10 Things to Look for When Buying a Laptop

Watch this video from TED to hear from the founder of the One Laptop Per Child organization, Nicholas Negroponte. Nicholas is also the founder of the MIT Media Laboratory.
TED Conferences

In 1995, laptops were ugly. Not just ugly, but also heavy and expensive. A couple thousand dollars bought a small 4:3 screen, chunky keyboard and a hard drive measured in megabytes, not gigabytes. Thankfully, modern laptops are entirely different beasts. They're lighter, faster, infinitely more versatile and cheaper than ever. And there are a ton of them: In the first quarter of 2010, about 50 million tablets were sold worldwide [source: CNET].

The vast options in today's laptop market makes finding the right system a bit of a challenge. There are desktop replacement laptops, ultralights, high-end systems for gamers and cheap netbooks for taking notes. You have to know exactly what you're looking for.

Here's how you get started: Read through the next 10 pages to figure out what you should keep an eye out for in a new laptop. If you know why each of the next 10 features is important, you'll be prepared to pick the perfect notebook for your needs.