My daughter's birthday (16 eeeek!) is coming up and we've promised her a new laptop/notebook which she needs for a lot of her school work and also for the usual emails, MSN etc. She's given us a list of the software she will need for school and that's fine but we are more interested in making sure we choose the best machine in the first place.
I know you get what you pay for in this world so we aren't necessarily looking for the cheapest piece of crapola, but neither do we want to spend $$$ on a 'cool' name that doesn't actually do anything more or less than less well-known alternatives.
She doesn't want to get into Apple/Mac malarky so we'll be lining Bill Gates' pockets for this one. Suggestions please? Also an Avoid At All Costs list would be helpful too. She's the tekky of the family so it does not have to be totally idiot proof and she's doing IT in senior high school so something with a bit of ooooomph will probably come in handy too.