You've been cooped up indoors for the past half-decade surfing the Internet. Your hair has grown down to your feet, the pizza delivery guy is your only source of direct human contact, and your mother has been telling her friends that you're on business in Europe. We don't blame you; we blame your awful desktop computer.

Your PC-addicted existence is getting more pathetic by the day, but you just can't bear to tear yourself from the beckoning glow of your computer screen. Well, we've got the perfect suggestion for you - buy a laptop! With a laptop, you can actually be out in the sun as you're checking your e-mail on a minute-by-minute basis. And with a laptop, you can reclaim the life you once had.

Now, help us help you by reading this SYW on buying a laptop.

And, if you think choosing an apple involves a paring knife, you need more help than we thought. So, skip the steps and head straight for this how-to video.



A laptop (a.k.a. "portable") is a travel-sized computer that fits on top of your lap (hence its ingenious name) and makes you look like a cool and efficient person (or a workaholic). Laptops generally have Microsoft Word, Internet access, and all the other stuff that you've come to depend on every day. Smaller than a desktop computer, laptops usually have four distinct components: a monitor, a keyboard, a system unit, and a mouse. So as you can tell, laptops encompass all the components of desktops, yet still somehow manage to look pretty cute. Here are some other advantages to owning a laptop…


  • Portability. The number one reason why people get laptops is because they can bring it anywhere - the beach, on a trip, to church, to the bathroom (just don't email us from there… that's sick). If you're constantly on the go, a laptop will come in very handy.

  • Size and Weight. You live in an apartment the size of a closet. Are you gonna cram a hard drive, a 15-inch monitor, and a keyboard onto the ironing board you use as a desk? Laptops are lighter and much more compact than any PC or Mac system, so they'll help you save tons of space. And when you're not using it, you can fold it up in a briefcase and stick it under your bed with ease.

  • Image. You can't help but be a little jealous of the woman pulling out a sleek black laptop on the train. She's cool.


Laptops sure are purdy, but they ain't perfect…

  • Technology. Because a laptop is pretty compact, the most recent technology that's been developed for desktops has yet to be made into tinier forms and successfully crammed into laptops. So laptops are always a step behind desktops when it comes to capability and efficiency. Laptop software isn't as fancy, and everything takes longer to load. Even saving a simple Word document is less than instantaneous.

  • Comfort perks. You're going to have to sacrifice decent sound devices, keyboard comfort, and your mouse for the sake of portability. The whole idea is to carry around as little as possible - and a subwoofer jutting out on one side of your laptop kinda defeats the whole purpose.

  • Upgrading (forget about it). If you're planning on adding stuff onto your computer, get yourself a desktop and not a laptop. While upgrading a laptop is not entirely impossible, anybody who knows anything about computers will tell you that it's impractical - bordering on boneheaded - to purchase a laptop with the intention of upgrading it. It's often impossible to add stuff like RAM and hard drives without shipping the entire contraption back to the manufacturer.

    Even if you do decide to upgrade, you're still limited in the selection of extra equipment; most laptops require that you install parts manufactured by the same company. It's elitist, it's blackmail, and frankly, we don't like it.

  • Image. You can't help but get a little peeved about that woman checking e-mail on the train. She's almost as annoying as that guy in the restaurant squawking into his cell phone.