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Which is the best LAPTOP brand to use for home use

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paulprivate

Lots of suggestions from others but my take on it is this.

1 Define what 'you' mean by 'best' by listing the importance of qualities like Budget, Hardware reliability, Warranty length, Support quality, screen quality, USB speed, DVD drive or not, keyboard characteristics, OS, bundled software/accessories etc. Note this list should have the things that are important to you, not someone else and don't forget to add 'not wanted' qualities as well.
2 Using your qualities list find yourself a short list of say 6 contenders.
3 Using a spread sheet list the qualities you defined in step one down the rows of the left column. Then at the top of each subsequent put the contenders from step 2 and obviously put the value for each quality under that.

Some will say that is a lot of work but at the end of the day once you start filling in the values it will become a lot clearer which laptop best meets your mix of qualities. (I have found a piece of A3 paper and a pencil is often more convenient than doing it on a PC)

As for the specifics my opinion generated from many years in both the electronics and Computer service industry is:

1 You gets what you pay for 'provided' you factor in the 'sucker' variable. ie the big flashy box mover PC World/Frys/Walmart type stores that price a product on what the bean counters think advertising and flashy numbers the market will stand. It's interesting to note that these box movers rarely have the 'Pro' models.
2 Specialist Computer stores invariably give better support than the afore mentioned 'box movers'
3 Toshiba has only ever made Laptops and of all the Toshiba's I've seen though my shop the failure rate has consistently been the lowest of any other brand. This is for both consumer and pro ranges together (Satellite, Portege and Tecra) Locally (NZ) service support is 'send it to us' so it can be a bit frustrating.
4 HP "Probooks" have a reliability similar to Toshiba's. Probook support is first class ie they treat you as an intelligent person and will run through tests with you on the phone and dispatch asap any parts you can fit yourself.
5 HP/Compaq Pavilions and Presarios on the other hand are distinctly 'average' when it comes to build quality and Customer support. HP's Consumer grade quality can be summed up by the debacle that was caused by one of the Chips unsoldering themselves from the motherboard 3-4 years ago. This was caused by chipset running to hot. HP should have recalled each and every one of those Laptops but they chose to bury the issue by replacing them till the warranty ran out and then stone walling the poor customer with a 'out of warranty' response. I don't know of one of these Laptops my customers had that is still going.
Do be aware this particular fault was not confined to HP but HP was particularly brutish in denying the poor customer any compensation for HP's poor design choices and vicious support policies.
(the same difference in quality/attitude extends to HP's desktops as well)
6 Of the rest of the brands Asus/Lenovo/Dell/Sony I would tend to bunch together, the rest tend to be also ran's. Again I would separate the consumer and pro machines. The pro machines usually being more reliable.
7 Whatever brand/model you get, how 'you' treat the Laptop has a big bearing on how well it will serve you. Drop it, load it up with 'trial' programs, trawl pawn sites and it will not be a happy experience.
8 My own current machines are a)14" HP Probook for when I'm travelling on holiday and need a mix of storage and photo editing qualities. b) Asus Netbook for lightweight PC work where longer battery life and portability are more important. c) 7" Nexus for general web consumption ie Youtube, Trademe (NZ's = eBay) and eBooks.

Have fun making your choice.