Laptop computers have come a long way since the first suitcase sized, portable computer was invented. They are now available in sizes small enough to fit in a purse, or larger models more appropriate for home use. The size and type you need will depend on what you plan to use it for and where. If you are limited on space, consider a laptop as a desktop replacement. Laptops are smaller and lighter than desktop computers, making them a good option for a small student desk or smaller apartment space. They are also more expensive though, and that should be taken into consideration when making a purchase. Paying this amount for a laptop wont mean that youre getting a better one. A more expensive laptop isnt always the best. Sometimes, you are in fact paying for the brand and the status that the brand affords you. The laptop you purchase should come about thanks to what you need the laptop to do. Remember that a laptop is not a long-term investment. Youll likely only use it a maximum of six years or so before you either are forced to get a replacement or decide it is just too outdated. That means you should factor in replacement costs when determining your budget. Consider online reviews when you want to buy a laptop online. While reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, it can help you see if the model you want is worth buying. Many times, these reviews will contain important information on how great or poor a model is and what their experience was. This can save you a lot of frustration and money if you know what to buy or avoid. Be sure to get a case for your new laptop. The fact is that dropping it, having someone bump into it or watching helplessly as someones coffee spills all over it will all break your heart. If you protect your laptop, it will last longer, so the investment in a case is worth it. If you find your laptop budget comes up short by one or two hundred dollars, you may not have to compromise on features if youre willing to try a refurbished unit. The price is often great, and if you get a decent warranty, the risk is low. You can get the fastest, best models for the price of much cheaper ones. When purchasing your laptop, do not let the salesman talk you into every upgrade under the sun. Upgraded memory, a huge hard drive and the best graphics i thought about this card available are important to some, but consider if they will be important to you. If youre not using your laptop in a way that requires these features, you are only wasting your money buying them. If the laptop you want seems to be outside of your budget, look at refurbs. Refurbished models offer a great price, and if it has a good warranty, the risk is minimized. Most people dont run into problems and are completely happy that they got the laptop of their dreams for a price they could afford. Before you buy from anyone, ask about any warranties, guarantees or return policies. If you end up with a computer which doesnt work, you could have nothing more than a doorstop if the seller wont take it back or fix it! Ask first, buy second to protect yourself down the road. If you only want to use your laptop for web surfing, simple word processing and watching movies, consider an ultrabook, notebook or tablet instead. These smaller, cheaper options provide you with a great deal of features, but theyre lighter, fit your budget more easily and can still provide you with what you require. To prepare your laptop for your favorite applications, create some hot keys to make them easier to run. To make a hot key for an application, right click on a shortcut and then select Properties. Enter a key combination into the Shortcut Key dialog and hit Enter. Use a combination that you do not commonly use in any other programs. Like your laptop lightweight? Then go for a netbook or ultraportable laptop. These laptop varieties are very lightweight compared to the traditionally-sized laptops out there. In fact they can be about half the weight. These are perfect laptops for the travelers out there or for students who are always moving from classroom to classroom. As complicated as it sounds, it isnt that hard to pick the perfect laptop. You have gained the knowledge necessary to make the right decisions when you get ready to go to buy a laptop. Use the above tips to get a laptop that youll enjoy for years down the line.