There are many reasons for having a laptop computer but the one that probably makes the most sense is to treat having a laptop as an investment and to treat the laptop as a tool that sooner or later will have to be replaced. Yet I don't think that we need to use sophisticated mathematical formulas to determine the best option in buying and using the laptop but just simple logic and common sense.
What we are aiming at is to have a laptop that will be functional for the longest time possible without having a major breakdown that would require a relatively big sum of money. When our laptop is hit with a major breakdown, we are faced with a decision on whether to have the laptop repaired of just buy a new one. And oftentimes, it makes more sense to buy a new one than to have the old laptop repaired.
Of all the major breakdowns, what we want to avoid is a hardware failure on our disk drive. Our keyboard may fail but we can always attach a USB keyboard and we can go on using our laptop and type more easily and conveniently. Our DVD drive may fail but we can always attach an external USB DVD drive and we could perhaps burn more disks and at a faster rate than when we were using the internal DVD drive. Our battery may fail yet we can still use the laptop as long as it is connected to an electrical outlet. But when our disk drive fails, we are done.
Since what we want to avoid is a hard disk failure, we should thus want to make sure that we don't overuse the disk drive. And how may we be able to do this, I ask? Well, my answer would be that when buying your laptop, have as much random access memory as your money would allow so that your laptop would have a large temporary storage of data so it won't need to access the disk drive more often than it needed to.
The best accessory that you can buy for your laptop investment-wise would be an external hard disk drive which you can use to save all the data that you create. So when buying your laptop, you can for example choose to buy a relatively small capacity internal disk drive and use the amount that you can save to buy an external hard disk drive.
You would then be using the internal hard disk drive for only the programs and software that you use with your laptop. There will be much less pressure on your internal hard disk drive if you don't use it to store the data that you create and hopefully it will last longer.
We can see more and more use of this strategy on the newer laptops that come with very limited hard disk or flash storage only enough to hold the operating system and essential software like some models of the Asus EEE PC. You then would have to buy additional external storage where you can place the data that you create.
This too is advantageous for laptops that are used by different users so with separate external hard disk drives for each user, complete confidentiality of data is assured. And if your external hard disk breaks down, other users can still use the laptop since the operating system and software applications are not affected.
Of all the vital components inside your laptop, the hard disk drive is the component most likely to fail and when it fails, it is fatal to the laptop so this is where we should focus on when trying to get the longest useful service possible from our laptop. The hard disk drive is a mechanical equipment that is why it would most likely be the one to fail early on due to overuse. This is also true of other mechanical components like the DVD ROM drive and the keyboard but their breakdown is not as devastating as that of the internal hard disk drive.
So the common sense approach to investing in a laptop focuses on the most likely component that can fail early on and whose failure is fatal to the laptop and take measures to prevent the failure from happening too soon. The strategy is to buy a laptop with a large random access memory but not so large internal hard disk drive and to buy an external hard disk drive where user-generated data will be stored. This will thus allow lesser pressure on the internal hard disk which will hopefully enable it to last longer and be enjoyed by the user for the longest time possible.
Read my article on how you can get more years of useful life from your laptop at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-you-can-get-more-years-of-useful.html.
Read my other article on whether laptops are getting obsolete with the advent of new tablet computers at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/is-your-laptop-getting-obsolete.html.
Read my other article on the question of your laptop getting obsolete at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/is-your-laptop-getting-obsolete.html.
Read an article on how to keep your hard disk clean and lean to extend the service life of your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/12/keep-your-hard-disk-clean-and-lean-to.html.
Read my other article on a common sense approach to a financially sustainable life at: http://sites.google.com/site/ournewapproach/a-common-sense-approach-to-living-a-financially-sustainable-life.
Read my other article on a few ideas toward a more sensible buying behavior at: http://sites.google.com/site/ournewapproach/toward-a-more-sensible-buying-behavior.