Yes that question has been asked a thousand times, but this is a little different in that I have narrowed it down to three contenders and wonder which you would choose.
I have very few requirements. 15 - 16 inch screen size, 500Gb+ hard drive, 4 USB ports is the absolute mimimum, I would prefer 6 as I have on my existing laptop (but that is rapidly failing so I can't keep using it much longer without some disaster happening), and it must have hdmi out. Other than that I really don't care much. Battery life is of zero importance to me (I have spent ages looking for a laptop without a battery, on the grounds that I don't see why I should pay extra for something that I never use, but they don't exist, so I will have to have one). The only other thing I want is Linux compatibility, but that is almost impossible to judge until you have bought the machine, then it is too late.
Here is my selection, with a few notes on each.
1) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-Blu-ray-Bl ... =de_a_smtd
Most expensive, good reviews, Unfortunately comes with Windows pre-installed.
2) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenovo-Ideapad- ... =de_a_smtd
Mid price, again pretty good reviews, unfortunately comes with Windows again.
3) http://www.novatech.co.uk/laptop/range/ ... n1517.html
Cheapest, impossible to find reviews of this model, slightly more ram, newer/slightly faster processor, I have used the company before, but not for a long time and recently they haven't had the best reviews (they were OK when I used them). Empty hard drive, no Windows to get rid of, they allow some customisation - ie you can ask for a larger hard drive or even an i7 processor for extra cost.
Of course any other suggestions will be considered.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532 Laptop. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint14 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).