My dad currently has a 3-4 year old Vaio. It's really starting to show it's age, especially after a Windows 7 installation I performed ~6mo ago. About my dad: He's in his early 50s, and he's not really a computer person. He has pretty much only used Windows machines in the past. He likes to THINK he has a good grasp on how to use Windows. I love my dad, but he really doesn't... Once he's shown how to do something, he can repeat it, but if it's something new, he tends to get confused. What he'll use it for: Mostly work (reading/writing email, word, powerpoint), photography, and possibly some video editing. He really enjoys photography, but he's never gotten into a good workflow with it. He typically just imported his pictures and would perform any/all editing with Photoshop. He just heard about Lightroom and seems interested in it, so it seems like he may be willing to start using photo organization applications now (Aperture, Lightroom, etc). He's been looking at desktops recently (because of the extra horsepower); for example, an HP elite with a 3ghz AMD phenom quad-core, 8gb RAM, 1TB HDD, ATI 5450 w/ 512mb DDR3 vram, built in blu-ray player/dvd burner, and built in wifi (bgn). Honestly, spec-wise, that sounds like a great computer for $880 (it was something like $750 last week). BUT, because this is his primary work computer (and he would have to travel), I think it would be better for him to have a laptop. He was thinking about getting a desktop for power and using his laptop if he needs to bring a presentation somewhere; I think his laptop is junk and that it may be too complicated for him to work with two computers. What I think: Personally, I'm a mac person. I'd like to think he'll have an easier time getting the hang of OS X than Windows if he's forced to use it, even though he's only used windows in the past. I think he would be pretty well off with a 13" Macbook Pro (~$1100), as he already has a 24" monitor. If he really wants a desktop, a refurb 27" iMac w/ a C2D, 4gb of ram, and a 1TB HDD is ~$1300 right now. At the same time though, I'd like to be realistic. Macs aren't the cheapest computers, and my dad is stubborn (particularly about getting a Mac). Personally, I think Thinkpads and the higher-end Dells are pretty good for what you pay, but I haven't had to deal with PC hardware in a really long time, so I don't know what to look for hardware/price-wise... tl;dr: This is what I'm looking for: Will handle photography (especially an app like Lightroom or Aperture) Good computer that will last (reliability and performance) Mac or PC Good value, less than... $1400?