Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?
Word, Excel, and email doesn't require a whole lot, but Internet Explorer
really includes a lotta extra stuff that demands memory and processing
power, so I'd start with at least a fast Pentium II (400mhz), or a slower
PIII (500mhz), at least 128MB of memory, at least a 6GB hard drive, and,
if at possible, one equipped with a dvd player (instead of just cd rom).
Display-wise, you'll want at least a 13.3" capable of 1024x768, or larger.
Plus two PCMCIA slots are a must (for network/wireless cards, or a
firewire card, or usb cards...) OS wise, I wouldn't go with anything
older than Windows 98.
Then you also have to consider what you already have: printer
(parallel/usb connection), scanner (see printer), digital camera or what
not, and Word/Excel (will they run on the OS that you've chosen). After
that... I think you're set.
I would not consider 133 or 233 systems. Many of them use obsolete RAM
that's hard to find and have very low RAM ceilings (64MB, 96MB common),
many of them won't even take larger hard drives, many of them don't even
have sound, and on nearly all of them the batteries are deader than dead.
Speaking of batteries, you'll want a laptop which you can get a new
battery for less than $100. Without a battery, a laptop is just another
Of course, everything I've said will push your budget to around $300 (eBay
prices), but I think it'll be well worth it. Get anything older, it'll be
like getting a TV that doesn't come with a remote...