Need a Cheap Alternative to the MacBook Air? HP Laptop Goes for $399

Need a Cheap Alternative to the MacBook Air? HP Laptop Goes for $399

If you're a diehard Apple fan, move along, there's nothing to see here but a low-priced Windows PC that can't possibly compare with your swank new MacBook Air. For everyone else, keep reading, because with a little coupon magic, you can own a pretty decent alternative to Apple's ultra-thin and light notebook for just $399.

The PC in question is HP's Pavilion dm1z. Before we get into pricing, let's have a peek at the spec sheet:
  • AMD dual-core E350 processor (1.6GHz, 1MB cache)
  • AMD Radeon HD 6310M graphics
  • 3GB DDR3 memory
  • 320GB 7200RPM hard drive
  • Webcam with integrated microphone
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • 6-cell battery
That's a respectable feature-set packed into an 11.6-inch notebook that, at its thinnest point, measures 0.8 inches and weighs 3.5 pounds. The current asking price is $549, but HP's currently offering an automatic $100 'laptop instant rebate,' bringing the price down to $449. But if you enter in coupon code NB5751, courtesy of CheapStingyBargains.com, you can shave another $50, bringing the total to just $399.

Granted, it's not as sexy or light as the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, nor does it sport an SSD. But it is a decently spec'd machine that runs $700 less.
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I wish I had an AMD Readon! ;)

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For the specs on this unit at this price level you could throw your own SSD into it and still be less than a MacBook Air anyway.

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A valid alternative to any Mac would need to be able to run OS X

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jbb:
A valid alternative to any Mac would need to be able to run OS X

Quote: "If you're a diehard Apple fan, move along, there's nothing to see here but a low-priced Windows PC that can't possibly compare with your swank new MacBook Air."

 

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@jbb

You are wrong on two counts:

1. There are no other computers running OS x due to Jobs idiocy.

2. SO Windows PCs are the only real alternative to macs - macs can't compete against themselves.

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@cdeeter:

The subject of the article is "an alternative to the MacBook Air", Not Macs in general, and yes, there are other comptuers running OS X, although illegitimately. Some of the Dell netbooks with the right chipsets, for example, make capable Hackintoshes.

And by your argument, there are other OSes (linux distros for one) that compete against both Windows and OS X.

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jbb:
there are other OSes (linux distros for one) that compete against both Windows and OS X.

And you hit the nail on the head too.

I like Linux a lot, and If it gamed like win-7 does, I'd never look back.

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It can run OSX. It just doesn't come with it installed on it. Impressive for the price though....

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realneil: Then the headline is invalid too, isn't it? Not an alternative to a Mac, just a low-priced Windows PC

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jbb:
realneil: Then the headline is invalid too, isn't it? Not an alternative to a Mac, just a low-priced Windows PC

Not craving validation here,......

You would have had me dead to rights before Win-7 came out. But since it did, I sold my Mac to my son who is in school. I recognize the mac OS-X goodness, blah, blah, blah,.....

But Win-7 works just fine for me. So yeah, this little PC is a good, and cheap alternative.

 

 

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realneil: You kind of hit the nail on the head: It comes down to the OS. Whichever one works for the user is pretty much all that matters. If you want or need to run OS X, you either need a Mac or a machine that can run as a Hackintosh. On the other hand, you *could* run Win7 on a Mac, but what a waste.

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jbb:
You kind of hit the nail on the head:

I try to,....fact is that it was a great PC. (an iMac 24" with the Extreme Intel CPU and a 512MB Radeon video card in it)

Once the multiple Win-7 boxes were up and running, I had no pressing need for it anymore. These do it all for me, reliably, and they GAME like a mad dog too!

While Win-7 runs on a Mac, (it did on mine anyway) it runs a lot better on a souped-up bone cruncher with a pissed-off video card in it. I thought about building a Hackintosh, but I don't need it to start with, and I sure don't need to jump through hoops just to keep it running properly either.

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Just got one, in the 4BG RAM and 640GB drive version... I noticed an amazing thing with the system recovery, you can install a minimal system (win7 + drivers only, the HP software up-grader is still included, but it's legitimate!) ... so I did it!

Now I also ordered an SSD drive for the machine..

I wanted the mac book air, but the inability to upgrade even the RAM by myself just made no sense in my mind... but sure, the air has obvious benefits over it in therms of built quality, but frankly I like that one too (and it won't be as painful the day I drop it).

one small problem: the network adapter does not seem to be compatible with my belkin router :-S either with or without cable (it seems to work everywhere else...)

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