I repair HP laptops for a living. The first thing you have to remember, is to make an informed decision when purchasing any electronic device. Look at the competition for similarly equipped units and read reviews, lots and lots of reviews. See what the most common issues are and how satisfied the end user is with their purchase. HP's in general are nearly always very poorly engineered and every series they make has horrid problems.
Where to begin? Lets's start with the power button. The circuit board is integrated with the Lid Switch, the component that disables the LCD panel whenever the magnet in its bezel comes within range of it. This small circuit board is capable of causing the LCD cable, Motherboard, Processor and BIOS chip to short out, and sometimes catch on fire.
The combination of the i7 (in select models) along with the integrated graphics controller will cause issues of no video when the hardware switches between the built in AMD HD GPU core on the i7 and the on board GPU. Among these issues are the RAM and HDD, which are very likely faulty before your first anniversary. The hard drives (often 750GB SATA) are likely to go out with normal usage, so if you decide to game or use heavy file transfers, you will be replacing it sooner than most.
Though this is a small list, there are other issues that will plague you, some of the ones that you can prevent however:
1)Update the BIOS FIRMWARE often
2)Pop the LCD bezel off the front @ the webcam and TAPE the hell out of that small cable that plugs into the webcam module. (I see this issue once a week, if not more, as the cable has doublesided tape, securing it to the back cover, however, they did not leave enough slack when routing the cable, causing it to unplug itself through normal usage)
3)Very regularly blow compressed air through the heatsink/fan vents to remove any dust build up, HP likes to use cheaper thermal paste that if allowed to overheat, will turn to cement and loose its thermal conductivity.
4)Speaking of thermal paste, if you are capable, go ahead and remove that junk they use in the manufacturing process. Also, behold as when you lift the HSF off the CPU, the ENORMOUS amount of thermal paste they use, often spilling over the CPU die, and across most of the CPU itself. Remember, thermal paste is there to fill the microscopic imperfections on the copper plating of the HSF and the CPU die. Excess thermal paste actually reduces the effectiveness of itself by absorbing too much heat and spreading the heat across the chip, away from the copper contact plate where it should be going.
5)HP uses proprietary software and drivers that will cause many features to become unavailable if you intend on installing any form of operating system besides the one HP uses in their restore media. Speaking of that restore media, they often do no package this media with your unit, and will charge you for copies of these discs. ALSO speaking of the restore media, these discs will take the better half of an entire day to install the operating system. Always use the supplemental disc when asked, and, if your restore fails at the end, a very common issue is the wireless toggle key on the keyboard, will deactivate the wireless module, causing the unit to detect a "missing wifi card" and crash the restore at the end of the 8hour process. If this happens, you will unfortunately have to watch the entire restore, toggling the wifi on during the "Installing Software" screen. As much as I hate the HP restore media, you will often be using these discs to correct ridiculous issues with your operating system due to the terrible drivers HP releases. I recommend ordering the discs as early as possible to have on hand for those situations.
6)If you have your HP serviced by a 3rd party vendor and they do a motherboard replacement, you will need to flash the BIOS, to rebrand the board with your Serial Number, Model Number and PCID. If this is not done, you will not be able to restore your operating system with the HP restore discs.
Despite how this sounds, I have nothing against HP. Without their laptops, I would have no work. This post is a warning of "POSSIBLE" issues you may or may not have. I speak of the most common, non-abuse/customer inflicted issues that I have come across working on this unit. The actual rate of failure will vary from laptop to laptop and you may even end up with one that never breaks down. I wish that were the case for most, however, as I am not homeless and make a decent living, this is not the case. Take proper care of your laptop, don't drop, shake, run, spill, dance upon, toss down the stairs, toss at your kids, toss at your wife, or shoot with a gun and you will avoid some of the most common failures.