If available, I would try to find out, which make and model affords the user the least trouble...
re: Compaq Presario...it was an introductory offer, and I could afford it, and it has turned out well for me...mind you, I don't use it much
These are just some of the issues that pop into my head as I mull over the issue:
1. any recalls? ...for what?
2. battery life? ...any issues?
3. ease of repair? ...can you do some of the things yourself?
4. ease of access to repair facility? ...can you physically get there or do you have to mail it somewhere?
5. access to repair techies? ...are they affable...freely advise...?
6. cost of repairs? ...reasonable for the time and effort spent?
7. ease of use? ...command keys, access to keys, clear understanding...?
8. warranty? ...the longer the better!
9. warranty coverage? ...the more items and situations covered the better!
10. "history" of product? ...has the "brand" always had a good reputation?
11. viability of the company making the unit? ...is, has, or will the Comp. be going under new or revised management...thus affecting the "quality" of the product...?
12. customer satisfaction?
13. price? Logically, this should be first, but sometimes paying more is worth the short term pain
for long term gain...