I get asked from time to time what is a good laptop for under $1000. PC World has issued this article titled “The Best Laptops Under $1000.” Getting the biggest bang for your buck is important in today’s world, and these seem to be good buys. Of course there are other options, and Apple has the Macbook that starts at $1099 or $999 with the education discount.
As with any purchase do your homework and come up with what you want to accomplish with your new computer especially if you are a student or teacher. Ask yourself what programs are required, is there a specific operating system that you need to use, and what will be comparable to what you use at school.
Processor speed, hard drive size (a small drive fills up fast), and memory (I recommend at least 1 GB) are important components to consider. Laptops are generally not very expandable; so, make sure you think of any extras you may need (rewritable CD/DVD drive, ports such as USB 2.0, Firewire, a memory card reader, etc.). If you need extras, your price may exceed $1000, but you will spend more anyway once you realize you may need to add peripherals.
Also, make sure you look to see what software comes with the computer as that is another cost that you will incur if the computer doesn’t arrive with much. Open source software like Open Office (FREE “Office” suite), GIMP (PhotoShop-like program), and Audacity (audio editor) are FREE alternatives to common software that you may need to be productive, but you need to do your homework to find out if programs like these will meet any requirements you may have. Happy shopping!