Personally, I wouldn't buy anything other than an IBM or Toshiba laptop for school. My friend has an HP that is loaded with everything - widescreen,dvd-rw,100gb HD, awesome graphics card and a bunch of other stuff. It would be a sweet machine to leave at home on a desk, but for portability it sucks. Its huge, its heavy, its drains the battery in no time with the P4, and now the screen hinges are all loose. His cost about $1000 when he bought it. In contrast, my thinkpad has none of the fancy stuff, but thats what my desktop is for. It is the perfect laptop to carry around all day. Its barely an inch thick, weighs nothing, and runs forever on the battery with the pentium m mobile chip. It has built in motion sensors to save the harddrive in case of a fall too. The wireless is amazing also. My thinkpad was over twice the price of his at about $2200 but I dropped it off a table from about 4 feet onto tile and it jsut chipped a corner off the plastic. My friends dell fell about a foot and lsot the harddrive and screen.