Notebook PCs / Laptop

How much do I need to spend?

How much you need to spend depends on what you will be using your notebook for. If you only want to access your e-mail, browse the Web and do word processing, then you can get away with spending between $1200 and $2000 for a new machine (even less if you get an older and/or second-hand model).

If you are a medium-level user, using your notebook to play games or to work with multimedia applications, then you will want to spend more on a powerful processor and graphics controller, more storage space, and a bigger screen. For this type of use, you'll be looking at around the $2000-$3000 and up price-range.

Remember that the more features your notebook has, the more expensive it will be. If you opt for a DVD-re-writer drive instead of DVD-ROM, want increased hard drive capacity (say, over 80GB), a screen size more than the standard 15in, the latest wireless capabilities and a more powerful processor, then the price of your notebook will increase accordingly. The trick is to figure out which configuration you will need.

Buying a notebook with the latest processor or graphics controller is not necessary if you will only be using it for word processing and Web browsing, and have no plans to extend your usage.

Most users will fall in the $1500-$2500 category, with only high-end corporate users, content-creators and avid-gamers looking at spending over $3000.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments


Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >


Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >


Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >


Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?