This week's post isn't quite as thought-provoking as the last few, nor does it feature any particularly exciting products. But many of you will probably find it to be useful.
Over on our "Ask the Laptop Advisor" page, the single-most frequently asked question we get always comes from soon-to-be college students or parents of soon-to-be college students asking: "What laptop should I get for stuff like writing papers and surfing the web and downloading music and watching some movies?"
Asking for a specific laptop that does those things is like asking for a specific dishwater that gets plates and bowls wet, sprays them with soap, and leaves them sanitary. All of them do that, and that's why I never answer those questions -- I can't pick just one.
Some computers are better at being 'mainstream' than others, however, and the recently refreshed HP Pavilion series is a cut above. Check out the new models to the right:
The DV6 is a budget-minded option, but still hardy enough to accomplish most tasks and has a variety of exterior finishes.
The DV7 is a solid desktop replacement model. Its 17.3-inch screen and high-end Beats Audio system make it a fantastic entertainment center as well as comfortable academic workstation (DJs will find plenty to like as well).
And the DM4 is a brushed-metal class-act. Seriously, the exterior is mighty fine, and the configuration in the sidebar includes a ox-like i5 processor and 4GB of DDR3 RAM.
If you take care of them, these laptops should last you through all four years of school, with power to spare.