Best Laptop ~$550?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Cricketman, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. Cricketman macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    Hi everyone

    Our Vaio conked off AGAIN today, and estimated repair costs are anywhere in the range of $250-$350. We purchased the computer for a tad less than $700 and cannot justify paying half the price to simply repair it.

    However, the financial situation in this house hold is a little tight, but we need a Laptop over the summer as we are going on vacation for about 2 months and need something to type up college applications and essays in (I start applying next year!)

    What I am looking for:
    AT LEAST 2 GB ram (4GB pref)
    Decent sized HDD (160GB is OK, 250+ would be great)
    DUAL CORE processor (intel only please, Core2Duo if possible)
    Relatively small (anywhere from 11"-15.4") Please no fat computers! Went to BB today to check some out and the laptops in this range are absolutely obese!

    HDMI out would be absolutely amazing. I connect to our HDTV alot and stream movies, sportsgames very regularly. one thing i am going to miss alot :(
    Good battery life
    Good build quality; our compaq we had a few years ago was pure ***** and even the Vaio we just had was horrible build quality.
    OS: Win7 Home edition, not the starter edition stuff

    I'm OK for refurbs and whatnot.

    I would love to keep it down to $450 but recommend up to $550. Need this to last at least 2 years.

  2. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Okay, so you realize that this is a Mac forum, and the entry level laptop is $999 so you aren't going to find a computer for $550. However, you can get a refurb laptop for $759 that is a Macbook, and includes 2GB ram, 250GB HDD, nVidia 9400m, and a 7 hour battery.
    That is just about the cheapest Mac laptop you can get. Or you can buy used off ebay or something.

    I'll just help you out here and find something good for a PC, even though this is a Mac forum.

    For $560, you can get this, which seems to be a very nice laptop

    For $400, you can get 3GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 2.2Ghz dual core processor.

    Ughh, links for bestbuy never work for me. Go to, and you should be able to see both the laptop. One is a Asus ($400) and one is a Samsung (the more expensive one)

    All prices are in USD.
  3. robodude666 macrumors member

    May 12, 2008
    Go on craigslist and buy a used MacBook for ~$600 from like 2008. You'll be happy you did.

    $450-550 is a price range for a high-end netbook, or a low-end POS windows machine. At this price you'll get ****** battery life, a very low-end processor, slow ram, a cheap intro version of windows and a really low-end screen... Windows laptops don't start to get good until $600-800.

    While a used macbook from 2008 might be old, it will be powerful enough and will survive quite a bit longer.

    EDIT: I looked over your requirements a bit further, and you will not find anything relatively close to what you are looking for in a laptop for that price range. Like wordoflife mentioned, a refurb Macbook for $759 will be the best value you can find. It's thin, has battery life, HDD space, powah, and will last you years and years to come. It's worth it to save the money instead of buying a lot of cheap laptops that die often.
  4. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

    May 9, 2008
    The Iron Throne
    There is no mac in that price range, unless you buy a used MacBook. If you go to you can post the specs you're looking for, price, and you'll likely get some more knowledgeable answers from Windows/PC folks.
  5. nick1516 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Not sure if you notice the obvious.

    If your $700 pc doesn't work well, why do you think an even lower quality PC will work better?

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