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Best Back To School Notebooks
The top back-to-school notebooks of the year for every budget.

by Dana Wollman on Friday, July 10, 2009

Time was, a notebook for less than $500 wasn’t much of a notebook at all. But now, you can get an excellent netbook or a full-size laptop for less than half a grand. And they handle everyday tasks with aplomb: writing papers, surfing the Web, and listening to music—which is about all most of us do with a computer, anyway.

Best Back To School Notebooks


Toshiba mini NB205

Price: 399

Taking a wait-and-see approach has paid off for Toshiba as the NB205 is the most attractive netbook we've seen yet.
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Toshiba Satellite L355

Price: 348

The updated Satellite line not only looks snazzier, but it packs more punch.
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Acer Aspire One 751H

Price: 379

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to netbooks, but the latest Aspire One is an exception.
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ASUS Eee PC 1005HA

Price: 389

With a runtime of 8:57, this system boasts the longest battery life of any six-cell netbook to date.
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Dell Inspiron 15

Price: 479

This sleek, all-purpose notebook features a 2.0-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400 processor, 2GB of RAM, Windows Vista Home, and a glossy 15.6-inch display.
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Acer Aspire Timeline 3810TZ

Price: 599

Weighing 3.6 pounds and measuring 12.7 x 9.0 x 1.3 inches, the Timeline 3810TZ is shockingly affordable for a 13-inch notebook.
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Gateway NV Series

Price: 599

Gateway’s latest notebook will stand out on campus without breaking the bank.
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Lenovo IdeaPad Y450

Price: 599

Style meets substance with Lenovo’s 14-inch IdeaPad Y450.
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Dell Studio 14z

Price: 724

Want a big display without the bulk? Dell’s latest 14-inch notebook measures just 0.8 inches at its thinnest and weighs a mere 4.3 pounds.
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MSI X340

Price: 899

This affordable ultraportable is practically the same size and weight (2.9 pounds) as the MacBook Air, but crams in two USB ports, HDMI, VGA, and a memory card reader.
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HP Pavilion dv3t

Price: 774

A portable 13-inch notebook for those on a budget, the 4.7-pound dv3t is thinner and lighter than HP’s earlier dv3510nr, and it’s powered by a 2.0-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics, and 4GB of RAM.
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Apple Macbook

Price: 999

The design remains the same, but the refreshed MacBook now sports a 2.13-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB or RAM (expandable to 4GB), and more powerful Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics.
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Fujitsu Lifebook T1010

Price: 1299

At 12.6 x 9.6 x 1.5 inches and weighing 5.3 pounds, this 13-inch touchscreen tablet will fit comfortably in the crook of your arm as you travel between classes.
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Price: 1359

The stylish SR features a magnesium alloy chassis that weighs a relatively light 4.2 pounds and measures 12.4 x 9.2 x 1.3 inches.
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Gateway P-7807u FX

Price: 1399

The Gateway P-7807u FX is the best bargain gaming rig out there.
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