I'm planning to replace my wife's 4 or 5 year old laptop. I'm discovering that the ability to "customize" a build from a manufacturer like HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc., is pretty limited to non-existent. This saddens me because I build my tower not quite 2 years ago and liked picking only the parts I wanted.
This hypothetical laptop will mostly be web-browsing, MS Office, Pinterest and Facebook, iTunes, occasional videos.
I found that ToshibaDirect allows a modest amount of pick-and-choose options.
Question 1: Toshiba laptops - do they tend to be reliable? Do they tend to be made well and last a few years under regular usage?
Question 2: CPUs - I can pick an Intel Pentium 2020M or an Intel Core i3-3120M (in my price range). Is there any reason to spend the extra $100 for the Core i3? Looking at this review: http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Pentium-2020M-vs-Intel-Core-i3-3120M I don't see much of a difference for the money. Hyperthreading is the only big difference.
Question 3: If you think Toshiba laptops suck, give me some reasons why and the manufacturers that you think are better (with supporting evidence).
Thanks folks. Your input is always appreciated.