Just recently, my sister asked me which laptop I would recommend for her.  The conversation went a bit like this:

“David, which laptop should I buy?”

“How should I know?”

“David…”

“Alright, what are you going to do with it? Is this for work, or for your personal use?”

“Just for me to have at home.  You know, to watch movies, video chat, email, that sort of thing.”

“Any word processing?”

“Sure, why not.  I don’t want one of those flimsy little things, but I don’t want it to weigh 800 pounds, either.”

“What’s your budget?”

“Under $1500.”

“Do you have a favorite manufacturer?”

“Huh?”

“That’s a ‘no.’ Okay, look up the Dell XPS and see what you think.”

Her requirements were fairly common ones—a multimedia machine with a decent video card, camera, and sound.  Since she would be using this laptop on her own rather than in a work environment (with IT support), it’s important that she have a reliable warranty and solid support options from the maker.

Still, while I know that this Dell model will meet her needs, my suggestion shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all; you should always review products on your own to make sure that they don’t have any features or idiosyncrasies that will crawl under your skin.  Some, for instance, are very particular about keyboards.

So if you’re in my sister’s shoes, I recommend that you look into the Dell XPS.  And, across the board, read consumer reviews.  Those things are golden.

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