Welcome to Engadget's Back to School guide! We know that this time of year can be pretty annoying and stressful for everyone, so we're here to help out with the heartbreaking process of gadget buying for the school-aged crowd. Today we're getting down to the very important business of helping you sift through laptops, and you can always head to the Back to School hub to see the rest of the product guides as they're added throughout the month. Be sure to keep checking back -- at the end of the month we'll be giving away a ton of the gear featured in our guides -- and hit up the hub page right here!
Ah, laptops. Some of us received our first notebooks the summer before college if not later. But times have changed and we're sure for many of the kids reading this freshman year is just an excuse to upgrade from the clunkers that carried them through high school. Either way, this one's pretty much mandatory -- unless you're a serious gamer who insists on a desktop GPU for marathon sessions of CoD: Black Ops, you're going to need a laptop for pounding out last-minute term papers in the library, taking notes in class and posting incriminating photos on Facebook. The problem is, the market's overrun with laptops that purport to be just perfect for the back to school set. They can't all be worth your money, though, so we whittled the list down to a handful of choices for each budget -- and if you're lucky you'll get your very own HP Pavilion dm1z for the pretty price of, well, nothing. Simply leave a comment below to be entered to win, and check out our giveaway page for more details. So wipe off the glasses, grab your clicker, and get ready to jump past the break for a top-level overview of this year's picks for back to school.
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