Jason Sares is a Giant Dork

Cheap Computers

The largest democratizing force in technology is the falling costs.  Moore’s law (and others) established that we can count on increases in performance at the same cost over time. And since the performance needed to run current applications has leveled off the entry costs of technology have finally started to decrease.  Innovators like Nicholas Negroponte saw this and introduced the concept to the masses and spawned a whole new segment of Laptops called Netbooks.  In turn this has put price pressure on the main stream Laptop and Desktop Markets.

The upshot is you can now buy decent Laptops and Desktops for $300 (or less), Netbooks for $250 (or less) and Nettops for $200. I’m going to start tracking the lowest prices on new and refurbished Laptops, Desktops, Netbooks, and Nettops. The Laptops and Desktops should come with Windows 7 or qualify for a free upgrade. The Netbooks and Nettops should come with XP since Windows 7 Starter is a joke.

Cheapest Laptop (15 inch screen):
New eMachines eME627-5583
$299 at MicroCenter
15.6″ Screen
AMD Athlon™ 64 TF-20 (1.6 GHz)
ATI Radeon HD 3200
Windows 7 Home Premium
DVD Burner
160GB HD

Cheapest Desktop
Refurb Dell Inspiron 546 MiniTower
$269 at Dell Outlet
AMD Athlon X2 7550 (2.5GHz Dual Core)
Windows Vista Home Premium (Free Upgrade to Windows 7)
DVD Burner
250GB HD

Cheapest Netbook
Refurb Dell Mini 10v
$239 at Dell Outlet
Intel Atom N280 (1.6 GHz)
160GB HD
Windows XP


Asus 1005HAB-BLU001X
$229 at Overstock.com
Intel Atom N280 (1.6 GHz)
160GB HD
Windows XP

Cheapest Nettop
Acer Aspire Revo AR1600-U910H
$199 at Newegg
Intel Atom 230 (1.6 GHz)
160GB HD
Windows XP

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Alain Kelder January 20th, 2010 8:37 pm

    Yo Jason,

    If you haven’t bought a laptop yet and are interested in a Dell, be sure to check out the Dell Outlet. They’ve got a bunch of 11z Inspirons for $399 (you mentioned they’re $475 at Amazon). Outlet stuff carries the same warranty. The last few laptops/desktops/servers I got, all came from the outlet — no problems or complaints.


  2. Jason Sares January 20th, 2010 8:50 pm

    I did check the outlet but the one’s for $399 are the base models. With the same config as the one at Amazon they are $519 in the outlet.

  3. Alain Kelder January 20th, 2010 8:58 pm

    Well, I take back what I said then — cause that’s a damn rip off.

    Can you buy the accidental damage warranty when buying through Amazon? (or whatever that coverage is called when you spill coffee on the damn thing and expect to still get warranty service/replacement).

  4. Jason Sares January 20th, 2010 9:14 pm

    You can buy the insurance after you receive the notebook. Dell will call you about two weeks after and send mail. You can even negotiate a lower price.