What do you get with a $188 laptop?
Sub-$200 laptops on sale for the holiday shopping season are slow, but good for Web surfing, productivity applications and basic multimedia
IDG News Service - Some laptops will be on sale for under US$200 from U.S. retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart this week. But what do you get in such inexpensive machines?
For one, you can't play the latest games or run intense applications with these lightly configured laptops, and the machines are not the easiest to carry around. The laptops are adequate for basic Web surfing, word processing or casual gaming, and could replace an aging desktop or laptop at home.
But these laptops are not for everyone. It may be worth considering a higher-priced laptop with Intel's Core or Advanced Micro Devices' A-series processors for resource-heavy applications or multimedia. Lightweight ultrabooks or touch laptops will also be priced higher, perhaps more than $500.
An inexpensive laptop I am considering is Lenovo's G585, which will be on sale at Best Buy for $187.99 starting on Black Friday. This laptop will likely fly off the shelves in a few hours, but similar configurations are available for under $200 at other stores. Wal-Mart is selling the Compaq Presario CQ58 for $179 on Black Friday in some stores.
The sub-$200 laptops will have Windows 8 and run on basic processors. The laptops will not have touchscreens, which is one of the major features supported by Windows 8, which started shipping with PCs and tablets in late October. Touchscreens are considered a premium feature, and users will likely pay more for laptops that offer them.
The Lenovo G585 has hardware that may be found in many of the sub-$200 laptops that will be available over the coming weeks of the holiday shopping season. Best Buy is pitching the G585 for daily activities like Web browsing, checking email, or basic video and audio. The laptop weighs 2.58 kilograms, has a 15.6-inch screen, and an Advanced Micro Devices dual-core E300 chip.
The E-300 processor was released more than a year ago and sits on the bottom rung of chips offered by AMD, and is adequate for the OS and basic productivity applications. Expect some sub-$200 laptops to come with Celeron processors, which are among the cheapest PC chips offered by Intel. Neither E-300 or Celeron will deliver the blazing speeds of the latest Intel Core or AMD A-series processors, which are in more expensive laptops.
The G585 offers "about the speed of a mainstream notebook from five years ago, but at lower power consumption and with all of the other modern conveniences of being built on a newer platform," said Anand Shimpi, who runs Anandtech, a technology news and benchmarking site. The CPU should be a bit better than the current crop of smartphone and tablet CPUs, but it may not match up with the latest ARM Cortex-A15 CPU in Google's Nexus 10 tablet, Shimpi said.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- 4 Customers who never have to refresh their PCs again This paper illustrates a common theme: the combination of desktop virtualization and thin client computing helps organizations deliver an up-to-date user experience more...
- Mobile Devices: The New Thin Clients Get essential guidance for understanding the role thin clients plus virtual desktops play in the enterprise today.
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- PaaS - Powering a New Era of Business IT Why PaaS has suddenly become relevant and irresistible to many organizations. Dive into the opportunities and considerations associated with using PaaS from an...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts