Buying a Laptop


Laptops make it easy to keep up with all your important computing needs any time. Whether you need to follow up with work on a flight or you’re checking on family emails during a vacation, you can find a laptop that can do it all. As the popularity of these portable computers grows, so does the range of options available on the market. You might want to replace a desktop PC with a large laptop boasting strong technical performance, or you might be looking for a lightweight computer that’s easy to carry around for simple online tasks. Explore the options so you can find the features that are right for you.

Why buy a new laptop?

  • Many new laptops are very light, so you can carry them anywhere without weighing down your bag or straining your back.
  • Improved battery life lets you do more without searching for a power outlet.
  • Enjoy HD displays that make streaming movies and TV shows look sharp.
  • High-spec PC laptops can play the latest games.
  • PC laptops and Ultrabooks feature large hard drives to store all your important documents and media, and Chromebooks back everything up to an online storage cloud.

Features of laptops

Technical features

  • Wi-Fi capabilities let you keep up with emails and social networks anywhere Wi-Fi access is available
  • The CPU is a computer processor that handles most of your laptop’s work
  • RAM, or your computer’s memory, helps determine how well it can multitask
  • Many laptops feature touchscreens that replicate the convenient features of a tablet
  • Webcams are included in many models for video conferencing and calls

Learn more about the features of a computer


  • Long battery life lets you keep working on the go without a charger
  • Lightweight laptops feature full-size keyboards with all the functions you need
  • Ultrabooks and Chromebooks can boot up instantly

Types of laptops


Chromebooks are fast and have a light frame. They run on Google’s Chrome operating system instead of on Windows. Your files save online on a storage cloud so you’ll always have access to the latest versions from any computer, but Internet access is required to use many apps.

  • Price Range: $200-$300
  • Screen Size: 11.6-14 inches
  • Battery Life: 6-12 hours
  • Hard Drive Capacity: 16 GB
  • Memory Range: 2-4 GB


Chromebooks are best for...

A second laptop or computer: You might still want a desktop or laptop PC with Windows to access some familiar applications or work offline, but a Chromebook is useful for following up with email or browsing the web anywhere you have Wi-Fi access.


Regular Google users: If you already have a Google account and use features like Gmail, Google Drive or Google Play, you can sign into your account for immediate access to all your files and familiar apps.


Social media mavens: Access easy-to-use apps for Twitter, Instagram and more on Chromebook, so you can post pictures, videos and updates anywhere.









Ultrabooks combine high performance with thin and light construction. Many models can reboot from standby instantly, similarly to a tablet.

  • Price Range: $1,100-$1,700
  • Screen Size: 11-15 inches
  • Battery Life: 3-11 hours
  • Hard Drive Capacity: 128-500 GB
  • Memory Range: 2.1-8 GB


Ultrabooks are best for...

Frequent travelers: Long battery life and instant-on features mean you can always get back to your work quickly when you’re on the go between airports and hotels.


Streaming entertainment: Portable Ultrabooks have larger HD screens and are easy to carry to any room in the house so you can enjoy streaming movies and TV anytime.


Bloggers: Ultrabooks can run all the word processing and media editing programs you need to create a new post on your blog, and they’re portable enough to carry along to any event, on a vacation or anywhere else the action is happening.



PC laptops

Available in the widest range of price points and configurations, PC laptops are great for everything from browsing the web and composing documents to streaming media and playing high-performance games.

  • Price Range: $160-$3,000
  • Screen Size: 11-19.9 inches
  • Battery Life: 3-12 hours
  • Hard Drive Capacity: 64 GB-1.5 TB
  • Memory Range: 2.1-12 GB

PC Laptops are best for...

Desktop PC replacement: Whether you prefer the convenience of a laptop or lack room in your home to set up a desktop computer, you can find a PC laptop that has technical specs to rival a desktop for any business and media programs.


Gamers: Higher-end PC laptops feature larger screens with graphics capabilities and CPU performance comparable to desktop PCs. You’ll be able to play the latest games at high graphical settings.



Bottom Line

No matter what your computing needs are, there’s a laptop available that’s right for you. If you want a laptop with all the capabilities of a desktop PC for games or business applications, pick up a PC laptop. Chromebooks are highly portable and responsive, but require an Internet connection for most tasks. Ultrabooks provide a solid balance between slim construction and strong specs that can handle your day-to-day business or schoolwork. Compare these features and find the laptop that can meet the challenges of your daily life.