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What is the difference between a notebook and a laptop?
There is no difference between a notebook and a laptop. These terms are interchangeable and they refer to the same thing - a laptop is a computer system that is portable, and is "small enough to use on a person's lap".
WikiPedia: " A laptop is a personal computer designed for mobile use and small and light enough to sit on a person's lap while in use. A laptop integrates most of the typical components of a desktop computer, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device (a touchpad, also known as a trackpad, and/or a pointing stick), speakers, and often including a battery, into a single small and light unit. The rechargeable battery (if present) is charged from an AC adapter and typically stores enough energy to run the laptop for three to five hours in its initial state, depending on the configuration and power management of the computer."
WikiPedia redirects "Notebook computers" to Laptops. Wikipedia has the following information about Notebooks "A laptop PC which measures at least 11 inches across, which is the minimum width to allow for a full-size keyboard (a keyboard with the minimum QWERTY key layout, which is at least 13-1/2 keys across that are on three-quarter (0.750) inch centres, plus some room on both ends for the case). The first Notebook PC's were the size of a standard U.S. "A size" notebook piece of paper (8-1/2 x 11 inches), but later "A4-size" Notebook PC's were introduced, which were the width of a standard European "A4" notebook piece of paper (297 mm, or about 11.7 inches wide), and added a vertical column of keys to the right and wider screens."
"Laptop" is used more often than notebook. Google trends confirms this.
What are NETbooks / mini notebooks / ultra portables?
Netbooks are portable computers. Netbooks have limited features but are very well priced. Most netbooks do not include a CD or DVD drive. The netbook is much smaller than a laptop and the netbook is used as a network / internet computer. Netbooks complement a user's main computer and is not meant to replace it.
Which processor / CPU?
Purchase the fastest and latest processor that you can afford. The number of cores (multi-core) and the speed should be deciding factor. The faster the Processor and the more cores, the better the system will perform. Laptop processors are optimised to balance battery life and performance.
Special note: CENTRINO is not a processor. It is an Intel brand that refers to the Intel wireless technologies (Intel Wi-Fi and WiMAX adapters). Previously, the brand covered a particular combination of mainboard chipset, mobile CPU and wireless network interface in the design of a laptop. Centrino is therefore not a reference to the processor's performance in any way.
How much memory / RAM do I need?
The more memory your machine has, the better it will perform.
32 bit hardware has a limitation when it comes to memory. The maximum amount of usable memory is approximately 3.2 Gigabytes. You may add more memory, but the limit will always be approximately 3.2 Gigabytes. There is no workaround as this is a hardware limitation on 32 bit systems.
To use more memory, a 64 bit processor and a 64 bit operating system is required.
The rule of thumb here is: The memory a computer has, the better it will perform. Microsoft Windows 7 (64bit) and Windows 8 laptops will run much faster and smoother with 32GB of memory installed compared to only 4GB of memory.
SSD drives will negate some of the memory requirements. Part of the problem with low memory is the speed of the swap file because this is a file that is stored on the hard drive. The Operating system uses the swap file when it runs out of memory. SSD are fast and can handle swap files very quickly.
Which operating system do I choose for my laptop?
Linux is an open source operating system, making it the cheapest operating system. Linux is so versatile it can be used by beginners.
Microsoft Windows 10
Microsoft Windows 8 was released by Microsoft in 2012, and is available in two main OEM and retail versions for laptops and PCs: Windows 8 for home and small office users, and Windows 8 Pro for businesses that use domains and servers. Windows 8 Pro is required for the Windows 8 Media Center add-on.
Compare the Windows 10S, Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro versions
What all the version offer as standard:
Windows 10 Pro offers these additional features, that is not offered on the Home version:
The key difference between Windows 10 S and regular Windows is that you are not able to install apps from outside the Windows Store. If you need to install third-party apps on your laptop you will have to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
If you need anything you're missing you can simply upgrade. But an advantage of sticking to 10 S will be its improved security - since apps are only downloaded from the Windows Store, and then run in a safe container on the laptop, malware shouldn't be as much of an issue as it is with other versions of the OS.