questionsif you were looking for a mid-range ($600-$700…

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This Toshiba laptop was the one I bought a few months ago, except that I paid about $100 less for it than the current listing on Amazon. I'm happy with it (except for Windows 8, but that's a whole 'nother discussion) as it is fast and runs very cool. It did lock up initially when loading Windows 8, but I called Toshiba support and a tech knew exactly how to fix the problem. It was solved in under a minute.

However, look at this Asus computer which has a smaller hard drive, a slightly slower (1.9 vs 2.3 GHz) processor and 4 GB of RAM, but is otherwise comparable, for less. It really depends on how much computer she really needs for what she does.

Amazon shows specs well, but check other sites like Newegg for price comparisons. Prices can change daily and usually do, for no apparent reason.

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I just went with my cousin and helped him pick out this guy. He seems to like it and the touchscreen makes 8 slightly less hated.

Edit: sorry, apparently my brain did not process the 15inch screen or bigger part...

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This guy is similar for less. The biggest diffrence IMO is the RAM but, I would pay less up front then upgrade to more and better RAM after I got it.

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FWIW, I bought a little refurb ASUS netbook a couple of years ago, and it's performed like a champ. Not recommending the netbook -- just issuing a "hurrah!" for ASUS.

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Lenovo ThinkPad L520 Laptop, 15.6" LED HD Backlit, Intel Core i5-2520M Dual-Core 2.5GHz, 4GB DDR3, 320GB Hard Drive, 802.11n, Win 7 Pro

$549.99

This is listed here on WOOT! Tech.woot. Garage sale. 3 year warranty, brand new.

http://tech.woot.com/offers/lenovo-thinkpad-15-6-core-i5-laptop-12

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Without ratings I would not buy the HP Envy. HP makes good and bad laptops and I hate to depend on the warranty. I am using a good HP laptop but the previous HP laptop I owned was a horrible mistake that reared its ugly head close to the end of its warranty.

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@morriea: my mother has an l series laptop she bought from woot with about the same specs, and a year or 2 later, it is so slow that if she types into a search box, the middle of the word is cut off. I would not recommend it.