I am going to get one but I know nothing. How much is expensive, how much is too cheap? Are the built in web cams any good or should I buy one separately? Any recommendations or ones to steer clear of? tell me everything.
I've got a Toshiba Equium one, which was on special offer from PCWorld a few months back... not sure what to tell you about it really but they were about £370 at the time. Typically, it's not any of the ones now on their website! What sort of things do you want to be able to do with it? Is it mostly internet & email, or do you want to play complicated games on it?
Mine is absolutely fine for the sorts of things I use it for - MSOffice, email, mumsnet.
No idea about webcams I'm afraid, but I'd guess a separate one would probably be better.
Do you want PC or mac? My macbook is fab, and much quicker than my old pc ones were.
It has a built in webcam which is much much better than any of the separate ones that I've used, but has the disadvantage that I can't unclip it to point around the room to follow dd when she's charging about and her grandparents want to see!
Do I want PC or mac? I don't know. It's just for email and writing essays and hopefully letting ds chat to my parents if they get themselves a new computer. My mum (who thinks she knows everything about everything) doesn't want me to get a dell laptop, she thinks they overheat or something.
There was a problem with Dell batteries - link here - but they recalled the dodgy ones, so a new one from the shop now shouldn't be a problem.
People who have mac's always seem to love them, whereas most of us with PCs do curse them quite regularly. But on the other hand I wouldn't change, as I'm used to a PC and they are the more common thing, so you'll find it easier if you switch between it and one at work, or in a library or internet cafe.
TBH for the sort of stuff you're talking about, I'd have thought there'd be loads to choose from for around a few hundred pounds. You might want to ask in a shop about the webcam side though - having good graphics on it might help with that (or it may not make any difference by the time the picture gets sent to the other PC anyway!)
Misco have a bunch of Toshibas from £300 up. Any of them should do, although at £300 you'll only get 1GB of RAM, which is less than ideal for Vista. I'd recommend trying one of them and buying a memory upgrade if it slows it down too much.