What specs do you need?


What specs do  you need?
With so many processor options out there, it’s best not to think about speed and start with the processor family. For example, from least to most powerful on the Intel side, you’ll find Atom (netbooks), Core 2 Duo (mainstream performance), Core i3 (good speed but no Turbo Boost feature), Core i5 (Turbo Boost), and Core i7 (as many as four cores). We generally recommend avoiding cheap notebooks with weak Celeron processors.
When it comes to memory or RAM, opt for a minimum of 3GB (4GB is better) to run Windows 7 Premium. Netbooks tend to feature 1GB of RAM, but upgrading to 2GB can bolster performance.
A 320GB hard drive is typical on an all-purpose notebook, but 500GB is preferred. Opt for a 7,200-rpm hard drive or even a solid state drive to make your computer more responsive than one with a 5,400-rpm disk. Netbooks usually feature 160GB to 250GB drives.
As for optical (or DVD) drives, netbooks usually don’t feature them, and they’re also disappearing from lightweight notebooks. That’s because you can download most software and download or stream movies and TV shows from the web. Unless you burn discs or want to watch Blu-ray movies, you don’t need one of these drives.
Keep an eye on the screen resolution, as the more pixels you get here the better. While most of today’s mainstream notebooks come with resolutions of 1366 x 768, higher resolutions such as 1600 x 900 or 1920 x 1080 are sometimes available. 10-inch netbooks tend to come with 1024 x 600 resolutions, but you can sometime
s pay extra for a higher resolution like 1280 x 720. The more on-screen vertical pixels you have, the less scrolling you need to do on the web and in your documents.
How much graphics muscle do you need? It depends on what you expect your notebook to do. For the most part, an integrated graphics chip (one that shares system memory) will be fine for basic tasks, including surfing the Web and watching video. But a discrete graphics processor (which has dedicated video memory) will provide better performance when it comes to games. Plus, a good GPU can accelerate video playback on sites like Hulu, as well as speed up video editing (when paired with optimized software).
The trade-off for this extra power is usually shorter battery life. However, an increasing number of laptops offer the ability to switch between integrated and discrete graphics, either manually or automatically. The ASUS UL50VF, for example, uses Nvidia’s Optimus technology to toggle the graphics on and off depending on the task you’re performin

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