No longer considered lavish, laptops are now a common way to transport work or play. With an array of inexpensive options, laptops can be both affordable and efficient. For $300+ budget laptops will allow you to surf the Internet, perform word processing tasks, email, and network with ease. While not ideal for gaming or CGI, notable budget laptops will get basic jobs done.
(Note: All prices are estimates at the time of this article’s writing.)
Gateway NV7915u -- $599
Gateway is one brand name that doesn’t come to the forefront of most minds when considering laptop choices. Yet, the NV7915u presents a more than adequate mix of the right price plus respectable components. Advertised as a “desktop replacement” laptop, the Gateway NV7915u lives up to this title admirably. This NV7915u is loaded with Intel’s Core i3 processor, 500GB hard drive, and an easy-to-see 17” screen.
As with any budget laptop, there are a few drawbacks to the NV7915u. Compared to other laptops, this computer’s keyboard is somewhat lacking. Large clunky keys and had plastic may be unforgiving to busy hands. Another drawback to this Gateway system is the touchpad, which is oddly placed in conjunction with the keyboard. While not great for gaming or watching videos, the NV7915u is an ideal desktop replacement.
Asus U50F - RBBAG05 -- $569.89
Asus has been a pioneer within the netbook world for some time now. Recently, the company has moved towards creating budget laptops that are as sturdy as their more expensive counterparts. The U50F proves to be no exception to the reliable Asus laptop rule. Some note-worthy U50F details include an Intel Corei3 processor, 500GB hard drive, 15.6 inch screen and 4G of RAM. This laptop tends to blow competitive budget laptops out of the water based upon its HD capabilities. Running files while streaming videos on this computer won’t cause a system breakdown.
Aesthetically, the U50F could use a makeover. The outside of this laptop is likened to stainless steel appliances that showcase fingerprints spectacularly. Another aesthetic problem is the keyboard, which feels a little cramped. Aside from these two issues, the Asus U50F is a solid laptop for the price.
Toshiba Satellite C655-S5049 -- $349.99
As a standard laptop goes, the Toshiba Satellite is perfect for students or business professionals who are looking for a budget buy. While the Satellite does not come with any amazing features, it is capable of running Microsoft Word and surfing the web simultaneously. The one aspect of the Satellite that stands out is its battery life. Lasting more than 3 hours, this laptop will outlast many more expensive models. The Satellite comes with an Intel Celeron 900 single-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, a 15.6” screen, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
True to most budget laptops, the Satellite lacks aesthetic appeal. A matte black exterior and black interior aren’t awe-inspiring. Another drawback is the single-core processor that the Satellite comes with. While still solid, Intel’s Celeron 900 is significantly slower than newer dual-core processors. This laptop also lacks a webcam.