My Toshiba laptop is back home again. According to the repair sheet, the DVD burner, hard drive and wireless card totaled almost $600 to replace. Assuming the hard drive was truly replaced the last two times it went dead and not just re-magnetized (which I what occasionally happens), the total replacement cost on parts alone is in the $1000 range for the repairs over the life of the laptop. Add some labor to that picture and somebody's losing a ton of money on a bad product. The combined parts bill is half of what I paid for the machine in the first place. I can't recommend often enough that you need to back up your data regularly, whether you've got a laptop or not. The recovery process is a hassle with a backup, without a backup, it's a nightmare.
The Fujitsu Tablet PC soldiered through like a champ while I was in New York, but having to either plug in a keyboard or laboriously write out email messages was neither convenient or enjoyable. Tablet PC evangelists like Robert Scoble swear by the Toshiba units with the convertible screen, but after my repeated bad experience with a Toshiba laptop, I simply can't bring myself to consider another Toshiba product at this point.
I'll freely admit that reading digitally on the Tablet PC is a joy (as long as there's no bright sunlight), however, most of the things I do aren't really meant for a portrait form factor. The travel case I have for the Fujitsu is perfect for propping the Tablet up easel style and reading email and RSS feeds, but doing multimedia work was a huge pain. Adobe Audition and other audio editing solutions work best in landscape mode because viewing the audio timeline is more convenient when it's extended from left to right across as much screen real estate as possible. Video editing would be equally limited. Battery life and standby mode on the Fujitsu model are outstanding. I've been able to standby the unit for several days and lose virtually none of the battery with almost instantaneous resume. There's definitely some smart work being done in the Tablet PC space, it just doesn't fit with most of my computing habits.