A laptop is a necessity for the modern world, but choosing the right one for you can turn into a nightmare. With so many different brands, models and features on offer, the choice can become overwhelming – particularly if you’re just looking for something to browse Facebook and do a bit of online shopping.

A good bit of advice is to always go for a trusted brand such as Zoostorm, Toshiba or Asus. Not only are these manufacturers a good sign of quality, they are all usually reasonably priced too. Stick to your budget and don’t get distracted by lots of extras that will bump up the price – unless you really need them.

If you just need a laptop for basic word processing, you won’t need a great deal of memory. The standard 2GB of RAM and 250GM hard drive should be sufficient for your needs. This should also bring your total cost to under 500.

If you need something more powerful, perhaps to replace a desktop computer, then you will need to look for something with at least 4GB of RAM and about 500GB of space on the hard drive. This will give you plenty of space for storing documents, photos and videos. It’s also important to bear in mind that the more powerful a laptop, then bulkier it is likely be. So if you need something that’s easy to carry around and has good battery life, then you’ll probably need a less powerful laptop.

A netbook is a great option when portability is key, as their small and light design make them ideal for travelling. This does usually limit their capabilities to basic internet surfing and word processing. Tablets are another good option for people on the go, as they often have similar specifications to a netbook and can be accessorised with a bluetooth keyboard.

Now for the smaller details. If your laptop will be used as a desktop replacement, then check it has enough USB ports for all your connections, such as your speakers and mouse. If you plan to Skype, check it has a webcam of suitable quality. Portable laptops will not usually come with a DVD drive, so you will need to preload your music and videos to enjoy them on the go.

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