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How To Select A Portable System

With every passing moment, laptops are becoming smaller, faster, and more affordable. Some find laptops as an alternative to a desktop system. In fact, we highly recommend reading "How To Select a Deskop System" as methodology for purchasing a laptop is much the same. What we will discuss is some of the additional factors that should be considered for a laptop.


Most consumers choose to get a laptop because of its size. They need a "portable computer." There are 2 important considerations when it comes to size: dimensions and weight. Ideally a laptop will be small, light, but still have a large viewing area on the monitor. You want the keyboard to be large enough so it is easy to use. You should also test out the "mouse." Different laptops employ different mechanisms that serve as a mouse.

Be sure you're comfortable with the mouse on the laptop you're interested in.


There's a wide range of features available for a laptop. Some features you should consider are DVD drive, infrared sensor (transfer of data with other infrared devices), modem (to dial-up to other computers and/or the Internet), Ethernet (for networking), and Bluetooth. Perhaps you would prefer the features to be built-in to the laptop as opposed to attachments that you connect to the laptop as you need them.


Ideally, you would like to have enough connectors on your laptop to support the devices you would like to connect to it. USB ports are a must. Some people may want a VGA output connector so they can connect their laptop to a monitor. Some laptops have S-Video and/or composite connectors which allow for TV connectivity. If you have an older device that connects via serial ports, you would want a serial port. An older printer would require a parallel port on your laptop. Most laptops have a connector that allow for speaker/headphone connectivity.

Hard Drive Space

Laptop hard drives have a much smaller capacity than their desktop counterparts. They are also smaller in size. The capacity of a laptop hard drive is typically between 20 GB to 60 GB. Most users will find 40 GB sufficient for a laptop.


The selection of a laptop is much like selecting a desktop system, with a few minor differences. For this reason, we recommended you to read our desktop systems article before reading this one. The combination of these two articles can be used as a guide in selecting a laptop. We would be happy to assist you in choosing a laptop.