ThinkPads, in comparison with other laptops, are engineered from the ground up to be reliable and druable, able to survive even the harshest environments. They are simultaneously designed to be completely modular. In most 'true' ThinkPads, at least 90% of the components can be replaced by removing only a few standard screws, and the entire process is well-documented and will not void your warranty. They are also highly upgradable, sporting modular bays that allow you to add in an extra GPU, hard drive, or whatever you might need. On top of all this, they have fantastic software support for almost every operating system you might use, especially Linux. One of the strongest points about ThinkPads, though, is that they're durable. Not only will one you buy last you a long time, but because they've been around for a long time and are very reliable, older models are sold frequently for incredibly low prices. Why buy a low-end netbook when you could, for the same price, buy a slightly older ThinkPad that will end up lasting longer anyway?