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What are some tips for buying notebook computers?

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Quick Answer

When buying a notebook computer, a consumer should consider its operating system, determine the right size, and make sure it has a good keyboard and touchpad. Laptops come in a range of styles and prices.

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Choosing a notebook also means choosing an operating system, whether it’s Windows, Mac or Google’s Chrome OS. Each operating system comes with advantages and disadvantages. Google’s OS is stable and nearly invulnerable to virus infection, but it offers less functionality and fewer applications, reports Laptop Mag. Windows PCs support a huge range of applications and are generally more affordable than Macs, but they can be less intuitive to use. Macs offer streamlined design, but they have fewer customization options.

A notebook's main function generally determines its size. Users who need to travel frequently may opt for smaller models, while those using their machines as desktop replacements often want larger models. Middling sizes of 14 or 15 inches are the most common and typically the least expensive.

Even if a notebook has powerful technical specs, a bad keyboard and touchpad can render it nearly useless. It’s important to test out a laptop and make sure that its keyboard is comfortable and its touchpad works smoothly. As of 2015, Laptop Mag notes that Apple, Lenovo, Dell and HP notebooks usually have high quality keyboards and touchpads.

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