When shopping for a new laptop it's important to know beforehand what kind of use you plan on giving it. Whether you want a multimedia or gaming powerhouse that'll only occasionally move from your desk, or something that hits the sweet spot between performance and portability, there are plenty of good options if you know what to look for.
To help ease the hassle of going through countless product pages and bookmarking the ones you like, we've created a list with some of our favorite notebooks in each of six categories: Thin and light, business or general purpose, desktop replacements, gaming, value/budget offerings, and netbooks.
Thin and light notebooks aim to serve as a bridge between netbooks and traditional full-fledged laptops, offering a smooth blend of performance, portability and battery life.
Business notebooks offer a combination of mid to high end components with an emphasis on extra durability, data security and longer battery life.
Usually packing the most complete set of features and performance nearing its desktop counterparts, as you might expect, however, they are not the easiest to carry around.
Serious gamers will always lean more toward desktop PCs for their flexibility and sheer power, but if mobility is also a priority, there are some solid choices in this category.
Laptops in this category are usually hot sellers in the back to school season as they offer a good blend of price, features and portability.
Netbooks are perfect as travel companions or secondary systems. Most of them feature 10- to 12-inch screens and an almost identical combination of hardware under the hood.