Solid Budget Ultrabook?

CheapBastid

Estimable
Nov 12, 2014
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4,510
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Looking to get a cheap/used/refurb Ultrabook for my middle schooler for Xmas. She's had a budget laptop I picked up for $280 in 2011 and it's gotten slow and the battery's sucky.

Figured an ultrabook would satisfy the needs (Surfing, light gaming, google docs).

I'd like to keep it under $500 (ideally under $300). I was looking at this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834232201

Any solid good models from 2012/13 I should look into?
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
It's not an ultrabook, but the 15.6" Dell Inspiron in the link below is pretty inexpensive at $300 and it is far superior to the Asus Transformer Book T100 which uses a pretty weak Bay Trail-T generation Atom CPU. Bestbuy's Black Friday sale will start on Nov 27th and end on the 29th.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-15-6-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i3-4gb-memory-500gb-hard-drive-black/8733863.p?id=1219364751493&skuId=8733863

It has a Core i3-4030u CPU and the Intel HD 4400 graphics core which is good enough to many games on low settings like the Sims 4, Mass Effect 3 and even Skyrim. I tested the Intel HD 4400 in Mass Effect 3 (ME3)and Star Trek Online (STO) at 1600x900 resolution with "Mainstream" graphic settings in ME3 and mostly low graphic settings in STO. The Atom's graphic core is very weak and it is not really meant to play games.

 
My friend has one of those, and it is a pretty solid little thing. Don't expect blazing fast performance though, because you do get what you paid for. For browsing and word processing, it's more than adequate. It's also got a pretty nice screen for the price, which is always a plus. As for gaming, it might struggle depending on the game. I tried to play Hearthstone on it (not a demanding game at all, imo) and there was visible delay and input lag. It played, but not smoothly.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
It's not an ultrabook, but the 15.6" Dell Inspiron in the link below is pretty inexpensive at $300 and it is far superior to the Asus Transformer Book T100 which uses a pretty weak Bay Trail-T generation Atom CPU. Bestbuy's Black Friday sale will start on Nov 27th and end on the 29th.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-15-6-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i3-4gb-memory-500gb-hard-drive-black/8733863.p?id=1219364751493&skuId=8733863

It has a Core i3-4030u CPU and the Intel HD 4400 graphics core which is good enough to many games on low settings like the Sims 4, Mass Effect 3 and even Skyrim. I tested the Intel HD 4400 in Mass Effect 3 (ME3)and Star Trek Online (STO) at 1600x900 resolution with "Mainstream" graphic settings in ME3 and mostly low graphic settings in STO. The Atom's graphic core is very weak and it is not really meant to play games.

 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator


It seems I neglected to notice that the laptop / ultrabook is for a middle schooler.... In that case I don't really recommend the 15.6" Dell laptop anymore because it weighs around 5lbs which is probably a bit heavy for someone in 6th to 8th grade. The above entry level laptop recommended is likely to be more appropriate in terms of portability. That laptop should be powerful enough for someone in middle school.
 
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