Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Computers types

Types of computers

The choices among desktop and laptop computers can be confusing. New desktops can actually be smaller and less conspicuous than some laptops. Meanwhile, some laptops offer features and capabilities that rival those of traditional desktops. Here are the types of computers to consider.


 The desktop computer has become just another appliance you use every day. However, consider these pros and cons of desktop computers in general:
Pros:Desktops deliver more performance for the money than laptops and are less costly to repair. They allow for a more ergonomically correct work environment, let you work on a larger screen, and typically come with better speakers. Desktops are available in various styles and configurations, all designed to appeal to different tastes--and uses.
Cons:With the exception of all-in-one or compact computers, most take up a lot of space, even with a thin monitor.


These computers incorporate all components, including the monitor, in one case. The components are tightly packed behind and underneath the display, making them difficult to upgrade or repair. Meant to be space-savers, they're also designed to look less stodgy than traditional computers. You'll pay a premium for these models.


At less than half the size of fullsize desktops, compacts or slim desktops are ideal if you lack the space under your desk or you plan to put the computer on top of your desk. Like their larger brethren, compact desktops tend to be inexpensive. But they may be more difficult to upgrade and repair.


Though they require a lot of room under or on top of your desk, full-sized desktops are the least expensive and the easiest to upgrade and repair. They also offer the most features and options.


The sky's the limit for gaming systems. You get the fastest processors, the most sophisticated graphics cards, multiple large hard drives, and lots of RAM. Cases are usually large and offer lots of room for expansion.


Laptops let you use your computer away from your desk, but you pay for that mobility with a smaller screen and keyboard, a higher price, and sometimes, reduced performance. Technological advances have lessened the performance compromises somewhat, however. Whether your main consideration is portability or power, screen size will be an essential factor in deciding which type of laptop is right for you:
Pros:Laptops can travel. They can do most things desktops can do, and they take up less desk space. They're easily stowed after use.
Cons:Laptops cost more than comparably equipped desktops, and they are more expensive to repair.

11- to 13-inch

If you're planning to carry the laptop around with you frequently, an 11- to 13-inch model is probably the right choice. In our tests of 13-inch laptops, we found you might have to sacrifice some speed. But you'll also lighten your load by 1 to 3 pounds, compared with 17-inch models. These laptops also have many of the same features as larger models, including webcams and memory-card readers. Some models shave a few ounces by leaving out the DVD drive.

14- to 16-inch

Laptops with 14- to 16-inch screens generally offer the ideal balance of performance, portability, and price. At about 4.5 to 6 pounds, they're a good choice if you take a laptop along less frequently. Such a laptop can easily be configured as a desktop replacement. Until recently, only 17-inch-and- larger models had graphics processors with dedicated video memory, but now some 14- to 16-inch models have them, making them suitable for gaming.


For an entertainment-oriented desktop replacement, consider a 17- to 18-inch model. You'll get better performance, a good-sized screen, and better speakers. It will cost more than a comparable desktop, but it's handy if you have space constraints or if you're planning to use the computer in multiple areas of your home.


nexpensive and portable, netbooks are basically downsized laptops with 10-inch screens. They weigh about 2 to 3 pounds and cost from $300 to $400. Netbooks are suitable as secondary computers for performing routine tasks. The best offer lighter weight, larger keyboards and trackpads, and longer battery life. All include a memory card readerand webcam.

If you plan to watch videos on your netbook, we recommend a model with Intel's beefed-up dual-core Atom processor. (If you want to watch a DVD, you'll need to buy an external optical drive.)
Pros:Netbooks are lighter, smaller, and less expensive than most standard laptops, making them great for travel. Battery life is generally long.
Cons:Netbooks have small displays, keyboards, and touchpads, and their performance is slow. You'll need an external optical drive if you want to install software from a disc or play CDs or DVDs.


Lightweight and highly portable, tablets are made to be carried wherever you go. They're multifunctional, serving as Web browser, e-book reader, digital picture viewer, movie viewer, and music player. All our top picks are very easy to use, have a display with a wide viewing angle, and can download apps from a market approved by the maker of its operating system. They weigh from just under a pound to about 1.5 pounds and have 7- to 10-inch touch screens. All have webcams. In our tests, battery life ranged from 4 hours to nearly 12 hours.
Pros:Small and light, these multifunction devices have touch screens. Their small size and weight make them highly portable. Battery life can be as long as 12 hours. They can double as e-readers and photo frames. A wide variety of inexpensive apps is available.
Cons:Tablets are not ideal for office productivity tasks, such as those that require a lot of typing.


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