2009 Netbook and Notebook Buyer's Guide

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Let's face it: the mobile arena is more crowded than ever, and with that overpopulation comes confusion. Specifications begin to run together, prices seem to be all over the map, and actual standout features are harder than ever to locate. If you've grown frustrated by trying to separate the worthwhile from the worthless, trust us, we feel your pain.

So much so, in fact, that we've decided to break it all down for you in an easy-to-digest mobile computing guide. Within the pages to come, we'll cover the five main categories of notebooks available today: netbooks, thin-and-light notebooks, midrange notebooks, desktop replacements / gaming rigs and the "everything else" page, which touches on tablet PCs, slate PCs, etc.

So many choices, so many ways to go wrong...

Unlike other product buying guides, this is not "Top 10" list of machines to buy in each segment. Rather, our goal with this article is to make it an educational piece designed to teach consumers exactly what to look for (and what to watch out for) when shopping for their next machine. After all, it's much easier to whittle things down and settle on a machine when you know precisely what you're after (and what to avoid like the plague).

So, you're a Laptop Hunter are you?

Feel free to follow along as we cover each group by hitting the 'Next' link, or just tap the drop-down menu below to surf over to the product category you've specifically got your eye on. Oh, and dust off that old college notepad--school is officially back in session...

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