This is the most important question. Manufacturers tailor the specification of their laptops depending on the needs of the user. For example ultraportable notebooks are light weight and have a long battery life for remote working. However their functionality is limited. Laptops designed for playing computer games need a huge memory dedicated to graphics use and 3D graphics chips. So make sure you think about what you will need on your laptop or you may pay for expensive features that you don't need.
2. Do you run several applications at once?
Many computer users leave applications running. Their e-mail will be open, and 2 or 3 internet pages. They listen to their music while they work. These applications operate from the RAM of the computer. So all this activity needs plenty of easily accessible (RAM) memory. Too little memory and you will soon become frustrated with long load times from your hard drive. So invest in plenty of RAM, ideally 2GB or possibly 3GB for heavy use.
3. Processing Power
Processors (CPU) run computer applications and process data. So if you run several applications or need to manage a lot of data you need to invest in a good processor. Dual-core processors perform much faster than single-core processors. Look for Intel's Core Duo, Core 2 Duo or even Core 2 Extreme.
4. Screen Size
Your choice of screen size will determine the weight of your laptop. Large screens are heavier, because of size and power requirements. The key is the resolution or clarity of the images on the screen. A high resolution 12.1 inch screen can give sharp clear images. They will just be smaller than on larger screens.
For long periods of detailed work, larger screen with high resolution will be easier on your eyes.
6. Monster Memory
When you close your computer and save your data it's stored on the hard drive. If you keep very little data and don't store music or photos then you won't need a large hard drive. But over the life of your PC you'll be surprised how much you keep so get at least 80GB and consider 120GB or 160GB if you love your music and photos.
7. Ports in a Storm
Most laptops are the hub of their user's lives. Digital cameras, iPods, PDA's all need connecting at some point. If you also use a mouse, you can quickly run out of USB ports, so get at least 2 and 1 Firewire connection.
8. Battery Life
Manufacturers "claimed" battery life tends to be optimistic to say the least. With as little as 1.5 hours, you'll need to check so your laptops battery life matches your usage. If you're away from a power source a lot consider taking an extra battery with you.
Ultraportable notebooks can have small, difficult to use keyboards. Test them before you buy.
There's nothing worse than carrying a heavy bag at the end of a long day. Many people have large laptops when an ultraportable notebook would give them all the functionality they need. Check this out if your current laptop feels like a piano at the end of the day.
Andy is a notebooks computers expert and recently helped his good friend Ailsa to choose a new computer. Ailsa was totally confused by the the number of options, but Andy's honest and clear advice made things much easier. Check out http://www.notebookscomputers.org for more clear, impartial advice.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andy_Nelson