View Full Version : Laptops for 2011

23rd August 2011, 12:42 PM
If you are in the market for a portable computer, and we can call them all laptops, then your choice really comes down to one of three types: a tablet, a netbook or a small laptop.

While it is getting more difficult all the time to tell the difference among them as they borrow features from each other and are constantly upgrading, let's look at what you get with each of the three basic types.

A tablet comes with a 7 to 10 inch screen and is the ultimate personal browsing, reading and entertainment device. With a touch screen you have access to apps, you can read a book or a magazine, and this unit is extremely light and thin for easy portability. In fact some will even fit in your pocket. And unlike the other two options, the tablet will turn on almost instantly.

The Apple ipad is the tablet to beat, with Motorola's Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab coming in a close second. As long as you do not need to do any heavy typing or organizing complex projects, this may be the machine for you. Tablets are priced in the $500 to $700 range, weigh in at about 1.5 pounds and have a battery charge life of 9 to 12 hours. Most have internal storage of up to 64 GB.

The next size up is the netbook, usually coming with a 10 inch screen. This machine comes with a physical keyboard and Windows 7 installed and is ideal for creating and editing longer documents on the fly and at a cost much less than a full-sized laptop. Most netbooks do not have a touch screen, but come with up to 250 GB of internal storage. Netbooks are priced in the $300 to $500 range, less than a tablet or the larger laptops, and will weigh in at around 3 pounds with a battery charge life of 8 to 9 hours. If you are looking for a small work machine, then a netbook is a good way to get going.

The 3rd option is a smaller laptop which will have an 11 to 13 inch screen and is for those wanting greater processing power and storage ability. With a full keyboard but no touch screen, these devices weigh in at 2 to 5 pounds. They are larger and thicker than the tablet and netbook,give you in excess of 300GB of storage and are priced in the $700 to $1200 range. If you need more apps and software for your work and are not concerned with minimal size and thinness, then the smaller laptop is ideal.

So in summary, for entertainment and extreme portability, the tablet is your choice today. For more serious applications and work, you can choose between the netbook and a small laptop, depending on the complexity of your work requirements.

Having chosen among 3 types, your next problem will be the number of brand and generic products out there that will make you selection more difficult. But in the end, considering what you are getting, they are all tremendous machines and today's bargain prices make it increasingly easy on your wallet!

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