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Looking to buy a laptop for around $400-500..Any Suggestions

My Dell Laptop recently had a HD crash for the 3rd time and it's time for me to upgrade. I was looking at the Netbooks/Notebooks but wasn't too sure...the other thing I don't like is the Vista software...
Main uses for the computer...web surfing, music/media download, Word Documents and thats about it. I want something decently fast and reliable...what can anyone suggest?

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My suggestions.

1. Get over Vista. I use it 98% of the time and I'm writing applications in Visual Studio 2008 and more.

2. Wait it out. In October, get a Windows 7 machine.

3. There are dozens of machines, nice ones at that price point. Just check your usual office supply chains, wal mart and the Dell brochures. All seem great.

4. The more machines I use with that Intel 4500 GPU the more I'm convinced Intel got that right.

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Will the Windows 7 have a higher price than the current model Laptops....It's already been 1.5 months without a computer...I can keep using my iphone untill then....

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Your guess is as good as mine.

Today I see fine 399 buck laptops albeit refurbs that are very usuable machines. As you peek over 399 you see the hard disk size jump from 160GB to larger and maybe the occasional blue tooth.

Plenty of fine deals out there.

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