Choosing a Notebook (Laptop) Computer

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty

For Real Estate Professional:

2007 

If you don't already have a laptop your probably not the kind of person who's going to buy a new one every couple of years.  Buying one that will have the capability and horsepower to last a few years and won't torture you with a steady decline in speed requires some care.  Every new version of Vista requires more horsepower to run, things like Anti Virus programs and other utilities run in the background all the time and require their own "slice" of the computers processing power.

Here are my personal recommendations to help you make a selection:

Get Vista home professional which is most popular, Vista Business usually costs at least $100 to upgrade and is not needed unless you need to link to your company's corporate "Domain" servers (check), it has some other backup and recovery features but those are addressed by many other programs.  You won't find any notebooks on retail shelves that have Vista Business.

  • Absolutely, positively get 2 gigabytes of System memory (for current speed and future growth)
  • Stick to a higher end processor like the Intel Core(TM) 2 Duo processor  OR AMD Turion(TM) 64 X2 Dual-Core processor.. which means stay away from Celerons & Semprons and older Pentium dual core processors
  • When ordering a notebook computer get a higher capacity battery then is offered by default OR and extra.
  • If offered get a built in webcam or fingerprint reader. (usually low cost)
  • You don't need a TV tuner or broadband card
  • Get a 120 gigabyte drive or larger, 80 is small by today's standards
  • Most include a CD-DVD RW drive, low cost upgrades are also available
  • Unless portability is your defining factor (certainly valid for some) get a decent size screen so you don't strain your eyes and can see several open windows at the same time
  • Consider an extended warranty plan, notebooks are expensive to repair, some include replacement for accidental damage (like dropping or coffee spill)
  • Weight is a factor but unless you want an ultra lightweight (2-3lbs) there really no difference in transporting 6 lbs vs. 7lbs, you still have to pack it up and carry it.
  • Get a case but pick one out in person (Best Buy - Staples etc)
  • Some machines come with Microsoft Works which may save you from buying Microsoft Office.
  • Buy a separate external, USB hard drive for backup.

 

Some of these selections will push you into the $900-1000++ range but notebook computers are fundamentally more expensive then desktops and you get what you pay for....

 

There are LOTS of choices but I like some of the HP notebooks (based on my background) which are the 6500T, 2500T, 9500T which can be custom ordered on the http://www.hpshopping.com/  website.  Stay away from "off" brands or closeouts.

(Brian is a 25 yr Technical Professional formally with HP.)

 

Comments (8)

Heather Paulette-Cooper
keller williams realty - Research Triangle Park, NC

I have the HP 6458 Special Edition.  It has windows vista and I love it!  I've had it since late July and It's been a wonderful choice for me, I had the spyware, anti-virus and MS Office added to it. 

 

Dec 17, 2007 05:09 AM
Heather Paulette-Cooper
keller williams realty - Research Triangle Park, NC

I have the HP 6458 Special Edition.  It has windows vista and I love it!  I've had it since late July and It's been a wonderful choice for me, I had the spyware, anti-virus and MS Office added to it. 

 

Dec 17, 2007 05:10 AM
Heather Paulette-Cooper
keller williams realty - Research Triangle Park, NC

I have the HP 6458 Special Edition.  It has windows vista and I love it!  I've had it since late July and It's been a wonderful choice for me, I had the spyware, anti-virus and MS Office added to it. 

 

Dec 17, 2007 05:11 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
Brian,  My understanding is that the " dual core "  actually slowed things down for most applications common to agents.  Not true ?
Dec 17, 2007 05:18 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

I have an older Sony Vaio, it is choking, and I was thinking that Sony is a disaster, except for the bright screen.

However, a friend of mine bought one relatively recently, it is quiet (mine is damn noisy as if it is going to die any second), quick, he enjoys it.

What so you think about Sony? Also, is Dell something to consider. How do the stack up against HP?

 

Dec 17, 2007 05:20 AM
Steve Glose
Keller Williams Classic Group - Orlando, FL
TRC, CIPS, 407-616-7286, Orlando Real Estate, Orla
Im a Dell man here. But all the tips you give are important for someone who needs a laptop that will preform.
Dec 17, 2007 05:34 AM
Brian Kelly
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Warwick, NY

DUO Core: Provides small improvement when running a single application but when doing multiple things at the same time there is a big improvement....

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,124230-page,1/article.html

 

Brian

Dec 17, 2007 06:53 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices
For wahtever reason when I uploaded the comment, it mulpilied and there were 3 comments. I deleted two. I guess the same problem was with Heather's
Dec 17, 2007 07:25 AM

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