Buying Guide: Narrow Down Your Laptop Search In Minutes
| by Dushyant Khilnani
Acer Aspire 5745G (mid-range multimedia laptop)
There are characteristics that define why a laptop can or should fall into this category. The two most prominent ones are a laptop's size and weight, but, the most important one is performance. However, none of these three aspects can alone determine whether a laptop is a desktop replacement. So if you see a laptop with high-end core hardware, but weighs merely over a kilogram, you wouldn't necessarily term it as a desktop replacement. But, a laptop weighing over 2.6 kg, with a large screen and good hardware can most certainly substitute for a basic desktop PC. Powerful performance calls for powerful core hardware such as a good dual-core (or quad-core) processor, ample amount of RAM, a roomy hard drive and discrete graphics. In addition to powerful hardware and ample storage capacity, even the features of a laptop need to be impressive. Desktop PCs usually have a 17-inch monitor, though the older ones are still stuck with 15-inchers and ancient ones with 14-inch. In any case, when you notice that the screen of a laptop is about 15.6-inches or larger, it’s almost certain that you are looking at a desktop replacement. All-in-all, your best clues are, the size of the machine, its weight and the screen size.
Dell Studio XPS 1645
Mainstream laptop could be categorized by machines that are available with mainstream CPUs like Intel’s Core i5 and they usually fall under the 14 and 15-inch categories. They usually weigh lesser than performance machines, but are decently powered. So, you can carry them with you on a regular basis, and use mainstream and office applications, such as spreadsheets, presentations, Internet-surfing, and light multimedia such as movies and light gaming. Now, most laptops in this segment have discrete GPUs, especially if it’s a multimedia laptop, but if you see one without a discrete GPU, you’re mostly looking at a business laptop, or else, it’s an entry-level laptop which means it should not cost over 40K.
In terms of performance, these laptops are usually slightly weaker than desktop replacements and are more energy-efficient. Hardware that's most common in these laptops is a mainstream single-core or an entry-level dual-core (the latest ones feature Intel's new Core series) processor, 2 GB RAM and a 320 GB hard drive.
Lenovo IdeaPad Y560
These machines are slim, light in weight and very easy to carry, hence the name ultra-portable. So, light weight, slim design, power-efficiency and the use of ultra-low voltage processors are traits that best describe these laptops. If you come across a laptop that measures an inch or slightly more in thickness, weighs about 1.6 to 2.2 Kg, has a 11.6-inch to 14-inch screen and offers over 5 hours of battery runtime, you're looking at an ultra-portable laptop. These laptops have gained so much popularity that they are categorized as ULV laptops. Ultra-portable laptop or ULV laptops are powered by ultra-low voltage processors which consume very little power, and also perform only the basic computing tasks such as office applications, casual Internet surfing, chat, emails, VoIP and so on. They are ideal for basic home computing and office purposes. All-in-all, they are by all means the most convenient to carry around (when you're not comparing them with netbooks). And yes, laptops from this segment are often even more expensive than some mainstream laptops, and it’s mainly because of their form factor, hardware and longer battery runtime.
Lenovo ThinkPad X100e
Tags: Buying Guide
You may be looking for a good gaming laptop for a decent price and we have
With so many laptops out there, how do you choose the correct one based on
We come to you with a list of good laptops under Rs 30,000 that you can...
08 Dec, 2013, 09:38 AM IST
Here are all the top headlines from this week in tech.