Home User Buying Guide
When it comes to home entertainment laptops, connectivity is an important element. How easily the laptop can interact with your other multimedia gadgets such as the TV or stereo equipment is everything. HDMI, Bluetooth, and other video and audio out ports are all potentially vital features for a well-functioning entertainment laptop. But there’s more to the perfect multimedia laptop. Here are our requirements and recommendations on a great multimedia computer.
Connectivity – HDMI, S/PDIF Wireless and Bluetooth are important features for an entertainment laptop, depending on where you want to plug it in. Check your current equipment for reference before buying a new laptop.
Memory – Make sure to have at least 1.5-2 GB RAM since media files tend to require a lot of memory.
Storage – Storing audio and video files on the computer disk will quickly use up a lot of space, potentially slow down the laptop’s performance and increase the risk of viruses. External storage such as a USB hard drive is an alternative.
Screen size – Entertainment laptops are often used as a media player while connected to a projector or the home TV-set. However, if you are planning to use the laptop as main screen, the bigger the better. No less than 16-17 inches.
If you complete your entertainment laptop with an external hard drive or use a DVD-burner to store on DVD’s, you won’t need an excessive amount of disk space. However most recent multimedia laptops are equipped with at least 200 GB of hard drive space, so either way you’ll probably have enough.
For the best possible resolution and viewing pleasure, an entertainment laptop should be equipped with a large enough screen. Too small and you might as well plug it in to your kitchen TV-set.
Drives, CPU and Memory
To be able to execute and edit media files that are generally more than a couple of MB’s a proper multimedia laptop should not compromise in performance. Using Intel processors such as the Core 2 Duo will give your laptop good prospects for delivering the best entertainment experience.
With a fast processor and 2 GB memory you will easily be able to watch HD video files, import, store, and edit images and listen to music. Now, if you want to do all those things at the same time, so called multitasking, lots of RAM is required. You need at least 2-4 GB RAM in order to let your multimedia laptop work effortlessly. Using software such as Creative Suite, Video encoders and converters, Premiere Pro and music mixing programs will require a solid laptop and nothing less.
Connect to the home theater setup via HDMI and buy music, movies and other media online with your wireless internet connection. FireWire or USB lets you import your own camcorder videos. HDMI out, DVI out, or VGA video out are the ports that allow you to play your laptop movies on a HDTV, High Definition TV.
An external hard drive to store your multimedia files is a good upgrade. Storing large media files on the laptop hard drive will fill it up quickly.