Buying a new laptop is something that many would consider a fairly major purchase.This especially applies to those who are buying a new laptop for the first time, or buying a computer for the first time.

Define your goal, and figure out your requirements

when you are purchasing a laptop, What are you going to be using it for? If you are a gamer and want to play the latest and greatest games out there. This is when you should consider answering that question yourself. However, before you do that, there is one question that you must answer for yourself, and that is:
Are you or someone that uses your laptop, ever going to play new 3D games on it?

If your answer is:

NO: If your answer is no, then you have narrowed your selection of laptops down by about 25% - 40% (Depending where you are buying them from). An important thing to keep in mind is that, if you are not playing games on it, you do not want a "dedicated graphics card" on the laptop, because you will never use it for what you are doing. The dedicated graphics card is a costly piece of material and it will not speed your laptop up for word processing, or the internet, or even your video editing.

YES: If you answered "yes" to the fact that you would play new 3D games, then you absolutely need a laptop that has a "dedicated graphics card" in it. When you talk to your sales representative make certain they know you will be playing games on it, and that the card itself has 128Mb of video ram, or more.You will have to discuss with your representative your budget, and how fast you want your games to run

Identifying your wants

This could almost be the final step. This step is very straightforward. You must decide for yourself how fast you want your machine to be. This is a critical step, because as soon as you purchase your laptop, you cannot change anything inside of it! The one exception is the memory, and that can always be upgraded.Here is the general components of the laptop that you are interested in:

CPU - This will determine how fast your machine launches programs and runs ( You will want at least a dual-core, unless you cannot afford it ). Look for Pentium Core2 chips, or AMD's X2 type chips. Ask your product rep for a range of processors, and more information or guidance if you need.

Memory (RAM) - This is where all your programs store their temporary information. So, The larger the amount of ram, the more programs you can have running, or you can launch larger programs (1 Gigabyte is generally the minimum, 2 Gigabytes will be the recommended).

Hard drive - This part is where you store your files for the long term. Accounting books, and music files, are all stored on the hard drive.The larger it is, the more files you can dump into it.Performance of your laptop is not affected by the size of the drive, and generally not by the speed of the drive. Hard drives will range from 80 Gb - 500 Gb (Sometimes more).

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