Advise on which is the best laptop?

So christmas is coming up and I'm getting a new laptop/notebook/tablet, problem is I cant decide. Basically I've had my laptop for 6 years and its completely broken, it barely switches on, I use it everyday for at least a couple hours. I use it to download a lot of stuff too which is why it gets infected so... show more So christmas is coming up and I'm getting a new laptop/notebook/tablet, problem is I cant decide. Basically I've had my laptop for 6 years and its completely broken, it barely switches on, I use it everyday for at least a couple hours. I use it to download a lot of stuff too which is why it gets infected so much and im constantly wiping it (ill be keeping this to do the dirty work as such so I dont have to spoil the new one.) I need a good laptop as I am completely dependant on it, I do everything on it, shop, schoolwork, social networking, music, videos, EVERYTHING. My problem is i want a good laptop (not just for things mentioned, just like a good one in general cause it is coming to uni and stuff with me now) i cant spend more than about £500 so unfortunately as much as I'd love a Mac it just isn't happening. I'm also stuck as to what to get, I'd love a iPad but I'm kinda worried about doing school work on it, can you get a keyboard or something to make it easier to type up essays? Does it have a word version that would be compatable to school computers too? I'm also put off by the fact it doesn't have flash so your kinda limited to certain things. If I don't go for a iPad I'm stuck between laptop and notebook, notebook is smaller and cheaper which is the draw for me because it will be easier to carry about and would do the same job as a laptop, just the smaller screen is annoying as I watch a lot of DVD's and stuff on it. Laptop seems like the best option I suppose but I just don't know what to look for! I'm completely useless at this, I know what I want it to do but I don't know what brands or makes would suit me best. My brother has a Dell which I absolutely hate, whereas mine is a older toshiba which I have loved it's just in a bad way at the moment. Thanks if you actually sat and read all this, I ramble on a bit. Please help! :(
Update: Dell Inspiron is the one my brother has and I hate it! The mouse pad is unsenitive and you have to apply a lot of pressure, I dislike the laptop in general.
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