Recommend a laptop!

My sister took me to the local Best Buy today, then explained that she wanted a new laptop, and had bought me along for recommendations. I’ve built a few desktops, and know something about those, but laptops I know next to nothing of. I did manage to convince her to hold off until I did some research, as most of the offerings at BB had very little information to go on. Processors were simply listed as “dual core xxxx” or whatever, there was NO information on the graphics card, etc.

Here’s the criteria:
She would like to spend less than $900
Decent sized screen - 15" or better
Decent battery life
It is NOT going to be used for games, so it doesn’t have to have a powerhouse graphics card.
4gb ram
She currently has XP on her desktop, and I’m thinking it’d probably be easier to get something with XP rather than Vista. Especially since I’m her “tech guy”, and I don’t really know that much about Vista other than the bad publicity it’s gotten.
I’m thinking 2.0 ghz processor speed or higher.

Anyone have any recommendations or suggestions on what features are good/bad?

Thank you!

You’ve pretty much just described the most generic laptop possible.

Check out and their “Which notebook should I buy?” forum.

I’m pretty happy with my Toshiba Satellite E105. It cost me a little more, but the performance is excellent, as is the battery life. Being able to head into my local coffeeshop without having to do the “duck-and-search”, looking for electrical outlets, cannot be over-rated.

2GHz would be a minimum, I think. You can never have too much processing speed. Computers usually aren’t used in isolation, and one has to think of the demands that will be made on your system by outside factors. For most of us, this means the state of the web, and what the builders of websites expect our machines to be able to handle. I believe there has been a mechanism of positive feedback at work, by which RAM and processing speed becoming cheaper has caused web designers to up the ante with more graphics, animation, and downloads. That in turn spurs consumers to seek out still better computers. A computer of vintage '97 was probably fine for AOL on dial-up, but I doubt if you could really use it today.

I bought a Toshiba satellite laptop 17 inch and I’m quite happy with it. Battery life is excellent. I’ve got Vista and it has given me no problems. I got it for under $800