The notebook as mobile companion and desktop computer
Notebooks are far more popular by now then traditional desktop computers.
Their sales have increased tremendously in the past years.
Their increased performance stands nothing short of their stationary counterparts. There are several devices suitable for office applications or even 3D gaming. Next to their mobility they also create a organized workspace due to the lack of cables and external peripherals. If required, external devices such as larger screens can be attached. This way, notebook computers can be used just as comfortable as a regular PC.
Notebook or netbook ?
Next to the classic laptop the smaller netbooks are a great solution for people that are traveling on a regular basis.
Their name combines the term “book”, suggesting portability, and “net” reffers to their connectivity (as in the terms network or internet).
Simple models are priced lower then 400 Dollars (300 euro), and even newer models with integrated 3G modem are not much expensive.
The low weight of 2-3 pounds (roughly 1-1,5 kilos) make then the ideal mobile companion for work and education.
While their small screen and low hardware specifications make them unsuitable as permanent desktop computer replacement, they are suitable as simple office workstations in combination with a larger screen and keyboard which can be attached to all models on the market. Even a DVD-writer can be attached via USB port.
For regular office use or even multimedia applications, a larger notebook might be the better choice.
With integrated optical drive and displays from 14 to 16 inches (35-41 cm) they combine portability and performance. More memory is also common among this models, without the need of upgrading. Larger models aim for semi-stationary use and are less portable.
They might contain features such as an secondary hard-drive and weigh up to 15 pounds (17 kilo). While they are not suitable for surfing the internet on the couch, they completely replace a workstation without the need to compromise. The larger screens have high resolution and may handle tasks such video editing or gaming much better as smaller devices.
Buying a notebook
Independent from the device’s size, the main thing to regard when buying a notebook is it’s battery run-time. While netbooks are designed to run 6 hours or more, some laptops will hardly reach two hours.
Due to the large screen and the high performance this is a common issue. Shopping for a more expensive model may pay out in the end, as additional battery packs for cheap laptops will increase the overall cost in the end.
For devices that are being used stationary, removing the charged battery pack and storing it cool and dry is recommended. The continuous re-charge may damage them after several months, reducing their run-time to half or less.
Laptops will run on just the ac-dc adapter just fine.