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2015 Laptop Comparisons

Ultra portable, thin & light, midsize, desktop replacement, and tablets overviewed.

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Laptop Computer Size Comparison

Laptop Shopping Deals

Welcome to our laptop comparisons overview! 

Before taking the plunge and investing in a new laptop, be sure to read our laptop size recommendations below.

We want each and every one of you to be well prepared before embarking on a new laptop purchase.

All too often we hear from people who weren't fully aware of their options and they ended up purchasing a laptop almost entirely based off the wow factor. Unfortunately impulse buying often ends with a regretted decision.

Because they didn't compare and contrast the various laptop types with a bit of research, they found out the hard way that it does not fit their specific needs. Don't fall victim to the wow and end up paying a potential costly price in return.

The laptop comparisons type recommendations below will help you to be better prepared, for laptop size is often the number one factor to make or break a great laptop purchase. 

After you've finished reading over the laptop comparisons section below, you will be one step closer to finding your perfect laptop.

After this page check out our detailed Laptop Buying Guide for information on key laptop components and buying recommendations. Enjoy!

Ultra Portable - Laptop Comparisons Review

Ultra Portable Laptop Ultra portable laptops are the smallest type of laptop available and perfectly suited for the frequent traveler or person who often carry their laptop on the go.

Ultra portables typically weigh no more than 4 pounds and they are normally very thin by design, usually less than 1-inch, and additionally they normally get excellent battery life compared to their larger siblings.

While these are going to be obvious advantages to some, ultra portable laptops are not going to be the best choice for all of you.

Ultra portables are typically slower than their larger counterparts, contain fewer features because of their compact nature, carry a premium price tag, and you are also going to sacrifice screen and keyboard size which for some of you may be bothersome.

Individuals with large hands or subpar vision definitely should consider a larger laptop for a problem may ensue.

We definitely recommend an ultra portable laptop for all of you travelers, frequent laptop carriers, or any of you who may need an ultra portable for a specific reason.

Keep in mind you are going to sacrifice features mentioned earlier in this guide but in return you will also normally gain a size, weight, and battery life advantage.

Ultra Portable Snapshot:

  • Ultra compact size and weight - 4 pounds or less
  • Smallest screen size - Typically 12-inches or smaller
  • Great battery life
  • Slowest processors - Typically contain lower voltage mobile processors
  • Smallest keyboards
  • May lack internal CD/DVD drive depending on size
  • Fewest ports and connections

Thin and Light - Laptop Comparisons Review

Thin and light laptop

Thin and light laptops make up for some of the ultra portables shortcomings by typically delivering more performance, features, and a balanced cost while still delivering outstanding portability.

We are especially grateful that most thin and lights come with a larger keyboard, bigger screen and built-in CD/DVD drive while still offering great portability and battery life.

We recommend a thin and light laptop for anyone still wanting portability but also a fuller feature set and lower purchasing price compared to the average ultra portable.

Thin And Light Snapshot:

  • Compact size and weight - 4 to 6 pounds
  • Smaller screen size than a midsize but typically larger than an ultra portable - 12 to 14 inches
  • Good battery life
  • Midrange to fast dual-core processors
  • Small or closer to normal sized keyboard depending on laptop size
  • Typically contains an internal CD/DVD drive unlike most ultra portables
  • More ports and connections than ultra portables but less than a midsize

Midsize - Laptop Comparisons Review

Midsize Laptop Midsize laptops are the most common type of laptop and a popular choice as they don't normally have the shortcomings of the smaller portables or larger desktop replacement models.

Not everything about a midsize however is a precious jewel, midsize laptops are not often the best companion for travelers or frequent carriers, and they do not typically get the battery life of their smaller brothers and sisters either.

Midsize laptops, especially models on the heavier end of the scale can also become bothersome to many users if lugged around for sustained periods of time.

We feel a midsized is however a great choice if you occasionally take your laptop on the road but use it primarily at home.

The larger screen size, keyboard, and mainstream features make it perfect for a desktop replacement and because you don't have the bulk of a true desktop replacement taking it on the go occasionally isn't a chore.

Midsize Snapshot:

  • Average weight - 6 to 8 pounds
  • Screen size - 14 to 15.4 inches are typical of a midsize
  • Decent battery life for their size - Many times an optional larger capacity battery is an available option
  • Contain processors from budget all the way to high-end
  • Normal sized keyboard
  • Contains internal CD/DVD drives
  • Typically contain a wide range of ports and connections unlike thin & lights or ultra portables

Desktop Replacement - Laptop Comparisons Review

Desktop Replacement Laptop

Desktop replacements are the largest of all the laptops designed to offer desktop computer like performance.

