The recommended life of a laptop is only 4 years. This is due to two factors. First, laptops suffer from wear and tear issues at an accelerated rate compared to desktop computers. Second, there’s the concept of technological obsolescence. Let’s say you spent $600 on a laptop. That would average to $12.50 a month. A lot of people who buy laptops are only looking for basic capabilities, like web surfing and email. A new category of computer has starting taking off. They are called Netbooks. They are smaller than a traditional laptop, usually with a screen size of 8-10”, webcam, wireless and a weight under 3 lbs. They have an Intel ATOM or equivalent processor. They run either XP or Linux (don’t be scared, it’ll still do email and web surfing!). The most regarded model on the market is the Acer Aspire One. This model is available everywhere including Target and Walmart. The XP version sells for $400, the Linux version for $50 less. If this computer lasts for only 3 years, the monthly cost is still less than a traditional laptop. After Christmas, this will be an over-saturated market and you might be able to get the same computer for 25% less than today’s prices.