What Laptop Should I Buy?

by Clay Franklin on November 9, 2012


What laptop should I buy is a common question for all age groups.  Technology has advanced so far that every smart phone or tablet and even some toys are computing devices.

When deciding what laptop to buy, just think about

1. How much am I willing to spend?

2. What do I want it to do for me?

3. Do I prefer a small size or a bit bigger with more computing horse power?

4. If gifting, who is it for and what do they like to do on their computing devices?

5. Will I be taking it with me to places like school or work or Starbucks?

 

Let’s look at these areas of what Laptop or Tablet should I buy questions.

1. How much am I willing to spend?

$250 – $2800  ($650 is a sweet spot for value to performance on Windows laptops and about $1,300 for a Apple laptop)

Generally on laptops, I recommend getting the latest Intel technology if it is in your budget.  This is not the speed like 2.5, it is Intel’s latest technology that is that it is made on tiny tiny spacing between the gold traces inside the chip.  Like right now Intel is just rolling out .23 micron technology so this is the latest and greatest with the best power to heat ratio resulting in longer battery life, lower heat and any other cool stuff they put inside the microprocessor to make it work better.

Intel offers a whole range of processors for laptops ranging from about $32 factory cost up to about $750 factory cost each.  My Macbook pro I am typing on has a .48 micron chip 2.5GHz speed processor and cost $335 each factory cost when I bought the laptop.  Since it was a higher end and latest technology process processor it is still a sweet spot for CPU speed for Intel.

I generally recommend for a person that wants a Windows Laptop and can afford about $650 they consider the HP laptops in that price range.  This will be powerful enough to build large Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations and play videos.
If you would like a really nice Windows Laptop, I highly recommend this HP ENVY DV6-7214nr Windows 8 Notebook PC with a third generation Intel i7 Central Processing Unit (CPU), it is very fast, and has a dedicated graphics processor instead of a shared one, and to top it all off, it has the awesome radiance infinity display from HP.  This display makes a huge difference to me since I love super clear high quality displays and have a 14″ radiance infinity display in my HP ENVY 14 windows laptop (I have the old model of this one).
For the person that wants a Apple laptop, I recommend the Macbook Pro 13″ for great value to performance benefits.

In all cases, I think it is important that you like the way the Laptop or Tablet looks and feels.  Spend as much as you can afford to get what you want or need and you will generally be happier in the long run.

For some people a $400 HP laptop will delight them especially if it is their first computer or that is all the budget allows.

For others that just want to do email, social media, take class notes and watch videos, a tablet may be the best solution.  I personally like Apple iPads the best and this is what I got my Mom who had never done email before and she loves it.

2. What do I want a laptop or tablet to do for me?

Just about any Laptop or Tablet will work fine for email, social media and surfing the internet for information and taking notes for class.
About the most demanding application on laptops is making videos and the more you spend in general will get you more power to process video rendering faster.

3. Do I prefer a small size or a bit bigger with more computing horse power?

Laptops and Tablets come in all sizes from purse size  and 2.5 pounds or less to 17″ and 6 pounds.
If you will be carrying it around weight is important and the more you carry it the more important it is.
I like 13″ as it is big enough to do spreadsheets yet small enough to take with me.  This is my main computer.  In my office I hook it up to a 25″ monitor with dedicated keyboard and mouse. (It acts like a desktop)

4. If gifting, who is it for and what do they like to do on their computing devices?

Most young people like Apple products but they are very expensive.  If you can afford it a Macbook Pro is really awesome and about $1300.   For a awesome low cost computer the Samsung Chromebook is really nice looking and works for $250 but will have limited computing power to process photoshop image manipulation or making fancy videos.  Apple iPads are well loved and for around $329 or $499 they always bring a huge smile to the receiver.

