Students opt for laptop comfort

Owning a computer has become a near necessity for college students across the globe. When it comes to writing research papers, checking e-mails, or just surfing the Internet, most students do not want to deal with the discomforts of using public PC’s.

In recent years the notebook computer has emerged as the most popular brand of computer because of its durability, high-speed capabilities and portability. Today’s laptops offer just as much power as standard desktops without many of the undesirable discomforts that usually come with desktop models.

Edward Espesito, co-owner of New Age Computers said the biggest advantage of laptops is the ability for the consumer to travel and still be able to accomplish office work.

“Notebooks are a good buy in any case, but for persons who are constantly on the move (laptops) are the obvious choice,” Espesito said.

Purchasing a laptop is a major investment. With literally hundreds of different styles and models to choose from buying a quality laptop can be a very daunting task.

One of the greatest factors to consider when purchasing a notebook is the weight of the unit. Mark Rubins, senior technician for Computer Dudes said for the most part the size of the notebook is the ultimate deciding factor.

“The rules are true for all computers, you should look for features that most suit you and what you’re looking to do (with the computer),” said Rubens. “For laptops, weight is definitely one of the most important factors because people want to work while on the go.”

The weight of laptops can vary depending on the computer brand and special features the laptop has. But most notebook computers weigh between 3 to 10 pounds.

When purchasing a notebook computer, you should ask yourself how often do you plan on taking outside of your home. If you plan on traveling with your laptop on a regular basis, then you should look for a sleek, lightweight model that can be carried in your book bag.

On the other hand, a larger bulkier model that will remain in the home most of the time will have many features that a lighter weight model cannot hold. Internal features are another important factor to consider when purchasing a laptop.

The speed of the computer is measured by hertz. One megahertz is equivalent to one million hertz.

Just like with the weight of the unit, the features that you should look for depend on your individual needs.

If you plan to use the computer mostly for entertainment purposes such as browsing the Web and downloading music then you should look for a notebook that carries a processing unit with around 800 megahertz. A computer running on 800 MHz can process 800 million instructions per second. One gigahertz is the equivalent of one billion cycles per second. A notebook for more demanding work should contain a processor of at least 2 GHz.

For some students protecting their investment was the most important component to buying a laptop. Shari Mobley, 21, a senior health care management student from Jacksonville purchased an HP Compaq last year, and said that she paid special attention to the warranty.

“It wasn’t the only thing that I looked at, but I really wanted to make sure that if something went wrong I would be taken care of,” said Mobley.

Another important thing to consider when choosing a laptop is the battery life. Since portability is a vital concern buyers should search for a computer that can go at least two hours without being plugged into the wall.

For students, price is a major factor.

On average, depending on the manufacturer and the retailer, a laptop will cost between $700-$1,500. Although the price of a laptop can be dramatically reduced if the consumers take advantage of rebates and other cost cutters that most retailers offer.

Contact Anthony M. Moore at