Shopping for a laptop

By alison11
Aug 14, 2012
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  1. Hi, I am shopping for a laptop for the fall semester. It's not easy. My knowledge of computers is "somewhat"

    If anyone can help me, I cam finding these terms all over the place. What do they mean? Is this something I need? Basically I need a laptop to do basic Microsoft office stuff and surf the web.

    1. 32gb express cache......what is this? Do I need?

    2. Windows Home Premium....does this matter? I just want to do the above.

    3. 4-way processing What is this? Should I care

    these are all from the latest Worst Buy ad.....

  2. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Hi, If you don't include the 10 inch netbooks in your search, they are not really good enough for serious work, then almost any 15 inch laptop will be more than good enough for office and web work.
    The cache is an area in the processor where often used code is held, to use it more quickly.
    4 way processing probably means a quad-core processor, this is really for the highest performance games pc's where high speeds and two and three screens are used, again not very relevant for what you mentioned.
    Much more important to look out for Office software, which is generally not installed on new pc's, but some makers do 'give away' the starter edition of Microsoft Office. That includes Word & Excel.
    It could be the most used software you would need, and the popular version of 'Office' is 'Home and student', the details are all on Microsoft's web site.
    Many people do use the free Office package Libre Office, which will do almost exactly the same, and can open and save files in the new Microsoft formats. ( ie, .docx and xlsx.) That one can be downloaded and used for free, but Microsoft Office costs 'real' money, and for university students there is a discount on Microsoft Office software, I believe it used to be 66% or so.
    The Home premium reference is the normal version of Windows 7, the next version up is 'Professional', which gives a few more options, but costs much more. I don't consider it worth the extra outlay.
    I use Windows 7 Home Premium with Office Home and student, and it does all I need.
    It may be important to have Microsoft Powerpoint installed, in which case it will be necessary to install Office professional instead of Home premium version.
    For web surfing, Windows includes Internet Explorer, and other browser's are free to download and use.
    Any modern PC will be easily able to do all you need.
    All laptops are ready to connect to the 'net, using wireless or direct cable connections.
    In the UK a suitable laptop costs around £325, so that's just over $500.

    This Techspot site keeps very up to date details about laptops, good unbiased information which would be worth reading.
  3. Rabbit01

    Rabbit01 TS Evangelist Posts: 787   +58

    Check out your school's website, it might list the hardware requirement. For example, the engineering department might require computer with more processing power.

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