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How Much Does A Laptop Computer Cost

Much of the prosperity of laptops (or notebooks) is due to innovations in component technology, wireless networks and extended battery performance. They continue to drop in price while becoming better used by purpose

Laptops by Type & Pricing

Machines are available to suit most users needs in terms of affordability, portability and performance characteristics along with display screen & keypad factors.

  • Budget Laptops - at times when the pocketbook dictates, a number of options can be had in the $200-plus range. The Asus D550MA-DS01 has a 15.6" screen at around $250 to $290 depending on place of purchase. With a host of other brands in the $300 to $500 category by Acer and Lenova.

    Chromebooks, operating on the Google Chrome OS, usually sport 11.6" screens with SDRAM that is 2GB DDR3L. They reside at the floor of the price heap, around and under the two-hundred-dollar mark. Having reduced keypads also.

  • Business Laptops - are among the broadest of categories, where prices begin at just over $500 and can top $2,500 - but where consumer model purchases often overlap. Lenova offers an introductory priced model - the Lenovo ThinkPad E545 with a 15.6" display and 4 GB ram running at 64 bit for $499 at Lenova.com - but reduced prices can be found. The HP ProBook 455 G1 is in a similar price bracket. Major brands are found throughout the price spectrum. The Dell Latitude E6430, for instance, climbs to over $2,000.

  • Desktop Replacements - in looking for a replacement machine, a main concern some users have is that a WYSIWYG keypad emulates their desktop size and configuration to which they are accustomed. Along with larger screen size, processor power and ram requirements. Expect to pay $600 to $1,800 for this type of laptop solution. The Toshiba Satellite L75D-A7268NR is listed at $604.99 MSRP at Toshiba.com boasting 6 GB ram, and a 17.3" screen.

  • Thin Notebooks/Ultrabook - as laptops in the broader sense continue to trend toward lighter, thinner and more dexterious - some makers have taken this as design gospel. Most Ultrabooks begin near $900 and might charge up to twice this amount. The slim Samsung ATIV Book 9 offers a vivid display at around $1,200.

  • 2-in-1 Laptops - in answer to the call for greater flexibility, the 2-in-1 allows for flip and fold designs that double as a tablet in function. The Lenova IdeaPad Yoga 11s is one such contortionist that is available for a mid-priced $799.99 at BestBuy.com. The 2-in-1 laptop design concept is being integrated into machines that cross above and below the thousand dollar threshold.

  • Gaming Laptop Machines - for some of the most dedicated tappers, Alienware prices extend to the some of the highest of all laptops, given the special requirements of high resolution displays, keypad specs, video cards and performance processors not to mention RAM. Most entry-level gaming laptops begin at 8 GB RAM and 15.6" screens, topping $1,000 like by MSI's series GE60. More serious gamers are at the helm of pricier machines having 16GB such as within the Asus ROG G750 at around $1,800 that combines a Core i7 and Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics, a cooling system & overclocking. Mid-line systems by Alienware sell in excess of two and three thousand dollars, on up to those topping $6,000 like with the Alienware 18 4930MX with processor speeds to 4.3 GHZ.

  • The Rugged Laptop - offering abilities in a variety of tough environments, the rugged laptop brings features that afford added protection such as against drops and shocks, sunlight, spills and dust. The semi-rugged laptop class offers a midway solution. Retail pricing for new rugged models fall in to a vast $1,100 to $4,500 retail category. Panasonic being a major manufacturer with its Toughbook line. The Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Line favors the upper price range. Note: many rugged models at base price do come equipped with sparse RAM and SSD capacities that might be upgradeable.

Added Cost Factors

Features that affect laptop built-in pricing:
  • Ports - the number and type, typically USB 3.0 today. But if eSata is desired, such as for use with external drives, this probably means a custom order laptop. Asus is one company that provides an eSata option, but expect an upcharge.
  • Screen Options - whether the display is fixed in postion, swivels, folds back on itself or is detachable altogether. Resolution, and touch-screen capability.
  • Keypad Response - some cheaper boards flex entirely, higher quality keyboards offer independent tactile response.
  • Weight & Portability - the less the weight of the external chasis, figure greater expense, even when not going ultraportable.
  • Battery - charge is frequently expressed in number of cells, but the increase in cell count comes with more weight.
  • Internal Hardware/Speed - both laptop HDD's and pricier SDD's are being placed in notebooks as are hybrids drives. More expandable RAM can avoid entire system buying in the future.
Besides a mouse, a carrying case, and spare battery, the docking station can adapt the notebook for desktop use by adding USB and monitor DVI/VGA ports

Other Considerations

As of February 2014, Sony stopped making Laptop PC's more. Replacement parts, service and what you pay for these may become adversely affected by this.

That laptop processors, by name, are comparable to desktop machine processors is a common misconception. These may need benchmarking for comparitive cost-benefit accuracy.

Systems running Windows7 and Windows8 make take more processing power than previous OS versions. Some laptops that are found mainly on special, still arrive XP preloaded. For which new software might have to be purchased.

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