How Much Should You Pay For A New Laptop

6 08 2013

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Chris Meium

As with all forms of technology, there are a large number of factors that can affect price, from the features on offer through to special deals being run by the retailer. In most cases, it’s not a case of how much people should pay for a new laptop computer, but more how much are they willing to pay and what features are they prepared to shell out for. It’s usually the case that the higher the specs on offer, the more expensive the piece of kit will be, although consumers are getting a fair bit of bang for their buck with models such as Samsung’s Chromebook. With this in mind, below are three price points – bargain, average and high-end – as well as the kind of features that you can expect to find on laptops that fit into these three categories.

Bargain deals

Well everyone loves a bargain and in the world of laptops, prices have come down considerably in recent years. Are you looking for a device that will serve you well as a second computer, perhaps something you can take on a train with you to watch DVDs or throw into a weekend bag so you can connect to the web on the move? At the bottom end of the range you’re probably looking around the £250-300 mark. The good news is that for this kind of money you can get some pretty decent computing power and features. Have a look at laptops from BT Shop and you should be able to find a machine running Windows 8, probably with around 4GB of memory and between 300 and 500GB of storage space on the hard drive. Starter laptops with decent features tend to be carrying a fair bit of weight – something to remember if you’re looking for a portable option. Remember though, if you want ultra-cheap and ultra-portable then you might well have to sacrifice a lot when it comes to functionality and battery life.

Middle of the market

If you have a bit more cash to spend, say around the £500 mark then you’ll have more options when it comes to specs. For starters, you’re likely to get longer battery life which will make using the device on the move a whole lot easier. It’s often the case that by spending a little more on a laptop you’ll be able to get your hands on a larger screen and a decent quality audio system which will make watching and listening to audio a lot more pleasurable. You might well be able to shave a little weight off by splashing out a bit more cash – again, very useful if you’re going to be carrying a device around on your back. There are plenty of bargains out there, but as is often the case, you get what you pay for.

High end

If you have the cash in the bank then you shouldn’t find it too hard to pick up a laptop for £1,000 plus. For starters, by spending in the region of a grand you are going to get a laptop that looks the business – think about that bushed aluminium steel! A comfy keyboard and crystal clear screen will be standard, along with a powerful processor such as the Intel® Core™ i5-3317U processor or the Intel Dual-core 2.80 GHz Core i7 model that has gone into the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch. A light weight, solid build should come as standard and if you have the cash to spend then you’re likely to end up with a big smile on your face!

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The history of the iPad and which model does what

11 04 2013

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Yutaka Tsunato

Over the past few years, tablet computers have become increasingly popular pieces of gadgetry that more and more people are now turning to when they want to watch films, access the internet, read their emails or play games on the go.

Although there are many different types of tablets, with the world’s technology giants all vying for dominance in the market, many people consider the iPad to be the market leader. After all, this is the one everybody wants, it’s probably the coolest tablet around and, like the iPhone, the iPad is instantly recognisable.

But how has the tablet developed over the years and which model does what?

iPad (1st generation)

The very first iPad was launched on April 3rd 2010 and was an instant hit. Although the model has now been discontinued, no doubt many people around the world are still getting a great deal of joy and entertainment from their original model.

With an impressive spec and positive reviews from critics and magazines, it is easy to see why the iPad was the first tablet on the scene actually worth owning. At the time, the Apple A4 chip was very powerful and it had a sharp 1,024 x 768 pixels at 132 ppi display. The only thing missing was a camera.

iPad 2

The absence of a camera was rectified with the launch of the iPad 2, on March 11th 2011. Once again, reviews were positive and according to TechRadar, the iPad 2 offers a “user experience, high-end finish and cult-like popularity that is the envy of all other manufacturers”.

The chip was upgraded to an A5, the memory was increased to 512 MB and it ran on the new iOS 6.1 operating system. Already, the iPad 2 had become a game-changer and was offering a glimpse of the powerful tablet technology that was still to come from Apple. The fact it’s still available is perhaps testament to this.

iPad (3rd generation)

Next, came the iPad 3rd generation, which was launched on March 16th 2012. The main difference was the screen and, more specifically, the number of pixels it contained. The 3rd generation iPad boasted 3.1 million pixels, making 264 pixels per inch, which was nearly four times as many as the iPad 2.

Although in terms of new features the 3rd gen iPad didn’t have much to offer, a new A5X chip, a better camera and improved battery life were enough to keep people happy. As Pocket-Lint explained, it was the screen that really made this device.

iPad (4th generation)

On November 2nd 2012, Apple launched the iPad 4th generation, while a 128 GB version of the same product was released on February 5th 2013. The incredible retina display, the Apple A6X chip and the 1.4 CHz dual-core Apple Swift processor blew previous models out of the water and suddenly, this became the iPad everyone wanted.

The advanced technology and crystal-clear screen mean theSnugg UK ipad 4 cases and other protective covers are becoming essential purchases for many tablet owners.

iPad Mini

And then came the iPad Mini. Just when people thought Apple was perhaps beginning to run out of ideas, it reinvented the tablet and created a gadget for those looking for the ultimate in space-saving technology.

The display measures 7.9 inches instead of 9.7 and it is (obviously) smaller than its predecessors, meaning it fits neatly into any handbag or briefcase without the carrier even knowing it’s there.

As you can see, the development of the iPad is clear and there will undoubtedly be many more changes over the next few years as technology becomes increasingly advanced. But for now, the iPad 4th generation and the iPad Mini are both pretty impressive.