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Aaah. The world of technology. It brings you great gifts with one hand and stabs you in the back with the other hand. New technologies, radical new innovations, fantastic break through gadgets â?? and yet you may end up with the one that isnâ??t all that great. Nothing, absolutely nothing is more frustrating than ending up with a sub par device. And nowhere else does this apply more than in the world of laptops. All of us have different requirements, needs and wants; all of us have a different level of expectations from the laptops we buy. Make sure you buy the one that delivers more than you expected and doesnâ??t leave you underwhelmed and frustrated.
There are many ways to set up buying criterion for a laptop, things like size-battery life-usage factors-build-screen-ports etc; but the easy way now is to divide laptops themselves into 3 distinctive categories. Somewhere within the three will lie your dream machine


Notebook

The current monarch and ruler. Notebooks have dominated for a long time now. But fragmentation within has made this a tough choice. Notebooks vary from regular and typical workman like business machines to big giant beasts. Rule number one here is to be very sure that you know why youâ??re buying one. If its casual stuff â?? like emails, browsing, a quick word document, some skype and video calling â?? then a netbook or tablet is a much better option. If its slightly more hardcore like lots of word processing, photo manipulation, crunching serious numbers, building presentations, running memory intensive numbers â?? then you're smack bang in notebook territory. From here you need to understand your lifestyle. Muscle under the hood, size, weight, thickness, screen size, ports, optical drive and ram are all based on individual needs. Rule of thumb â?? buy the lightest and thinnest laptop you can afford to buy both in terms of money and in terms of processing power available. All those big giant screen ones look great in the stores but are thick, heavy and difficult to carry beasts and have terrible battery life. Unless youâ??re into gaming or will be using it mostly as a desktop â?? this isn't a very good laptop to go for. Another 3 critical rules â?? battery, battery and battery. I can't emphasise this enough. Get the densest and most high capacity battery model that is available. Also, donâ??t skimp on looks. The notebook you take out from your laptop bag defines who you are. Sleek looks, colour, accents and chrome are all part of that statement. Other things to look for are a good screen resolution (nothing looks worse than a klunky screen when you are studying) and a solid build (you'll be surprised at the number of times you hit, scrape and even drop your super comp).


Netbooks

They were supposed to die out by now â?? killed by low priced notebooks from one side and tablets from the other. And yet theyâ??ve grown stronger and more resilient than ever before. Netbooks today represent great value, lots of power, amazing portability and outstanding innovation. Netbooks are an outstanding value and some of the new ones do very interesting things. Dual screens, e-books readers screen add-ons, battery life of 14 hours, high definition screens, 3G SIM slot built in, HDMI out multimedia machines â?? its all happening in this supposedly dead segment. Stay away from plasticky build quality, donâ??t go too small on screen, avoid fat and chunky ones and most importantly donâ??t save on that few hundreds â?? make sure you get the most souped up model available â?? its already great bang for buck. Netbooks run on low energy processors and can give good battery life, but you may need to buy the extra strength battery with it to make it a real on-road warrior that lasts all day. Plus, on smaller screen â?? the resolution really matters. Buy a Netbook that gives you as much pixel density as can be crammed in thus making sure that full page documents and web pages open without frustratingly high levels of scrolling up and down and left and right. The last part of the netbook equation is completed by a good sleeve for the netbook, one that fits around the device perfectly. No idea buying a netbook and then buying a big bulky bag to put it in. Kind of defeats the purpose.


Ultrabooks

This is an interesting category. Born out of the necessity for Intel to take on the onslaught of mobile phones and tablets â?? this concept has borne some very serious fruit. While many confuse ultrabooks with thin and light notebooks â?? there are quite a few important differences. The Ultrabook is an amalgamation of many successful features from many other categories. The dream of the ultraboook is that it would have the features of a tablet, beat the lightness of thin and light devices, dramatically reduce the price of premium ultrathins and have the power of a Desktop. To be called a ultrabook it has to be ultra thin (less than 20mm), have amazing response time, should have a Solid State hard drive, almost instant-on capability of tablets and a resume of a few seconds or less. Battery life is also hitting the upper edge of what we have in netbooks and notebooks and sometimes goes far beyond. Processor should be the all new Uber powerful Sandy Bridge and better. UltraBooks will also give you an always connected experience where everything happens even when its asleep. Thus your emails, your facebook notifications, twitter messages â?? all will be downloaded in the background and ready for you as soon as you hit the resume button. Form factor and build and materials used are all top notch. Glass trackpads, magnesium alloy bodies, backlit chicklet keyboards, full ports like USB 3.0 and HDMI. Be careful though, not every machine called an ultrabook can achieve all these specs. Thus if youâ??re going out to buy the uberpoweful ultravbook â?? make sure it has most of whats described above.