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How to choose a laptop

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The key in how to research and choose a laptop depends on its planned uses

It’s a weighty decision—of a couple pounds or less—the weight of today’s popular laptops. The decision to buy a laptop is weighty indeed but it doesn’t have to be scary. Influencing the decision are many factors—price, features, technology and oh my goodness I can get it in pink with a pearl finish.

It’s the truth that personal computers come in a wide range of prices, styles and colors. A little preparation before the purchase goes a long way—and so also does laptop computer insurance, in the event your entire life as chronicled on a microchip drops into the deep blue while you’re on vacation.

Ask around but get advice from pros

One-stop shopping in most cases makes it easy to bundle together all the necessities—cables, extra memory, battery packs, power strips with surge protection and more. Each of the many laptop models has plenty of accessories, including accessories for how to clean a laptop computer and prolonging the life of your laptop.

Up for grabs in the field of laptops are hefty luggable laptops, laptops that are replacements for full-size machines, slim and lightweight laptops, ultra-portable models and netbooks that easily fit into a purse or pocket. The question of how to choose a laptop focuses on what model is best for your uses.

How to choose a laptop is made an even easier inquiry by starting from the realization that in today’s economy there have been added some perks for taxpayers. One of interest to those mulling the question of how to choose a laptop is a recently enacted legislation, mentioned later, that might add a pile of perks for those taxpayers buying laptops for use by someone in pursuit of college studies.

Track your activities before buying

What are the daily activities you will be indulging in when working on your new laptop? Thinking about how to choose a laptop includes thinking about the laptop’s capabilities. Machines perfect for basic functions such as emailing, document composition, bookkeeping and Web surfing are easy to find. Programs can be added or excluded to any laptop, according to your needs. Add a wireless network setup and you’re ready to take your laptop anywhere.

Advanced activities that call for intense data input, utilization of vast amounts of memory or storage of large volumes of photos and videos should be satisfied with a laptop toting all the bells and whistles. For instance, someone who runs a business while traveling may need a fully equipped mobile office laptop offering four gigabytes of memory.

That person probably will need high-definition viewing for images and video, plus media applications for music, online radio and television applications. Built in Web cams could be needed for online conferencing. There are many features available for consideration when thinking about how to choose a laptop.

• Screens ranging from 11” to 17” that are easy on the eyes
• Models thin and light in weight for portability
• Laptops with up to 4GB of memory for heavy usage
• Models whose accessories are reasonably priced
• Economy models for occasional emails or photo sending
Do some research; get some tax breaks

The purchase of a laptop is no longer an investment with no returns—aside perhaps from a college degree that leads to a good job that leads to a lavish lifestyle. Most consumers agree that the current economy is stretched tight. Every dollar needs careful placement. Cash needs to be spent according to priorities. Luckily, a bit of research is all that’s needed when thinking about how to choose a laptop.

How would you like to claim the purchase as a qualified higher education expense? You can do it—maybe. A recently enacted legislation—the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—enables taxpayers who buy a laptop for their children or themselves to claim laptops as expenses related to higher education. Today, there is an astounding collection of machines suited to just about any budget. The Act makes your dollars stretch a little farther.

Investigate a way to claim expenses

The benefits of the Act are such that thoughts about how to choose a laptop well may morph into questions about how soon the purchase can be made. In many cases, the answer is the sooner the better. The Act specifies benefits for costs relating to computer technology—a wide grouping of related products and services.

For example, it includes costs attached to Internet access and computer equipment. When thinking about how to choose a laptop, consider whether you or your child will be using the products while enrolled in an eligible college or university—a requirement for participation. And buy before year’s end in 2010 when the Act expires. Check the specifics as you discover how to choose a laptop and you might be smiling, soon.

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