Laptop Prices Drop Steeper Than Usual

Consumer Reports

We've often noted large price drops in computer prices, but the past month or so has seen even steeper cuts than usual. Prices for the models included in our newest laptop ratings bear this out.

Toshiba Satellite L735-S3210

Consider this:
Thirteen-inch laptops are usually among the most expensive, but Toshiba's new Satellite L735-S3210, which comes with 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive, and high-resolution display, costs just $500.

 

 

 

Sony Vaio VPCEG11FX/L

Sony often offers some of the more costly laptops: But in our ratings is the 14-inch Vaio VPCEG11FX/L, for $660—and this laptop doesn’t hold back. It has a large hard drive, long battery life, and notable performance.







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Gateway NV59C70u

A 15.6-inch Gateway laptop, the NV59C70u, saw a significant price drop. And it's also loaded with features, such as a large hard drive and an HDMI port for streaming high-def video to your TV.

11.6-inch MacBook Air

Even Apple is getting into the act—sort of. The company has replaced its $1,000 white MacBook with a $1,000 MacBook Air, an 11.6-inch model running the latest version of Apple's operating system, OS X Lion. It weighs just 2.5 pounds and was a top performer among laptops.

 

 

Acer Aspire AS5742-6814

Some models didn’t drop in price—but they’re still very good deals. At $430, the Acer Aspire AS5742-6814 is relatively light on your lap, and on your wallet, though its 320GB hard drive is on the puny side. It has Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI video output.

 

 

 

Aspire AS3830T-6417
Photo: us.acer.com

Another machine from Acer, the 13-inch Aspire AS3830T-6417, $620, tested for very long battery life and very good performance in our labs. Its 500GB hard drive provides lots of storage, especially compared with many other 13-inch models.

The 15.6-inch HP G62-373DX, at a low $380, is another worthwhile bargain. It’s a bare-bones system, but a great deal if you just need a computer for the basics, such as word processing and Web surfing. It comes with Windows 7 Home Premium and HDMI video output but no ExpressCard or PC Card slots.

15.6-inch Dell Inspiron 15R-2nd Gen i3
Photo: dell.com

And the 15.6-inch Dell Inspiron 15R-2nd Gen i3, a CR Best Buy at $500, has 6.5 hours of battery life, an ESATA port for connecting an external hard drive, and HDMI video output, which lets you stream high-def content to your HDTV.

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