Summary: How much does a reasonably powerful laptop cost these days?
The first sub-$500 PCs, which came to the U.S. market just a few years ago, were pretty basic desktop systems with low-end processors, little RAM, small hard drives, and bulky CRT monitors. Look how times have changed.
This week (June 29-July 5, 2008), for about $500 (after the $125 mail-in rebate) you can get this laptop from Office Depot (free delivery is available):
- Model: Acer Extensa EX5620-6419
- 15.4" WXGA (1280x800) CrystalBright™ LCD screen
- Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile processor T5550 (1.83 GHz)
- 3GB DDR2 memory (RAM)
- 160 GB hard drive
- CD/DVD drive (reads/writes CDs and DVDs, supports double layer)
- Intel 802.11a/b/g wireless LAN
- 4 USB ports
- 1 FireWire (IEEE 1394) port
- 1 S-video port
- Integrated webcam and microphone
- 5-in-1 memory card reader (supports SD, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, xD)
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 with up to 358MB shared memory
- High Definition Audio with 2 built-in speakers
- 6-cell lithium-ion battery; 65W AC adapter
- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
UPDATE: According to some SlickDeals posters, you may be able to get this laptop for around $500 -- or even less -- without a mail-in rebate hassle. The price should be valid until July 19, 2008.