A friend asked me how much they should pay for a PC laptop if they wanted to buy one on Black Friday. My answer:
I wish it were as simple as naming a price. Prices start at about $400 (maybe less day after Thanksgiving) but the lowest priced ones have cut corners, producing machines one will likely quickly regret buying. At the end of 2008, A laptop you'd be happy with a year from now should optimally contain:
1. 4 Gigs of Ram (Not 1 or 2)
2. An Intel Celeron)(Not AMD), (Not
3. An ATI or Radeon Graphics processor with its own memory.
(Not Intel with shared Ram)
4. A 200 Gig or larger Hard Drive (Not 120)
5. 802.11n Wireless Networking (not just 802.11g)
(Must get the "Premium")
Corners are typically cut on one or more of those items.
A larger screen is nice, but adds to the weight and cost of the unit.
Also when one buys a laptop, A spare battery and a heavily padded (no name) case should also be purchased. A case with aor Sony or other logo on it invites theft. If buying at work these items can easily be justified at time of purchase, maybe not later on when they come from a different line in a budget.
Thus $700 or more for a laptop, and $150 for case and extra battery.
Laptops are great if one needs their own computer at different locations on a regular basis. But laptops, because of minituration, tend to be more fragile and about a year behind on technology; so if the machine is just for home use, I DON'T RECOMMEND one buy a laptop