If you\'re planning on mainly using your laptop at home plugged into the mains, get a desktop-replacement system. These models often use processors designed for desktop PCs and feature larger screens, but they can have poor battery life. If you want something to use on the move get an ultra-portable device. They are smaller and lighter, and often offer better battery life. Bear in mind, however, that having fewer screen inches means they aren\'t as suitable for long work sessions.


Where once AMD was making significant inroads into the laptop market, the Intel chips appear to have regained their dominance. The Intel Core Duo chips combine sizzling performance with strong battery life – some manufacturers are claiming up to eight hours of usage. When combined with a specific chipset and wireless controller, these chips may be termed ‘Centrino\' products. We\'re also starting to see Intel Core 2 Duo chips, previously known as Merom. These perform well. However, don\'t dismiss the AMD Mobile Turion, as it bears many of the same hallmarks of Intel\'s new mobile chips and offers good value for money.



The minimum offering these days should be 1GB, although many power laptops offer 2GB & 4GB. The more memory you have, the smoother your laptop will run. You can never have too much - especially if you will be editing music or video.

Hard Drive:
It\'s difficult to upgrade a laptop\'s hard drive, so make sure the one you originally get is big enough for your needs. If you\'re buying a desktop-replacement system, go for at least 100GB. If you\'ll be using it on the road you may not need as much.

Solid State Drive

So you’re looking to purchase your next laptop but have no idea why so many units are equipped with Solid State Drive (SSD) storage and how it differs to traditional storage solutions, Hard Disk Drives (HDD). Our brief FAQ’s will bring you up to speed with all you need to know about SSD.

SSD computer storage has been on the market for some time but only recently has it been positioned as a viable alternative to traditional hard disk drives (HDD). Let’s find out why…

What is a Hard Disk Drive (HDD)?

HDD is a traditional data storage device and is the mechanism that controls the positioning, reading, and writing of the hard disk, which holds the largest amount of data storage for a PC. HDD stores and retrieves digital information using rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material, which stores all of your data, from text documents to photos and even your music collection.

What is a Solid State Drive (SSD)?

An SSD performs in much the same way as HDD storage, but the way in which it stores data is very different. Interconnected flash memory chips retain the data, like a memory stick, there are no moving parts to an SSD. Rather, information is stored in microchips.

Why Use a Solid State Drive (SSD)?

Solid state drives have several advantages over the magnetic hard drives. Unlike the traditional drive, SSD has no moving parts, which provides a host of benefits to the end user.

Benefits of SSD:

  • Faster data; access stored information faster, with speeds increasing all the time

  • Less power usage; consume much less power than traditional HDD

  • Increased reliability; offers further reassurance

  • Produces no noise

I’ve viewed laptops that aren’t equipped with SSD?

The mainstream market for SSD is still developing. As with most computer technologies, the primary limiting factor of using the solid state drives is cost for manufactures, although prices are continuing to fall. It may be years before SSD becomes as competitive in terms of price and capacity with HDD.

Do I need to install any drivers to use my SSD?

There is no need to install any additional drivers.

What you intend to use your laptop for dictates the screen size you'll need. If you're after a desktop-replacement machine, go for at least 15 inch. For DVD-movie playback, 17 inch widescreen models are perfect. For ultra-portables, look to get something no bigger than 14 inch. If you want to play games or watch DVDs, choose the 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 or one of the GeForce Go 7800 or 7900 cards or if you can afford it a 512MB card is the ultimate gaming option.

For Business use:

Ultra-portable Laptops:

Student Machines:

Gaming Laptops:

Entertainment and Media Laptops: