Laptop Recommendations for $500 budget, General Laptop questions

A family member asked me about purchasing a laptop for $500. Most of my PC knowledge is for desktops and I don't know a damn thing about laptops. Maybe you guys can give me some general advice on the subject, so I can get the best one for their needs. They said there is a lot of deals out recently.

1. What is your budget? $500

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
No clue

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Whatever is cheap and good for surfing internet and typing up documents

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
First laptop. For surfing the internet and work.

5. How much battery life do you need?
3-4 hours at least. More is a plus

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
No games

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
None. Just surfing internet. Using for work, which is probably just typing documents up or something.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
40 to 60gb at least. Just needs space for OS, maybe some Microsoft Office programs and antivirus.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
A couple years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
prob just dvd rom

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.
Not aware of what the best brands are.

13. What country do you live in?
USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Something that's easy for a new person to use.

Thanks for the help. Hopefully, I'm not being too much of a pain.
3 answers Last reply
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  1. Here is a cheap 15.6" laptop that will do the job fine.
    It cost 399.99 U.S. Dollars (Excluding TAX, and Shipping):

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+Satellite+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i3+Processor+/+15.6%22+Display+/+3GB+Memory+/+320GB+Hard+Drive+-+Black/2833077.p?id=1218354609804&skuId=2833077

    This, is a better laptop, I decided to let you pick, you can save more with the other one, but this one will allow you to do more space wise, and browsing the internet may be a tad better, it cost 449.99 U.S. Dollars (Excluding TAX, and Shipping):

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Gateway+-+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i3+Processor+/+15.6%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+640GB+Hard+Drive+-+Blue/2839062.p?id=1218355304533&skuId=2839062
  2. Thanks for the info. Think I'll go with the Gateway. The extra speed for the internet might make a difference if she needs to email documents or upload them in some way.

    I'm not very familiar with Laptops but is there any reason to get the warranty? Do they break down a lot? I mean 2 years for $110 seems like a lot.
  3. They overcharge with the warranty. The internet will not be faster, I meant that Internet Explorer will load faster etc... but upload speeds will not be effected.

    It comes with a 1 Year Warranty (Labor and Parts).

    Currently, the people who own the laptop have written 5 star reviews, and they really like the laptop. I wouldn't be worried about it breaking down, it doesn't have the performance factor that usually has most of the problems.
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