back to article Buyer's Guide: 15in Notebooks

In this group test I'm comparing six models that have a 15.6in screen with a decent, 1366 x 768 resolution that supports HD video - look for an HDMI port if you want to hook it up to a telly. A mid-size 15.6-inch chassis gives you free rein to choose either a dual-core or quad-core CPU. Intel rules the roost with its Core i3 and …


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NVidia might not be as fast as Radeon

But it supports CUDA, which is essential in many of our Computer Science classes. Anyone studying computer graphics or physics simulations should consider NVidia-based machines. The latter are often faster in terms of direct volume rendering (MRI/CT type applications).

Horses for courses.

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1366 x 768 is not a "decent" resolution. It is a totally useless resolution for almost everything aside from watching widescreen video and maybe some gaming. With most textual content, it leaves you with a huge amount of empty space and a shedload of scrolling to do if you want to read much. If you can use all the space for text it's going to make for some uncomfortably long lines. Writing an essay it saves more time if you can refer back to something three lines ago without having to scroll the document up and down relentlessly.

I have no idea why it is so hard to get a notebook now that has an old style taller/narrower screen but the consequence is that in order to make the computer any use for reading or writing text you need a 17" screen now which means the computer in question is very far from being a notebook and is more of an encyclopedia.

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