And now that you're all psyched about getting a new laptop, it's time to shatter your dreams and hopes by informing you on how much you'll be spending. (We're evil like that.) You can get a decent laptop for $1,500. And the best kind out there cost a mere $6,000. Mwahahahaha!

But think about all you'll be getting! A laptop might look small, but it still is a computer, and you can still use it to read your precious e-mail or spellcheck the best-selling novel you wrote. In addition, laptop prices are constantly dropping due to the fact that their popularity is increasing dramatically and vendors are in fierce competition with each other.

If the thought of blowing over a thousand bucks on a hunk of (granted, very smart) metal (especially when you've been saving up for that adorable feral midget) is still making you swoon, consider these suggestions:

  • Make a budget: Don't get sucked in by shady suggestions to buy more than 64 MB of RAM, a flux capacitor, or a glow-in-the-dark mousepad (especially when you're not even getting a mouse!). You can save a lot on your laptop purchase by writing out a budget of exactly what you need and want and sticking to it.

  • Get a used laptop: Of course, you run the same risk as when you buy any second-hand product: crappiness. But if you do your research and check out stores for refurbished laptops, then you just might luck out with a really wonderful model for under a thousand dollars.

  • Bargain: If you make the trip down to your local computer store, you might find the opportunity to haggle. Nothing is set in stone at Mom and Pop's Laptops and it never hurts to try to bargain the price down (assuming that Pop doesn't whip out a pitchfork after hearing your insulting price suggestions). Just make sure you check out the store with the Better Business Bureau before making the trek, just in case. There's no point in trying to swindle swindlers.