Since I may be moving to a very tiny apartment in Chicago soon, I thought it best to trade in my old desktop for a swanky new laptop (the CPU is just a bit to heavy to put on my lap). I haven’t been in the market for a laptop since 1998, so I’ve been amazed by what they offer these days — though they don’t seem quite as reliable as my old Toshiba Satelite which still runs (slowly). I’ve found a few models that interest me, but since I figure some of my readers have more insight, perhaps you could offer some suggestions or tell me what I should definitely stay away from? You can contact me here.

I told my husband that I’m looking for a computer that’s like my Subaru: it may not be the sexiest or the lightest or the fastest, but it’s really reliable and does everything I need it to do. I want something relatively fast, though I’m not a serious PC gamer, so I won’t be needing to install Half Life 2 or anything. I’d like a good display (love those Sonys!) and a computer that doesn’t feel like it’s made out of cheap plastic. I’d like 512 RAM, a CD Burner (DVD burner would be fun, but not necessary), firewire port, a 15 inch monitor, integrated wireless, and a mobile pentium (nothing is worse than burnt thighs). Since I’m a homebody, battery life and weight aren’t my top concerns.

The computers I’m really drawn to are the Sony A-250, the Sony S-260, the IBM T-42 and IBM R-51 (though I do wonder what IBM tech support will be like now considering the Lenovo deal). I’m a little nervous about Gateways and Dells since I’ve heard their reliability isn’t what it used to be. I wouldn’t mind going cheaper than the Sonys mentioned above (and definitely under $2,000), but I’m willing to pay for reliability. I like Macs, but we’re going to get one for my husband, so I figured it would be good to have one Windows machine in the house for stuff like Quickbooks. Any suggestions?