If you're in the market for a new laptop, you may be overwhelmed by the options out there, but don't be fooled by all the bells and whistles. It's easy to overspend on features you don't need, so stick to a few rules of thumb when shopping around.
First, don't go overboard on the processor, as they're generally pricey and overrated. If you primarily use your computer for email, word processing and the Web, a dual core processor with 2-4 GB of RAM will do.
Second, don't oversize your hard drive. These days, movies and music don't need to be stored on your hard drive. They can be streamed through services like Netflix and Spotify. A 320 GB hard drive should offer plenty of space for your needs. If you find that you need extra storage, you can buy an external hard drive down the line, which is always good to have so you can backup your computer.
Finally, invest in an extended battery with five to six hours of run time. Read reviews on battery life online, whether it be on review sites like ConsumerReports.org or in the reviews on an e-retail site. This is the best way to find out if you'll be getting what you pay for.
So, if you're ready to buy a new laptop, keep these tips in mind. You'll ensure that you're getting the most for your money.