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Sub-$1k Windows Laptop Recommendation?


jubjub75
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Hey all - my sister in law wants to buy a Windows laptop in the $600-$800 range, but she said she'd go a little higher if it was justified. I haven't been following Windows laptops at all lately, and don't know what to recommend. I found this article on CNET:

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10028953-1.html?tag=centerColumnArea1.1

 

Which was helpful, but was wondering if any of you have any real world experience or recommendations. She's not a gamer, so just wants it for email/MS Office/iTunes type stuff. It will be traveling back and forth to school, but used as the primary PC at home.

 

Thanks for any input!

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Glad to hear you like that, Todd. I've been thinking about picking one up just to use around the house. How much time do you get on a full charge?

 

However, my sister in law is not planning on getting an external monitor, so I'm thinking a screen in the 15" range would be better :)

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How much time do you get on a full charge?
I would guess somewhere between 5 and 6 hours.
However, my sister in law is not planning on getting an external monitor, so I'm thinking a screen in the 15" range would be better :)
Probably though I really haven't minded the small screen. It's not my only PC in the house though so I've got other options if needed. ;)
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I second the vote for eee pc. I have a 7 series (I've had it for close to a year) which can be had for well under 300 beans nowadays. I would get the larger series though for the improved screen sizes. The ASUS build quality on the EEE pc series is better then my 8600 inspiron. If you want something for portable moderate/light use and not for deploying a databases the then the netbooks are something to consider.

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On the eee/netbook talk:

 

We ebayed the wife's eeePC 4G. Wireless connection kept needing reconfiguring on the default Linux install...The spacebar was problematic, also. Better once I modded it per the eee forums, but still not perfect. Overall her biggest complaint was the keyboard was too small / not consistently responsive, and so too hard to type on.

 

We picked her up the Acer Aspire One with 120GB/WinXP and it's fantastic. I can even type on it - I didn't even try with her original eee. I like it so much I plan on getting one eventually.

 

From what I hear the new bigger 10" models have better keyboards though. Still, there's some competition now - I'm waiting to hear how the keyboard is on the Lenovo Ideapad S10.

 

The MSI Wind is also a favorite in the netbook category but it's a bit pricier kinda like the 10" EEEs.

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Don't buy anything but a Lenovo Thinkpad.

 

Go to http://www.lenovo.com and find one in your price range.

 

No discussion. They're fantastic PCs. I recently upgraded to a R61 this spring with a 2.2ghz Intel Core Duo, 2GB RAM, Blu-ray, 160GB 7200RPM hard drive, 15.4" screen it came to around $1100. I priced one out for one of my employees and you can get around the same PC nowadays (minus blu-ray) for ~$800.

 

These things are built solid... I am pretty rough on mine at work and it's barely got a scratch. There are a LOT of crappy laptops out there in the 700-800 range and there's really nothing comparable in quality for price in my mind. The only other brand that comes close to the quality are Apple MacBook Pro and (higher end) Sony VAIOs.

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I'm pretty fond of my work laptop - a Lenovo Thinkpad T60. In particular I love the LED light to see the keyboard in the dark.

 

My wife has a Dell Vostro 1500 with hi-rez screen & Geforce 9600M that we got on a coupon deal for about $650. She's been pretty happy with it, minus some Vista-related woes.

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Wireless connection kept needing reconfiguring on the default Linux install...The spacebar was problematic, also. Better once I modded it per the eee forums, but still not perfect. Overall her biggest complaint was the keyboard was too small / not consistently responsive, and so too hard to type on.
The keyboard on my EEE is very good (no issues with the spacebar or any other keys). I've got the Win XP flavor and I've had no trouble with the wifi connection and I've used it at three or four different locations without issue (home, local coffeehouse, lunch spot near work, another coffeehouse).
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