While standalone tablets and smartphones are always popular, most new buyers understand that everything from typing a research paper to crunching video to gambling functions better on a notebook. So which sort of notebook should you get?

There’s a vast array of sizes, features and costs, making choosing the ideal laptop a challenge. That’s why you will need to determine what your needs are. To make the perfect call, follow these steps.

Many PC laptops fall into the class of 2-in-1s, hybrid devices that could switch between conventional clamshell mode, tablet-style and other places in between like stand or tent modes. 2-in-1s frequently come in two unique styles: detachable with displays that come off the keyboard entirely and flexible laptops with hinges that bend back 360 degrees to change modes. The majority of these systems are far better at serving one function than the other, with bend-backs being notebooks and detachable offering a superior tablet experience. But if you don’t find the need to use your laptop for a slate, you will usually get more functionality for your money using a conventional clamshell laptop.
Your laptop is just as good as the company that stands behind it. Accurate and timely technical assistance is paramount, and that’s why Laptop Mag assesses every important brand in our yearly Tech Service Showdown.

Support is just part of what makes a laptop brand worth your cash. You also have to look at how the manufacturer piles up to the competition concerning design, value and choice, review performance and other standards. We have also rated gaming notebook brands, with Alienware taking first location.