For two years the exercise of checking out laptops in electronic stores has been a daunting task. Every week-end there are advertisements promising great deals and specials on them but little advice as to their performance and quality. Shop assistants who are barely passed puberty try their best to persuade you that one is absolutely the best when you know yourself that it promises to be nothing more than an overpriced piece of junk.

Yes, computers can be classified as junk. About a year ago someone convinced me to buy an HP brand that looked fine. As a writer that spends hours every day typing on the keyboard barely had this particular machine come into the house when a strange thing happened. The letters on the keyboard started to fade away.

By the time the laptop was two months old some 10 keys were missing their identifiers. But that was only part of the problem. The memory within its chasm of mysteries was also failing me. The store refunded my money on the advice they would return the said product to the manufacturer.

Using the returned money, a smartphone by Samsung caught my eye and has given me hours of enjoyment since. The camera on it is the main attraction and as an artist photography is one of my passions.

Still seeking a new laptop, sees me often browse through the stores when given a chance but still have not found one that looks promising. Fortunately, my small Macintosh Air has served me well and may be the pointer to the brand for my next purchase in this area.

Until now I have tried several brands and by far the best has been the Sony that was purchased some 5 years ago. Unfortunately, it has been knocked to the ground at least twice by kittens jumping over my work area. None the less, aside from the case which is now skew whiff it still functions. That would have to be a great recommendation but the Company has stopped producing them.

These are the points that one needs to know and none of the companies give advice on.

1. What happens when the laptop is dropped?

2. How substantial is the keyboard?

3. Will the keys stay in position as several on other laptops of mine have come loose?

4. What is the normal life of it under general conditions, aside from the guarantee?

5. What is the replacement conditions for one that fails, aside from store policy?

Over the last 20 years at least 7 different computers have been used by me. They include PC’s and laptops. Tablets are not my thing and a laptop allows me to sit comfortably on my reclining chair to write. The manufacturers should pay attention to my needs as they surely are representative of a vast number of consumers.