In the olden days of computing, everyone got a desktop computer. Laptops became available in the mid to late 1980s, but they were clunky, expensive, and underpowered. Some road warriors purchased a laptop, but they usually had a desktop as well because of the shortcomings of the laptops of the day. However, over time laptops became sleeker, cheaper, and more powerful, and users started to get enthusiastic about them, sometimes using one as their primary computer. At this point in history, laptops are only a bit more expensive than comparable desktops at the low end, and at the high end are essentially just as powerful. Throughout the range of prices, there are laptops too big to fit in most cases as well as laptops that only weigh a couple of pounds and are very small.
So which laptop do you buy? Unfortunately, it's not as simple as going down to CompUSA and getting the cheapest one there, or the one that looks the coolest. You have to do a fair amount of research first, and you should also figure out what you need the laptop to do and what your priorities are. Important considerations also include what deals you can get to bring the price of more expensive laptops down, the reliability of manufacturers and specific models, and what specific features you need.
This article will cover the major steps in finding a laptop, including determining your needs, understanding the technologies that are advertised with each laptop, figuring out the exact laptop that is right for you, and figuring out exact specifications and accessories where necessary.
Do you even need a laptop?