4 Cheap Brand-Name Laptops!

A new laptop for college doesn’t need to cost you $1,500. Don’t let the flashy ads and giant headlines fool you: You don’t need 4GB of RAM or a 2.4GHz dual-core processor to handle everything you need to do for class, even if you want to be able to download a video or blast your master playlist at the same time.

Save your money for food and rent; you can get all the college capability you need and all the digital entertainment center you want without the steep price tag.

Here’s a list of six relatively inexpensive yet powerful laptops from all the big-name manufacturers. Keep in mind that these come straight from the manufacturer’s website and can be found even cheaper elsewhere!

1) Dell Inspiron 15

Starting Price: $399*

click image for specific specs

This modest laptop packs all the processing power and entertainment capability most students will need all in an awesome outer shell! With an Intel® Celeron® 900 (1MB cache/2.20GHz/800Mhz FSB)processor,  2 GB RAM, 160 GB Hard Drive,  Windows Vista pre-installed, a 15-inch display, and a CD burner. With its integrated wireless network card, the Inspiron comes ready to jump on your school’s wireless network. Best of all, you can make this laptop yours for monthly payments as low as $15.

Avg Customer Rating 	4.3 of 5

Avg Customer Rating 4.3 of 5

2) Compaq Presario CQ60

Starting Price: $399.99*

Click image for more info

Click image for more info

Think of this bargain laptop as “the little computer that could.” It isn’t quite as powerful as its HP Pavilion cousin, but with a 2.1GHz Intel Pentium dual-core mobile processor, a healthy 3072MBMB RAM plus 250GB hard drive with built-in protection, and built-in wireless card and mic/webcam, this Presario is more than enough for the average student’s needs. And $15 a month is all you’ll need to take it home.

Avg Customer Rating 4 out of 5

Avg Customer Rating 4 out of 5

3) HP G60t

Starting Price: $499.99*

click image for more info

click image for more info

I am a proud owner of a HP laptop and I ooze nothing but praise for this brand, as I have put my laptop through the worst (coffee spills, drops, random coaster usage) and yet it has never failed me…not once! For a slightly higher price tag than the Presario, this laptop from HP offers an even better educational bang for your buck. With an Intel Pentium dual-core mobile processor cruising at a speed of 1.6GHz (with the option of upgrading up to a blazing 2.50GHz), a full 1GB RAM, a 15.4-inch display, built-in wireless, and a FireWire port plus 3 USB ports, built-in 5 digital media card reader, the Pavilion puts power and speed at your fingertips for about $20 a month.

Avg Customer Rating 4.6 out of 5

Avg Customer Rating 4.6 out of 5

4) Toshiba Satellite Pro A210-EZ2202X

Price: $670*

click image for more info

click image for more info

With the AMD Turion 64 X2 dual-core mobile processor on this Toshiba laptop, you’ll plow through your assignments at 1.9GHz. Your barrage of PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, 20-page term papers, embedded videos, and multi-tab Internet research won’t stand a chance against the Satellite’s arsenal of 1GB RAM, 80GB hard drive, DVD burner, 4 USB ports, 15.4-inch display, and built-in wireless — all yours for about $24 a month.

Avg Customer Rating 4.5 out of 5

Avg Customer Rating 4.5 out of 5

* Manufacturer prices as of October 14, 2009

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Microsoft <3's Students

One thing that frustrates me with Microsoft is that so many great projects and services take place and are available but….. NO ONE EVER HEARS ABOUT THEM!!!  Our public facing PR sometimes, okay often leaves me shaking my head. I can not count the number of times I have been talking to someone about free services and such we have that address just the challenge they may be having yet they never heard of it. I sort of hit a I AM ABOUT TO SCREAM moment today when someone asked me if Microsoft had any resources for students as this particular client has a senior at home who is heading off to college next year, just like my own son. Well the answer was/is YES! As I sent them the link and then Twitted it as well I decided to quick put together a list of some great online products and services that are free. They can be a big help whether you are a student heading off to college, a small business owner looking to establish a credible online presence, a high school student looking to dive in to the world of programming or video game design. There is so much I won’t even scratch the surface and unfortunately there is not one central location you can go to find freebies from Microsoft….. well maybe there is but that would be another best kept secret.

Best Kept Secrets From Microsoft:
  • Live@EduThe Microsoft Live@edu program provides institutions of higher education and K-12 with a set of free hosted and co-branded collaboration and communication services for students, alumni, and applicants, leading with an offer of Windows Live™ Hotmail®, a hosted e-mail service, and Office Live Workspace, an online space to collaborate on Microsoft Office documents. Although Microsoft hosts the e-mail, the institution maintains control: you continue to create, delete, and store institution e-mail addresses for your constituents—as you do today
  • Microsoft DreamsparkOther than totally cool? Glad you asked. Here’s how it works: if you’re a current university or high school student, you can download professional Microsoft developer, designer, and gaming software through DreamSpark at no charge. Yes, students get to download software at no charge. DreamSpark enables students, like you, to download and use Microsoft tools to unlock your creative potential and set you on the path to academic and career success by advancing your learning in the areas of technical design, technology, math, science, and engineering! It doesn’t matter what classes you’re taking right now, just as long as you’re a current student in a verified, accredited School and use the tools in pursuit of advancing your education in one of these areas.”
  • Microsoft Office LiveMicrosoft Office Live Workspace beta is your online place to save, access, and share documents and files. Use it to group related information for work, school, or personal projects. No downloads are required—just sign up and go.”
  • Download Office SharePoint Designer “Office SharePoint Designer 2007 provides the powerful tools you need to deliver compelling and attractive SharePoint sites and quickly build workflow-enabled applications and reporting tools on the SharePoint platform, all in an IT-managed environment.”
  • Free MCTS Vouchers for College StudentsWe know that tech savvy students like you will be driving business and technology decisions for tomorrow’s companies. Microsoft will be there with you through every step of your career with career planning, training, certification, community and certification! It’s no secret that there is a shortage of qualified IT Professionals and Developers in today’s workforce. But did you know that:
    • 55% of hiring managers consider employee certification as a criterion for hiring
    • 46% of Hiring Managers consider employee certification as a criteria for promotion
    • 43% of individuals reported salary increases as a result of Microsoft certification
  • Get Live EssentialsNow in one installation, Windows Live Essentials gives you instant messaging, e-mail, blogging, photos, and more.”