OfficeMax, OfficeDepot and Staples, etc. have offered $500 laptops maybe $600 ones too(back to school sales). They'll be on sale or heavily rebated, etc. so beware the upfront cost is still more than $500 but you supposed get some of it back. Yeah, it will be a basic, but system, but even these are far more powerful than you think, just review what specs they offer, but most will certainly do what your mom wants. You may want to think XP based system to better power out of it vs. Vista(if applicable). Asus and Acer are also offering laptops and I believe $500 is as low as they go, excluding any S/H +taxes(if applicable). Just check thier websites, as well as Dell, Gateway, Sony, and HP(Compaq) for direct sales to include any refurbes units should be dollar wise(its worth it).
good luck -----Willy
I am looking for a laptop for my mother who will primarily use it for surfing the net and maybe a little office work ( word). The problem is that she doesn't want to spend more than $500. I know this will only afford me something basic, but I am looking for at least a Pentium unit, although I would prefer a Core Duo, 1.5gb ram and 80gb hard drive. It can be name brand or non name brand, store bought or online purchase, as long as it is under $500. I appreciate any and all suggestions.