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Laptops: What To Know Before You Shop

Laptop Basics

When my new roommate moved in, I noticed she had a fancy-looking laptop. It turned out that she is an avid World of Warcraft player and bought the laptop because she wanted something that could run the game well. Being a bit of a gamer myself (I prefer first-person shooters), I asked her what kinds of specs it had, to which she replied, “I don’t know. I just chose the ‘great-for-gaming’ options on the Dell Website.”

Here response raised a big red flag in my mind. How can you purchase a computer without knowing what’s in it? I took a look at her laptop’s specs and found that while it was capable of keeping up with World of Warcraft, the laptop was actually overkill. My roommate had paid for features she didn’t need, which is all too common, and frankly, this is what PC sellers like to see happen. There needs to be more comprehensible information about features and performance available to average consumers.

With the holiday season approaching, laptops are at the top of a lot of wish lists. We’ve come up with a different kind of buying guide. Instead of leading you blindly with recommendations, we’re going to teach you how to find your perfect laptop. Here’s what you need to know before you start searching for deals.

We’ll cover all of the important aspects of choosing your perfect laptop, from your CPU and RAM to the video card and hard drive. We’ll even teach you about some of the more technical features and what they mean. After that, we will give you a few recommendations, but hopefully by the end of this article you won’t need them.