Finding the Optimal Laptop Configuration

Terry Olaes

I Used to be the [H] News Guy
Nov 27, 2006
If you’re in the market for a laptop, this article may help you save some money. The author tested a myriad of configuration choices in RAM and HDD vs SSD and evaluated their effect on battery life and overall price.

Many people believe that you can't have both better performance and longer battery life. My tests found that just isn't true. In fact, finding the configuration that provides the best performance often also provides optimal battery life.


Limp Gawd
Feb 16, 2008
Quite impressive article, very helpful to anyone looking for a laptop.

From number of memory sticks perspective, 2 GB is probably easier to do than 1.5 (2x1GB matched sets, anyway). Also, in my experience, XP's sweet spot seems to be around 2GB.

The SSD is a very attractive option for laptops, since storage quantity isn't as important. This makes the trade off for battery life (vs space) better.

The only question that remains for me... what Thinkpad has that spec? :)
May 10, 2008
Since you really cannot find a huge supply of XP Pro based laptops on the market anymore, I believe the point behind this article is about a year too late. For those people who have an XP machine, upgrading now might only get them a performance increase because they have an old battery already thus not improving their life.

Most people would rather have more hardware on their machines to be able to handle multiple applications at the same time than that extra 15 minutes of battery life in my experience selling computers.

Most people that need battery life state so before they pick-out a machine. If you yearn for that extra 20 minutes of battery life there is always the option of a 2nd or extended life battery for most notebooks on the market today.


Limp Gawd
Feb 10, 2006
This guy seems a bit off to me. I love the fact that he says performance did not increase on four gigs... of course it wouldn't with a 32bit OS. Also why did he spend that much for a 32gig ssd when for the same price he could get a 64? He should read the forums here and then write another article.