Look at the Lenovo and Toshiba laptops. Lenovo purchased the IBM PC
and ThinkPad lines. My clients have been happy with the quality and
support for both of these brands.
Stay away from what is found at the big box/retail stores. These
appeared to be designed to meet price point rather than performance.
Personally I have seen enough problems with these consumer class
machines from Hp, Compaq, Gateway and no-names that I recommend
clients stay away them. (Hp does have higher end business class
machines - I don't have enough experience with these to comment on
Dell is in the middle quality and price wise. They are good for a
home machine and secondary portable machine. If you looking for the
laptop to be your primary business machine - look at Lenovo and
Doing CAD you will want a big screen. 15" is largest practical
screen and still by portable. You can get 17" and 19" laptops, but
these are really small footprint desktop machines. Look for a machine
with video card with its own memory. Integrated video with shared
memory is slower. Check the requirements of the CAD package you are
going to use.
Get at least 1GB of RAM - more is better for performance and running
multiple programs at once.
Get a hard drive bigger than you think you will need - they fill up
specially with graphic files.
Make sure get a CD or DVD burner. Do backups - drives fail, stuff
happens. On the typical business computer the data/stored
is worth much more than the hardware. Backups stored in different
location from computer.
My full time business is technology support for small businesses.
Plus I am a jewelry student at the Worcester Craft Center working
towards a second profession.
Senior Howling Wizard