Portable Multimedia Machines or Desktops?
The performance capability of notebooks has been increasing for years: in many respects, mobile computers no longer lag behind their desktop counterparts. When purchasing a new computer these days, many users wonder whether a bulky tower CPU is even necessary, given the advantages of a notebook.
If you decide to purchase a notebook, performance is often not as decisive a factor as design, or various additional functions such as wireless capability or the ability to eject CDs when the notebook is turned off. Even if such features tempt you to buy, it pays to keep a cool head, because when compared to desktop computers, notebooks can be difficult or impossible to upgrade. You should consider the hardware very carefully, to ensure that it meets all of your needs.
If watching movies on the go is important to you, then a DVD-ROM drive and a sizable screen are musts. In this respect, notebooks with 17″ screens are considered the cream of the crop. Now that Blu-Ray has won the exhausting format battle to become DVD’s successor, we can expect to start seeing a large number of notebooks equipped with Blu-Ray drives. However, playing such high-resolution video material puts even higher demands on the hardware. Intel has already responded, and in the course of introducing mobile processors in its 45 nm manufacturing process, has also rejuvenated its mobile computer platform (Santa Rosa). These modifications have also improved the playback capabilities of high-resolution video material (see also article: Notebook comparison: Penryn vs. Merom).
Manufacturers are reacting to these changing circumstances in the notebook market sector. Acer, for example, has produced various models optimized for multimedia use, to attract customers. The 6920 and 8920 series boast 16″ and 18.4″ displays respectively, and promise complete viewing satisfaction in full HDTV resolution. However, performance like this comes at a price: interested buyers have to reach deep into their pocketbooks. The smallest model in the 6920 series costs $1,855.13, while the largest 8920G-934G64BN model is tagged at a whopping $2,937.30.
But is it really worth it to anyone to pay so much for a notebook? What could you get if you were to invest an equivalent sum in a desktop? The following article will address these questions.