Originally Posted by globalkiwi
Thanks for the input folks - I'm a big fan of Thinkpad's (had about 6 of them) but since her Thinkpad failed she's become disenchanted(!). I was looking at Asus too as they seem like good value for money. Any recommendations for custom builders?
For custom builders its the same mindset. What you put in, is what you get out of it. In laptops keep in mind that the hard drive, memory and to some extent optical drive will be the only things upgradeable on the machine.
If you want a custom 'built' laptop, meaning you choose the parts specifically, go through the proprietary builders such as HP & Dell. There warranties will cover parts, but to some extent you have to take it to an authorized technician to get it repaired.
In terms of suggestions for a builder, its all the same components you find in a PC only smaller and limited by what they can do. For instance, you won't see many machines running an SLi configuration or RAIDs.
My suggestion is to keep it sweet and simple, look for a decent mid-range machine with say 3GB RAM, Core 2 Duo or Core Quad processor(expensive in the long run) and upgrade to win7.
You'll get a lot more performance from a 64bit system exponentially. But, in 32bit processors, such as the core 2 duo (i believe, i could be wrong) then you limit yourself to 32bit Operating Systems.
So really, its down to how much you want to spend, the maximum and then starting from your CPU and working down the list.