5. Will I be taking it with me to places like school or work or Starbucks?

Portability is key for most Laptops and Tablets.  Some people like to go really small like a Apple Macbook Air because it is great on a plane.  My son uses a iPad for all his class notes in college.  My brother in law uses a 15″ HP Laptop and takes it to Starbucks often.  I think 15″ is a bit too big to be super portable and prefer a 14″ or  13″ or a Tablet for simple tasks.

Another thing I like to check out on Laptops and Tablets before I buy them is the LCD screen.  Is it bright enough to see outside, is it high enough resolution that videos look good on it and text is easy to read.  How does the screen look if you are not looking directly at it?  Some LCD screens have great viewing angle others not so much.  Bright is really helpful.

If you plan to store a lot of pictures and videos be sure to get a bigger hard drive like 500 GB or more instead of 300GB.
If you plan to have a lot of stuff going at the same time get more memory like 8GB instead of 4GB.
If you plan to play movies on your laptop and send it to your TV, then consider getting a HDMI port on the laptop.  For the Apple iPad you can send videos to your TV if you have a Apple TV device.
If you plan to carry it around with you get a smaller size like 13″.
If it is for your grandmother I suggest a iPad.
If it is for a child, I suggest a iPad.
If it is for a teenager that is responsible, I suggest a Apple Macbook (super expensive but very cool) or a HP Laptop in your price range.
If it is for your wife or husband – probably a new updated model of what they are currently using will work great unless they complain about it being too slow – then upgrade to a higher model.

Recommended Choices:
(Please Note Prices Change Often and sometimes just for a few hours, check today’s prices and click buy if it is on sale)

Tablets:
Amazon Kindle Fire HD – Good
Apple iPad – Wonderful
Android Tablet – Good alternative

Laptops:
Apple MacBook Pro 13″ – Super Awesome Laptop – Best price
Apple Macbook Pro 13″ with Retina display –  Totally Awesome computer – Latest Technology Laptop, super light weight and extra long battery life – highly recommended if the budget can afford it.
Samsung Chrome book – Very cool for only $250
HP entry level laptop – Works great for everyday activities – not as fancy or powerful as higher model but works fine
HP Mid high Envy 4 Ultrabook  - Lightweight – Great work horse – Latest technology Laptop Computer..
HP Envy Spectre – High end HP Laptop – Has great feel, looks, performance and some have a high end LCD screen. Latest Technology Laptop Computer
Sony Vaio Ultrabook – Great Screen, nice looks, a bit more expensive but has the nice screen.
Lenova Laptops – Good quality and reliability

The price of laptops changes often so to get the best deal Check out the current top selling laptop pricing

I have my eye on a Apple MacBook Pro MD212LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display
If you have any questions about laptops or tablets after you have checked out a few of the ones listed above, just send me a tweet or leave a comment below.  Which one do you want?




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Apple MacBook Pro MD313LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop best price

by Clay Franklin on January 21, 2012

 Picture of MacBook Pro 13" MD 313LL/A

I love my MacBook Pro 13″ laptop.  I also have a HP ENVY 14″ that I use for anything that does not work on Mac.  The HP works great, looks great, is kinda small and not too heavy.  It’s just that after 30 years of working on HP Windows machines, I finally bought a Mac and slowly switched over completely after about 2 years.  I run mine to a HP 24″ 1920 x 1200 HD display monitor about 65% of the time and use a wired Apple Keyboard with numeric keypad on an IKEA keyboard tray.  Ergonomics are important.  Anyway the MacBook Pro MD 313 LL/A is a very nice MacBook Pro like they all are and is a on sale for what is most likely the lowest price anywhere.

Personally I like the 13″ size the best.  It’s easy to carry around, has a beautiful bright clear totally awesome screen and backlit keyboard.  I use an external monitor when I’m at my desk with an external keyboard, and high quality Audio Technica USB microphone.

