We're looking to purchase another laptop for the family and wondered if there is something specific I should watch out for and insist on having on this machine. We've been looking at Dell Vestro 3550 series. We've got a Vostro 1500 that has been churning away pretty well for several years, but need more space and power.
I just bought that one. I should have it tomorrow. My current Toshiba has lasted me for three years with only a loose monitor cable and now possibly an overheating GPU as the only problems. This one seemed like a good deal considering I'll only watch videos, use Office, and surf the web on it.
I just bought that one for my son a couple weeks ago (it was on sale for $579 at Staples, plus a $100 Visa Card since he is a student). He is thrilled with it so far.
I have had pretty good luck with Dells. I went away from the once when I got my daughter an H/P when she started college and it died in a year. Her Dell is now 3 and working fine, with only a battery charging issue that happened.
I got that model back in June, and it's been a good system. I went back to Dell after my first Inspiron lasted me over 4 years with no issues except a keyboard error that was caused by myself. My old Dell is still working, and is a nice backup should the need arise for it.
I used to build my own, but have just bought the last two outright, largely because you can get ones more than satisfactory for most users cheaply. The only upgrades I've done to my current and previous ones were upping the memory.