Looking for a budget laptop for mostly basic tasks


Dec 18, 2013
I'm looking for a laptop good for most basic tasks like web browsing and word processing, 1080p video playback and some occasional photo editing.

I found this Asus on Amazon for less than $300. I think it could do the job, however, i've been reading some reviews and people say is it too slow. Now I have doubts. Is the processor really that bad? What do you think? Is there anything better in this price range?

Asus X401U 14"
AMD E2-1800 Dual Core Processor (1.7 Ghz), 4GB DDR3 memory, 500GB hard drive (5400 rpm)
14" high-definition display, AMD Radeon HD 7340 graphics.

Any help would be much appreciated.


The AMD E2-1800 is a bit too weak even for at netbook.

You are better off getting the following 15.6" Asus X502CA-HPD1104J-W from Bestbuy for $300. It has an Intel Pentium 2117U “Ivy Bridge” CPU which is much more powerful than the E2-1800 APU which is based on the "Bobcat" CPU architecture which is specifically designed for low cost netbooks. The Pentium is basically a watered down version of the Core i3 CPU used in laptops. Even though the difference in clockspeed is only 100MHz, the performance difference would easily be at least 50% greater.

In terms of graphics core performance, both should be pretty similar.



Feb 27, 2011
If you're willing to spend another $100 ($399), I suggest this Dell Inspiron 15- http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8041010&CatId=4935

It has an Intel Core i3-3327U processor which includes a signficantly more powerful Intel HD 4000 graphics processor. The Intel Pentium 2117U in the recommendation above is a decent processor, but it has a graphics chip based on the older and weaker Intel HD 2500.

The Dell also has a DVD-RW drive while neither ASUS has an optical drive. It also has a 4-cell battery compared to the 2-cell on the ASUS at Best Buy.

I am in agreement with the poster above, the AMD E2-series (and most AMD processors, unfortunately) are woefully underpowered. If you've ever driven your car with the parking brake on (accidentally, I hope), you get the idea. In my opinion (and most laptop users/enthusiasts totally agree) Intel is the only way to go!
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