Probably not. The supercheap laptops advertised during the holiday season
are usually surplus inventory filled with components that are one or two generations old, including economical, integrated graphics cards. These notebooks are probably OK for basic Web surfing and word processing, but they're not cut out for more heavyweight computing--and Microsoft's latest OS is nothing if not resource intensive
If you want to be an early Vista adopter, or you think you're likely to upgrade your operating system before you buy another laptop, you should look for a laptop that meets all the Vista hardware requirements
, including support for DirectX 9 graphics. Many major manufacturers are offering an Express Upgrade
to Vista, meaning you'll be eligible to receive a free copy of Vista (you pay shipping and handling) if you purchase certain Vista-ready laptop models between now and March of next year.
Of course, if you're comfortable using Windows XP for a while and want a dirt-cheap notebook for basic computing tasks, that $400 laptop should be just fine.