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Buying a PC laptop

Buying a PC laptop

Laptops used to be the computer you bought only if you traveled a lot. They were much slower than desktops, and harder to use. Modern laptops, however, are just as fast as their desktop counterparts and many people, even those who never travel with a computer, choose them because they take up little space and you can put them anywhere in your house.

If you've got your sights set on a new laptop PC, here's what you need to know before heading to the store. Thinking you might want a desktop, Mac or Chromebook instead? Find out which kind of computer is really for you.

Choosing the perfect laptop is always a balancing act. You have to factor in screen size, weight, speed, energy efficiency and price. Finding a laptop that meets your needs on all fronts is tough.

It helps to start by determining the price range where you are comfortable. That will be the first step in narrowing your options. Fortunately, laptops tend to break down into three easy price ranges.

Note that this buying guide is PC only. To learn about Apple laptops, visit this buying guide instead.

Next page: Laptops for less than $500
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