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10 Laptop Features That You Don’t Need

What laptop features do you really need, AB Computer Repair found an excellent article on the subject. We provide quality affordable computer maintenance and data recovery services for Thousand Oaks, business.

April 2012 issue of Laptop magazine (Page 86)

Many features will become obsolete over time such as VGA ports, Express card slots, and optical drives. “Other features, including discrete graphics, and extra memory, will increase the cost of your notebook and will likely remain underutilized unless you’re playing games or editing HD Video. So which features can you skip when buying a new laptop? Read on to find out.

  1. Optical Drive – Everything is going digital, from movies and music to games and software. As hard drives’ storage capacity increases and wireless connectivity expands-making large files such as HD Movies and video games increasingly easy to transmit over the internet and store on your notebook-the need for a dedicated optical drive dwindles. Who needs a blu-ray drive when you can stream “Arrested Development” in HD on Amazon.com.
  2. Discrete Graphics – For gamers today, discrete graphics aren’t a luxury, They’re a necessity. Without GPU, such games as “Skrim” and “Arkam City” are unplayable, and low-end games such as “World of Warcraft” stutter along. Video editors equally rely on discrete graphics to edit and manipulate footage in 1080p. If you’re not interested in playing the latest games or editing HD video, however discrete graphics can unnecessarily increase the cost of your laptop; notebooks featuring high-end GPU’s routinely cost $200 more than notebooks that use integrated graphics.
  3. Vga Port - Some of us want the best of both worlds – the mobility of a notebook combined with the screen real estate of a desktop monitor. If you’re someone who can’t get a large enough screen, the ability to attach your laptop to a monitor or TV is non negotiable – and until recently, that meant your laptop had to have a VGA port. The advent of HDMI and displayPort, however, has rendered VGA ports largely obsolete. Unless you need to connect to an older projector, you can get away with newer connections – or a VGA adapter. AB Computer Repair provides prompt onsite Thousand Oaks, laptop repair, computer maintenance, and data recovery services for business.
  4. Ethernet port – If you’ve ever found yourself without wireless internet access, an Ethernet port may seem like a godsend. In today’s increasingly wireless world, however, the chances that this will happen seem remote. Wireless connectivity can now be had in cafes, parks, and airplanes; and mobile 3G and 4G hotspots such as the MiFi ensure that you’ll never be disconnected.
  5. ExpressCard/PC card slot – In the days of yore, laptops couldn’t compete with desktops in terms of memory, network connectivity or storage capacity; to remedy this, manufacturers developed PC cards, universal peripherals designed to plugin into a notebook’s PC card slot and function as hard disks, modems and network cards (among other uses). Modern laptops, though, boast integrated wireless internet connections, huge amounts of memory and storage capacities that double every two years. The age of the ExpressCard/PC Card has passed – along with the need for a slot.
  6. Kensington Lock Slot – Laptop theft is a serious issue – just ask anyone who has stepped away from his her notebook for a minute,  only to return and find it missing. Enter the Kensington Security Slot, an anti-theft system that consists of a metal reinforced hole on the side of the notebook, to which a lock and a cable can be attached. While anyone who regularly takes his laptop to public places can appreciate the added security, It’s probably not necessary for the casual users. Less expensive notebooks typically forgo the slot altogether.
  7. Core i5/i7 Processor – For some of us, the need for speed is insatiable, and Intel’s Core i5 and i7 processors offer some of the fastest speeds around. Others, however, are just interested in browsing the internet, listening to music and word processing. For those on a budget or who just want the basics without the frills, the extra $100 spent on a Core i5 or i7 can be an unnecessary expense.
  8. Backlit Keyboard – Backlit keyboards are all the rage. For some laptops, such as the first generation Macbook air, the lack of keyboard backlighting was a sticking point. A backlit keyboard, however, will decrease your notebooks battery life and is generally only available on more expensive notebooks. If you can touch-type, or want the best battery life possible, consider skipping a backlit keyboard. In most cases, an overhead light isn’t far away.
  9. IEEE 1394 (Firewire) port – Developed mostly by Apple in the 1980′s and 90′s IEEE 1394 (commonly known as firewire) has been largely replaced by USB as the industry standard for serial bus interfaces. While Firewire offers a number of advantages over USB – chief among them its ability to allow two firewire-enabled devices to communicate with each other without the need fo a PC acting as a bus master – nearly all laptops and peripherals today use USB.
  10. HD Webcam – With more than 600 million registered users on Skype and competing services appearing from the likes of Apple and Google, it’s safe to say that the video communications revolution is in full swing. Laptop manufactures, hoping to stay ahead of the curve, have begun to equip some of their high end computers with HD cams. Although they promise crisp images, HD webcams are of little use in densely populated urban centers or remote rural areas where limited bandwith can put a stranglehold on video quality. Buying a notebook for a HD webcam will likely leave you frustrated when you can’t use it to its full potential.

10 Laptop Features That You Don’t Need

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