Less than two years ago, I bought a basic Lenovo model 4446-24U laptop (in Toronto, Canada).
-Just about when the one-year warranty expired, the screen randomly started flickering. It is a connection issue not affecting the VGA output, so clearly an assembly problem. Tapping stops it for a while.
-The built-in microphone electronics or software (Conexant High Definition Audio) generates randomly a strong "phantom noise" only the other side in a Skype connection can hear, while I cannot hear the other side at all. It happens even if nothing else is running, or the mike is muted. The Skype mike signal indicator bar-graph also shows it. Luckily, an external USB mike works well.
-The battery power suddenly drops from 85% to zero, even preventing going into an orderly standby state. This could be partially my fault as I mostly have it plugged in without regularly depleting the battery.
Overall, not too happy...
My college replaced a lot of their older Gateways with Lenovo Thinkpad T420s. The T420s are actually really nice and sturdy. They tend to be a little on the heavy side, but that's due to the quality of the materials used in the case. I've been considering one as a replacement for my old Sager.