Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Best Low-budget laptop?

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
Share
June 1, 2010 4:27:37 AM

My husband and I would like to buy a (very) inexpensive laptop for his parents. They are not at all computer literate, but would like to have internet, email, and Skype so we can stay in touch. They will be here thru the end of July so we'll be able to show them how to use it. I've never thought much of Celerons, but they seem to be the lowest priced laptop CPUs. Would the newer Celerons be suitable without going completely obsolete within a very short time?

1_What is your budget? As close to 0 as possible (realistically, under $500; ideally, no more than $400).

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Preferably 14-15" - no netbooks as we'd like them to have full Windows 7 (without having to upgrade it) and an optical drive. Netbook screens might be too small for them to see well also.

3_What screen resolution do you want? Not really important, but nice enough to watch a DVD or to view photos.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Somewhat portable.

5_How much battery life do you need? Not really important. This will mostly be used at their house.

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? Nope. Not unless they figure out how to play games online all by themselves!

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.) Email, internet (online videos, YouTube), Skype, maybe DVDs. I would like to put OpenOffice on it as they offer a version in their native language.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need? She likes to save pictures, so this could be more important, although most of them seem to come with sufficient HDD sizes nowadays.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. We are looking at these:

This is our (my husband's) #1 choice due to price:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Compaq+-+Presario+Laptop+wi...

These 2 look like potentially better deals to me, but my husband is big on keeping this cheap, cheap, cheap:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.frys.com/product/6140559?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop? As long as possible for basic everyday use, but at least ~2 years.

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need?DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Just your basic DVD-ROM/writer.

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. No real opinion.

13_What country do you live in? We live in the US, but they will be taking this with them to Europe. We'd like to buy it here because prices are lower and then we can try to teach them as much as possible before they return home with it. My brother-in-law will help them with getting internet service hooked up.

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed. We were going to give them our old PowerbookPro G4, but it's just too obsolete now. While it has sufficient power to surf the net, play movies, etc., software makers just don't support the CPU much anymore. :(  Even with Leopard installed on it, there's just not much out there. Apple doesn't support their language either whereas MS Windows does. Macs are just not used over there, so none of our more computer literate relatives would be able to help them if they had questions/problems. Thus, our decision to buy them a PC.

Any advice would be welcome. Thanks!

More about : low budget laptop

a c 244 D Laptop
June 1, 2010 7:31:55 AM

The bestbuy link doesn't work.
But between the second two,i would go for the MSI model because of having faster CPU and more HDD,and don't worry about the RAM because 3GB vs 4GB won't make a noticeable difference
m
0
l
June 1, 2010 2:57:02 PM

That's odd. Here are the specs for the Best Buy computer:

Quote:
Compaq - Presario Laptop with Intel® Celeron® Processor - Black

$349.99

Product Features

* Intel® Celeron® processor 900
Features an 800MHz frontside bus, 1MB L2 cache and 2.2GHz processor speed.
* 2GB DDR2 memory
For multitasking power, expandable to 4GB.
* Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
Records up to 8.5GB of data or 4 hours of video using compatible DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media.
* 15.6" high-definition widescreen display
With BrightView technology and 1366 x 768 resolution for intense detail and clarity.
* 250GB SATA hard drive (7200 rpm)
* Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M
Features up to 797MB total shared graphics memory for intense detail. Altec Lansing audio.
* 3 high-speed USB 2.0 ports
* Built-in high-speed wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n)
* Built-in 10/100Base-T Ethernet LAN
With RJ-45 connector and 56 Kbps modem for a quick and easy wired Web connection.
* Weighs 6.6 lbs. and measures just 1.7" thin
* Long battery life of up to 3 hours and 45 minutes to give you more time away from an outlet.
* HP Imprint finish for a stylish look.
* Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit operating system preinstalled.


This one supports wireless n, whereas the MSI only supports 'draft n'. Do you think that will be a concern?
m
0
l
Related resources
a b D Laptop
June 1, 2010 3:07:05 PM

Either of the two that you picked out would be faster and better options and for only $50 more the MSI is a very good deal. Draft N and N are the same, there won't be a difference. It will also only matter if you are on a wireless network that supports Wireless N. Most are still using B and G.
m
0
l
a b D Laptop
June 1, 2010 4:18:57 PM

rocketgirl said:
My husband and I would like to buy a (very) inexpensive laptop for his parents. They are not at all computer literate, but would like to have internet, email, and Skype so we can stay in touch. They will be here thru the end of July so we'll be able to show them how to use it. I've never thought much of Celerons, but they seem to be the lowest priced laptop CPUs. Would the newer Celerons be suitable without going completely obsolete within a very short time?

1_What is your budget? As close to 0 as possible (realistically, under $500; ideally, no more than $400).

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Preferably 14-15" - no netbooks as we'd like them to have full Windows 7 (without having to upgrade it) and an optical drive. Netbook screens might be too small for them to see well also.

3_What screen resolution do you want? Not really important, but nice enough to watch a DVD or to view photos.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Somewhat portable.

5_How much battery life do you need? Not really important. This will mostly be used at their house.

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? Nope. Not unless they figure out how to play games online all by themselves!

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.) Email, internet (online videos, YouTube), Skype, maybe DVDs. I would like to put OpenOffice on it as they offer a version in their native language.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need? She likes to save pictures, so this could be more important, although most of them seem to come with sufficient HDD sizes nowadays.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. We are looking at these:

This is our (my husband's) #1 choice due to price:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Compaq+-+Presario+Laptop+wi...

These 2 look like potentially better deals to me, but my husband is big on keeping this cheap, cheap, cheap:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.frys.com/product/6140559?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop? As long as possible for basic everyday use, but at least ~2 years.

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need?DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Just your basic DVD-ROM/writer.

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. No real opinion.

13_What country do you live in? We live in the US, but they will be taking this with them to Europe. We'd like to buy it here because prices are lower and then we can try to teach them as much as possible before they return home with it. My brother-in-law will help them with getting internet service hooked up.

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed. We were going to give them our old PowerbookPro G4, but it's just too obsolete now. While it has sufficient power to surf the net, play movies, etc., software makers just don't support the CPU much anymore. :(  Even with Leopard installed on it, there's just not much out there. Apple doesn't support their language either whereas MS Windows does. Macs are just not used over there, so none of our more computer literate relatives would be able to help them if they had questions/problems. Thus, our decision to buy them a PC.

Any advice would be welcome. Thanks!


Hi there,

The MSI seems to be the best choice. It has a faster processor and is light-weight (under 5 lbs). It even has GeForce 8200M G graphics (which is a nice feature, although not necessary). It has sufficient RAM and storage space for your needs.

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
m
0
l
!