The processor acts as the brain of your computer, allowing it to work out tasks and issue commands. Two of the biggest manufacturers of processors are Intel and AMD.
The speed at which the CPU processes information internally is measured in MegaHertz (MHz) and GigaHertz (GHz). 1 GHz is equal to 1,000 MHz.
The more memory you have, the smoother your laptop will run. You can never have too much - especially if you will be editing music or video.
It's difficult to upgrade a laptop's hard drive, so make sure the one you originally get is big enough for your needs. If you're buying a desktop-replacement system, go for at least 100GB. If you'll be using it on the road you may not need as much.
Hard drives come in many different types, commonly SATA drives are used in most laptops. However other types include SSD (Solid-state drive) and IDE.
An optical drive allows your computer to read data from a disc. Types of optical drive include CDR, CDRW, DVD, DVD-RW, DVD RAM & Blu-ray.
An operating system is a program designed to run other programs on a computer. Windows OS include XP, Vista and Windows 7 with MAC computers supporting Leopard and Snow Leopard.
If you want to transfer data or photos from your camera to your computer then you will need a card reader. Most card readers support various memory card types such as SD and Memory Stick Duo.
Connect other devices to your computer such as printers & external storage. Almost all laptops come with USB ports with some supporting Firewire and Serial connections.
Wired networking will allow you to connect your computer to the internet via the use of a network cable and an ethernet port.