I don't work for CNET, I am not a hardware reviewer and I am not someone who works for a Hardware company. What am I then? I am a Software Engineer who works for Microsoft and loves computers. Why should you pay heed to my opinion on a good laptop? I'll quote my colleague John, who said in response to my farewell email, "By the way, we both know it would border on abuse to use your impressive hardware-stockpiling skills on a hardware team". To summarize, I am a Hardware Ho; I am friends with people who buy this stuff so laptops just come my way for testing, usability, etc, etc. Here is a list of the top 5 laptops I have had, ranked in order of most favourite to least favourite:
1. Lenovo Thinkpad T60p - My current laptop and the first to be at par with a desktop. Lenovo has a winner in this machine - sturdy, rugged and extremely stable.
2. IBM Thinkpad T21 - My first personally bought computer, maybe the last.
3. Apple Powerbook G4 - 256MB of RAM never felt so powerful.
4. Acer Ferrari 4000 - The first AMD64 laptop released by a real laptop company and with 2GB of RAM, it is a really fantastic laptop. The keyboard has to be the most responsive I have used.
5. Apple Mac Book Pro - Better than the others I have used but not pimp enough to be #1. A Wonky battery driver and a trackpad too large for my liking. :(
6. Toshiba Tecra M4 - The Tablet idea is bogus but the laptop was performant so it makes the list.
I have used 10 laptops in this life and the way I am going, I will use maybe 25 more before I die. That is unless I no longer have my sway with people (girls in particular) ;) You trust my hardware opinions now?