Student/Reporter/Mobile business owner When it comes to laptops, portability is the name of the game. Netbooks weighing 1-2lbs or less are great when you’re walking from class to class or taking public transportation to three to four client meetings a day. But most netbooks don’t have the same processor power as full grown notebooks. At 2.64 lbs. the HP Mini Executive (Mini 5102 and 5103) has an Intel Atom processor–like most netbooks these days–but it packs a few more options in a small package. The keyboard is 95% the size of a full-size keyboard, and it includes a multi-touch display so you can either type or navigate the screen with your fingers.(Starting Price: $399)
Graphic Designer/Artist Depending on who you are, bigger IS better. And if you work with graphics then a large screen and a fast graphics engine are essential. Toshiba’s Satellite Notebook series is a great laptop to consider if you don’t mind the extra load, you rarely travel or you’re thinking about replacing your desktop computer. They start out with display sizes as small as 11.6″, but you can get a 18.4″ screen with a Intel Core i5-460M processor and 4GB of DDRM3 memory for $999.99, and Core i7-740 QM processor for $1,399.99. The i5 and i7 processors are Intel’s newest cpu’s with tons of power and speed for heavy multitasking. Some laptops in the Satellite series also come with AMD’s Phenom II Quad Core processor P940 at a substantial cost savings. Although not as popular as the Intel Core series of processors the AMD cpu’s also provide users an opportunity to run multiple applications simultaneously.
The Traveling Sales Person If you find yourself in sales meetings all day long, but you never come face to face with anyone, then the Skype-certified Dell XPS series of computers will work well for you. The built-in high-fidelity 20W JBL sub-woofer speakers will allow you to hear the attendees in your meeting loud and clear and with a web camera streaming HD 720p video they’ll have no trouble interpreting your expression when quarterly sales numbers come in. Not to mention it supports a 9-in-one card reader, is GPS enabled, and plays 3D movies for those long flights. (Starting Price: $849.99)
Field Scientist/Environmentalist With NVidia Ion Graphics technology, a dual core Intel Atom processor, and 13.5 hours of battery power, the engineer, animator, or medical scientist will have plenty of time to chart and graph data then view it in HD using the Asus Eee PC 1015PE. Plus, with the upgraded USB 3.0 jacks, connecting to peripheral devices and downloading loads of data is much faster. Also, don’t forget that this Asus is manufactured with reduced levels of hazardous materials and adjusts the power level based on applications running, so it is great for the eco-conscious. (Priced from $320 and up on Amazon.com)
Freelancer/Consultant/Unemployed Looking for a great deal? You don’t get much more for your money then you would with the Acer Aspire One. You can buy this standard laptop with the new DDR3 memory for less than $300 depending on where you shop and the upgrades you get. It comes standard with a 6-cell lithium ion battery pack, Windows XP, 160 GB Hard disk drive, and a 10.1″ LED backlit screen with 1024 x 600 resolution. Plus it has a multi-card reader that supports, SD cards, memory sticks and more.