Tipskey
Laptop Computer Selection Criteria
laptop
Do not just trust sales person. Bring along the following testers to test the system yourself:
1) CPU-Z: http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php
2) GPU-Z: http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/GPU-Z/
Let us test it out on LENOVO ThinkPad T60. The basic things to look for are squared in red.

mainboard
The LENOVO motherboard uses 945PM Intel mobile chipset, that means it supports a DDR2-667 RAM to the RAM's maximum speed.

memory
Multiply 333 MHz by 2 ('2' because this is DDR2) so you get 666. So the RAM is DDR2-667 type. It matches the motherboard above.

spd
The laptop has two memory slots.

gpu
The graphic memory is 64MB. Next we see what Windows show for the graphic memory.

display adapter
Hmm... Even Lenovo T60 tries to dupe users. Windows shows 512MB for the graphic memory but actually the system has 64MB only.

I have spent a lot of money and time to know the following criteria. Please take it along when buying a laptop computer.
Criteria to personally check on the spot instead of trusting the salespersonTick
Demo unit: loaded with OS (or else the machine capability cannot be verified on the spot) 
Keyboard: 'Backspace' not square but rectangular; right 'Shift' not on the right side of Up arrow (so that you will not press the wrong button); 'O' does not look like '0', keyboard button can be detached easily without damage (e.g. ThinkPad series) for cleaning, every key works 
Palm rest: will not discolor (you should be able to guess by looking at the material, or perhaps you do not mind how your laptop looks after discoloration); no groove that can trap dirt (e.g. DELL Latitude D630 has such grooves that trap dirt). 
Battery: at least 5000mAh or 5Ah (less than that means you cannot work long without power cord. The spec is printed on the battery) 
Power cord jack size: follows market majority in your area so that it is easier to find replacement in case of damage or loss. After Lenovo took over ThinkPad, it enlarged the jack size of T60 causing T60 to be unable to use T43's power cord. 
Optical drive: not a writer (read-only is more durable. It is hard to change the drive if it is spoilt so durability counts) 
Volume: loud (usually a laptop computer is loud if it has speaker holes) 
Mouse buttons: functional (you will be amazed that many are not working) 
Stability: the computer does not freeze when the power cord is pulled off (LENOVO T60 has this annoying problem), the computer does not hang or restart after the lid is closed when it runs on battery power. 
LCD screen: no dead pixel (change the background to black and check if there is tiny white dot); ratio of screen width over height is 4:3 (some full screen programs and all wallpapers are in this ratio) instead of 16:9 (this ratio is suitable only if you watch a lot of movies) 
Processor: Speed and model are as claimed (I was cheated on this before: claimed to be Pentium 4, but actually just Pentium Celeron) 
RAM: In one piece / stick, not two pieces. This is because for same memory size, two pieces are slower then one piece. 
RAM slot: at least one empty slot (so that more RAM can be added next time if desired) 
Motherboard: Chipset matching the RAM above for faster speed; more than one channel architecture for RAM (T60 is single channel as shown in the second picture above) 
USB BIOS support: available (so that OS can be installed using a USB optical drive) 
Ports: Check each USB and HDMI to make sure they are working 
'Show window contents while dragging': smooth / no trail when dragging 
Avoid purchase at computer fair unless you are sure the shop is already around for a few years and it is not far from your house for easier follow-up in case of problem. 
Posted: 2008-06-05; updated: 2015-03-14 by Ong Seng Aun.
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