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What kind of user are you?

To help narrow the vast array of laptop choices, we identify some common types of laptop users and recommend suitable models. Do you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions?

The Generalist

You’re looking for a laptop that’s budget friendly but powerful enough to replace your old desktop PC. You don’t care about having the latest processor, biggest hard drive, or best sound. However, your laptop must offer a comfortable screen, good keyboard, and a decent speed—and you don’t want to do without a built-in DVD drive.

Recommended category: Everyday Computing

Look for these features:

  • 2GB RAM or more
  • 250GB hard drive or larger
  • Intel® or AMD dual core processor

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The Starving Student

As a cash-strapped college student, you need an inexpensive laptop or Ultrabook™ with battery life that lasts through class. It must be fast enough to keep up with lectures but light enough to lug around campus all day.

Recommended category: Lightweight

Look for these features:

  • 13.3 to 14-inch diagonal screen
  • 3GB RAM or more
  • 250GB hard drive or larger
  • Intel® or AMD dual core processor or better
  • Less than 5 lbs*

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The Flush Freshman

Mom and dad have taken pity and are buying you the decked-out dorm-room laptop of your choice for doing homework and watching Blu-ray™ movies. The sky’s the limit because you want great speakers and a flawless screen.

Recommended category: Entertainment

Look for these features:

  • 15.6-inch diagonal screen or larger
  • 4GB RAM or more
  • 500GB hard drive or larger
  • Intel® Core™ i3 or AMD Phenom II processor or better
  • Blu-ray™ drive
  • Quality stereo speakers

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Corporate Manager

You’re responsible for buying the next fleet of laptops for your company, or perhaps there’s just enough in your one-person business budget to buy a nice portable for yourself. Either way, a secure, durable laptop with a strong warranty can help you concentrate on business without worrying about security.

Recommended category: Built for Business

Look for these features:

  • 13.3- to 15.6-inch diagonal screen
  • 3GB RAM or more
  • 320GB hard drive or larger
  • Intel® or AMD dual core processor or better
  • Three-year standard limited warranty or less*
  • Data security features

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Frequent Flyer

You want to travel light with a laptop, or even better an Ultrabook that doesn't take much space and that doesn't weight a ton. Then this lightweight category of PCs is right for you.

Recommended category: Lightweight

Look for these features:

  • 12.5 to 14-inch diagonal screen
  • 3GB RAM or more
  • 250GB hard drive or larger
  • Intel® or AMD dual core processor or better
  • Less than 5 lbs*

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Media Maven

You appreciate great picture quality, rich-sounding speakers, lickety-split speed, and the latest gee-whiz entertainment options. You might need the ability to edit high-resolution graphics.

Recommended category: High Performance

Look for these features:

  • 15.6-inch diagonal screen or larger
  • 6GB RAM or more
  • 500GB hard drive or larger
  • Intel® or AMD quad core processor
  • Blu-ray™ drive*
  • Quality stereo speakers

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Mobile Multitasker

You already have a nice laptop, one that’s plugged into the home network or too heavy to lug around. You want another device that barely weighs anything but has enough power to manage e-mail, check a few Web sites, and watch videos on the go.

Recommended category: Tablets

Look for these features:

  • 7 to 10.1-inch HD widescreen
  • Android™ platform
  • Up to 65GB storage capacity
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and/or 4G (select models)
  • Starting at 1.6 lbs*

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*Depending on selected models