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IT Solutions-MI’s 2014 Laptop Buying Guide

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surface1Not everybody is the same and not everybody has the same requirements for their computers be they laptops, desktops, tablets, phablets, smartphone or smart watches. Lucky for us though, there are enough choices to go around. Beware though, the market is crowded. And you are going to have to accept the fact that a laptop is not exactly a cheap commodity that you can just buy whenever you have the hankering. Folks, there are a lot of choices out there. I mentioned some of those choices earlier. Just in the laptop arena you have laptops, ultrabooks, netbooks, 2 in 1’s, chromebooks and hybrid laptops. Let’s see what all this looks like:

Laptop- I’m pretty sure you know what a laptop is (at least I hope so otherwise this is all for naught),

Ultrabook- lighter and thinner than other laptops. According to Intel, ultra books are the future of laptops. Intel spokespeople have been quoted as saying that “ultimately, notebooks won’t exist. Just ultra books.” Without getting too technical, this is what Intel says about the several major factors that define ultra books:

“Ultra books must offer an intuitive and responsive user interface; rapid performance with seamless connectivity and long battery life; on-chip security, anti-theft and data-protection; and, nebulously, sleek and stylish looks.”

Definition from: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/buying-advice/laptop/3349478/what-is-ultrabook/

Netbook- small version of a laptop. Very small version of the laptop. Smaller screen, smaller keyboard, smaller power supply, smaller battery, smaller processor. A netbook is generally around 10.6”. They are not as popular recently because they require their own version of Windows and other Microsoft software, they can be quite heavy and are usually underpowered. The thing is with all these newer processors that are faster, smaller, run cooler and require less power netbooks are taking a back seat to the ultrabook, convertibles, hybrids and 2 in 1’s of the world.

2 in 1 notebook (also called a hybrid) – These are also called tablet-first hybrid laptops. This is a detachable category that is a tablet first but with the addition of the keyboard base then becomes a fully functional laptop. These computers usually offer an 11.6 inch multi-touch display. I own a Lenovo IdeaPad K3011W. It has an Atom 1.80 GHz processor, 2 GB RAM, Windows 8.1 and together they only weigh 3lbs. What I really like about this category is that on some of the models the keyboard contains another battery so you end up with twice the battery life. In fact, the tablet half uses the keyboard battery to recharge its own battery. When I use this for work I can get well over 12 hours of hard use. . Definition from: http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/04/intels-idf-reinventing-the-pc-with-a-2-for-1-computer-deal.html

Convertible (also called a hybrid) – These are also called laptop-first hybrid laptops. The ultrabook convertible on the other hand is really a notebook first that will offer consumers a much wider range of display sizes to meet their needs while gaining a tablet when the display is converted to function as a multi-touch tablet such as the Lenovo Flex and the Dell XPS 12. Meaning that the user will be able to hide the keyboard by twisting the display around and setting it back over the keyboard so that all you see is the multi-touch display and use it as you would any tablet. The ultra-light ultra books will be no heavier than most 9.7 inch tablets. Definition from: http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/04/intels-idf-reinventing-the-pc-with-a-2-for-1-computer-deal.html

Chromebook- A laptop running Chrome OS as its operating system. The devices are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and data residing “in the cloud”. A Chromebook is an example of a thin client. (Definition from: https://www.google.com/search?q=ultrabooks&oq=ultrabooks&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i61j69i60.3772j0j8&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8#q=definition+of+a+chromebook). Chromebooks run Google’s ChromeOS instead of Windows. They are very light and thin. Functionality can be somewhat limited because everything is Google-cloud based, only runs on WiFi and has very limited SSD hard drives that starts with 16GB of local storage. All that I have seen have SD memory card options. All that having been said however, don’t assume they are an also-ran. In first quarter 2014 over one million were sold and 22% of all US school districts are using Chromebooks. Prices start at $149. Right now I noticed that HP was offering free mobile Internet service up to 200MB of 4G data per month with no annual contract, no credit card and no overage fees (according to Walmart’s website). http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-Chromebook-14-with-Intel-Processor-4GB-Memory-16GB-SSD-and-Included-4G-Mobile-Internet-Service-200MB-month/28858405

Testimonial – Bobby

IT solutions-MI was able to help me out of a laptop jam and now I would recommend them to anyone! They acted quickly and professionally. Thank you very, very much.
- Bobby

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