Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
How to Purchase a Notebook Computer
Mouse and Digital Pen Operations
much with processing power or hard disk capacity, consider
a netbook. If you need a computer in class or you spend
more time in meetings than in your office, then the Tablet
PC may be the answer. Before you invest money in a Tablet
PC, however, determine which programs you plan to use on
it. You should not buy a Tablet PC simply because it is an
interesting type of computer.
Tap and hold
2 Purchase a notebook computer with a
sufficiently large screen.
Active-matrix screens display high-quality color that is
viewable from all angles. Less expensive, passive-matrix
screens sometimes are difficult to see in low-light conditions
and cannot be viewed from an angle.
Notebook computers typically include a 12.1-inch,
13.3-inch, 14.1-inch, 15.4-inch, or 17-inch display. Netbooks
have screens as small as 7 inches. For most users, a 14.1-inch
display is satisfactory. If you intend to use the notebook com-
puter as a desktop computer replacement, however, you may
opt for a 15.4-inch or 17-inch display. The WSXGA+ stan-
dard (1680 3 1050) is popular with 17-inch displays, so if you
intend to watch HD movies on the computer, take this into
consideration. Some notebook computers with these larger
displays weigh more than 10 pounds, however, so if you travel
a lot and portability is essential, you might want a lighter
computer with a smaller display. The lightest notebook com-
puters, which weigh less than 3 pounds, are equipped with a
Regardless of size, the resolution of the display should be
at least 1024 3 768 pixels. To compare the screen size on
various notebook computers, including netbooks and Tablet
PCs, visit the company Web sites. Tablet PCs use a digitizer
below a standard 10.4-inch motion-sensitive LCD display to
make the writing experience on the screen feel like writing on
paper. To ensure you experience the maximum benefits from
the ClearType technology, make sure the LCD display has a
resolution of 800 3 600 in landscape mode and a resolution of
600 3 800 in portrait mode.
Click and drag
Figure 46 Standard point-and-click of a mouse compared
with the gestures made with a digital pen.
the standard point-and-click of a mouse with the gestures made
with a digital pen. Other gestures with the digital pen replicate
some of the commonly used keys on a keyboard.
4 Make sure the notebook computer you
purchase has an optical disc drive.
Most mobile computers include an optical disc drive.
Although DVD/Blu-ray Disc drives are slightly more
expensive, they allow you to play CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray
Discs using your notebook computer and hear the sound
through earbuds. If you decide to purchase a netbook, it
might not include an optical disc drive. Instead, you might
need to purchase an external optical disc drive.
5 If necessary, upgrade the processor, memory,
and disk storage at the time of purchase.
As with a desktop computer, upgrading a notebook
computer’s memory and disk storage usually is less expen-
sive at the time of initial purchase. Some disk storage is
custom designed for notebook computer manufacturers,
meaning an upgrade might not be available in the future.
If you are purchasing a lightweight notebook computer
or Tablet PC, then it should include at least an Intel Core
2 Quad processor, 2 GB RAM, and 250 GB of storage. If
you are purchasing a netbook, it should have an Intel Atom
processor, at least 1 GB RAM, and 120 GB of storage.
3 Experiment with different keyboards,
pointing devices, and digital pens.
Notebook computer keyboards, especially netbook
keyboards, are far less standardized than those for desktop
computers. Some notebook computers, for example, have wide
wrist rests, while others have none, and keyboard layouts on
notebook computers often vary. Notebook computers also use a
range of pointing devices, including touchpads, pointing sticks,
trackballs, and, in the case of Tablet PCs, digital pens.
Before purchasing a notebook computer, try various types of
keyboards and pointing devices to determine which is easiest
for you to use. Regardless of the device you select, you also
may want to purchase a standard mouse to use when you are
working at a desk or other large surface. Figure 46 compares
6 The availability of built-in ports and slots
and a USB hub on a notebook computer is
A notebook computer does not have much room to add
adapter cards. If you know the purpose for which you plan to
use the notebook computer, then you can determine the ports
you will need. Netbooks typically have fewer ports than tra-
ditional notebook computers and Tablet PCs. Most notebook
computers include common ports, such as a video port, audio
port, network port, FireWire port, and multiple USB ports.
If you plan to connect the notebook computer to a television,
however, then you will need a PC to TV port. To optimize tele-
vision viewing, you may want to consider DisplayPort, DVI, or
HDMI ports. If you want to connect to networks at school or