HOUSTON If you re a parent in the market for a new computer, you might want to do some homework before buying.

Electronics stores and websites are filled with an overwhelming number of models.

Oh yeah there are lots of choices, said Nick Cavalero, a college student.

Cavalero and his dad were looking for a computer at the Best Buy on the Katy Freeway near Bunker Hill Friday.

A manager at the store said back-to-school sales on computers are starting earlier.

Mitchell Slayden said people get excited about all the new models and they are starting to shop sooner.

One of the cheapest laptops we saw at the Best Buy in West Houston was an Acer brand computer.

It has an 11-inch touch screen and runs a Windows system.

The small, popular laptop sells for about $400.

The most important thing is to kind of have an understanding of what the perfect device would do for you, Slayden said.

Laptop computers are beginning to take on a new look and a new role.

Several new models have screens that can be detached from keyboards and used as tablets.

One model we saw was a little heavier and sells for about $730.

Desktops start at a much lower price.

Some models can be purchased for prices in the $280 range.

But as you d expect, how much you pay, depends on how much computer you want.

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