Finding the perfect laptop can be tricky, especially if looking at a spec sheet makes your eyes glaze over. It can be tempting to ignore these sometimes-confusing tables. Instead, many of us rely on a quick Google search for reviews of popular brands. That is a mistake.

Learning to read a spec sheet can be incredibly valuable. Not only will you be making an informed decision, you're less likely to spend money needlessly. You should be looking for what you need, not just what sounds powerful and fancy. We explain some of the most important and head-scratch inducing parts of spec sheets mean.