Any good $700 laptops?
June 23, 2011 5:34 AM   Subscribe

I've got $700, what's the best general purpose laptop I can get?

I'm looking a great general purpose laptop for study, entertainment, browsing etc. Can anyone recommend some good options?
posted by Mr_Thirdworld to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a preferred operating system?
posted by dgeiser13 at 5:41 AM on June 23, 2011

Used, previous-generation Mac. Might not be up to spec with something you'd get from HP or the like, but IMO you still have a better chance of it lasting and being usable longer, all things considered.

Or a Thinkpad. No personal experience, but I see them recommended pretty often.
posted by supercres at 5:45 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

refurb lenovo ... there is a website if you google for it (mentioned recently in ask also).
posted by jannw at 6:23 AM on June 23, 2011

Here are 14 Thinkpads that were returned unopened, and which cost between $600 and $700 dollars.

You can also look for Ideapads (not quite as sturdy), or for refurbished machines.
posted by orthogonality at 6:36 AM on June 23, 2011

nthing a refurb Thinkpad (T is the workhorse series, X series is sleeker) or a gently used Mac, ideally with some Applecare left on it.
posted by holgate at 6:50 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Maybe you can get a used Macbook. The ones with the "non-user-replaceable" batteries are what you'd want. These types of batteries hold a really long charge, and have a very long cycle count life (last many years). Almost everything else in laptops is the same anyway, so go for the best battery design.
posted by krilli at 7:03 AM on June 23, 2011

To name specific Macbook model numbers: Types Macbook6,1 and Macbook7,1 are the ones I personally would use.

I myself follow this advice. I develop and work extensively in Windows and Linux, and my old Macbook Pro is by far the best Windows/Linux laptop I've used.
posted by krilli at 7:08 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry should have given more details. Looking with the following options:
- 15.4 Screen
- Windows 7
- Brand new
posted by Mr_Thirdworld at 7:35 AM on June 23, 2011

In that case, have a look at Toshiba :)

Dad just bought a very light and cheap Toshiba laptop with those features. I was setting up stuff on it and playing around with it and was pleasantly surprised. I personally liked it less than a Macbook of comparable price, but I think given your very reasonable criteria think you would prefer the Toshiba. I don't know what model number or type it was though, sorry.
posted by krilli at 7:51 AM on June 23, 2011

I would pick out my favorite from here, and have money left over. If there's nothing you like today, check back tomorrow.
posted by LowellLarson at 8:22 AM on June 23, 2011

Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E520
posted by at 8:30 AM on June 23, 2011

What do you mean by "entertainment"? If it's gaming, what kinds of games do you want to play? Those tend to be the element that push computers to be faster and/or more powerful. Otherwise, I think most new computers would be suitable. I think the days when you could buy a new computer that would strain under day-to-day use are over.

To stretch your money, check Got Apex, Fat Wallet, and any other reliable sales sites you can. Many sites list deals that last between a day and a week. You can also check sites for weekly ads (Staples often has discounts of $100+ for laptops).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 AM on June 23, 2011

My company has had REALLY good luck with some dirt-cheap Lenovo Thinkpads. (We also have one top-of-the-line Thinkpad that's INSANE.) I would say if you go a step up, they could be really good computers.
posted by nosila at 3:53 PM on June 23, 2011

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