Recommended laptop specs

Written by lee nichols
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Recommended laptop specs
Buy a laptop that will meet your needs and fit your budget. (laptop image by Angie Lingnau from

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but there are so many choices it could make your decision difficult. The price of the laptop is a limiting factor when you make your choice, but also consider the weight and size of the computer. Laptops come in various sizes and levels of computing power, but knowing the recommended specifications for your laptop will help you stay within your budget and still find the computer you need.


Netbooks are small laptops that provide the basics you need to surf the Internet and run one or two programs. Netbooks have no CD or DVD drive, although they do have USB ports for connecting an external drive. Buying a netbook that has 1GB (gigabyte) of RAM (random access memory), a 10-inch screen, 1GHz (gigahertz) processor and a 100GB hard drive will satisfy your netbook needs.

General Purpose

You can buy a general-purpose laptop for not much more than you'd pay for a netbook. To satisfy your Internet, word processing and photo requirements, you will need at least a 1GHz dual core processor, 2GB RAM and a 250GB hard drive. Choosing a 15-inch screen and a DVD-RW optical drive will allow you to view your photos and burn backup copies to save hard drive space, if necessary.

Video Laptops

Laptops for watching and editing videos require faster processors, more RAM and a larger screen. Microsoft recommends you buy a laptop with a minimum 2GHz dual core processor, as much RAM as possible and a 350GB hard drive. Make sure the laptop has a Blu-ray optical drive and a 17-inch screen.


The ultimate laptop for gamers will combine speed and high-resolution graphics. A 2.8 GHz dual core 64-bit processor and 8GB RAM are the minimum requirements for a gaming laptop. A 500GB, 7200 RPM hard drive with a Blu-ray optical drive will also serve you well, along with a 20-inch screen.

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