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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Best Laptops under $500!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Save some cash with the 10 best laptops under $500, from companies including Sony, Dell and HP.
Don’t tell the hordes swarming into the Apple Store every weekend, but the days of needing to spend over $1,000 to get a quality laptop passed by while most of them were still in high school. Even before netbooks came along sending manufacturers into a frenzy while chewing their own margins down to pennies just to compete, prices on Windows laptops were in a freefall, leaving today’s prices at rock bottom. With Windows 7 now standard, you won’t have to deal with Microsoft’s last dud of an operating system this year either. Just about any notebook under $500 will serve your most basic needs, but some inevitably do it a whole lot better than others. Here are some of our favorites. If you have a favorite you would like to share, or want us to know about, please post it below!
Note: All prices reflect what you can find these notebooks for on the street or online, not necessarily MSRP.

Dell Vostro V13$449.00+

If you thought this 0.65-inch-thick, aluminum-shelled beauty shared a bloodline with Dell’s ultra-premium Adamo XPS, you would be right. If you thought it shared the price, you would be dead wrong. An ultra-low-voltage processor and a handful of other minor sacrifices (like only two USB ports) keep the 13.3-inch notebook from pulling ahead as the workhorse of this pack, but it’s hard to beat the knife-like 3.5-pound body for traveling in style.

Asus Eee PC Seashell 1201N-PU17$483.41

Not all netbooks are built alike. Asus sets its Eee PC 1201N apart with some of the brawniest silicon to be planted in such a tiny package: a dual-core Intel Atom processor and Nvidia’s Ion graphics processor. Together, they give the 12.1-inch netbook pep above and beyond even some full-size notebooks in this price range, including the ability to run many modern games on the 1366 x 768 display. The dynamo GPU also makes the 1201N adept at 1080p video playback, which it can even pump out to a flat-screen TV via a standard HDMI port.

Gateway NV5387u$499.99

Don’t let the obtuse name deter you: This is one of the most powerful laptops in our round up. Gateway’s NV5387u offers AMD’ Turion II Ultra Dual-Core M600 processor clocked at 2.4 GHz, not to mention 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, 15.6-inch display, and ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics. The estimated battery life under three hours won’t make it much of a travel machine, but users who need the extra power will be amazed how much grunt they get for the dollar.

Lenovo X100e$449.00+

Lenovo treads the line between notebook and netbook with the X100e, one of the few computers in the respected ThinkPad line to fall below the $500 mark. While the 11.6-inch screen and weight under 3 pounds might qualify it as a netbook, an AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 processor, rock-solid build quality and trusty ThinkPad keyboard with built-in TrackPoint joystick elevate it to a machine worthy of wearing the ThinkPad badge. Users who need a little extra power can also upgrade to the dual-core Neo X2 for another $50.

Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005PE$377.80

The Energizer Bunny of netbooks uses a capacious six-cell battery to deliver 14 hours of run time – according to Asus, anyway. As with all notebook battery estimates, it’s a bit of a pie-in-the-sky estimate, but even after accounting for the optimism of Asus’ marketing department, you can expect honest all-day computing. And at only 2.8 pounds, you won’t throw out your back carrying it around all day, either. A 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor won’t get anything done in a hurry, but for surfing the Web, rearranging spreadsheets and writing papers, you won’t find yourself pining for anything more.


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