Laptops are not what they used to be. There was a time when a laptop was nothing more complicated than an underpowered, smaller version of your home PC which you could carry about with you for about an hour before the battery died! Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then, but it has to be said that the changes which have come about mean that there is more choice than ever before. This is of course a good thing, until you approach a point in time when you have to choose one! These days there are several different categories of products to look at, so without further ado, we’ll take you through a few of the choices that are open to you in this vast marketplace.
The Ultrabook is really the top end of the market. Some would say that the Apple MacBook Air falls within this category, while others would say that all Ultrabooks should conform to Intel’s specifications. Intel has the official Ultrabook title, which it attributes to any laptops that use their processor and manage to achieve their stated goals. These tend to be that the laptop has to be a certain portable size; it has to run using Intel’s 4th generation processor, it has to be touch screen, and it has to be able to achieve a certain amount of staying power in terms of battery longevity. Clearly it’s hard to fall in line with Intel’s specifications which change with the inception of every new processor from the firm, but plenty of companies manage to do so. We’re talking about a small, powerful, light, highly portable touch screen device that doesn’t sacrifice power for size, and no, we’re not talking about tablets! Ultrabooks are great for anyone looking for something powerful that is perfect to sling into their back before a long day out!
A budget laptop is really what the name suggests. This niche in the market has really been spawned by the arrival of so many high powered devices. Because so many machines are costly and come with high specs, you can now get your hands on a good quality laptop very cheaply. For around $350, you can get yourself a decent dual core machine with a HD screen, which in reality is enough for most users. If you’re not planning on using large amounts of storage space on your machine, and if you’re quite happy going without hours and hours of standby time on a fairly plasticky device, then this is the machine for you. It’s perfect for those just looking to browse the web every once in a while.
Netbooks can often be found even more cheaply than budget laptops. These devices are normally a little smaller than your average laptop size, coming in at 10, 11 or possibly 13 inches at a maximum. The main aim of these devices is to connect to the internet, and almost all of them do not come with operating systems such as Windows. Recently, producers such as Google have entered the Netbook market with products such as the Chromebook, which is designed as a web only device, with files stored in the cloud. The lack of bloat on these machines means that battery life of a good 8 or so hours is possible. It’s another great purchase for anyone looking for an affordable way to browse the internet.
We have to give a different heading for Apple, simply because their machines are so different from anyone else’s. Of course, as mentioned before, it’s easy to slip the Apple MacBook Air into the Ultrabook category, but of course, although it does use the appropriate Intel processor, it doesn’t have a touch screen. It uses a gesture driven track pad instead, which is a great development for laptop style products. The MacBook Pro is another thing altogether, and marries ultra high specifications with a larger product. Being milled from a single piece of aluminium, you can imagine that this is not a light laptop, but the quality shines through. Both machines come with incredibly high specs, but the MacBook Pro tops the Apple poll with incredible screen resolutions.
There are so many choices out there these days, but that has to be a good thing. No matter what laptop you choose, you are bound to be able to slip it into one of the above four categories. The one thing that’s for sure is prices are coming down with the ever increasing popularity of tablets. This means there are some bargains to be had, but don’t forget to insure, no matter how cheap you think the deal is that you’ve found. It won’t feel cheap the second time around.