What about Warranty?
Most laptops come with a 1 year limited warranty, but some laptops from companies such as ASUS and Toshiba have 2-year or 3-year limited warranties included in the purchase price. These warranties are the best choice, but they're only available on a limited selection of laptops.
Buying an extended warranty directly from the manufacturer is often the best option if you want to extend a warranty beyond the standard 1-year term. These warranties can be expensive, but a direct-from-manufacturer usually results in the best customer service.
Third-party warranties from retailers, such as Best Buy or Fry's, are usually the worst. They can be priced competitively, but the retailers often drag their feet when a warranty claim is made. They may require that you go through a long and laborious diagnostic process, or they may ask to repair it multiple times before issuing any sort of replacement or credit.
Not buying an extended warranty is another option, and it's often the best one. Laptop's do have a high rate of failure, but the warranties tend to be pricey, so you'll likely come out ahead if you don't buy an extended service plan.
For more, read our guide to finding the best laptop warranty.