protocol7, on 08 November 2012 - 19:55, said:
Apple tends to have nicer trackpads than the Synaptics rubbish I see in the usual PC World laptops. Otherwise I don't think there's anything particularly spectacular about them. They can have the same hardware issues as any device that's mass-produced in China.
Some Sony machines seem to be built fairly well but they have a higher price tag. Lenovo of course have the Thinkpads, though they're not the prettiest, they have a reputation for reliability. Can't vouch for Samsung but I tend to avoid their stuff on the back of my poor experiences with their hard disks. I've heard great things about their SSDs though (the 830 in particular).
It helps to have a look at them in a store as some laptops while looking impressive "on paper" can feel pretty cheap when you actually see them. It's also worth remembering that manufacturers have consumer and business class machines. The Toshiba you buy for £300 in PC World isn't going to be the same as the £600 Toshiba you see online.
And finally there's the OS. Will she like OS X or Windows 8 more?
My Sony Vaio has a pretty kickass Synaptics touchpad. It has full multitouch support. Two-finger scroll, ChiralScroll (iPod click wheel style circle scrolling without having to lift up your finger, ever), two-finger tap for right click, holding one finger and tapping with the other for middle click, three-finger tap for back in the browser, ... It's usually a driver issue.
The worst touchpads by far aren't those made by Synaptics but those by ELAN and ALPS. They are atrocities.