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Which laptop is best?


What’s the better laptop to purchase: a mid-range Dell, HP or Toshiba
running Windows 8 Pro, a terabyte hard drive, 2 GB dedicated graphics card and
6 GB of memory?

In this excerpt from
Answercast #101
, I talk about some of the variables involved in buying a
computer. It will be different for each person.

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Best laptop

You know what, I honestly don’t know. I get this kind of question all the
time. I really do. It pains me to have to answer this way but… It really
depends on you more than me. It depends on:

  • How you use your computer;

  • What programs you plan to run on that computer?

  • How many of them run simultaneously?

  • Are they graphics intensive?

  • Are they computation intensive or do you just read email and browse the

  • What other resources are available to you?

  • Do you have a different place to take these things when it breaks? Depending
    on which manufacturer’s computer you purchase.

  • Are there purchasing benefits and opportunities that would be available to
    you specifically in your area, or at the local stores, or for one or more of
    these particular models?

Quality manufacturer

The models that you list (Dell, HP, Toshiba) they all make good computers.
They really do. I have a long history with Dell – but today, I wouldn’t be
averse to having either of the other two as well.

The problem is, like I said, the devil is in the details. The details vary
from person to person. So it’s not a question that I can answer directly.

I do have an article called What computer should you
and it really does talk about some of the characteristics of the
computer that you should be looking at when you are thinking about buying a new
computer. But as to specifically which one is better than the other? Not only
does that answer change over time, it changes depending on who’s buying the

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

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4 comments on “Which laptop is best?”

  1. Seems like he’s settled on the specs (6GB Ram, 2GB dedicated video, 1TB HDD), just not the manufacturer.

    I think in this case, it’s a question of reliability, level of OEM crapification (i.e. how much software you’ll never use comes preinstalled and gets in your way), and support nightmares. On those criteria, it’s been my experience and my family’s that Toshiba wins or ties on reliability, and wins on level of crapification and ease of support.

  2. And when talking laptops, reliability should really be #1. I’ve always been partial to Thinkpads (first IBM, now Lenovo). Like the Timex commercial, they take a licking and keep on ticking. (Wonder how many of your readers have even heard that commercial?)

  3. There are so many new features coming out – such as touchscreen, solid state drives that are much faster, and models that weigh less – that make shopping for a new laptop an almost dreaded task. Meanwhile, my Lenovo Idea Tab is capable of doing many of the things that need doing.

    Ideally would like a reliable ultra light laptop which is as fast as possible, as I only have 1G DSL. Suggestions welcome.

  4. The first screen I use is reliability, based on guarantee claims. It’s not always easy to dig up that information, but generally it seems that one-third of all laptops require a visit to the “doctor” in their first three years of life. Within that average are wide variations. Toshiba and ASUS used to have the lowest number of guarantee claims, now it appears to be Lenovo. I say appears to be (I just bought a Lenovo laptop to replace my ASUS which, in turn replaced a Toshiba) as the information available is sketchy and often anecdotal. And keeps changing!


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