My wife has had a bad run with laptops in the past six or so years - what it amounts to is that we're never getting a Dell again if we can help it.
Here is what we're looking for:
1. A good manufacturer's warranty. This shit is crucial.
2. Excellent hardware reliability.
3. Good battery life, preferably excellent battery life to make it easier for her to take notes when she's at school.
4. Has to be available in Canada.
5. Smallish form factor - 15" is the upper limit, here.
6. Preferably at about $1000 or less.
7. Very optional this last one, but the possibility of a Solid State Drive being built in would be fantastic.
My wife's computer uses are primarily down to writing, taking notes, watching HD videos, and storing years and years worth of information and pictures and music grabbed off the internet. Mild gaming is a perk, not a necessity.
I'm looking at the Toshiba Portege, maybe in the R800 series. Is that good? Somebody help me, I've only had one laptop for the past five years and I can't offer her solid advice.