If it was time for me to get a new MacBook Pro 13″, I would get the Apple MacBook Pro MD314LL/A 13.3″ laptop because it comes with the i7 Intel processor instead of the i5 Intel Processor like on the MD131LL/A, and a 750 GB hard drive instead of a 500 GB hard drive like is found on the MacBook Pro MD313LL/A.  It costs more a lot more that I prefer to pay, but know in the long run the laptop will last longer or have a longer service life by having the higher end i7 processor.  750GB seems about right for the hard drive if you store a lot of pictures and videos.  I currently have a 500GB because it was the upgraded size when I bought my machine as was getting 4GB of RAM, both important to me so I got the more expensive machine.  A little pricey but a really nice machine that will most likely save you time and frustration you may get on your old laptop.  New laptops are fast.  So if you’re ready to get a Apple MacBook Pro Laptop, then there’s no time like the present. and you need to click here to see how much it is today since the price changes often.

 

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Laptop Comparison What Laptop Should I Buy

by Clay Franklin on January 13, 2011

Laptop Comparisons
Choosing the best laptop for you or someone else can be a daunting task. LCD Size, Processor speed, Memory, Hard Drive, Total Weight, Reliability, Battery Life and will the laptop perform the tasks I need it to with ease?

HP Envy 14 at whatlaptopshouldIbuy.comThere is also the consideration on how the laptop looks and feels when you use it.

I worked at Hewlett Packard for over 20 years spending millions of dollars on memory chips, printed circuit boards, and other computer parts. Some of the companies I bought parts from complained that we had tighter specifications than the other computer manufactures.

So when you are buying your laptop, you get what you pay for. Cheaper components are not quite as reliable as the more expensive parts inside the laptop.
The profit margins on the more expensive laptops is higher than on the low priced laptops because of the fierce competition between brands. The value on a low price laptop is great and a higher priced laptop will provide more years of service.

The only reason laptops go obsolete is because the demands for what the laptop can do for you goes up each year. If the demands for what the laptop could do did not change then laptops from 10 years ago would still work fine. In reality the old laptops do not process video fast enough. Old laptops do not have enough memory and hard drive size for todays digital world.

If you have an idea of what laptop computer you want. It is probably a good hunch. You may like the way it is presented in advertising or the price for performance or it is available from your favorite laptop retailer. It will probably work fine for you.
I suggest spending a little more than you think you need right this minute. The extra money will buy you a better easier to read LCD monitor, and faster Inter processor, more memory (DRAM) and a bigger hard drive.

If you want a long battery life, consider getting a special low power processor that costs more relative to it’s processing power. If you want a high powered processor for games or video rendering, get a more power processor and sacrifice a little battery life.

I am partial to HP Laptops. I have bought 5 of them over the last 15 years. They are all still working and in good shape. The oldest one is a bit slow for video processing and the newest one is a 14″ HP ENVY that I just love. I also have the older model of the HP DV6 and it is still in daily use in my family. I also use MACs and have a 13″ Macbook Pro that I am typing on right now.

HP is not the only good laptop out there. Apple laptops are also on the top of my recommended list along with HP.

If you switch from a Windows laptop to a Apple laptop, you will be buying new software made especially for MACs so plan for some extra expenses if going from a Windows machine to a MAC or from a MAC to a Windows laptop.

Apple laptops do not need anti-virus software and cost more for the same size and capability. MACs and Windows both work fine. The Apple laptops seem to be more popular with the younger generation as well as many techies.

For portability a 7″ to a 14.5″ is ideal. The smaller the laptop, the lighter it is to carry around. The main weight of the laptop is in the case, LCD screen, Hard disc drive and especially the battery.

For speed and heavy duty use like gaming and video rendering, I recommend a higher priced processor and more memory.

Leave a comment below if you have any specific questions about which laptop to buy that is best for you.

Click on the laptop links on this site and read the reviews by others that have bought the exact same laptop and buy it with confidence.

Leave your laptop questions below as a comment.

