There are a few things you should keep in mind when buying any laptop. First, be sure you get virus protection. I will say this three times so it sinks in: Get virus protection, get virus protection, get virus protection! It doesn't matter whether you take the option from the laptop manufacturer or go out and buy it separately. Just get it. And keep the subscription up to date. A virus can really screw up your laptop and be really hard to get rid of. In extreme cases you will have to migrate your personal files somewhere else, then erase the hard drive and reinstall all your programs. A good computer consultant will charge between $200 and $500 for this procedure, depending on how much stuff you have on your hard drive. Don't take the risk. Get protected. And just like your laptop, pay for a good quality product from a major manufacturer. Symantec and McAfee are examples. Free virus-scanning products might seem attractive, but think about it: If the virus scanner is free, how do they pay their programmers to keep it up to date? There is no free lunch. Quality costs, so spend the money up front instead of having to pay a computer consultant down the road.
In addition, all laptops from major manufacturers offer a built-in modem, a built-in Ethernet interface, and a built-in sound card with internal speaker. Because these items are almost always included and are not major points of difference it is not worth discussing them.
Laptop manufactures also offer extra cost warranty, damage protection (such as cell phone insurance), and support services. Pricing for these extra services varies widely. Use your judgment as to whether they are right for you.