How To Enhance Your Notebook

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The all-time belief that laptops cannot be upgraded is not left true anymore. For your friends who continue to slate away from this truth do it for no fault of their own, because as a matter of fact, the core components of mobile machines like lap tops are actually fixed. So, but for a complete overhaul of your machine, there are now a pretty large number of options available at the aftermarket computer solution outlets ranging from memory expansion and fitting new add-on parts to adding new  functionalities and many more that you would have hardly imagined at the time you purchased your laptop. These options come to the rescue of many who are desperately in need of a faster running system but purchasing the newest type on the market is beyond their budget. Here are a few cheaper options which can help you make your good old notebook run with never before horse power:

Memory

You just don’t need to curse yourself for not ordering the maximum available RAM for your laptop at the time of giving specifications at the factory outlet because you actually took the best possible decision at that time. Most interestingly, that decision is going to prove right even in today’s scenario because today one of the component which is much cheaper to upgrade as compared to getting the same spec in a preinstalled new machine is RAM. For example, Lenovo cost $150 to fix a 4GB PC3-8500 RAM into the newest X301 computer. This 4GB RAM is now available as an upgrade for less than $60.

To have it can be very simple if you can check your laptop’s manual-for-two key specifications i.e. the available RAM speed and the number of DIMM slots present in the machine. Most notebooks have two of them. To add up to 4GB, both slots need to have sticks of 2 GB each. Now if your system has two sticks of 1GB and you wish to upgrade to 4GB, then both have to be replaced. This up-gradation is valid for 64 bit operating systems because RAM that has 3Giga-byte or more goes overboard and cannot be utilized by systems with less than 64 bit OS.

Once the stick capacity is decided on, installing RAM in the notebook remains a job as easy as a cake walk. Just unclip the DIMM slots and fix up the new sticks.

Hard Drives

This is one task which might be technically not so easy. Though there are people who can just toss the thing out within minutes of gaining the know-how. We would still recommend the tender-foot to consider the option of plugging in an external hard drive. The reason is that it might be an easy task to physically remove the drive but, to shift the drive data from one drive to the other, might be a little tricky and sometimes painstaking.

If you do think that you actually need a higher inbuilt storage, you need to ensure that the drive you purchase is of the accurate model. The specifications are easy to remember. The hard drives installed in notebooks are 2.5 inches wide and the only big difference lies in the connector. It’s important to know the correct connector in your PC which, in most cases would be SATA. However, there are other connectors also available like IDE and ZIF. Once the correct connector is known, what remains is the speed & size of the drive to make a choice for. Size of course, depends on your requirement and speed would become a concern only when you would like to improve the performance as well. There is an improvement in speed when you opt for a 7200 RPM drive over a regular 5400 RPM drive. The performance is even better when you switch to a heavy-state hard drive which makes processing smoother than ever.

Once you are done with the hardware part, the trickier part of transferring the data from hard disk remains to resolve. To do this efficiently, there are two options available. The first one is to create a backup of your files on a DVD or on the web and install afresh the operating system. This process is time taking but easier to carry out. Further, it helps to clean up the system as well. The second option is to make the exact copy of your drive so that your system gets restored to exactly the same state as it was. To do this you need to buy specific hardware which makes the drive function as an external-hard drive while the original hard drive is still in the belly of the laptop. In case you’ve a desktop of your own as well, the task becomes easier by buying the necessary adapters to connect original and new hard-drives for cloning.

Monitors

Just one display to do all the shows in the lifetime of a laptop, obviously becomes monotonous after sometime.  For this, some manufacturers have come up with multiple displays  but due to lack of  standardization in maintaining the LCD panel connectors you might be left with no assurance on whether the higher resolution screen that they  purchased would connect to your laptop or not.

But this is not the case with an external display. It gives a beautiful look to the desktop and it is good for those who use desks for their laptop most of the time. Keeping in mind that video card in your laptop is able to drive it at its standard resolution; you can connect any monitor as a desktop to the laptop since now all laptop have external VGA or DVI connectors. Make sure before hand through the manuals while purchasing 30-incher that the video card is good enough to be able to drive the external drive at resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Speakers

Speakers unlike your RAM cannot perform better by up-gradation. They are set in stone and cannot budge from where they are. To cover this, headphones and stereo speakers which use audio jacks are already available which bring remarkable difference in sound quality. But what if you don’t stop here and want surround sound out of your existing set of embedded speakers? It was till lately not possible with those 5.1 surround speakers which had those unpleasant jacks which could not be plugged anywhere in laptops. The latest solutions are now in with the USB compatible speakers. With a state-of-the-art hardware, speakers like Altec Lansing’s FX5051 have come up with excellent audio quality drawn digitally through the USB connection. The system is fitted with the chipsets which converts those digital signals into analog and transfers to the satellite speakers to give the perfect surround sound effect from a single USB!

USB Accessories

Initially, the use of USB (1.0) was limited only to plugging accessories like mouse etc. this use expanded like anything with the advent of the high speed USB 2.0. There was a time when there were so many accessories provided with USB that they became uneasy to handle on one notebook. The entire setup looked so untidy that one had to keep a dedicated table to neatly manage all the accessories together. But now you do not need to worry about all these problems because you can get all the accessories inside the notebook like DVD burners, external hard drives, sound cards, LED keyboard lights. It would not be an exaggeration, if you end up finding the USB version of your laptop through a PCI card connection.

Notebook Expansion Cards

Earlier, PC cards were used with your notebook but with time, technology has also been improved. Now there is trend of using built-in expansion slots instead of many accessories hanging on your laptop. The Express Cards are used in the latest notebooks which are faster than PC card. The whole system is upgraded by adding new technology like Wi-Fi adaptor, WWAN adapter and sound card. It is very easy to install these drivers. This really give a foolproof up gradation and new look to your notebook.

Batteries

There are many components inside the notebook which function in the same way irrespective of time. But with the passage of time lithium-ion batteries do not sustain the ability to charge in the same way as they did before. Thus it is necessary to replace the battery which needs maintenance or up gradation.

There are many manufacturers who provide different batteries for the same notebook. These options just might be beneficial for you because you might end up getting the battery which has a much higher capacity in comparison to the original piece that came with your machine.

The performance of battery is indicated by its capacity. Using number of cells in a battery is the indication of battery backup by many companies. Using as much number of cells make the battery heavier. For example, a slim battery may have four cells while if the battery has an extended run then it may have eight cells. However the other effective way of indicating the capacity of battery is milliamp hour (mAh). Take an example; if you use 2400 mAh battery which gives a backup of two hrs, then you can expect a 4800mAh battery to deliver a backup of four hrs. It is, however, noteworthy that the number of cells indeed increases the backup but also increases the weight of the laptop. It is wise to strike a balance between your requirement and comfort level.

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