I've had a MacBook Pro since I graduated High School just over seven years ago. It has served me very, very well, and for the most part it is still a functional laptop. However, recently it's been having issues where it will not work unless it's plugged in, and sometimes even then it will just turn off. No, replacing the battery did not help. And it's waaaay out of warranty and too old for Apple to even bother trying to fix it.
This isn't necessarily an issue, except that starting next week I will be in a different country, for two year's time, and in a location where electricity can be a bit sketchy. And since I'll be doing both work work and school work, a laptop seems like a pretty necessary tool.
I'm a Mac guy, let's just get that out of the way. But I didn't want to bring a brand new Mac since the chances of those getting stolen are pretty high. And I just needed a basic functioning laptop with a decent hard drive. So I got an Asus X540. It's a bit of an overkill with it's 500GB hard drive, but I needed something with more than what a little netbook could offer me, and it was the only one I could find that was in my budget. From what I understand it should be able to decently run the GIS software I may (or may not) need. I'm used to Macs so finding my way around a PC is a bit of a learning curve, but I'm figuring it out so far. Once I get back in two years I'll probably start shopping around for a nicer Mac (if I even have the funds for it), but this one will do in the meantime. And even after the two years it should still function nice as a backup computer. With more research I probably could have found something better, but for what ended up being a fairly last minute thing I'm satisfied.