Bear these thoughts in mind when buying and using notebook PCs.
1. Consider the travel weight. Compare travel weights, not system weights.
2. Don't get hung up on small weight differences. What really counts is the total weight of the bag you sling over your shoulder. But notebook bags weigh 2 to 5 pounds and all your other stuff (power adapter, cell phone, music player, paper documents, and paperback novel) adds 2 to (gulp) 10 pounds.
3. Why 3.5-pound subnotebooks weigh more than 5-pound thin-and-lights? Consider how you normally travel. If you need the optical drive more than occasionally, your real walking weight will be 3.5 pounds for the notebook, plus an additional pound for the modular slice that contains the optical drive.
4. Small notebook, smaller battery. Manufacturers sometimes keep weight down on subnotebooks by shipping with three- to four-cell batteries that are good for just 2 to 3 hours of power.
5. Bigger equals more rugged. A small system with tightly integrated components is somewhat more likely to break in a fall than a bulkier unit where there's room for extra bracing.
6. Midlife battery crisis. Batteries don't last forever. One way to lengthen your battery life span is to charge it up fully, unplug, let the battery run down and then recharge again.
7. Think about the extended warranty. An extended warranty is a moneymaker for the seller. For individual buyers, there is the comfort of knowing that if the notebook breaks, especially early in life, the store may just hand you a new one.
8. Think twice about hi-res. Higher resolution is generally better, except when you try to read the fonts.
9. Make sure you know the difference between a transflective (glossy) screen versus a matted (anti-glare) screen. A transflective screen is better suited for movies, photos, and video editing but produces more glare.
10. You might want two power adapters. Then you can have one at home and one at the office.