Laptop Advice

Few topics evoke such numerous and passionate responses as the question “Which laptop should I buy?” I have seen a couple of pretty good discussions recently on different lists, so I thought I would give people an opportunity to compile some thoughts here (available to those Googling for advice).

What’s my favorite laptop? Well, I’ve owned an IBM ThinkPad, Compaq something-or-other, Zenith, Toshiba Satellite, Sony Picturebook, Apple iBook and two Apple Powerbooks (both 15″ models). Which do I like best? No surprise, but the Powerbooks have been the best overall. They are very well constructed with great features and a very nice screen. If I were a PC user, though, I would use a ThinkPad, no questions asked. My IBM was very tough, and I’m sure it is still in use somewhere in the world (I sold it on eBay a couple of years ago). My Sony was probably the coolest in terms of wow-factor, but it was a little too proprietary for my taste (Sony writes a lot of their own drivers for their hardware). I probably wouldn’t buy a Sony now, although I continue to believe that they make some of the coolest laptops around, and I wouldn’t discourage the purchase of a Sony, as long as you don’t intend to try to run Linux on it. My Toshiba was great, but big, plastic and heavy, and my Compaq and Zenith were too old to be relevant to a modern discussion.

But don’t rush out any buy a new Powerbook just yet. Make sure the screen and warping problems have been fixed first. I have the very last model of the “old” Titanium Powerbooks, and it’s solid as a rock because the form factor has been tweaked and revised over probably three or four years. The new Powerbooks (though clearly superior in features, hardware, etc.) have some screen and warping issues that Apple needs to work out. Once I’m sure the issues have been fixed, however, I will probably start keeping my eye out for a new 15″ Powerbook.

So my questions to you are:

Which laptops do you like best? Why? What kind do you have? What do you think of it? What kind do you wish you had?

Oh, and don’t forget to take the new survey, too.