Vista bargain hunting

Inexpensive Windows Vista laptops

Looking for a new Windows Vista laptop but don't want to break the bank? For about the same price as, say, a PlayStation 3, you can actually take your pick of a couple of new models.

The catch, of course, is that these systems use Vista Basic, the extremely stripped-down version of Microsoft's new operating system. No Aero interface, no Media Center, and so on.

For $498, you can get the new Everex Stepnote VA4101M (available at Wal-Mart, of all places). This 15.4-inch laptop includes Vista Basic, an Intel Celeron M processor, and only 512MB of RAM, which seems pretty sketchy for any flavor of Vista, even Vista Basic.

Jump up another $100, and you can get the Gateway NX270S, a 14.1-inch laptop with the same Vista Basic/Celeron M combo, but this one includes a full 1GB of RAM, which should be enough for everyday Vista use.

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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