Need sub $200 laptop/netbook for christmas present for writer

jujumakuta

Honorable
Jun 3, 2013
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10,510
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Like the title says, I've just spent all afternoon researching netbooks, chromebooks, and budget laptops trying to find the most power, preformance, and general VALUE in a sub-200-dollar laptop/netbook/chromebook/etc....

It is a gift for a writer friend of mine, and a replacement to the Acer Aspire ONE PAV70 that I got her years back. As time has gone on, I have watched her go from blissful when she first started using it, to depressingly frustrated with it as it hasn't aged well AT ALL. Here are the specs of the aforementioned PAV70: http://www.pcworld.com/product/31863/aspire-one-aoa110-1295-notebook.html

The MOST IMPORTANT THING of this replacement, is its power. I want it to annihilate the previous gift in terms of performance. No more lagging netflix, no more struggling with several document programs running at once, no more windows 7 starter edition limitations (if that's even possible) but still under a 200 dollar budget. I know there are options out there, I just need help narrowing the field as I haven't paid much attention to said field in the last 3-4 years that she's had the thing. Hard drive space became an issue for her quickly, and I've seen several with 32 gig SSD's. I've also seen some with less but micro-SD compatability up to 128 gigs. I've seen newer mobile processors and multi-core atom processors and this is where I start to fail to feel like I can't make the best decision, and as such, why I am asking for help.

I also have ZERO experience with chromebooks, so I don't know what my options are there, although this one looked promising:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MMLV7VQ

Please help! It would be greatly appreciated.
 

velo3100

Splendid
Moderator
For that low price I would recommend looking at amd a4 or a6 as they are much stronger than intel celerons and atoms. Try looking for some old hp pavillions as you may get one. I am not sure how good chromebooks are as I have never used one but my sister has a hp one and she seems happy with it and she uses it for normal collage work, nothing intensive, only researching, watching things, etc.
 

a39232

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May 13, 2012
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To me an atom, and a Celeron are a waste no mater what budget they are simply too slow those are for the very entry level Atom being the worst. Pentiums I still frown upon they are acceptable as far as desktop platform goes. I would probably look at ebay if you can but for storage the max will be 32gb ssd and a sd card.
 
At a sub-$200 budget, I'm not sure your requirements can be met. You're probably best off buying a used laptop with a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPU (i3/i5/i7 - 2xxx or 3xxx).

That said, I did run across one laptop this Black Friday which sorta meets your requirements.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPad-11e-11-6-Notebook-1-8GHz-AMD-A4-6210-4GB-RAM-500GBHDD-W7Pro-/331711593464

$195 for an AMD A4-6210, 4GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Win 7 Pro, Thinkpad build quality (it's designed for K-12 students and the abuse they'll give it). The processor isn't the greatest, but is on the high end of what to expect at this price point. Its performance is about on par with a 1.7 GHz i3 at multi-threaded tasks, about half the speed at single threaded tasks. Supposedly it uses a regular memory slot (just one) and a standard HDD slot, and is upgradable by unscrewing the bottom panel. So you could theoretically upgrade it in the future to 8GB RAM and a SSD or larger HDD.

Adorama is the second-biggest photo retailer in NYC, so is pretty reputable. The do not accept returns on their laptop sales though unless defective/DOA - you have to work with the manufacturer to resolve any issues. Edit: From the eBay ad it looks like they'll accept returns on this one, with a hefty 20% restocking fee.
 

velo3100

Splendid
Moderator
For that low price I would recommend looking at amd a4 or a6 as they are much stronger than intel celerons and atoms. Try looking for some old hp pavillions as you may get one. I am not sure how good chromebooks are as I have never used one but my sister has a hp one and she seems happy with it and she uses it for normal collage work, nothing intensive, only researching, watching things, etc.
 
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