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There are significant differences between laptop computers and desktop or personal computers. When you look at it, you can see the physical differences; however, there are differences on the inside also.

Obviously, a laptop is much more portable than a desktop computer. This is an ideal trait of any computer, especially if you travel a lot or you need a computer for other reasons. Another excellent trait of laptop computers are their size. They are small and can fit into a brief case without taking up much room. Laptop computers can be easily expanded and upgraded with new features and components, though these parts are more expensive. They are quiet and have a better display.

There are several different kinds of laptop computers. There are the ultra lights or ultra portables or sub-notebooks. These laptops weigh less than four pounds. These are so small that there is no room for an internal CD drive – an external CD drive must be used. Then there are the notebooks. Notebooks weigh between four to six pounds. These are between the standard sized laptops and the ultra lights. Standard laptops weigh between six to eight pounds. They have every feature you will likely need. Standard laptops will have the best deals in most cases. Finally, there are the oversize laptops. These are a rare breed, however they have been known to have a 17" monitor and a keyboard you would be more comfortable with than what is on a standard laptop or smaller. These also weigh anywhere between eight and ten pounds – the now average weight of newborn babies.

Most laptops, notebooks, and ultra lights operate on battery power. Look for a laptop with a rechargeable battery that has a long life between charges, or allows you to operate the computer while plugged into the wall. There are two types of batteries: Lithium-Ion and Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH.) For long life batteries, choose one made with Lithium-Ion. These are more expensive than the NiMH batteries, yet have a much longer operating life.

Let us talk about memory now. How much memory do you need? Most laptop users have about 256MB in their system. This does them just fine, so unless you are planning on manipulating or creating multimedia content on a routine basis, this amount should do you just fine, too. If you are planning on a multimedia rampage, put in as much ram or memory that the computer can hold.

Wireless internet connections are becoming more popular in laptops. Look for a Wi-Fi, or Wireless Fidelity, kit in most stores so that you can work from home or anywhere else without wires and cords streaming and tangled up from your laptop.

There are several ports that your laptop computer should have. Universal Serial Bus (or USB) is one of the most important ports that your laptop should have. You can plug in any type of device into this type of port, including mouse and keyboard. In fact, it is best to invest in a USB hub, which has more than three USB ports. Other ports your laptop should have are the firewire port, a miscellaneous AV port, PC card slot and PCMCIA, and if you plan on using your laptop as a second computer, you will need a docking station.

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