questionsanyone have some input on a good low priced…

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I'll bite. It seems like a lot of people are looking for <$500 laptops these days. Fortunately for you your needs are modest enough that just about any $500 laptop with a big enough harddrive will do. Here's one with 750GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834246304

Generally at the same price point, Intel Core i-series chips will give you more CPU power while AMD A-series will give you more graphics power.

I still maintain that at this price point you get the best bang/buck by looking at refurbs if that's something you're comfortable with. I'm partial to Dell Outlet Business since you can get a good computer with an excellent warranty for cheap. If you wait for sales (follow delloutlet on twitter) you can get an additional %15-%25 off.

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@zvwang: Thank you! I'll go look at those now. I'm really undecided on refurbs just because anywhere I've looked it comes down to a 90 day warranty instead of a 1 year. I saw many high dollar refurbs in my price range. Is a refurb to much of a risk? Or do you feel they are "good as new"?
Thanks again!

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@thepacezoo: In many cases a refurb is one that was taken somewhere like a trade show, for example, turned on and used for a demonstration for a few days. Because it was used it would be considered a refurb.

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@thepacezoo. This is why I like Dell Outlet Business, because they give like-new warranties on their certified refurbs. For the Vostro line that would be 1 year. For Latitude and Precision lines that's 3 years. Pretty awesome considering most people won't sell you a new laptop with a 3 year warranty (not even Apple).

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To me, refurbs on computers are questionable. Yes, you may get a warranty, but is it worth the hassle.
If you look around, or wait a little while, you can pick up a NEW laptop for about $300. I got an Asus laptop, brand new, about 5-6 months ago for $320 from newegg. Checkout Walmart and Best Buy.

If you are clumsy and want to get a Squaretrade accident warranty, they only cover new. No refurbs allowed.

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@hossdawg97:
@zvwang:
@svenkirk:
Thanks for the input! Sorry for the belated thank you, I changed emails and did not see your responses til now.
I did go with Walmart. They have this awesome "Try it for 15 days" return policy. If you don't like it, return it. I am now on my 4th. First was a Toshiba Sattelite, terrible sound! Had to turn computer volume and window volume to max and still couldn't hear it. Second was an Acer, ugh! Slow but awesome sound. Third was a different Toshiba (cheaper), did not like. And now I have an HP and this one wants to freeze up and restart randomly so back to Walmart I go!