In our current roundup of retail-specific laptops, we've divided our 30-plus systems into four different price categories, from sub-$500 entry level models to high-end ones that cost more than $1,000.
In that entry level category, covering laptops up to $499, we looked at laptops from Toshiba, HP, Dell, and Asus. Diving below the $500 mark is always risky when buying anything other than a Netbook, and we found systems that ranged from brick-like to not-so-bad. The biggest difference was in the processors, where you could find anything from a painfully slow Intel Celeron 900 to a reasonably usable Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200.
We ended up with a near-tie between the $429 Dell i1545-012B, with an Intel dual-core CPU, and the similar Asus K50IJ-RX05, which won us over by offering a nicer design, more RAM, and a bigger hard drive for only $70 more.
Two important notes -- on this particular page we're *only* talking about retail-specific models that cost less than $499. For a roundup of retail laptops in all price ranges, check here; for our latest MacBook reviews, check here.
Check out details of each system below:… Read more