The Average Laptop Specs

The "average" Laptop these days is one that will take you onto the Web quickly and efficiently; one with plenty of hard drive space; and one with plenty of RAM to allow you to multitask efficiently. Laptops made by HP, Toshiba, Acer, Dell, Lenovo and more all compete for savvy buyers around the world, and these buyers know what they are looking for.

Laptop Screens
The average screen size is somewhere between 14 and 16 inches, corner to corner. For those interested in simply surfing the Web and doing office-type tasks, a smaller screen might be sufficient. For gamers, something larger is probably in order. Normal display resolution is measured in pixels, both vertical and horizontal. A normal resolution for today's laptop display is 1280x800. Again, needs vary, and you can move up or down in resolution depending on those needs.

Hard Drives
Hard drives now are capable of holding much more information than just a few years ago, and they are physically smaller. A typical laptop hard drive ranges from 100 GB to over 300 GB. Hard drive size varies considerably by brand. Most users will find 100 GB sufficient; but for those who deal in large files, such as video or audio, the 100 GB will fill rapidly.

The two major brands of CPU, AMD and Intel, populate virtually all brand-name laptops on the market. An AMD processor today should be a Turion, Athlon II, or Phenom and offer processor speeds of 2 GHz or more. A laptop with an Intel CPU, most likely a Core Duo, should also boast speeds of at least 2 GHz. Some of the newest Intel processors approach 3 GHz.

Memory refers to the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) found in a computer. Today's typical laptop contains 1.5 to 3 GB and of RAM, with high-end laptops boasting up to 5 GB. The more RAM, the faster the computer will operate, and the more programs the computer can run at once.

The weight of a laptop is an important consideration, especially if you are purchasing it with the intent of carrying it frequently. A 14-inch laptop typically weighs 4 to 5 lbs, while a 16- or 17-inch laptop will probably weigh closer to 7 or 8 lbs, and maybe even more. If you don't plan to carry the laptop frequently, the weight differences are probably an insignificant consideration.

Laptop Accessories
Laptops now almost always come with a built-in webcam--anywhere from 1.3 to 2.0 megapixels. They also come with 802.11x wireless technology. Since 1997, wireless technology has followed the IEEE 802.11 standard, starting with 802.11a, and subsequently moving to 802.11b, g, and n. The current standard is 802.11n, and any laptop purchased today should advertise such. Many laptops also come with built-in Bluetooth capability, allowing you to connect wirelessly with printers and other external devices. Most laptops come with an optical drive, otherwise known as a DVD drive. These have become generally standard, although smaller laptops and netbooks can lack them.

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