There's a huge array of choice when it comes to laptops, but with everything from netbooks and ultraportables to machines suitable for gaming and those designed to withstand use in rural locations, which should you choose. We've put together the ultimate laptop guide to help you decide.

When it comes to the laptop market, you've got almost no end of choice. But for many buyers, more choice equals more confusion. So which should you opt for?

From budget machines and netbooks to gaming and tablet PCs, there's a machine out there to suit every need. We've put together a guide to all the different types of laptop, which should help point you towards your ideal notebook. We consulted laptop designers, industry analysts and a few mobile mavens, then boiled down what's available into 11 different laptop types.

Arranged by size, weight and performance, these notebook categories range from minimalist ultramobiles to monstrous mobile engineering workstations. They're presented with key features, typical specifications and a range of prices you can expect to pay, as well as reasons to buy or not buy each. To bring this exercise down to earth, each category has a few example models.

The best entry point for buyers is to start by picking the category that makes the most sense for how you work and play. But don't get too caught up in the categories themselves - they should be treated as rough guides, not destinations.

For example, if you're interested in a mainstream system but can't find exactly what you're looking for, try considering if a budget laptop with a few options or maybe even a large netbook would do better to satisfy your needs.

For further laptop buying advice, why not check out the Ultimate guide to buying a netbook and Netbooks meet smartphones - the next big thing? which look solely that the netbook market.

NEXT PAGE: Ultramobile PCs

  1. From ultraportables to tablets - we've got them covered
  2. Ultramobile PCs
  3. Netbooks
  4. Ultraslim
  5. Thin and light
  6. Tablet PCs
  7. Rugged PCs
  8. Budget laptops
  9. Mainstream
  10. Entertainment machines
  11. Gaming machines
  12. Mobile workstations