I agree with just about everything she says on choosing laptop PCs. She knows her stuff in that arena -- until you get to prices! Of course, she's talking strictly about new hardware, cause that's where her bread is buttered. If you go used or rebuilt, you can get everything
she describes in the low or middle price range for one-third the cost. The place to buy used and rebuilt is eBay, hands down. And if you play the bidding game like a poker player, with leather hide and implacable shades, you can cut that one-third down to a fourth or a fifth. You don't get the 90 to 360 day warranty, but you are protected from a lemon by the eBay/PayPal buyer protection plan, at no additional cost.
My belief is that manufacturer rebuilt computers are much more reliable than new machines off the assembly line. Somebody else works out the bugs for you, and you
get a reduced price by taking advantage of their
work. Even if you buy used, if you restrict your transactions to sellers with at least 100 sales and a 99.5%+ rating, you can be very sure they've worked hard to maintain their credibility, and will work just as hard for you. The better sellers even pay for return shipping on items that arrived in bad shape, e.g. a laptop that was dropped by the postman.
The list of Black Friday laptop deals leaves me colder than a clam. I haven't paid more than $180 for a PC in over 10 years, and in that price range, everything is Celeron ... one or two gigs of RAM ... pathetic.
Used laptops rule. They were made to withstand bumps and bruises on the road. If you use them at home as desktop replacements, they will last for years and years,
The key that unlocks the secrets to the technological kingdom isn't the latest and greatest hardware. It's programming. And programmers need to test their software on older operating systems. In general, software is forward
compatible, not backward. If it runs on XP, you can find a way for it to run on Windows 8. The reverse is not generally true.