How to Buy a Laptop

Note: Be sure to check out the most recent version of our Laptop Buying Guide.


Notebook Buying Guide graphic
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The most highly evolved species of computer, the laptop (aka notebook) computer allows you to work without being tethered to an office. Portability and good performance make laptop PCs an essential part of the daily lives of millions of people, from college students to business travelers. Even the least-expensive of today's laptops are well equipped for everyday work.

The Big Picture
There are more laptop choices than ever. We'll identify and discuss the available options--including screen size, weight, battery life, and communications ports. more

The Specs Explained
Do you need a superfast CPU? Or a huge hard drive? We'll guide you through the choices and tell you which features are most critical. more

Laptop Shopping Tips
Looking for a powerful, versatile notebook at a reasonable price? Our advice will help you find the right laptop. more

In Video: How to Buy a Laptop

PC World's Top-Rated Laptops

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