Budget Notebook

After considering some kind of internet tablet I realized that an inexpensive notebook is a much better buy than an underpowered $400 Linux device. I found some notebooks in the $400-$500 range at Fry’s made by Toshiba or Compaq. With 15.4″ screens, all of them were over six pounds which some reviewers considered heavy. So I went to notebook review where you can filter on price and weight. Surprisingly, there was a 5-pound(ish) Dell computer for $499. I had looked at Dell recently, but they didn’t even mention the Vostro line of notebook computers. Apparently the Vostro is a “small business” computer and Dell feels like consumers should buy more expensive Inspiron or XPS notebooks. Even better, the Vostro has free shipping right now. There is a still less expensive Vostro 1000 (I’m looking at the Vostro 1400), that starts at $399, but once you add in a few extras to make it roughly equivalent to the 1400 (the 1400 uses an Intel Celeron processor and the 1000 uses an AMD Sempron), the price difference was fairly small.

Since the democrats in Congress have decided that I should receive nearly the full $600 stimulus rebate, I thought I should go ahead and blow most of that on a laptop. Rather than wait for my check in May, I think I may pull the trigger on this deal this weekend. The nice thing about Dells is they are very popular among Linux hobbyists, so I may try setting up the computer to boot in Linux as an option.

6 thoughts on “Budget Notebook

  1. For another $100 I can get a better processor (Intel Core 2 Duo), twice as much memory (2 GB), 250 GB hard drive, and add the ability to burn DVD’s. That’s more than I want to spend, but that’s actually a pretty nice notebook. That would be too hard to pass up.

  2. And for just a few hundred dollars more, you can have an Intel Mac that will run Parallels Linux or Windows (if you must.) Kathy runs Windows on our iMac because the house listing service service only supports Windows IE.

  3. Went ahead and ordered it today. Opted for the Core 2 Duo one with a glossy screen. All the reviews I’ve seen of this particular model have been very good. I got free shipping but had to pay tax, so my govment check won’t cover the whole cost. But with a 3-year-old desktop, I guess I was getting due for a new computer anyway.

  4. Today Office Depot advertised a Compaq notebook for $300 after mail in rebates. It has an Intel dual core processor, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB hard drive, and 15.4 inch screen. It is a model C700T which I think can’t have more memory than 1 GB. Still, that’s an amazing deal.

  5. Best Buy was running a deal where you could take a working Windows laptop in and they would give you a $75 gift card. So today I took the Vostro in. It had a lot of troubles so I had done a clean install (no personal files on the hard drive) but since then I have bought two more laptops, so it was of no use to me. I figure I can use the $75 to get something at Best Buy eventually, maybe some Blu-rays or something.

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