I'm currently in the process of shopping for a budget laptop. But since I live in Egypt, it's quite difficult to combine "quality" and "budget" into one grammatically correct sentence
Anyway, I did some research and finally decided that I'll either get a netbook or one of the two following laptops...
HP 550 Notebook PC
ACER Extensa 5635Z-422G25Mn.
Since the price difference between the netbooks available in Egypt and these 2 laptops is negligible, and since I prefer larger screen sizes, I decided to dump the netbook idea and go straight for one of these two.
Of all the different hardware specifications between the two, I'm mostly concerned with the "processor" itself. The HP has an Intel Celeron Processor (2.1 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 1 MB L2 cache), while the ACER Extense has an Intel Dual Core T4200 2.0GHz.
So my question is: do you have any direct experience with either one of these two laptops? If so, which would you recommend, and why? And if not, do you know whether the performance of a Celeron processor is too low compared to a Dual Core?
I'm leaning toward the HP since I find it usually produces better quality products than ACER but, like I said, I'm somewhat concerned with the processor. So any information or insight will be hugely appreciated :-)
Thanks in advance.
Here's an update if anyone happens to be interested...
I ended up buying a Lenovo 3000 G550. And I must say that I think I made an outstanding choice!
The Lenovo G550 has an Intel Celeron Dual Core processor with a clock speed of about 1800 (1.8GHz), a 1MB L2 Cache, a built-in graphics card of 256 MB, and a 15.6" WideScreen LCD monitor, as well as the regular things you can expect from any decent-quality budget laptop, such as Super Multi DL CD/DVD, 250GB Hard Drive, Ethernet and Wireless cards, etc.
First off, I think this laptop is a true aesthetic win for people like me, who prefer dark, poised, and elegantly simple gadgets. Its black color, sturdy and durable plastic, and sleek lines all add to its elegance. Plus, the screen is absolutely amazing, even though I generally don't like widescreen monitors.
An interesting thing is that this Lenovo G550 has a decent Numbers Pad on the right side, something I admit to have never seen in a laptop before.
One point should be made clear... Don't let the bit about its being a Celeron fool you. This is a true Dual Core processor in the same way that a Core Duo is. There are differences in performance and capabilities of course, but I saw way too many reviewers of this laptop confusing its processor for a Solo or a single core, which it isn't.
I haven't tested this laptop on any heavy-duty stuff yet (no video editing, no wicked number-crunching, no intense gaming, etc.), but for my current purposes, which are mainly related to word processing, internet browsing, and general multimedia viewing, this laptop is a true bad-*bottom*. It takes anything I throw at it and deals with it like a powerhouse!
Now, some of the downsides...
The Lenovo G550 has no Card Reader, no Blutetooth, and no dedicated multimedia or sleep buttons. And even though the Drivers and Downloads section of Lenovo Support website ( http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/ ) does include a rather large driver for the High-Definition Audio driver for Windows XP, it doesn't work... at least, not without a workaround -- which I found on the Lenovo Support forum, to give credit where credit is due.
All in all, for the price I paid for this laptop (2,600 Egyptian Pounds, or about 465 USD), I'm pretty content with the quality and performance I got for the money. Remember, I live in Egypt, and technology is quite costly around here. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I can totally, wholeheartedly, and with a clear conscience, recommend this product. I'm simply in love with it :-)
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