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SLIder's avatar

What is the best netbook for $300-$400 dollars?

Asked by SLIder (15points) April 15th, 2010

I would love one with a Pentium or Atom CPU, NVidia ion graphics chip, Windows 7 OS, 6 cell lithium ion battery that is original equipment, not recycled 3rd party battery and, of course, wifi enabled.

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6 Answers

jerv's avatar

In that price range, I think that the best is the Acer Aspire One. It’s a bit quicker and better built than the Asus, and those are really the only two under $400 unless there has been a price drop from other makers in the last couple of months.

Unfortunately, neither has the Ion. The only Ion-equipped netbooks I’ve seen in that price range are the HP Mini 311 and Asus Eee 1005, neither of which are particularly good in my opinion (too slow).

Of course, shopping around may net you a better deal, but you’re still not going to get a great graphics powerhouse with either a netbook or for under $400, especially considering that few netbooks even use the Ion. You should read this While the Ion-equipped netbooks have better graphics performance than the average $500 ultra-portable laptop, the weak CPUs and small batteries work against them.

For an extra $100 you might find something with better graphics, longer battery life, three times the RAM, and far more processing power; enough to handle the sort of games that would require a decent GPU.

So, I must ask this; what exactly are you looking for the thing to do? Are you just looking at netbooks for price?

SLIder's avatar

Hi jerv, thanks for the detailed answer. I was really just looking for a fun netbook to take to the local library and the free wi-fi hot spots. Just want to surf the net, send email and play some games online. I wanted to keep the price down since I have a good desktop setup at home and didn’t want to invest a fortune in the netbook. Thanks in advance for your reply.

jerv's avatar

In that case, I think the Aspire One is your best bet. From the benchmarks I’ve seen and some comparison shopping, I have to say that it’s a little “snappier” than most netbooks, it’s price is near the bottom of the pack, and they are pretty solid. I have an older 8.9” one that runs rings around my neighbor’s HP netbook, The only game that really made it bog was Fable:The Lost Chapter, which ran at ~10 FPS with everything turned down. But when you consider that that game requires a minimum of 64 MB of video memory, the fact that it ran at all was fairly impressive. For something more casual or older like_ Deus Ex_ or Diablo it is decent enough. Considering that Steve’s HP bogs slightly with Firefox, I’d say that the AA1 is your best bet if you want to stay under $400.

Like most netbooks, the 10.1” AA1 has a standard 6-cell battery, Windows 7, and built-in wifi. They currently run a bit under $300 online, so you should be happy with the cost as well.

SLIder's avatar

Well I’m sold on the Aspire One. I really appreciate all the time and effort that you put into helping me. I almost bought one of the Ion netbooks! Cheers to you and thanks again!

jerv's avatar

@SLIder No problem :)

Don’t get me wrong; the Ions are decent enough. My thing against them is that they aren’t a great value. I got my Toshiba T135 for less than they want for most Ion netbooks I’ve seen, and since cost seemed to be a big issue for you, the AA1 seemed to be the best choice.

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