10 Things to Look for When Buying a Laptop


Size and Weight

Heavy laptops kill mobility. In 2011, computer processor maker Intel began pushing an ultrabook category that focuses on lightweight systems -- usually weighing about 3 pounds (1.3 kilograms) -- to make use of its ultra low voltage CPUs. Ultrabooks do away with disc drives and focus on portability, long battery life and a starting price range of $800 to $1000. These laptops aren't powerful enough for some users, and do away with a disc drive others find important, but they demonstrate a trend towards lightweight notebooks that are extremely portable.

Pounds add up quickly. Most 15-inch (38-centimeter) laptops often weigh around 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms), which is a manageable weight to carry between home and the office every day. But some laptops creep up into the 7 to 8 pound (3.2 to 3.6 kilogram) range, and laptops that heavy can easily be relegated to at-home machines due to their weight.

There are a couple ways to get around the weight issue. You can always shop for a brand like Sony's Vaio, which makes weight a priority concern. The downside: Vaios are more expensive than other notebooks with similar performance. Second option: Go for a computer with a smaller screen.