There are hundreds of different laptops to choose from, so picking the right one has never been harder. People have little clue even about what they need but that is nothing to worry about as there are answers to the question 'Which laptop to buy?'. First of all have you given the budget any thought? Is there anything the laptop needs to do on? Is it okay for you to buy second hand laptop? Is there any preference regarding screen size? Have you made up your mind about the color? Are you by any chance a student?

It is easy to get lost in this jungle especially if your guide is more concerned about making the sale than actually recommending a laptop you need. Since I am not selling you anything I might as well just suggest something to take.

After deciding on the budget, second thing has to be settling with the purpose of the new laptop. Are you going to use it for word processing and watching some movies, or any serious gaming can happen? Is it just to save space on your desk by replacing the desktop tower computer you used to have? Now that we know what we're looking for we can go on and check some laptops for sale.

What amount of money are we talking about that you are willing to part with? The lower end of the scale has to be the minies. Netbooks to be precise.

The lappies called netbooks usually come with 10-12" screen 1.3-1.6 ghz Intel Atom a gigabyte of ram or two to handle movies and a 160-250 gigabytes hard disk drive to store them. Their small size is a big plus when you have to move around a lot or just plain hate to have a 3 kgs laptop in your lap. Negative thing I'd like to mention is that these netbooks very-very-very rarely have optical drive built in. The long battery life makes up for it though, 6-8 hours on a single charge is nothing to be ashamed of, really. One other thing, these computers are not for crunching movies and SETI while playing Crysis. Office capability at its best, and we're talking about $350 to $450 here.

Cheap value laptops with a 15 inches screen usually start at $500 and you get everything for that kind of money. Fast wireless networking, DVD-RW, dual core processor, 160-400 gigabytes of storage and 2-4 gigabytes of ram. An overkill, really, for what these laptops are meant. I promise you won't have any issues with light gaming, office suites or web browsing. Battery life however is of an issue with the laptops in subject. Cheap pieces go dry after 2 hours, paying some extra can double that. This is the category I usually recommend for college students as well.

Subnotebooks are under 12-13" inches of screen size but before you would say they're netbooks then I'd like to argue. Subnotebooks are assembled of traditional laptop parts, which means you will get proper, powerful processor and more than enough memory in a small casing. I would take tablet pcs here, not because they have anything to do with subnotebook as a category, but the price. $1500-$2000 is easily spent on them.

Used laptops are not always the cheapest ones too. I'm stating the obvious here, but before buying anything, make sure you've seen everything there is to be seen. Dead pixels on the screen, scratches, cracks, loose hinges, you name it. Everything can happen and that everything will happen to your purse after buying a laptop without any or tampered warranty. Used laptops are in for a bad sector usually, check the hdd before paying anything. On Ebay you can't do all this obviously, but you still can go for sellers with lots of positive feedbacks.

You might want to consider refurbished laptops though. Refurbished notebooks are the ones people didn't care for and took them back to the shop. Or the install cd was missing from the box so the retailer legally can't say it's perfect. There are used and tested lappies, make sure you ask the seller why it is refurbished, and is there anything wrong with it.