Laptop shopping... what should I get?

Sadly, I can’t do my homework with a Lhasa Apso. :smiley:

This times 1,000.

At work we’ve had good luck with Toshiba and Lenovo laptops. I have one of each and I like both of them (the Toshiba is a bit older).

The Lenovo comes with a “rescue partition” on the hard drive, which is great as long as the hard drive doesn’t break. If it does, you can’t reinstall anything. There is a procedure you have to go through to make rescue/install disks. Make sure you do it. (This is actually pretty common with most laptops these days).

I find some of the pre-packaged “Lenovo Care” software to be really freaking annoying. YMMV. If you hate it (like I do) you can uninstall it or disable it.

Also, one more vote for “Don’t buy anything at Best Buy”.

I backed up my recovery partition onto a USB hard drive. I assume this would let me put the recovery partition onto a new disk, but haven’t had to try it yet. (I also backed up the main partition as well.)

For durability, I’ll second (third? fourth? fifth?) the recommendation for Lenovo Thinkpads. I have an x201i that I’m very happy with, and it’s survived quite a bit of abuse. It has a small crack in the case from one time when I somehow accidentally threw it at a concrete floor, but it didn’t even hiccup otherwise. They’re also very easy to fix if you’re interested in doing your own repairs – just take out a few screws and you can replace just about everything, and there’s a thriving market for new and second-hand parts.

Also, my wife has an HP Elitebook, which seems to be similarly sturdy and easy-to-repair. Plus, they come with an astonishingly good 3-year warranty, which has saved our asses on a few occasions. You deal with their “business” support line, so you can just call and describe the problem without much dumbass troubleshooting. You can then overnight the laptop to a repair facility, on their dime, and they’ll turn it around and have it at your door in just another two or three days.

Of course, you’ll pay a premium for either brand, but it may be worth it to you. If you just want something basic and cheap, the mainstream brands will have equivalent performance for $200-$400 less.

I had a Dell Inspiron with overheating and battery problems. I just bought an HP that came out of the box broken i.e. the wireless adapter did not work.

I will never buy either one again.

My current computer is a Dell that had problems with overheating; how it managed to last for four years without completely frying is beyond me. (I semi-retired it by keeping it docked, so that may have helped.) Airman got an HP that’s had to have the internal power supply fixed, and then it broke again, so HPs were off the list.

Anyway, I ordered the Lenovo. Between this thread and some other fairly neutral reviews, I don’t think I could have done any better. (By “neutral” I mean “an unbiased source”, not “not good and not bad”.)

You can also download the ISO of the appropriate editionhere; if you ever need to reinstall, just use the same edition as your laptop came with and the activation key from the Windows sticker. Just make sure to keep the ISO where you can get it if your laptop dies!

I’m a pretty big fan of Asus. They run between 200-2000 depending upon the model (from netbook to gamer’s computer). They had a few bugs to work out when I got my first one, (which they replaced with a better than original model), but I’m really happy with them.

Asus is my second choice, although I sometimes have a hard time pitching them for the same reason as lenovo, they really dont advertise so nobody has heard of them and gets all twitchy. I know full well Asus can make a badass motherboard, and would happily buy one if Lenovo was not an option.

One thing I love about Asus, they have fabulous parts prices. I have purchased replacement motherboards for decent laptops for $100-$150 direct from Asus vs 300+ from many other mfr’s. This makes them far more cost effective to repair.

Right now I am on my Toshiba Satellite with an Intel Core 2, 4GB and 500GB of storage space. I have had it for two years and I LOVE IT. Its slicker than hot snot. It boots up quickly, and runs consistantly. I paid $700. Ive seen them for $550 now that the newer, faster versions are available. I use mine for school, home and entertainment and have more than enough speed/space with 4GB of RAM. I run Microsoft Office School and Home, but I access MS Office Delux at work and I still have no problems with speed.

I did get the Lenovo, and so far I like it. It boots up in less than a minute and I’ve yet to have any issues with non-responsive software. As it turns out, there are some useful security features, like the biometric things, that’ll keep miscreants from abusing my stuff.

Is it shiny and pretty? I luv shiny and pretty. Have fun with your new computer!

I guess I’m late to the party, but a little re-assurance never hurt anyone. I also recommend Lenovo’s laptops. I’m a Mac user for years now, but if I had to buy a new laptop and all Macs mysteriously vanished, I’d buy a Thinkpad and probably be pretty happy with it. Looks like you made a good choice.

It’s not shiny and pretty, but it is shiny and utilitarian, and that’s OK, too.

I can’t emphasize how nice it is to have something that actually works, and that I can use in my lap without risking thermal burns. (My old computer is a Dell, so it overheats regularly.) It’s a laptop, right? I should be able to put it on my lap.