I am going to make some assumptions about how you intend to use this laptop. These assumptions matter because they are ultimately going to determine which features I suggest you look for.
- I assume you aren’t looking for anything super fancy, but more for a general purpose laptop computer.
- I assume you intend to use it primarily for internet and email.
- I assume you intend to use it for storing your music collection.
- I assume that more than one person might be using this laptop.
- I am assuming you want to spend less than $700 if possible.
Based on those assumptions, I am going to suggest you look for value more so than performance. You should still adhere to the minimum performance standards that I talk about on the best laptop configuration page. Again, I suggest that you stick with a well known brand. I cannot stress the importance of that enough.
There are a lot of decent laptops on the market that sell in the seven hundred dollar and under price range. For that kind of money you will get an excellent laptop that should last you years.
Things to look for in a good laptop for home use:
- Choose one with a larger LCD. The larger LCD is nice if you aren’t carrying the laptop around all over the place.
- Don’t pay too much attention to battery life. If you are using this computer around the home, then you will probably be near a power outlet most of the time.
- Get a decent sized hard drive. You probably want a 500GB hard drive so that you have enough room for your family photos and music collection. If you plan on downloading and storing movies on it, then you will want a bigger hard drive yet. 500GB should be plenty for most people though. You will most likely be getting a laptop with a 5400RPM hard drive. If you see one with a 7200RPM drive, that would be a huge plus.