A Laptop Buyer’s Guide 2009

Laptops are replacing desktop computers at a very fast rate. They are very popular due to allowing a more mobile lifestyle due to being less bulky compared to laptop computers 3-5 years ago. They also offer faster wireless speeds and more reliable web connections. So, it is no surprise that consumers are buying more laptop computers than ever.

There are plenty of guides and tips and tricks published on the Internet in regards to what specific laptop to buy. You’ll find customer reviews = positive and negative. You find praise and you find of course you find complaints. Keep in mind that often the most vocal opinions voiced are the ones where people complain. You can probably a 3:1 ratio where complainers outrank positive reviewers. People who have a good experience often just use it and do not come back to sites to speak out loud. So, put this into consideration when weighing which laptop to buy.

So, your first decision needs to be to decide between a Mac and a Windows based laptop. Don’t let yourself fool by Apple – with a bigger market share there are also more quality problems and support problems. A recent study showed that Apple laptop computers average a 23% rate in regards to how often support is needed. Dell and HP came in at 21% or so. No significant difference, but Apple is not as good as they say they are in regards to quality. With Windows 7 coming out this October (at the time of this writing it is about 4 weeks out) you have plenty of choices. Apple hardware locks you in, while a Windows based laptop provides you with more options at a cheaper price. It’s hard to compare the OS between Windows and Mac. Windows is always build with options for the Enterprise (businesses) which requires much more features, functions, and code accordingly. Apple is only targeting consumers and so there is less complexity. Make your decision and then research.

Conclusion: There is no “this is the best laptop.” The best laptop is the one that fits your needs and your budget. This can be an Apple laptop or a Windows based laptop. Don’t believe all the advertising hype and spend enough time researching. Shop around for prices. As an example – the Mac Store is not always the best place to buy an Apple computer. Also, some warehouse stores like Best Buy often have customized Windows laptops that can only be found in their stores. They seem sometimes cheaper or equally in price compared to online offers, however often these laptops have downgraded specs. So, watch out and compare.


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