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HP Mini 110-3130NR 10.1-Inch Netbook

by Clay Franklin on November 11, 2010

These HP Mini Computers are really cool.  This is the one I am getting my Mom as a present for Christmas this year.  These are light, easy to use, have a long battery life and have the best keyboard of all the Mini’s available.

Product Features

  • Intel Atom Processor N455 (1.66GHz, 512KB L2 Cache, 667Mhz Front Side Bus); 1GB DDR2 SDRAM memory (1 x 1GB) (Max Supported 1GB); 250GB (5400 RPM) Serial ATA hard drive; Genuine Windows 7 Starter
  • 10.1 Inch diagonal WSVGA HP Anti-glare LED Display (1024 x 600), Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 (shared) with up to 256MB Total Available Graphics Memory
  • External Ports: 2-in-1 memory card reader; 3 USB 2.0; 1 VGA; 1 RJ-45 (LAN); 1 Headphone-out/Microphone-in combo jack (compatible with 3.5mm 4-conductor jack with stereo audio and mono mic)
  • HD Audio; Integrated 10/100Base-T Ethernet LAN; Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n WLAN
  • HP Mini Webcam with integrated digital microphone

Processor, Memory, and Motherboard

  • Processor: Intel Atom
  • RAM: 1 GB

Hard Drive

  • Size: 250 GB

Cases and Expandability

  • Size (LWH): 10.55 inches, 7.64 inches, 1.27 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds
Internet use and ultra portability. Count on the HP Mini 110-3130NR as your mobile assistant. Use this small, slim and stylish netbook to access and back up files with HP Cloud Drive, view e-mail attachments easily and connect to social networking sites. You can also video chat using the integrated webcam, upload photos to online albums and listen to Internet radio stations.
Battery Life
Up to 9.5 hours
Wireless
Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n WLAN
Video Graphics
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 (shared) with up to 256MB Total Available Graphics Memory

Product Description

Enjoy Web browsing and entertainment with an ultra-portable netbook. The lightweight HP Mini 110-3130NR helps you stay connected wherever you go. Watch videos, view photos and edit documents on a 10.1-inch diagonal anti-glare display that’s easy to see indoors and out. Get fast access to email, IM and social networking sites, plus use the integrated webcam and microphone to video chat with family and friends across the globe. With a solid black finish, this HP netbook is a great choice for anyone. Transfer photos from a memory card to the HP Mini 110-3130NR netbook using the 2-in-1 digital media reader. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you browse the Web from any room and on the go without using cables. Enjoy online games in crisp detail using integrated Intel video graphics, plus store important files on the 160GB hard drive. You can also connect this HP netbook to an MP3 player, digital camera or external optical drive easily using one of the USB ports.

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Intel Processor Comparison for Laptop computers

by Clay Franklin on July 3, 2010

intel logoIntel Processor comparison may be confusing because you may not know where to go to compare Intel processors. It is easy for me because I used to buy Intel processors for Hewlett Packard Company. I also used to buy the memory modules called DRAM or SODIMM for Hewlett Packard Company. I spend a lot of time searching out places to compare Intel processors and wanted to share some of the best places to get Intel processor comparison information.

I usually like to know how much the Intel processor costs so I go the the Intel Price sheet at Intel.com to see exactly how much each Intel Processor costs so I know if I am getting a good deal when I buy a laptop computer. You can go to download the latest Intel Processor price sheet here. Just click on download price list. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below. I think you will be surprised just how much the processor costs in your laptop. I just bought a HP Envy 14. You can see the Envy 14 with a Intel Core i5-450M processor running at 2.40GHz here.  It is a great looking laptop.  I also have a Macbook pro 13.3” that I love.  It has a Intel 2.53 core two duo processor and it seems to have plenty of power so far.

Intel also publishes detailed processor comparison charts. They can be a bit technical. The smaller the nm is the better and the lower the voltage is the better because it will result in longer battery life. If you are interested in comparing Intel processors for technical specs go to the Intel processor comparison page on the Intel site.

