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Low-end Laptop Recommendations, Please

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I have finally realized that it will be MUCH more cost effective to buy a new low-end laptop than to fix and/or upgrade my current 2001 model.

Based on anticipated (wife and daughter) requirements of word processing, e-mails and occasional web browsing, I should be able to get MORE than enough computer for $450-$550.

I will begin my quest tomorrow by looking through the Sunday ads - Best Buy, Circuit City, Office Depot, Staples, etc.

Possible brands include HP, Toshiba and Acer; due to customer complaints, I've pretty much eliminated Compaq from my list.

I'd really appreciate any recommendations or suggestions.
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168 Posts
A little over a year ago I picked up the Toshiba laptop I am using right now. With case, accessories, and 2 movies I bought at the same time I spent about $700. It has bee great so far and my needs matched those you displayed.

Mine also has exterior media controls like you'd find on a remote and exterior volume control. These are probably the most used features I use because I use it to kill time at work by watching movies. All in all I like my Toshiba a lot and wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

91 Posts
Averatec 3200 series. They were rated best bang for the buck by PC magazine in '05. I have been nothing but happy with mine.

The Averatec 3200 Series thin and light notebook packs a lot of punch into a trim package. With a Mobile AMD Sempron™ processor,Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition, multi-format DVD burner, 60 or 80-GB hard drive and wireless connectivity, it’s hard to believe all that fits into a 4.5-pound, 1-inch thin powerhouse.

Mobile AMD Sempron™
Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition
4-in-1 Media Card Reader (MS/MS PRO/MMC/SD)
Multi-Format DVD +/- Burner
Ultra Portable at 1” Thin and 4.5 lbs. Light
512 MB DDR, Up to 80 GB HDD
12.1” XGA Display
802.11g Wireless LAN

CPU: Mobile AMD Sempron™
OS: Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition
LCD: Size 12.1'' XGA
Optical Drive: Multi-Format DVD +/- Burner
Hard Drive: 60 GB or 80 GB
Memory: 512MB DDR
Wireless: LAN 802.11g
USB: (3x) 2.0
Dimensions(WxDxH): 10.9" x 9.6" x 1"
Weight: 4.5 lbs.

565 Posts
Just check the Sunday fliers for the best deal for the money after rebates.

I was a computer reseller and ended up buying a Compaq 2 years ago from Circuit City for $300 less than my wholesale cost for a comparable model (after rebates from Compaq/Ckt City). I've basically given up trying to sell hardware/software as the retail rebates make the end-user price cheaper than my wholesale cost.

Ancient Tech
2,313 Posts
Just remember that most of those 'rebates' will find a way to refuse sending your payment.

Just yesterday I accompanied a client to Office Depot, laptop shopping.

He almost bought a "$499" HP, with a $500 'rebate', until I pointed out a few things...

Like the fact that he'd have to pay $999 out the door and would get nothing back. Ever.

Why? He, like most people in this area, gets his mail at a P.O. box.

And the fine print specifies than NO rebate checks will be mailed to any P.O. Boxes!

Yet, the anuses at the store swore up and down this was incorrect UNTIL I showed them. Much egg on faces ensued. We just chuckled and left.

Buyer beware, X 1000.

PS. The Acers are pretty good for what you pay. Better than the newer Toshibas. We got a really nice one for $799 from Staples; there were less pricey models available, too.

244 Posts
I bought a refurbished Gateway notebook from and also bought another 512 mb RAM at the same time.

I'm a very happy camper with my 1gb RAM 1.8mhz Turion 64 machine with the latest tech DVD R/W and a 60gb hdd.

Oh, and it has a 15.4 widescreen, and the latest "b" & "g" WiFi.

and yes, I did receive my $100 rebate promptly.

loves guns!
1,168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·

It was a difficult decision, but I changed my mind completely on this issue. I ended up buying an Acer desktop computer with 512/200GB. IIRC, the base price was $389, however I upgraded the flat screen CRT to a 17" LCD for $50 and got a free Lexmark all-in-one printer/scanner/copier.

Since my wife uses the computer for word processing work, I just wasn't sure she could deal with the small print on the laptop screen.

Anyway, I appreciate the opinions and suggestions. Thanks.
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