Help me find a cheap computer please.
October 28, 2009 2:07 PM   Subscribe

What is the best online deal for a laptop in the range of $300 to $500? This seems to change month-to-month, so I have not relied on earlier posts.

I need a new computer for the most basic functions. I send email, I use my computer as part of my stereo system, and I occasionally watch DVDs or The Daily Show online. I like the oortability of a laptop.

I plan to replace the Mac that is on its last legs right now, but it might take me a year to save up for it. I want something I can get a couple years out of. I know Compaq, Acer, Toshiba, and others regularly post in my target range.

Can anyone vouch for these or any cheap laptop? Is there a good bargain basement website you can suggest?

posted by kensington314 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite always has good deals. The dell 10v is decent and it will run os x with a little help. Nvidia ion netbooks are coming out soon or are out already. Supposed to be good for gaming and hd
posted by bravowhiskey at 2:33 PM on October 28, 2009

Take a look at the Dell Outlet Store. They're refurbished, but carry the same warranty as new systems from them. Usually a pretty good deal.
posted by Rendus at 2:38 PM on October 28, 2009

Have you considered a netbook? I was considering buy one for a little while, and did a significant amount of research. I think the Toshiba NB205-N300 is arguably the best one currently on the market. It has the functionality to do the tasks you mention, looks nice (I like the brown variant), and the almost-full-size keyboard is like that of a laptop rather than netbook and feels comfortable. The battery life is also extremely long.
posted by cotesdurhone at 2:47 PM on October 28, 2009

My go-to for anything computer related is NewEgg. Customizable search, great customer service, large customer base who reviews the products. They seem to have a few laptops in your price range.
posted by lholladay at 2:49 PM on October 28, 2009

I second cotesdurhone's Netbook suggestion, but I'm pretty sure the Acer 1410 is the best netbook on the market right now. It has an Intel Core2 processor (instead of the anemic Atom), has full HD resolution (1366x768), and a full size keyboard.

You can get one from Amazon for $399 at the moment, which comes with 2GB 667 Mhz RAM, a 250GB HD, a battery rated to last 6 hours on a full charge, an HDMI out port, Wireless N and Vista with free upgrade to Win7. All that in an 11.6" package that weighs in at just over 3 pounds.

The only netbook better than that that I know of at the moment is the Acer 1410tz (core2 duo processsor), which is not yet available in the US, as far as I know.

I'm typing this in an Acer 1410 that I got a few weeks ago - great little machine. The only thing a netbook won't be able to do is play DVD's - most of them do not come with DVD drives. You can buy an external DVD drive if watching DVD's is really important.

Check out the reviews at Amazon.
posted by syzygy at 2:59 PM on October 28, 2009

3rding Netbook being so awesome if you can get around the limitations. I can't imagine anything would be cooler than my EEE 1000HE, but there are probably faster models out there. It's the best computer I've ever owned, hands down.
posted by sully75 at 4:37 PM on October 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

I usually go to (another bargain-watching community in the vein of Fatwallet) to look up or monitor current deals on things. The forum members there are always posting computer deals from Newegg, Lenovo, Dell, HP, Best Buy, Costco, etc. The front page only shows a limited number of featured/selected see the unfiltered view of all of the posts (but this includes all kinds of products), look in the "hot deals" main forum. But it's probably more useful for you to narrow down by computers/hardware, so you can check out all of the listings that have the "system" tag.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 8:23 PM on October 28, 2009

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