Buying a laptop that doesn't explode

I guess I have one rule when I’m buying hardware. It shouldn’t explode on me (unless it was designed to).

I’m struggling with buying a new laptop. I have a nice Compaq Presario R4000 that I’ve enjoyed for a year or so and it’s okay spec wise. AMD Athlon 64 processor (3500+), 2.2Ghz, 2GB of RAM. However it’s a big of a dog for doing daily development. I tried doing development on a desktop and sync up things via an external USB drive but it’s just too painful. Paths are wrong, sometimes things don’t work, software not the same, websites or services are not all there, VMs have to be reconfigured, etc.

So now I’m looking at a dual-core system. Dell and Toshiba have some okay laptops but lately everything is just blowing up on people. I mean Apple, Dell, Panasonic, and Toshiba have all done recalls on their systems. There are also reports of ThinkPads blowing sky high. Doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy. The one option that I saw via a review by someone was an ASUS A6Jc-. Looks nice and at least they haven’t started turning into ash piles.

Any suggestions?


  • I'm sure I'm old fashioned, but I prefer my laptops not to a) blow up, b) glow, c) draw the attention away from my presentation during a meeting.

    To Bil's point, I've heard good things about the HP/Compaqs--and as a previous owner, am wondering why those weren't mentioned. A coworker has a nx8440 and has Vista RC1 on it and running like a dream for development and graphic design.

    On the flipside, I have a XPS M170 that, thankfully, has not exploded, and love it. I turned off the lights though. Heh.

    Also, thanks to Patrick for the Motion link... never heard of them, but pretty slick. Always wanted a Tablet for meetings and such, but could never find one with a high enough resolution monitor for drawing and graphic editing. Always nice to have another vendor. :)

  • I got a Dell Latitude D820 (Centrino Duo, 2Ghz, 2GB [max 4GB], 80GB 7200RPM, 512MB video, widescreen... Vista ready) two months ago and couldn't be happier. I'd buy it again in a second. Great with VPC's

  • You'd be hard pressed to beat the Lenovo ThinkPad T60. rock solid.
    One of the nicest features is that you click a little RED button and it connects to the ThinkPad site and updates all of your drivers and even the BIOS.
    I've been running on an older TP and it is super.
    Best keyboard, best touchpad if you want to use it.
    At a previous employ I built 100's. Only one bad mboard and IBM, the vendor, had it replaced in a couple of days.
    Service should be a consideration. I don't know about you guys but I hate outfits that treat you like an idiot. IBM and I suppose Lenovo support is great. English speaking, too.

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