The next time you're shopping for a notebook computer, you might want to pay close attention to a few of the newer options that many business machines (as opposed to consumer models) now offer:

TV or S-Video Output

If you intend on using your computer for business presentations, then the ability to patch into a TV using a standard RCA cable will be a real benefit. Just about any TV or VCR has such inputs.

The addition of an S-Video port will provide even better clarity when using a TV for external display, but older TVs and VCRs may not support this feature.

However, a notebook that can provide for either of these external display options is a good choice, while one that supports both features is best.

Internal Ethernet Adapters

While most notebooks now come equipped with internal modems, newer business models now often come with internal Ethernet adapters for network connections, as well. If your office provides a network, or if you think you might like to network your own notebook computer with your desktop unit, then this is an invaluable feature to shop for.

Not only will this save you the hassle of having to buy a plug-in adapter in the future, but having an internal Ethernet adapter saves you from compatibility and installations issues as well.


The newer data ports that are in conformance with standard IEEE 1394 are commonly called Firewire ports. This standard is great for transferring large amounts of information, quickly. Right now, the most common accessory that uses Firewire is the new breed of digital video cameras (DVC).

Even if you don't own a DVC right now, or plan on buying one anytime soon, it's likely that many other peripherals will soon begin to take advantage of the speed available using Firewire, and some already have. Shopping for a notebook that offers this port will likely save you time, money and complications down the road.


Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale