The following are some manufacturers of hardware that I can recommend, based on my own personal experience.

Disc Drives


I have used several TrekStor disc drives. Their USB drives are very popular. Completely plug-and-play with MS-Windows & Linux. Reliable & high performance.

TrekStor also have some high capacity (500GB and more) drives with a remote control and TV output. You can plug them into your TV directly, and play media files stored on the drive, without using a computer,

Western Digital

My brand of choice for internal storage (discs and SSDs) is Western Digital: good price/performance & very reliable.



I would never buy a printer from anyone but HP. I have used printers from almost all the major manufactures, and almost without exception they have been poor value for money, or there have been problems: poor reliability, problems with drivers, lack of features etc. I have never had these kind of problems with HP printers.



Probably the best price/performance choice in laptops at the moment. They use standard chip-sets and subsystems, so they are able to run a wide range of operating systems (Vista, Linux, etc.) without problems. A very good range of standard features included, such as built-in web-cams, and some nice media software included.


Hewlett-Packard has a very wide range of laptops to suit most budgets and most requirements. Reliable, trouble-free (I used on for 6 years) and good price/performance.


Dell justifiably has a very good reputation for value. Only available online (they have no stores). I have been very impressed with the Dells that I have used. Be very careful if buying one to run Linux, as there are issues with drivers on some models. Dell are slowly making compatible models available with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed, so get one of these if you want Linux.

Dell also produces the AlienWare range of top-specification laptops, for intensive gamers and power users. These machines are expensive, but if you really need the power, they are the best.

Desktops & Servers


If buying at a store, HP is the choice. Standards-based systems, good price/performance & reliable.


Very good value. A huge choice, as you configure your system (CPU, RAM, discs, etc.) as you work through the purchasing process. Pre-installed free Linux (Ubuntu) is becoming available. Other systems may not have driver support under Linux.


Whilst I would not recommend Lenovo laptops (I have used several) I do recommend their desktop machines.