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Check out our best buy guide for laptops

If you're not the most technically minded person in the world, you'll no doubt appreciate how tricky it can be to buy yourself a new laptop thanks to all the technical jargon you have to battle your way through in order to get a pain English explanation of exactly what it is you're buying. It can be more than a little overwhelming at times, and that's precisely why we've put together this best buy guide for laptops which should give you all the information you need in order to get the laptop that's right for you.

Netbook or LaptopThis is possibly the biggest decision facing most people in the market for a new portable computer. While everyone is familiar with the term laptop, many are confused by exactly what is meant by the phrase netbook. In short, netbooks are low spec, super portable devices built for the purpose of browsing the internet, using email and carrying out the most basic computer related tasks. If you don't mind the small screen, usually 10.1 inches or smaller, then they represent excellent value for money for the more casual computer user, whole offering a much more portable solution to anyone who needs to have their laptop with them at all times. However, if you're looking for enough power to play the latest games or run powerful software, then you're better off sticking to traditional laptops.

ProcessorThis is the chip that runs it all. The faster and more powerful the processor, the better the performance you'll get from your laptop. As a rule, netbooks ship with much lower powered processors than their laptop cousins. If you're looking for power, keep an eye out for dual or quad core processors, and if portability and price is your main concern, traditional single core processors will do the trick.

MemoryNot to be confused with hard drive space, memory is the term used for RAM. The more RAM you have in your machine, the smoother everything will run. Most netbooks come with 1GB of RAM as standard, while laptops can range from 2-6GB.

Hard DriveThe more hard drive space your laptop has, the more information and documents you can store on it. MP3 albums are usually around 100MB each, with movies coming in at around 700MB per 90 minutes or so. Your hard drive requirements will depend very much on what your intended use for the computer is. If you plan on keeping all your important files on it, then you should try to buy as big a hard drive as your budget allows.

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