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Comparison of Laptop Computers

The purpose of this comparison is to help prospective laptop purchasers in their decision. In today's mobile climate, the average person can make good use of a reliable portable computer; this report is designed to help in that search. Of the many perspective computers, only several brands have been selected for this comparison. Those that have been selected are Pentium computers that boast the new MMX technology. MMX technology lends itself to portable computers because of the added internal processor cache, graphics acceleration, and lower power usage. The first two features add to the speed of the machine and the last to the travelling lifetime. This report will compare laptop computers on the basis of the following: (1) features, (2) performance in hardware tests, and (3) price. Options for Laptop Computers

Of the many laptops available, some equipped with MMX, only four specific computers were chosen. These computers are equipped with MMX processors and stood out among other MMX computers for their performance as well as their value. Those chosen for this comparison are the Compaq Presario 1080, the Dell Latitude LM M166ST, the Gateway 2000 Solo 2200 166MMX, and the Micron Transport XPE P166. These computers all have Pentium 166 processors with a variety of other features that will be discussed in the following. Points of Comparison

The industry of computers is an ever growing and continually more competitive market. Many computer manufactures are emerging with well made, reliable systems that make a valid argument for themselves. Several of these computers are discussed below. Features. Many different features are available on today's computer, but only the standard, essential features will be discussed here. These features are grouped into subheadings below for ease of use. * Memory: Each computer has a processor speed of 166 MHz. The Compaq has the least amount of standard memory with 16 MB, with a maximum of 48 MB. Both the Dell and Gateway computers come with 40 MB installed with their maximums being 72 and 80 MB respectively. The Micron had the most standard memory at 48 MB, having a maximum at 80 MB also. The Micron machine rates best in this area [1:144-145]. * Weight: For laptop computers, travel weight, that is the weight of all of the required equipment and carrying case, is very important. The Compaq and Dell come in with the lowest travel weight at 8.5 pounds. The Gateway came in right behind them with 8.6 pounds travelling. Of the four computers, the Micron was the heaviest, weighting in at 9.1 pounds. The Dell and Compaq are the best in the weight department [1:144-145]. * Battery: Another key factor for laptop computers is the length of time they can operate away from an outlet. The Dell computer had the longest rated battery life with a rating of 4 to 5 hours. Compaq's computer had a rating of 3 hours while Gateway and Micron's laptops were rated with 2.5 and 2.25 hours, respectively. Dell's computer has the best rating for battery life [1:144-145]. * Storage: All computers rely on their storage unit to operate for the use of programs and storing information. The Presario had the smallest standard hard drive at 1.4 GB. Both the Dell and the Gateway computers had 2.1 GB hard drives. Micron rates at the top for this category for its 3 GB hard drive [1:144-145]. Overall, the Latitude from Dell gets the best rating for this section. It's light weight and long battery life aid in portability, and while its hard drive and memory are average for this group, they are more than sufficient for good performance. Performance. The various machines were put through their paces to determine their comparative performance. The several different tests are listed below as well as the various computers' performances. The numbers don't mean much on their own and are best used in comparison. * Windows applications: The various computers were tested and scored on...
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