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Learn More About Notebook Computers

What kind of notebook computer do you need?

Built to order


Ideal for:  Customizing a computer to fit your lifestyle. You get the features you want (for instance, greater processing speed and more memory for business professionals, video card for gamers) and often save money in the process. Features that can be customized include the hard drive, processor, RAM, media drive, screen display, battery, and more.

Key features:

  • Choose from a variety of hard drive sizes, measured in GB (gigabytes). The more gigabytes, the more information the notebook can hold. Upper ranges are recommended for those who need to store several documents, multimedia presentations, or digital images.
  • Processor speeds measured in either megahertz (one million cycles per second) or gigahertz (one billion cycles per second). The greater the processing speed, the more instructions or tasks the computer can perform per second.
  • Processor performance also varies by cache memory. L1 cache memory enhances processor speed more than L2 cache memory and is only available in Intel Pentium (rather than Intel Celeron™).
  • Choose from a range of memory sizes (RAM), measured in megabytes. The higher the memory, the greater the size of the software programs the computer can run, and the more programs it can operate simultaneously.
  • Media drive options start with CD–ROM only (reads software and audio CDs) and moves to DVD only (reads CDs, plays DVD software and movies), CD–RW (reads CDs, burns information and audio to a CD–R/CD–RW disk), or CD–RW/DVD (reads and burns CDs, and reads DVD software and movies).
  • Choose from a 14– or 15–inch display sceen.
  • Rechargable lithium ion battery, either 4 or 6–cell. 6–cell batteries need to be charged less frequently.

What's available: Customizable models from Compaq, Hewlett–Packard, and Toshiba.


Preconfigured


Ideal for:  Business travelers and other professionals who want the portability and power of the latest notebook computer.

Key features:

  • Choose from a range of hard drive capacities, measured in gigabytes (GB). The more gigabytes, the more documents, presentations, digital images, and music files that can be stored directly on the computer.
  • Processor speeds vary by model and are measured in gigahertz. The greater the processing speed, the more instructions or tasks the computer can perform per second.
  • Processor performance also varies by cache memory. L1 cache memory enhances processor speed more than L2 cache memory.
  • Memory (RAM) measured in megabytes (MB) and can easily be expanded. The higher the memory, the greater the size of the software programs the computer can run, and the more programs it can operate simultaneously.
  • Depending the model, the media drive is DVD only (reads audio and software CDs, reads DVD software and movies) or CD–RW/DVD (reads and burns CDs, and reads DVD software and movies).
  • Comes with multiple drive bays, each of which allows for the installation of peripheral drives, such as a Zip drive, CD burner (CD–RW drive), a DVD drive, DVD/CD–RW combo drive, or a portable hard drive.
  • Peripheral drives can also be connected via USB port or parallel port. Each notebook has one parallel port and typically between two or three USB ports.
  • Choose from a 14 or 15–inch display screen.
  • Rechargable lithium ion battery, either 8 or 9–cell. 9–cell batteries need to be charged less frequently.

What's available: Models from Hewlett–Packard.


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