I am looking to find an inexpensive laptop or desktop computer, preferably under $1,200. I will be using this for checking email, writing papers and surfing the net. I prefer that it comes with Microsoft office. I use excel and word programs day and night.
I am open to spending a bit more if it is necessary, especially if it will allow me to find a computer that will last me a while. I don't want to have to buy another computer for the next 4 or 5 years.
I will say that I do not want to spend over $1,500. I did this already when I bought my first apple laptop. Turns out that the keyboard was broken when I purchased it and it it never ran great. I had to end up buying a plug-in keyboard and mouse because I was tired of returning it.
After spending all of that money on a laptop, I would much rather find a cheaper option that has basic functionality.
I have heard great things about Toshiba and Hewlett Packard but I know that they can be a bit pricey and over my budget. I also know that there are cheaper brands out there like Gateway, Acer, Compaq or Sony. But don't know about reliability...