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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pointers to buy a laptop & camera

Are you thinking of buying a laptop or a camera anytime soon? Then you want to get the best advice and not succumb to smooth sales talk and then walk out with something, you'll later regret buying. Everyone will tell you some great things about performance, where branded laptops or cameras are concerned. But that really is the last thing one should keep in mind.

A bigger priority should be the features that come with a laptop. For instance, things like the life of the battery. Any laptop one is thinking of buying should have a battery that has five hours of life in it.

Second thing to look out for is build quality. This will stand the buyer in good stead when travelling. Look at the hinges and taking out the drive trays would be a good idea. It will help to determine how loose or tight it is.

Thirdly, wireless connectivity is important and it has to be there in a laptop. There is just no compromising on this.

Lastly, buy something light and not a heavy model. Keeping this in mind, look at buying something weighing between 1-1.5 kgs and you will be good to go.

Recommended buys
ASUS M5A costs Rs 60,000, weighs 1.5 kgs, 2.5 cms thin, battery lasts for 7 hours and comes with a sturdy alloy cover.

Acer Ferrari 4000 costs Rs 1,00,000 plus taxes, 64 bit AMD processor and everything else is state of the art.

Fujitsu lightbook E40 tablet PC costs Rs 1,15,000, has all the gizmos and software including handwriting recognition and weighs under 2 kgs.

Editor of Chip magazine, Marco D'Souza told CNBC-TV18, "Laptops can be really cheap and as low as Rs 35,000 today. But they tend to scrounge on the build quality. The built should be good, it should feel sturdy. Also make sure, you have the operating system, OS, installed on the laptop because most people leave that out and expect you to install a pirated version."

Budget buys
Lenovo Thinkpad EQ3 costs Rs 40,000 including taxes, great security features including a airbag like hard disc lock for nasty falls and comes with Windows XP.

Compaq Presario M22O2DU costs Rs 33,000 including taxes, Linus OS, built-in speakers.

Candid camera Megapixels is not everything when it comes to buying a camera. But if you plan to print your family album, then buy a camera that is atleast 4 megapixels or more. Actually 8 or 9 megapixels is far too high and not required for family pictures.

Look at the optics of the camera, the lens should be really big and if one wants the zoom function, then it should have optical zoom and not digital zoom.

Budget buys
AIPTEK Pocketcam 4000 does not come with optical zoom but is a 4 megapixel camera and is priced at Rs 5,000. Kodak Easyshare V530 priced at less than Rs 16,000 and has a VX optical zoom, 5 megapixels, super speed and a great flash. There's no viewfinder and the LCD is a bit small.

Written for www.moneycontrol.com

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