For Seniors: Laptop Buying Decisions — What Type?
Buying a laptop or netbook is not a decision you make lightly. In order to ensure that you purchase a laptop or netbook that’s right for you, there are several things you might want to consider first.
Laptops and netbooks are both portable computers; however, a netbook is smaller and much less powerful (in terms of computing power).
Just as there are many styles of shoes or mobile phones, you can find several styles of laptops. Some are smaller and more portable, while others are essentially desktop replacements with large screens and a bit of heft.
Your garden-variety laptop (also referred to as a notebook computer) runs around 5–8 pounds and has a monitor size ranging from about 13 inches to 16 or so. It’s portable and can handle most computing tasks.
Multimedia/gaming laptops are laptops that have more sophisticated graphics and sound cards required for some games. Netbooks may not be able to run such games, although some tablets might.
Desktop replacements are laptops with more heft. They typically weigh more than 10 pounds and have larger monitors (perhaps 18 inches). Their keyboards are roomier as well. However, though they aren't too difficult to move around your home, they aren’t meant to be as portable as other types of laptops.
Netbooks lack CD/DVD drives and weigh only about 2–3 pounds. Netbook screens range from 9 to 12 inches.
Netbooks have less-powerful and slower processors, less memory (for processing information simultaneously), and smaller hard disks (for storing data) than laptops. Still, if you mainly want to check e-mail from anywhere and perform other simple tasks, a netbook should fit the bill. Most laptops and netbooks have a 2 hour battery life.