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Notebook PCs

The features you want in your notebook PC will depend a lot on how you plan to use it.

If this will be your only PC but you still plan on spending a lot of time at a desk, you should look into buying a monitor and full-sized keyboard for better ergonomics. Docking stations and port replicators are also useful in this situation; they make it much easier to work comfortably at a desk but still be ready to go at a moment's notice.

If you use a notebook in addition to your desktop PC, perhaps you're more willing to sacrifice features and performance for long battery life and low travel weight. If you need, you can share the CD-ROM and disk from your desktop PC using a program like LapLink or Windows 95's own Direct Cable Connection, or even buy a PC Card Ethernet adapter.

Perhaps portability is important, but you won't be running your notebook from batteries often. In that case, power-hungry options such as 800x600 active-matrix displays or built-in CD-ROMs aren't going to cause you any problems. Built-in peripherals are expensive, but don't underestimate the hassle of carrying all the extra boxes, power supplies, and cables you need for external peripherals.

Here are some specific items to consider before you buy:

Notebook PCs Buyer's Guide

Interactive Buyer's Guide Home Page


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