Critics' Choice: Top 5 Budget Laptops | Page 2

4. Gateway NV7915u

Typical price: $680 Amazon

Pros: Stylish design; comfortable keyboard; above-average performance; good backup software.

Cons: Only one mouse button; sluggish boot time; glossy black lid shows fingerprints.

Worth quoting: "If Acer stands for value, the Gateway brand that the company acquired back in August of 2007 has evolved into its more stylish cousin -- the one that shops at H & M... This slick machine features Intel's peppy new Core i3 processor, a high-def display, and a 500GB hard drive for an aggressive $649. As long as you don't plan on playing the latest 3D games, this is the best-performing notebook of its size for the price." -- LAPTOP magazine review (Editors' Choice; 4 out of 5 stars).

Worth noting: This laptop has a 17.3-inch screen, which may be bigger than most mobile execs want. It's also heavy. LAPTOP says it weighs 6.8 pounds.

5. Sony VAIO VGN-NW270F/S

Typical price: $800 Sony

Pros: Blu-ray drive; great keyboard; large display in a relatively lightweight laptop; attractive price.

Cons: No media control buttons; could accommodate a bigger battery.

Worth quoting: "The VAIO NW270F/S features an extra-wide 15.5-inch widescreen display that's a beauty for both movie watching and Excel spreadsheeting. Also helping separate the VAIO NW270F/S from the sub-$1,000 laptop pack is its ability to play Blu-ray discs. Aside from its funky design and BD-ROM drive, however, the Windows 7-equipped VAIO NW270 is a fairly typical mainstream laptop, delivering a configuration and performance that are in line with the competition." -- PC Magazine laptop review (4 out of 5 stars)

Worth noting: This VAIO model arrived last fall and is increasingly harder to find in stores and online.

James A. Martin has covered mobile technology since the mid 90s.

12

Comment and Contribute



    (Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.