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How-To Choose Notebook Barebone

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MattSlagle View Drop Down
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  Quote MattSlagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How-To Choose Notebook Barebone
    Posted: 16 Apr 2008 at 12:10pm

How to Choose a Notebook Barebone

Overview

Deciding upon the barebone notebook system is the most difficult choice.  This choice determines not only the look and screen size, it also determines what ports are on the notebook, location of optical drive, battery size and place, and everything else about the notebook.  Since notebooks have to use a proprietary motherboard and screen, you lose much of the personalization of a desktop system.

Choosing the correct barebone system is crucial to having the features you want in the size you want. 

Screen Sizes

The screen size is directly proportional to the size of the notebook.  The bigger the screen, the overall bigger size notebook the notebook is.  The bigger the notebook, usually the more features and more powerful components are able to be used.

With the advent of widescreen notebooks, screen sizes have somewhat shrunk do to fact that there is less surface area for the same size screen.  An older screen 4:3 screen will have 12% more screen area than the same stated size 16:9 screen.  This is because screen sizes are stated in diagonal length, not height or width.  This means that two screens stated to have the same size may in fact have different surface areas due to the fact of differing height and width sizes.

Screen Types

Screen Resolution

The first description that you will see when reading the screen type is the amount of pixels that the screen that natively display.  The more pixels, the clearer and bigger the image that can be displayed on the screen.

The graphic drivers of the notebooks can scale to fit any type of resolution that is needed.  A notebook with WXGA resolution can be made to scale to 800x600 or as high as WSXGA+.  However the image may be blurry as the pixels have to be stretched or squeezed to fit within the actual pixels on the screen.  Also, this may slow down the system as rendering more pixels than necessary requires better and bigger hardware. 

Name

x
(width)

y
(height)

Pixels
(x1 Million)

Aspect Ratio

Percentage of Difference in Pixels

XGA

WXGA

WSXGA

WSXGA+

WUXGA

XGA

1024

768

.786

1.33 (4:3)

N/A

−24%

−39%

−55%

−66%

WXGA

1280

800

1.04

1.6 (16:10)

32%

N/A

−19%

−41%

−54%

WSXGA/WXGA+

1440

900

1.29

1.6 (16:10)

64%

24%

N/A

−27%

−44%

WSXGA+

1680

1050

1.76

1.6 (16:10)

124%

68%

36%

N/A

−23%

WUXGA

1920

1200

2.3

1.6 (16:10)

193%

120%

78%

31%

N/A

TFT

A thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) is a variant of liquid crystal display (LCD) which uses thin film transistor (TFT) technology to improve image quality. TFT LCD is one type of active matrix LCD, though it is usually synonymous with LCD. It is used in televisions, flat panel displays and projectors.

Terms and Technologies

Most notebooks state in the title of their description the size of the screen and what type of graphic card they support, whether onboard or through the use of a discrete video card.  Most of these technologies will be covered in their own separate category.

Companies and Products

MSI

Micro-Star International is a well known company of all things related to companies.  They design and sell notebooks, motherboards, video cards, and more.  It is a very good company that offers a tremendous amount of different products so that you can always find what you need.

Compal

Compal is the second largest notebook manufacturer in the world.  Not only does it produce notebook barebone systems that are customizable, but they also produce notebooks for Dell, HP, and Toshiba.  This means that you can find all the features you want from the big boys of computers, yet enjoy the customizations and support that AVADirect brings to the table.

ASUS

ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated also develops and distributes large amounts of computer components just like MSI.  ASUS was one of the first Taiwanese companies in the early 90’s to gain Intel’s trust in the processor market.  This means that ASUS gets all of its engineering samples before all the other competitors.  ASUS can then provide the best engineered components once Intel and all other companies release their products for public use.

Twinhead

Twinhead, also known as GammaTech, produces notebooks which have been ruggedized to withstand drops, spills, and hard environments.  While comparable in function to the other notebooks in this field, Twinhead is able is produce these notebooks at almost half the cost.

Clevo

Clevo is a major supplier to most OEMs because their notebooks include support for the latest in gaming technology.  Support for latest mobile video cards and the latest Core 2 Quad processors can only be found in a Clevo system.

Recommendations

Home and Office

All the lower to mid-range notebooks are perfect for this type of use.  Any Core 2 Duo or AMD Turion mobile system will work for running applications web browsing.  Find the one that matches your budget and features.

Gaming

A Clevo system with a discrete mobile video card is the only choice for any type of gaming with today’s current demanding games.  For light gaming a model with a single video card will be perfect.  For heavier gaming the model with the best possible graphic cards or two cards in SLI will be needed.

Media Editing

For graphic and video editing, finding one with the best screen resolution and onboard firewire ports will be needed.  Audio editing needs a fast processor and large amounts of ram, so choose a model that accepts the latest Core 2 processor and accepts the fastest ram.



Edited by MattSlagle - 20 May 2008 at 12:40pm
Matt Slagle
AVADirect Research and Developement
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