I get the best information on the Intel site for comparing Intel processors.  I also like to get information from other sources like CPU world.  You can see an example of how they write up the new Intel processor story on their site at CPU world.com.  Here is a link to the Intel processor comparison charts at Intel.com.  you will be able to click on the different processors to see performance charts.

I set up this site to help you decide what laptop you should buy and to provide you with an unfair advantage when buying a new laptop by knowing the good deals.

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How did you like this article?  Leave a comment below and let me know.

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  • Intel Atom Processor N450 (1.66 GHz, 512 KB L2 Cache)
  • 1GB DDR2 System Memory (1 DIMM)
  • 160GB (5400RPM) Hard Drive (SATA)
  • Genuine Windows 7 Starter, * Up to 4.25 Hours of Battery Life
  • 10.1″ Diagonal WSVGA LED Anti-glare Widescreen Display (1024 x 600)

Take just what you need and leave the rest on your primary PC. At less than one inch thin and starting at just 2.69 pounds, this ultra-compact PC wont weigh you down. You’ll enjoy a 16:9 10.1″ diagonal BrightView Infinity display and nearly full-size keyboard (93% of full-size). Enjoy a rich, multimedia experience by playing high-definition video online. Built-in wireless LAN brings the web to you at home and in many public spaces. 10.1 Diagonal WSVGA (1024 x 600) LED Anti-glare Widescreen Display (1024 x 600) HP Webcam and Digital Microphone Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 with up to 256MB Shared Video Memory 802.11 b/g Wireless LAN 10/100 Base-T Ethernet LAN 5-in-1 Bridge Media Adapter – MMC, SD, MS, MS Pro, xD HD Audio, Stereo Speakers 93% full sized keyboard, Clickpad with On/Off Ports – 3 x USB 2.0, Headphone out/Microphone-in combo Jack, VGA, RJ-45 Approximate Unit Dimensions – 10.55 (L) x 6.9 (W) x 0.9 ~ 1.11 (H) Approximate Unit Weight – 2.69 Pounds

These HP Mini Netbooks are great little computers and super portable.  They are not powerful enough to do photography editing or video editing, yet they are great to take notes, write articles, check email, send Twitter Tweets, Update Facebook status or upload pictures and keep you connected to the internet while on the go or by the pool.

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HP Pavilion DV4-2167SB 14.1-Inch Laptop (Black)

February 26, 2010

  2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M Processor (3 MB L3 Cache) 4GB DDR3 System Memory (2 DIMM) (expandable to 8 GB) 320GB (7200RPM) Hard Drive (SATA), LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD±R/RW with Double Layer Support Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, Up to 4.25 Hours of Battery Life HP Pavilion dv4-2167sb Small Business Edition Notebook PC. Intel Core i3-330M […]

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HP Pavilion DV6-1360US 15.6-Inch Espresso Laptop – Up to 3.5 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium)

February 25, 2010

For those who want an all-in-one performance notebook with rich multimedia features, the HP Pavilion dv6 Entertainment series delivers excellent mobile performance that looks as great as it runs. Powered by the latest processor and graphics technologies, it delivers the features you need to support your digital lifestyle. Enjoy full-screen viewing of HD TV and […]

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Apple MacBook Pro MB991LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop

February 24, 2010

250 GB hard drive, DVD/CD SuperDrive, 4 GB DDR3 RAM 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor NVIDIA GeForce 9400M Graphics, 13.3 inch LED Display Built-in full-size backlit keyboard with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys (inverted “T” arrangement) Internal omnidirectional microphone and built-in speakers Measures 12.78 x […]

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Apple MacBook Pro MB990LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop

February 23, 2010

Apple MacBook Pro 13″ Laptop computer. This is an awesome laptop highly recommended and one of the best selling Apple laptops for this year! Excellent for students and business professionals.

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