Halloween has yet to arrive, but according to major retailers, the holiday shopping season is well under way. Head to your local big box electronics store, and you'll encounter new laptops that were granted shelf space at the beginning of the month.
We've lined up 20 such models for our holiday retail laptop review roundup. We're working our way up from the bottom, starting at a bargain basement $500 model and passing through many mainstream models on our way to a fully loaded $1,849 Sony Vaio. We've completed the entry-level quartet and have a clear favorite: the Acer Aspire 5735-4624.
Winner: When we reviewed the Aspire 5735 two weeks ago, Best Buy was running a promotion that knocked $100 off the price. Sadly, that discount is no longer offered, but this 15.6-inch laptop is still a bargain at its $499 list price. For starters, it offers similar specs and performance to models from Dell and Gateway that cost $150 more, and more muscle than an AMD-based Compaq that costs $50 more. And while it might not appeal to everyone, the extra-wide 16:9 aspect ratio screen makes movie viewing a treat.
Any entry-level laptop must cut some corners, and the Acer is no different. Still, we didn't find any deal breakers here. The plastic chassis flexes a bit, the screen resolution isn't as fine as that of some smaller displays, and the 16:9 aspect ratio display makes the laptop a bit of a wide body for daily travel. The mouse buttons are clacky, and the keyboard feels cramped because it must make room for a separate number pad. And some features commonly found on (admittedly more expensive) multimedia laptops had to be jettisoned, including discrete graphics, an HDMI port, and a Webcam. … Read more
ThinkFree, a company that specializes in "next-gen" office productivity solutions, announced Tuesday that it has launched its ThinkFree Netbook solution, which will deliver word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications for Netbooks running Intel's Atom chipsets, like the Asus Eee PC or the Acer Aspire One.
According to ThinkFree, its Netbook Edition offers a simplified user interface and compatibility with Microsoft Office 2007 files. Most importantly, the software is optimized for a small screen and features integration with ThinkFree's online service that allows users to collaborate with each other and synchronize documents on-the-go.
"In today's … Read more
Though not quite as cheap as the Asus Eee PC from a couple weeks ago, the Acer Aspire One is one of the top-rated Netbooks (there's a contradiction in terms), and you can get it for just $309 shipped--no rebates required. Hey, they gotta do something to unload these lemons, right?
I kid, I kid. While I still don't see the appeal of a PC with a tiny screen, tiny keyboard, tiny amount of storage, mediocre battery life, and limited video-playback capabilities, at least the prices are starting to get more attractive.
This particular model comes with … Read more
Worldwide PC shipments were up 15.8 percent in the third quarter, slightly lower than expected.
Just over 80 million PCs were shipped around the globe during the third quarter, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report released Wednesday. The popularity of Netbooks helped to disguise an industry that looks to have continued tough times ahead. Budgets for buying PCs were constrained as the quarter progressed, and IDC says there's more where that came from.
"IDC expects the ongoing economic woes in the U.S. to further impact consumer and commercial PC spending during the holiday … Read more
Despite the volatile economy, the PC industry overall appears on the surface to be doing fine thanks to the influx of cheap, underpowered notebooks.
Overall, worldwide PC shipments rose to 80.6 million units during the third quarter this year, a 15 percent increase over the same quarter a year ago, according to a new quarterly report issued Tuesday by research firm Gartner. In the U.S. however, the picture is not so rosy.
Perhaps because of consumers' economic worries, a lot of sub-$500 computers sold in the third quarter. Whether it's a new worldwide Netbook market that'… Read more
Following the success of our big summertime roundup of back-to-school laptops, we're busy testing almost two dozen new holiday models in the CNET Labs.
Same as before, we've scoured the retail shelves of big box electronics stores to find the specific configurations and model numbers you're most likely to find in stores and in Sunday newspaper sales circulars.
In plain English, that means, these are the exact same models and configurations you'll find boxed up and ready to go in traditional brick-and-mortar stores, as well as the systems most likely to end up deeply discounted during … Read more
Our resident cheapskate spied the Acer Aspire 5735 earlier this week. I just finished reviewing this 15.6-inch laptop and have only minor quibbles with what amounts to a ridiculous deal. The Aspire 5735 lists for $499 but is currently selling at Best Buy for $399. I mean, how critical can one be of such a low-cost, fully featured laptop? With a cheap laptop, all you really need to know is that it is not terrible. And after banging on the Aspire 5735 this week, I can tell you that it is not terrible.
The plastic chassis flexes a bit, … Read more