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Gateway laptop limbos below $300 mark

Gateway ML6230 is quite the deal at Best Buy

It doesn't have the specs of, say, a Medison Celebrity laptop, but the Gateway ML6230 does have the advantage of actually existing. In yesterday's Sunday newspaper circulars, Best Buy advertised a 15.4-inch laptop for $299.99, which is believed to be the lowest-priced laptop ever sold at the big box retailer. Best Buy must be expecting quite a response, because it says there will be only 10 such models per store with a limit of one per household. And do note that not every region of the country is honoring the $299 price; FatWallet reports that many Best Buy stores are selling it for $349.99, which is the price you'll find on Best Buy's Web site.


What does your $300 or $350 get you? A low-end 1.6GHz Celeron M 520 processor, 512MB of RAM, a 80GB 5,400rpm hard drive, integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics, and a DVD burner. The meager allotment of memory is the biggest drawback, but the laptop runs Vista Home Basic, which isn't quite the resource hog of Microsoft's other, Aero-enabled OSes. It certainly won't offer blazing performance but should suffice as a second system for Web browsing and e-mail sending.

For a cheap laptop that's better equipped for daily productivity use, I'd steer you to the still very reasonable $449 Gateway ML6720 at Best Buy, a 15.4-inch laptop that upgrades the processor (to an aging but dual-core Core Duo) and hard drive (120GB) and, most importantly, doubles the memory. Still, you'll probably want to disable the Aero effects in Home Premium given the specs. Or wait for the Asus Eee PC to arrive.

[Via Laptoping.com]