For some time I've been looking out for a replacement for the mission laptop, now 5 years old and "creaking", and for my desktop computer which died a little while ago, fried motherboard.
I considered getting a Macbook, using some kind of credit facility, or getting a Mac Mini, perhaps second-hand or reconditioned. Friends' macs have proved no more reliable than pcs, however. The last nail in the coffin was when someone said that they needed to plug in their Macbook pro in case the battery ran out halfway through an evening. I pointed out that they have a 10 hour battery-life. Yes, when they're new, came the reply. This one is three years old and you just get a couple of hours. You have to buy a new battery to keep the good battery-life. Oho ?
I've saved up our supermarket points, we now have 110€ worth, ready to put against a computer from our supermarket. They currently have a Compaq CQ62 with AMD V120, 2GB memory and 320GB disk which would come in at 289€ if I did that.
However I have waited. Partly because the old laptop is still kinda functional, though it can't do anything with photos any more (blue screen of death) and the wifi is unreliable. It lives plugged into the modem on my desk ! But also because our computer-mongers occasionally do killer deals. And here's the one that looks promising.
It's a big laptop, a Samsung R730 17" jobby. Intel T4400, 4GB memory, 320GB disk. It comes in at 250€ if you get a mobile phone contract at the same time, and I can do that - my mobile phone is out of contract on January 6th and they are happy to defer the start of the phone contract by two months, AND the phone contract is suitable, too.