They typically include fast processors, tons of memory, huge screens, full sized keyboards, and a full range of ports and connections.

One of coolest abilities with replacing a conventional desktop computer with a desktop replacement laptop is the freedom to move it from room to room if desired.

Carrying one of these behemoths on your shoulder for a long distance is going to cause you some hurt though, so if portability is your ticket please don't even thing about buying one of these beasts.

We highly advise anyone who plan on taking their laptop on the go to not purchase a desktop replacement but instead check out a midsize laptop if you want near desktop replacement features without the chiropractic visits.

We recommend desktop replacements for gamers, multimedia audio & video buffs, or people looking for a replacement to the conventional desktop computer for the flexibility of room to room computing.

Desktop Replacement Snapshot:

  • Heavy - Typically 8 pounds or more
  • Screen size - 17 to 20 inches are typical for desktop replacements
  • Typical desktop replacements contain higher end graphics cards for better multimedia and gaming performance similar to a desktop
  • Lowest battery run time out of all laptop types - Many have optional larger capacity batteries to increase run time
  • Contain the fastest dual-core processors and lots of memory
  • Full sized keyboard - Often come with 10-key
  • Always contain internal CD/DVD drives
  • Contain the fullest feature set with numerous ports and connections

Tablet PC - Laptop Comparisons Review

Tablet PC Tablet PCs in a nutshell are specially configured laptops which allow you to navigate Windows with a special stylus pen similar to how a Palm Pilot or Pocket PC PDA (personal digital assistant) operates.

With a tablet PC you can take handwritten notes with the stylus and you can also use it similar to a mouse to navigate menus, etc. within Windows if you choose. Because a tablet PC is just a specially configured laptop you can also perform most anything a normal laptop does.

Tablet PCs are smaller than a midsize notebook and similar in size to a thin and light or ultra portable.

Some tablet PCs actually have no keyboards and instead are all screen, but the more common tablet looks like a normal laptop but has a display that swivels 180 degrees and then folds over the keyboard thus changing it into a tablet. Once the display is folded over the keyboard navigation is via the stylus unless you have a mouse attached.

We feel tablet PCs could be useful for a college student for taking notes during lectures or anyone else who could benefit from being able to handwrite digitally, but overall we feel the typical tablet PCs price isn't quite worth the extra bucks unless you absolutely can benefit from the handwriting capability.

Tablet PC Snapshot:

  • Ability to handwrite on the display using a special stylus pen
  • Compact or ultra compact size and weight - Typically 4 pounds or less
  • Small screen size - Typically 12-inches or smaller
  • Great battery life
  • Moderate speed processors - Often contain lower voltage mobile processors
  • Small keyboard or lack of keyboard depending on Tablet PC type
  • Sometimes contain an internal CD/DVD drive but often do not depending on size
  • Usually fewer ports and connections than a midsize or thin and light

Laptop Comparisons Conclusion:

If you are in the market for a new computer but were previously unsure to what your best laptop option is, our laptop comparisons guide we hope has opened your eyes a bit and at the least walked you a step closer to determining which laptop style will fit your individual needs.

Before you fork out your hard earned bucks remember to read our laptop reviews, reread this laptop comparisons guide, and honestly really look closely at your day to day routine. This will help you pinpoint your perfect and unique lifestyle match.

Check out our favorite online shopping destination and review below. We hope you enjoyed our laptop comparisons guide.

Online Shopping Specials

Laptop Computers, Netbook Computers, Apple Mac Laptops, iPad Tablets, Computer Accessories & More

Online Vendor Shopping Category Vendor Rating
Amazon.com Laptops A+
Amazon.com Netbooks A+
Amazon.com iPad & Tablets A+
Amazon.com Computer Accessories  A+

Store Review:

Amazon - Our favorite place to shop online period. We highly recommend Amazon.com for their colossal online inventory and their excellent service has never failed us over the years.

They carry a large selection of laptop computers, batteries & accessories, and almost everything else you could ever want or need for your computing experience.

As the largest online retailer Amazon literally has everything, and their large selection of new, used, and refurbished laptop computers, AC adapters, and accessories make it a great online destination for all your laptop shopping needs.

See also:

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