My recent purchase of the HP dv4-1225dx notebook was different for several reasons. First of all, it was bought for my sister who was looking for a capable replacement for her desktop, since she moves frequently between locations and required a notebook she could easily take around with her. Second, it was a notebook I needed to prepare for her, since she is not with the "geek" crowd and I wanted her to have a great turnkey experience, without dealing with software installation, junkware removal and OS settings.
While it is true that every user has their own particular setup for their specific reasons, some things are just a requirement no matter what notebook you buy or what you use it for. From the experience I have had reviewing so many recently, I have put together a list of the things you should look out for (in no particular order) when playing with a new notebook for the first time, including some recommended software.