When you choose a laptop for yourself or your organization, what’s the key factor you look for? And what’s your favorite vendor? Take both the polls here and make your voice known.


I created a little bit of a firestorm and backlash from some parts when I asked in Classics Rock if the quality of ThinkPads had gone downhill since Lenovo purchased IBM’s PC business. I contended that as IBM took a less direct role in directly manufacturing laptops and then ultimately sold off everything, that the rock-solid quality of old ThinkPads had disappeared.

Others, many perhaps conspiratorally, disagreed.

In any case, it got me to thinking — just who does make the best laptops? And when you’re looking for a laptop, what are the most important factors to consider?

My last purchase

The last laptop I purchased was an HP Pavillion DV2610. Not a blazing machine by any means, but a solid little unit. What I’ve liked about the HPs recently has been their design and the quality of the screen. HP has been using what they call a BrightView screen, which, to my eyes, gives an excellent display.

The DV2610 has a smaller screen, only 14.1″, but the machine weighs only 4lbs, so I didn’t mind sacrificing an inch on the screen for the smaller dimensions of the laptop.

With only a AMD Turion TL-59 CPU, it won’t set any speed records, but it runs Vista acceptably, and it likes the 64-bit version of Suse Linux I put on it.

The only bad thing about it at the time was that it came with a miserly 1GB of RAM. I instantly ramped that up to 4GB. The 1GB was due to the price point. HP skimped on the RAM to lower the price, which I got even lower because I snapped up the unit when CompUSA went out of business. With 40% off plus an HP rebate, what wasn’t to like?

What do you look for? And who do you choose?

So when I picked the laptop, there were several factors — the HP screen, the design of the unit, the weight, and finally an irresistible price. Plus, I’ve always kind of liked HP stuff.

What’s the primary factor you use in determining a laptop purchase? And what vendor do you favor?

Take the double shot of polls I’ve listed below. Unfortunately, the poll tool doesn’t allow you to pick more than one, so just pick the main factor and then sound off in Comments.