A Laptop May Be Your Next Computer

Anyone who's in the market for a new computer might want to consider buying a laptop computer instead of a desktop. Mostly because laptops do everything the big guys do these days, and they're so convenient.

Smaller 'n' sleeker outside, bigger and faster inside.  That sums up what's been going on in laptop development in recent years. In fact, even most low-priced laptops are so value-packed these days, it might pay to take a look at whether you want to buy small, instead of tall.
"They're pretty comparable, you know, I guess the good thing about a laptop, as I said before - one small piece pretty well does everything.  You got your tower, your monitor, your keyboard, it's all locked into one, you know, one portable piece...but yeah, they definitely can match a desktop as far as features and things, yes," says Gary Miller, a sales associate at Circuit City in Cape Girardeau.
The secret is miniaturization.  These days everything they pack into a big tower, they can arrange, inside a 6-7 pound fold-open laptop.
"Now you can get your CD burner, your DVD player, you can hook any external devices up to 'em and their speed and storage is comparable to a good desktop," says Miller.
And you can take 'em anywhere.  That's the big selling point for a lot of shoppers, especially people who use them in the field for their business.
Here's the rub, though.  Despite the convenience and the portability, a laptop will cost more.  One that's equipped similar to a desktop will cost some $200 to $700 more than the desktop.
As with most computers, here's what you need to look for as a laptop shopper:  Make sure you have a fast processor -- minimum these days would be a 1 Gighertz chip.  It should have a big Hard Drive -- at least 20 Gigs, and lots of RAM, minimum of 256K.  Make sure you get a good backlit screen 13-14" is usually adequate, and it should come with a floppy disk peripheral, and a CD or DVD player.  Today's laptop should come with Windows 2000 or Windows XP, and ask about rebates for the best deal.

As with anything else, you will likely find lower prices shopping on the internet for a laptop, but then the problem becomes:  where do you take it when you have problems?  Be sure also to ask about warranty and service.