Fancy yourself a cheapskate in need of something decidedly more powerful than an Atom-powered netbook? Lucky for you Intel
's Sandy Bridge architecture is still kicking tail and taking names, and if you look hard enough, you can find a handful of notebook PCs going for less than $400 (and we don't mean $399.99).
Head on over to Best Buy, for example, and spy Toshiba's L755-S5216 Satellite laptop. For $380, this thing packs a 15.6-inch screen, Intel's new Pentium B940 dual-core processor (2GHz, 2MB L2 cache), 4GB of DDR3 memory, 320GB hard drive (5400RPM), DVD burner, Wireless-N, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and other odds and ends.
Toshiba L755-S5126 laptop
Office Max is selling a similarly spec'd Acer Aspire AS7570Z-4830 notebook built around the same Pentium processor. It too sports a 15.6-inch screen and has 4GB of DDR3 memory, but ups the storage ante to 500GB (5400RPM). This one also sells for $380.
If we head back to Best Buy, you can find a 14-inch HP Pavilion G4-1104DX selling for just $350, which is about $50 less than what some higher end netbooks used to run. This too boasts a dual-core Pentium B940 processor along with 4GB of DDR3, 320GB hard drive (5400RPM), Intel HD Graphics 2000, Wireless-N, three USB 2.0 ports, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
In case you're wondering, yes, the Pentium B940 is based on Intel's
Sandy Bridge architecture and is designed for entry-level notebooks. It
trades more advanced features -- like Hyperthreading and Turbo Boost --
for a low price tag.
Know of a good deal on a laptop? Feel free to share it in the comments section!