When laptops first appeared on the market there was this big WOW and most people wondered if they could ever afford such a useful gadget. Well, prices have gone down quite a lot and a good laptop which was worth $1800 dollars last year can now be bought for half the price. So, it won’t be very difficult to find some laptops under 400 dollars for this article. Some of you may not be pleased with these models as you are looking for something much more powerful. Well, you must know that really good and powerful laptops are expensive (by expensive I mean over $850) so unless you are willing to spend a little more money than the laptops in this article may be a good choice for you as well.
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The Toshiba L505-S5984 laptop has good specs considering its $399 price. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 processor which is quite unexpected for a cheap laptop. It has a 16 inch display which makes this laptop a good desktop replacement. Because it’s bigger, it also has a numerical pad which is ideal for most users, especially for people that work with numbers and spreadsheets (may be useful when playing some games as well). 3 GB of RAM will allow you to run multiple tasks without any kind of trouble. We highly suggest you run Windows Vista or Windows 7 in order to get the best out of all you RAM as Windows XP might run a bit slow and the applications will take longer to launch. You can upgrade from your 3 GB of RAM to a maximum 8 GB but we don’t think this is necessary because this is not a gaming notebook.
The graphics card is rather weak so you can’t play any top of the line games on this laptop. Some old ones will do though. The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD is no excellent video performer so no 3D applications for you either. The built in webcam is not that great but you can still get some good images in a properly lit environment and especially if you use the Skype application which is one of the best video chat programs available. You will probably get your unit with Windows 7 and other preinstalled software, like anti-virus trial programs and the Microsoft Office suite. Just in case the 250 GB of free disk space are not enough to store all your files, documents, games music, pictures, and applications, you can always use the dual-layer DVD drive to make DVD copies of all your files and then clear up some disk space. This is probably one of the best laptops under 400 dollars that money can buy.
The Sony VAIO VGN NW235F/W may also be considered a wise choice for people that are looking for a 15 inch laptop which is beautiful, powerful and cheap. You can imagine that is it elegant because good looks are a common feature for all Sony VAIO laptops. Be careful because the white chassis will become dirty in no time if your hands are not properly washed when you use it (not to mention that is also attracts fingerprints even if your hands are clean). The unit comes with a 2.10GHz Intel Pentium T4300 processor plus 4 GB of RAM which means you can run Windows 7 Home Premium without any problems. The graphics card is an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD. You have 320 GB of disk storage. Other cool features of this laptop are the motion eye webcam and the microphone which have a face tracking technology. You also get a DVD burner. The battery will keep your laptop up and running for about 4 hours on a full charge so there should be problem with laptop shutting down when you most need it.
For $350 you can buy the refurbished Dell Latitude D610. It has 1 GB of RAM, another 40 GB of HDD and the ATI Mobility Radeon X300 PCI Express x16 with 64 MB. This laptop is not as powerful as the ones we presented above but if you are not looking for a power horse, just a laptop that can help you get your basic computer need done, than this model may be the right thing for you. It has 4 USB ports, S-Video out and even the Infrared function. The display is 14.1 inches long so you will have no trouble with reading large documents or big web pages. It’s ideal for office work and you can buy it for home usage is you are not going to run any demanding programs or games. Due to the strong chassis, this laptop is very durable and the weight is somewhere around 5.4 lbs so if you need to carry this laptop around with you, it shouldn’t be a big problem.
The Lenovo ThinkPad R60 refurbished laptop costs a bit less than $400 and it comes with a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo T2400 processor which is ok considering the small amount of money you spend. This laptop has 1 GB of RAM, 60 GB of available disk space and an Intel GMA 950 graphics card. As you may have already noticed, the components are not top of the line material but the price you pay for such laptops is not exactly a premium one as well. This 14.1 inch laptop also comes with 4 USB ports, one VGA out, one Ethernet port, one docking/port replicator, you regular headphones out and microphone in jacks plus a FireWire port.
Remember that the usual warranty period you get for refurbished laptops is 6 months. Refurbished laptops are a good choice if warranty is really important to you. In fact, it’s a much better choice rather than buying a used laptop from someone and not knowing of they are just selling it because they don’t need it any more or because there is something wrong with the laptop. Anyway, remember that if you are willing to spend some extra hundreds of dollars, there are really cool laptops waiting out there for you to buy, buy, buy