So do you prefer to call them laptops or do you prefer to call them notebooks. I am partial to notebooks as I never keep them on top of my lap. Jokes apart, purchasing a new notebook computer is really tough.

If you were to read the ads then each computer sounds better than the cat’s whiskers. But when you look close, they all look similar. At least the similarly priced ones tend to be similar. So, is there really a difference between one laptop and another? Or should I say one notebook and another?

To answer this very question, I am going to look at three popular computers that are currently on sale and compare them. The read can then take this to be the starting point and evaluate many other options to find the one that works best for them.

First of all, let us consider the HP Pavilion DV6426US, a machine that I powered by the Intel Core Duo Processor T2450. This multithreaded architecture based micro processor is well optimized for multi-tasking based performance. The fact that this notebook comes installed with 1 GB RAM should help run many of the contemporary popular applications at a good speed. It has a 160 GB Hard Drive which is nothing spectacular, but should do the trick in most cases. And the bundled operating system is the Microsoft Vista Premium. And I really like notebooks that come with an integrated WebCam. This HP laptop sure has one of those. In the absence of such a webcam, attempting Video IM becomes a serious pain.

Second let us consider the Sony VAIO VGN-FZ140E/B. This laptop too is powered by a Duo Processor, in this case the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7100. It beats the HP one in terms of RAM, as it comes with 2 GB RAM. Its hard disk is bigger at 200 GB. So, if Freud was right and size does matter then, well, this one has the bigger Hard Drive. The duo-core multithreading micro processor will deliver performance similar to the HP machine. This laptop comes with Microsoft Vista Home Premium.

Finally let us look at the Compaq Presario F572US. Like both the previous machines, this one too has a 15.4″ screen. Though it has a dual-core micro processor, the Compaq uses the AMD Athlon 64 Processor TK-53 and not an Intel based processor like the other two I wrote about. Also it has 1 GB RAM like the HP machine. Where I think it scores lower is in its hard disk capacity, a mere 80 GB. It also comes with the Microsoft Vista Premium.

All in all, the machines have pros and cons. I have not listed prices here, as they would change faster than I could type them out. But, make sure to look at the prices too.