Quick question from today's Hardware 2.0 mailbox:
I'm looking to pick up a cheap notebook. The only catch is that I want it to come with Windows 8 rather than Windows 7. Any suggestions?
Normally, the run-up to the December holiday season is a good time to pick up a great deal on a new PC or notebook, but this year it seems that PC OEMs failed to take advantage of the shopping rush. However, if you shop around you can find some very good deals.
The best place to find some solid deals this year seems to be Best Buy, which stocks a number of Windows 8 notebooks for under $300.
Three notebooks stand out above the rest.
First is a 15.6-inch Dell Inspiron, which features a 1.7GHz Intel Celeron processor, 2GB RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), 320GB hard drive, and Intel HD graphics. This is not going to win any benchmark competitions, but for $250, it's a decent Windows 8 machine.
Another good deal is the 15.6-inch Toshiba Satellite. This features a 1.3GHz AMD E-series processor, 2GB RAM (upgradeable to 16GB), 1366 x 768 resolution display, 320GB hard drive, and AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics. It's a relatively decent machine for $280.
Finally, we come to the 15.6-inch Lenovo IdeaPad. With a 1.4GHz AMD E-series processor, 4GB RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), 1366 x 768 resolution display, 320GB hard drive, and a AMD Radeon HD 7310 graphics chip, this hardware combination makes this notebook a great candidate for Windows 8.
This system comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit but is upgradeable to Windows 8 Pro for the low price of $14.99. The notebook itself costs $300, with Windows 8 Pro adding another $15.
Any one of these systems will make a solid, portable Windows 8 workhorse.
Image source: Best Buy.