Laptop buying advice for ~ $800
There are numerous laptops out there for you to choose from. At $800 you will be toward the upper end of laptops and should be able to find a very nicely configured system. Components of consideration include processors (either dual core or quad core), solid state drives (faster, less likely to lose data, quieter and more energy efficient), and larger amount of memory. Let me tell you I work for Intel and get a chance to demo a lot of systems in a year. Having said that, I would offer you the same advice I would anyone in my family. Start with the processor, click here to find out why. Get the best processor you can afford. Then decide what else is really important. Are you a gamer? Enjoy online entertainment and streaming of shows or movies? Do you want a system that is easy to carry or has a longer battery life? I would steer you toward the all new 2010 Intel Core Family of Processors. Both the all new Intel Core i5 or i3 are great processors, the Core i5 offers two unique capabilities that improve overall performance and were not found on processors from last year. The new performance enhancing technologies are Turbo Boost mode which dynamically speeds up your system and Hyper-Threading capabilities . The Core i5 was actually selected Best in Show at CES by one of the laptop magazines further validating the benefits of the new processors vs. last years. The hardcore review sites also had many glowing things to say about the new processors as well. AnandTech has a nice summary of the technical nuts and bolts of the architecture, but the real reason to peruse the hardware review sites is for the performance comparison as you can see AnandTech site makes it easier to compare. AnandTech makes the bullish claim the performance boosts are the largest he has seen in years. The fuel that drives this performance improvement can be attributed to Turbo boost and Hyper-Threading. Both technologies do as much for overall system performance as they do lowering the amount of heat dissipated. In other words, your lap wont get as hot from your speedy and energy efficient laptop. As a result there will be quite a few smaller and lighter laptops to choose from when you get ready to purchase. Again, I would encourage you to get as much CPU processor as you can afford. Intel has reams of performance benchmarks all that demonstrates the CPU is the #1 component when it comes to overall system performance. CNET review guide is very easy to follow and includes both editor ratings and end user ratings. I am inclined toward systems that have solid end user ratings as well as editor ratings. CNET CES 2010 PC wrap-up is also worth your time and consideration. Michael Taylor works for Intel in their Americas Marketing Group as a Consumer Marketing Manager. Mike has been with Intel for more than 17 years and enjoys working with the latest and greatest technology solutions. Mike is a firm believer that Performance Matters start by selecting your next PC with a great CPU. You may follow him on Twitter at: MATaylor67 where he shares his thoughts on technology, and the occasional killer technology deal.
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