Many of us are so used to working on a computer desktop that when it comes time to purchase a new computer, we don't consider other options. Today, computer notebooks - which were once called laptops - offer a number of advantages over a computer desktop. Here are just five reasons why you should take a second look at notebooks.
You might be used to pulling up a chair to your computer, but it makes much more sense to pull your computer up to your chair. Laptops can certainly be used at your desk, but you also have the option of bringing them to the spot where you're most comfortable. Maybe you'd like to surf the Web in the evening out in the living room or catch up on your favorite blogs before bedtime. Notebooks with wireless connectivity can travel with you throughout your home, so you can check your email or do your Internet shopping anywhere.
Of course, notebooks also make sense for those who are on the go. Students can take laptops to class and to the library, while businesspeople can take them along while traveling. With WiFi so widely available, it even makes sense to have a notebook while on vacation. With the right notebook, it's easy to take photos with your digital camera, upload them, and email them to friends and family before you even get back home. Or you can use it to write a vacation blog and include those pictures from your digital camera.
2. Better Displays
The size and quality of computer notebook displays has improved so dramatically that there's little difference between laptops and a computer desktop. For example, you can get Apple's MacBook with a 13.3-inch LCD widescreen (1280 x 800 pixels), a 15.4-inch LCD widescreen (1440 x 900 pixels) or a 17-inch widescreen (1680 x 1050 pixels). Similarly, the Compaq Presario has a 15.4-inch display.
3. Lighter Weight
Just a few years ago, even the lightest notebook was a pain to lug around. Today, though, laptops are increasingly easy on the back. The MacBook is slightly over an inch thick and the Toshiba Portege weighs in at about four pounds. While that's still heavy compared to come of the new ultralight convertibles (Fujitsu's LifeBook U810 weighs only a pound and half), it's a significant improvement over the old seven-pound laptops.
4. Better Computing and Battery Power
Historically, two drawbacks of notebooks were their limited RAM, limited space on the hard drive, and short battery life. Times have changed, though, and laptops now have as much power under the hood as their computer desktop cousins. The MacBook, for example, has 1GB of memory (configurable up to 4 GB) and a hard drive that's configurable to 250GB. This means that your software will hum right along and you'll be able to zip through programs as quickly and as easily as you do on your desktop. Likewise, batteries in today's notebooks don't heat up and don't conk out.
5. More Features
In older laptops, the computer's size and weight limited the number and types of features available. Today, with smaller processors and other components, there's room to pack more features into notebooks. For example, the MacBook has a DVD player, built-in webcam, built-in wireless capability, two USB ports and a FireWire port, built-in microphone, and audio and digital input/output.
There are so many advantages to owning notebooks that, before you buy your next computer, it's worth your while to take one for a spin.