Is Now the Right Time to Buy a Multimedia Notebook?
Technology advances quickly in the computer world, causing new products to become obsolete in months. When buying a desktop computer, this isn’t such a big deal, as upgrades are easy to come by, but laptops are unable to be upgraded and are left stuck in the era they were created. This is why you have to be mindful of future technologies when shopping for the best laptop computers.
When it comes to multimedia notebooks, now is a relatively good time to buy one. Intel’s new mobile Core series CPU’s won’t be bested soon, and even though six and eight core versions might be reaching laptops within the next year, they will be reserved for high-end gaming and powerhouse notebooks, leaving the multimedia sector reasonably unaffected. Similar advancements will also like be made in notebook video cards and RAM as well, but these technologies also won’t be reaching mainstream price points in the near future.
Current multimedia laptops are very well equipped, with moderately powerful hardware and features like HDMI and optional Blu-Ray drives that won’t be seeing replacement technologies for years to come. However, in the next year or two, 3D displays will become much more popular. Laptop Manufacturers like Asus are already experimenting with models sporting stereoscopic 3D displays, and glasses-free 3D displays like that of the Nintendo 3DS could become the new standard. Because it will likely take a couple years for 3D displays to be perfected, now makes a great time to buy something new, giving these 3D technologies time to mature and prove their worth.
Now, if you decide you’re in the market for a new laptop, the question remains: Which laptop is the best choice? Well, we have you covered. We’ve put together a quick list of our three favorite multimedia notebooks to help you make up your mind.
Number 3: Apple MacBook Pro (15 or 17 inch)
Coming in at our number three spot is Apple’s current MacBook Pro. With its stylish and sturdy chassis, quality display, and powerful hardware, it makes an excellent multimedia platform. It’s perfect for every day computing as well as the heavy duty stuff, and with its astonishing battery life, the MacBook Pro is a tough system to beat. Of course, as a Mac, it has a few limitations, such as the lack of native HDMI support and no Blu-Ray option. The MacBook Pro can still make use of HDMI, but only through a special Mini Displayport to HDMI converter. Another major downside is the price tag; even the cheapest 15-inch model costs roughly twice as much as a comparable PC, but if you enjoy the Mac experience, the MacBook Pro is a solid choice.
Number 2: Dell Studio XPS 16
The standard configuration of the Studio XPS 16 is available for just $1170 and comes with very similar hardware to the extremely capable MacBook Pro. On top of that, a $75 add-on gets you Dell’s full HD display, arguably the best in the industry. The Studio XPS 16 also comes with a relatively powerful video card, the ATI Radeon Mobility 5730, making it a great choice for an interested gamer as well. Although with no option for Blu-Ray upgrade, the XPS 16 takes a bit of a hit as a true multimedia system.
Number 1: Sony Vaio F Series
Sony Vaio’s F Series notebooks have some of the absolute latest notebook hardware, promising a much longer lifespan before becoming obsolete. Configured with Intel’s latest Core i7-720QM CPU, full HD display, Blu-Ray, and NVIDIA GT 425M, the cost comes out to only $1200, an impressive price for such style and performance. While its battery life may not compare much to the MacBook Pro, the new F Series is a great value; however, they’re in high demand, and getting one could take as long as a month.