How to Choose the Right Laptop For You

It's not a secret, nor a surprise that laptop sales are soaring. People are constantly on the move and there is an ever increasing demand for their PCs to be equally mobile. Just as purchasing a new desktop can feel overwhelming, choosing the laptop that's right for you can be just as difficult. We've put together a simple buying guide to help you navigate the sometimes tricky terrain of buying a new laptop.

Notebook computers come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own set of pros and cons. In the following article, we've outlined the most in-demand laptops currently on the market. Each section includes a user profile, what to expect, and the key features that make up the system.

o Desktop replacement laptops
o Ultra-portable laptops
o Budget / Value-minded laptops

Desktop Replacement

With mobile technology advancing at such a rapid rate, it is more feasible to kiss your clunky desktop good-bye and instead, run your intensive games and multimedia applications anywhere your laptop may be. These laptops are typically pricey and a bit bulky, but they have more features than you'll ever need. You'll be hands deep in learning how to record live television, attaching gaming consoles, editing high-definition videos, and inventorying your entire music collection. Although it's still hard for a portable system to match a well-equipped desktop in terms of performance, the mobility advantages are undeniable.

Depending on your needs, a 15 "to 17" sized panel is advisable, especially if you will be using this as your primary PC. Also, if you can afford the extra cost, a LED backlit LCD screen will translate into richer colors, improved contrast and even improved battery life.

In terms of expansion, it's important to consider if you'll be connecting to an external monitor and full-sized keyboard / mouse often. If this is the case, we recommend you look for a model that supports a docking station. For a desktop replacement, we do not recommend anything less than 3 USB ports to be built in the laptop casing.


If you're a student or traveling businessman, a 4-pound laptop is ideal for you. Ultra-portables defy gravity by integrating each laptop component into the smallest frame possible. Its slim form factor, light weight, and low-voltage processor make it ideal for those who need a thin and light road warrior. While these laptops tend to have smaller keyboards and smaller screens, they're still efficient enough to do word processing, emailing, and web browsing.

We have differentiated two ultra-portable systems: Standard and Performance.

The first describes a well-equipped laptop in the 11 "to 12" range, usually characteristic of the Sony Vaio TZ and its competitors. These systems use low power dual core processors, integrated video and slower, smaller hard drives (so picking a 5400rpm HDD in this category can be considered a big plus).

Our performance ultra-portable spec, on the other hand, corresponds to the category that the Apple Macbook Air debuted not too long ago. You can upgrade power all-around compared to the standard ultra-portable spec, but these models are usually bit larger in size.

Most ultra-portable systems offer the option of wireless WAN connectivity, so you may want to check what the ISP offers are in your area. If your ultra-portable will not have substantial load placed on it and you'd prefer the additional portability, it's worth taking a glance at netbooks.

Budget / Value-minded

If you do not quite need the most portable setup possible, then focus your attention here. Value-minded laptops appeal to anyone on a budget or anyone who would rather replace a laptop every year than suffer the wrath of repair centers. It's also ideal if you're new to computing and do not want to get cooked up in anything too high end. However, keep in mind that they tend to be on the heavier side.

Often times, budget laptops suffer from poor quality LCD screens, where viewing angles are not too great and color contrast is well below par. LED backlit screens are reserved for more expensive models, so having at least some kind of hands-on experience with the laptop model you are buying is advisable.

There's a laptop out there for everyone, no matter what you're looking for. So think about what's most important to you-computing power, a complete set of features, long battery life, good looks, a small form factor, or a low price. Hopefully, this article has given you the essential information to find the laptop that's right for you.