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I'm considering buying my very first laptop computer..........my wife has a 17 inch Dell Insipiron, and she likes it. Myself, I've always had a desktop.

 

I'm not sure what screen size.........I've seen some as small as 10.1 inches in the shops, very easy to carry, but not sure if this would be suitable over the long haul.........my first thought was to get a 15.6 inch, but it seems to me that smaller may be better. But when I use the wife's machine, I certainly appreciate the 17 inch screen.

 

I'm really at a loss here..........is bigger better or is smaller? So, I'd love to hear from folks about the best size screen, which is surely a tradeoff between visibility and screen real estate on the one hand, and portablilty and weight and perhaps battery life on the other hand.

 

All comments much appreciated.

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I think knowing what you want to do with said laptop would be a good place to start; without that idea it's hard to recommend much of anything! 

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Yep knowing what you plan to do will help us but it also depend on portability. I have owned 4 or 5 15.6" and 3 or 4 17" laptops and 1 10" net book. The smaller are very easy to take with you, while the larger are very cumbersome.

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14-15.6s are the best range of usefulness while not being too big.

 

What's your budget? Will you be gaming at all? Any USB 3.0 devices?

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I will probably be using this mostly for the internet and to check emails, perhaps doing some word processing and spreadsheets using OpenOffice, and maybe infrequent gaming. I'd like HDMI so that I may sometimes be able to use my big screen television (1080p) as a display.

 

I'm not sure about whether or not to get a touchscreen, I guess you need Windows 8.1 for that?? Is a touchscreen handy to have on a laptop, or an unnecessary nuisance?

 

These questions sound pretty stupid, but I have very limited experience using a laptop around the home.

 

Thanks again for the responses.

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infrequent gaming= what games(like how resource intensive are they)? Touchscreen as far as i know means glossy screen with all the nuisances that comes with it, plus finger prints etc, also depends on quality of touchpad included, some laptops have real good touchpads and some have horrible ones... also depends on how lazy you are :) 

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I can't see touchscreen being anything more than a bonus, IMHO.

 

When I go for laptops, I go for good battery life with a fair CPU power, then usb port count, then resolution (also this goes along with glossy vs matte, and viewing angles), then BR drive (bought and installed one into my current laptop), then harddrive (I've swapped my SSD into my last two laptops), then RAM (most laptops come with 4-8GB which is PLENTY), then thickness/weight.

 

Screen size/form factor CAN be very important though, in the example that my dad and I both have Dell 15Rs of different sub versions and his has a different keyboard and when he bought the same BR drive I did, it wouldn't fit into his computer...so it ALWAYS pays to do research. On another note, if you get a low voltage/wattage CPU platform, then 9/10 that means the CPU is soldered to the board (his 15R is like that, mine is not), and sometimes the memory...also this may also will often classify it as an "ultrabook" which'll mean no optical drive and often require the thinner harddrives/SSD, so keep that in mind as well.

 

Every laptop you'll find will have a HDMI unless you blow your money on a mac, which in that case, prepare to blow some more on an adapter for display port to HDMI.

 

Another surprisingly positive feature many people (who care) overlook is speakers, which obviously are hard to test when buying off the internet but 'typically' when a laptop has some kind of name branded (that you've heard of) speakers, then you'll probably be getting a decent pair.

Edited by IVIYTH0S

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