Halp Best Laptop for under $500

OzSTEEZ

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Sister in-law wants to buy a laptop. Budget is $500. Needs it for general web surfing, downloading music for ipod, and word processing. She is not very computer literate outside MS Office.

I'm not to up to date with laptop CPU's. I know I can find a laptop under $500 easy, but I do not want to get her one that has a piss weak CPU. I also believe she would more than likely prefer a laptop over a netbook for screen real estate for word processing.

Must have features:
Webcam
Windows 7

Desirable features:
HDD > 200gb
At least 3gb Ram
 

dbzeag

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Indeed, the slowest AMD or Intel processor will be fine, even an Atom will be fine. You can find very decent 15.6" screened models for $299 if you look carefully.
 

shamwow

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Josh

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Anything other than compaq/hp, toshita, or acer if you want a laptop to last longer than a year. Which pretty much disqualifies everything else due to the budget. Just remind that to your sis-in-law that the laptop will pretty much be disposible with few chances of fixing it should it develop a problem, given that budget. Stay away from Celerons and Semprons. Even for light use, they suck ass. Once an antivirus software package is loaded (I don't care what package) the computer will slow to a crawl, even with 3GB or more of RAM.

edit: check out the Dell Outlet site. Decent laptops (vostro or latitude) at affordable prices. http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfb/notebooks/vostronb/cp.aspx?refid=vostronb&s=dfb&cs=28
 
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dbzeag

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There is nothing wrong with those models. Most of the internals and screens are from the same manufacturers. The different computer makers just reshell the cases and that's the difference mainly.

You can get a solid Levono for under $500 if you look carefully enough

And Celerons are quite fine, especially the lastest in the Core 2 Duo line up (the only difference is a slight cache size difference, the speeds and everything else are the same). Similarly but not as good with the Semprons.

If you run a lightweight AV, like AVG Free or MS's own, you will be fine for speed, even with 2gb.

Laptops have been fast enough for what you are asking for in the past 3 years.
 

shamwow

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Anything other than compaq/hp, toshita, or acer if you want a laptop to last longer than a year. Which pretty much disqualifies everything else due to the budget. Just remind that to your sis-in-law that the laptop will pretty much be disposible with few chances of fixing it should it develop a problem, given that budget. Stay away from Celerons and Semprons. Even for light use, they suck ass. Once an antivirus software package is loaded (I don't care what package) the computer will slow to a crawl, even with 3GB or more of RAM.

edit: check out the Dell Outlet site. Decent laptops (vostro or latitude) at affordable prices. http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfb/notebooks/vostronb/cp.aspx?refid=vostronb&s=dfb&cs=28
my hp is great but it's a $1500 business model. at the sub $500 price point you get what you pay for
 

Josh

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There is nothing wrong with those models. Most of the internals and screens are from the same manufacturers. The different computer makers just reshell the cases and that's the difference mainly.

You can get a solid Levono for under $500 if you look carefully enough

And Celerons are quite fine, especially the lastest in the Core 2 Duo line up (the only difference is a slight cache size difference, the speeds and everything else are the same). Similarly but not as good with the Semprons.

If you run a lightweight AV, like AVG Free or MS's own, you will be fine for speed, even with 2gb.

Laptops have been fast enough for what you are asking for in the past 3 years.
LOL
my hp is great but it's a $1500 business model. at the sub $500 price point you get what you pay for
True. Their business laptops are okay. I've used a couple and thought they were put together well.
 

kiwi

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Laptops only last a couple years regardless of how much you pay for them. Well never spend more then 500 on one again. Actually I'll probably never own a full sized one again, the mini is just way too convenient.
 

APRIL

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Laptops only last a couple years regardless of how much you pay for them. Well never spend more then 500 on one again. Actually I'll probably never own a full sized one again, the mini is just way too convenient.
Yeah, and they fit in a purse or small bag. TOO nice.
 

OzSTEEZ

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Yeah they aren't built to last, that's for sure. This is why a few months before my warranty is up, I'll make the hardware fail to RMA it for them to replace the hardware or the entire laptop.

Easiest way to make the hardware fail in to run a processor intensive application while the laptop is wrapped in a towel. Wont take long for that sucker to over heat.