questions to ask yourself
- Desktop PC or notebook?
- How important is mobility?
- What will I be using the notebook for?
- How much do I need to spend?
- Specialised portable computers?
- Ultraportable notebooks
- Tablet PCs
- Palm/hand top computers
- Ruggedised portables
- Processor and chipset
- Intel versus AMD
- Intel notebook processors
- AMD mobile processors
- Other key components
- Questions to ask the retailer
Which extras can be included?
A few final items are worth considering. If you are going to be using your notebook on the move, ask about extra batteries as well as items such as carrying cases.
Also, consider whether there will be extras that are bundled cheaply at the time of buying, such as USB TV tuners, USB flash memory keys, optional upgrades and more.
If you think you will want to increase the amount of RAM later, then perhaps it is worth considering upgrading it at the time of purchase, saving both time and money. It is common for retailers to offer to upgrade the amount of RAM at a cheaper price or even for free during promotions.
While notebook prices fall and technological advancements narrow the performance gap between desktop and mobile PCs, consumers will still pay the price for portability, with notebooks being significantly more expensive than a desktop PC -- and harder to upgrade.
Lesser known brands are now accounting for more and more of the notebook market, but HP/Compaq, Toshiba, Dell, Lenovo (formerly branded IBM), Acer and Australia's own Optima remain brand names that people respect.