The sad item is that I've yet to find a truly reliable notebook. All are equipped ready for a virus/parasite/worm to invade and mess up the OS. All of them are pretty fragile with noteable exception of the Fujitsu Toughbooks and a militarized model that I forget the name of.
I do see that with some care, the OS can be shielded with firewalls, antivirus, anti-parasite tools, but that will hopefully be less painful one day.
The non-rugged laptops are something that I wish they would work on since dropping the unit about a foot can be the end of it. Again, with noteable exception of the Fujitsu Toughbook.
As to taking a laptop, setting on the desk and just using it, I don't see any make/model faring any better in "reliability." If this is the use intended, a rather nice under 1K model even from HP and others have 1.4 GHz Centrinos, DVD/CDRW, 256 or more RAM, 20 or more GB hard disks, WiFi, ethernet, modem and more for that price. Plus a much better wide screen with more display than the noted Dell.
Hi, I'm going to be going to college this fall and am looking for a notebook computer. The main factor is probably price; I'd like to spend less than $1000. I'm looking at a Dell Inspiron 1100, but I'm not really sure what to get. I'd like some advice as to a cheap but reliable notebook.