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Notebooks for Grads
These under $1,500 laptops are ideal for work and play—and they won’t break the bank.

Contents:  
by Joanna Stern on Friday, May 22, 2009

A brand-spanking-new laptop makes an ideal gift for your new grad, whether he’s off to college or entering the work force. Before you buy, make sure you choose the right machine. If he or she just needs a notebook for basic computing tasks and surfing the Web, a smaller 13 or 15.4 inch laptop will do the job. Your gamers and video editors would love a 16- or 17-inch system. Our top picks across the board will have them tossing those mortarboards into the air with glee.

Notebooks for Grads


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Gateway MC Series

Price: 849

This affordable multimedia notebook boasts a stylish design, a stunning 16:9 display, and above-average battery life for its class.
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HP Pavilion dv3z

Price: 679

HP’s latest 13-inch notebook offers a sleek design and good performance at a reasonable price.
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Apple MacBook

Price: 1299

A sleek and durable design, strong everyday performance, and good battery life complement Apple’s easy-to-use operating system and first-class software bundle.
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Toshiba Satellite L300 Series (L305-S5921)

Price: 499

This wallet-friendly notebook offers good-enough performance for basic computing without forcing too many trade-offs.
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Dell Studio XPS 13

Price: 1099

This thin-and-light notebook offers very good performance, hybrid graphics, and a luxurious design.
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