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I'm trying to help my mom with her decision. She's attending college and works with basic documents and email most of the time. Though some of her classes might require some photo/video work. I don't know much about laptop CPU's and which beat which, so I've come for help.

Reliability is a must. She really doesn't have the money spend on this, so stretching the budget is not an option, and this needs to last for several years.

Thx.

Edit: Forgot about battery requirements. It doesn't need to be very long, but 3-4 hours would be nice.
 

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Finding a laptop in that price range isn't difficult. But for reliability, I'd go with dell.

I recommend buying a laptop direct from dell, I purchased two of them for emplyees at our office and they are sturdy and reliable. I would only buy these from now on. I'd look at the inspiron models for your price range.

You'll also get better customer support than at the retail level I'd imagine.

Check these out

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/s...=19&l=en&s=dhs

Also, google around for laptop reviews.
 

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Dell Vostro 3400 (14") baseline options (which should be plenty for a mom computer) goes for $549. Same price on the 15". Solid laptop, and well reviewed everywhere I've seen. Dell has one of the better reliability reps and you're dealing with a domestic company direct, with a good return policy. Then buy her a $99 3 year Squaretrade warranty. She's your mom. =)
 

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Best bang for the buck.
Superior video to the intel,and plenty of CPU power for your mom's needs.15" screen is the perfect size-not too big for portability.4GB DDR3 RAM,320 GB HDD for storage and a webcam.Only 5.9 lbs and long battery life.Excellent reviews.The Vaio series is known for being a well built laptop.
Sony VAIO E series VPCEE23FX/BI
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Redwoodz View Post
Best bang for the buck.
Superior video to the intel,and plenty of CPU power for your mom's needs.15" screen is the perfect size-not too big for portability.4GB DDR3 RAM,320 GB HDD for storage and a webcam.Only 5.9 lbs and long battery life.Excellent reviews.The Vaio series is known for being a well built laptop.
Sony VAIO E series VPCEE23FX/BI



Wow, that's a nice laptop for $550!
 

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Sony seems to be solid (I tried a newer one in that series recently and it did have a very nice build feel to it), but keep in mind that particular Sony linked has a (now discontinued I think) AMD p320, and is significantly lower performing than than the newer Intel i-series recommended, like in the Vostro. Low enough that I would even hesitate buying it for someone with low demands for performance, especially since she's gonna have it a few years. It's bordering on netbook power.
 
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