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Tech Talk with Greg Bailey

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Thanksgiving is coming soon, and with it comes what is most likely the best day of the year to buy electronics: Black Friday. With midnight or early morning sales that are beyond incredible, if you intend to buy any sort of electronics in the coming months, Black Friday is almost certainly the time to do it. For the next two or three weeks, this series is going to give a few tips for computer related purchases during the holiday season.

Laptops sell like hotcakes during these sales. If you look at any Black Friday ad involving electronics you are sure to find all sorts of amazing deals. However, if you don’t know what the technical specifications of a laptop mean, shopping for the right one can be daunting.

One of the most important things to know when buying a laptop is that the terms “Netbook” and “Notebook” are not referring to the same thing.

A “Notebook” is just another term for a laptop computer, while a “Netbook” is a smaller and simpler laptop. Netbooks are used almost solely for browsing the Internet. While they can run other programs, Netbooks are not as powerful as traditional laptops, nor do they have as much memory.

Because of this, they are significantly cheaper than a normal laptop computer.

Netbooks, and laptops like them, make it a very bad idea to simply buy the cheapest laptop you can find when shopping. If all you need in a laptop is something that you can check your e-mail and other websites on, then a Netbook is perfect, but keep in mind a Netbook just won’t give as much performance as a normal laptop. If you’re looking for something that works about as well as a desktop, a Netbook is definitely not what you’re looking for.

While shopping, you’ll see ads that list system features, along with what they can be expected to do. If you’re shopping for something more powerful than a Netbook, like a gaming or media center laptop, look for an ad that lists those features. Don’t just look at the price and get the cheapest laptop because unless you’re looking for something simple like a Netbook, you are probably going to be disappointed in what you bought.

Any questions, requests for clarifications, or comments can be sent to gregbailey9@ gmail.com. Greg Bailey is a Computer Science major at UCR.

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