Well, it was inevitable. Just one week after I bought my new Toshiba Satellite A135-4447 laptop from Office Depot for $849 plus a $150 rebate, it is now on sale at Office Depot for $799 plus a $150 mail in rebate. Oh well…
It is still a very good budget computer, in my opinon. While it has the slightly older Core Duo instead of a Core2 Duo, and it only has Intel 950 integrated graphics, it runs Vista Aero Glass quite well. With 1GB of RAM, and a 4GB USB drive running Windows ReadyBoost, it is pretty snappy, and it will only get better once I upgrade it to 2GB of RAM.
If you are in the market for a lower end, Vista capable laptop, be careful and do a little research first. Many of the "budget" laptops you see advertised for $800 or less have much older Celeron M, Pentium D, Core Solo, or AMD Turion processors instead of Core Duo or Core2 Duo processors. For example, Dell is hawking an Inspiron E1405 with an "Intel Pentium Dual Core Processor" for $799 in this week’s full page ad in the Parade magazine in the Denver Post. This is an older Pentium D based chip.
The processor and graphics chip are difficult, if not impossible to upgrade in most laptops. It is easy and fairly inexpensive to upgrade RAM and your hard drive in a laptop. Most budget laptops come with 512MB or 1GB of RAM and a 5400rpm hard drive. I can get a 2GB ram kit for my Toshiba for $135 at NewEgg, and I can get an 80GB 720rpm SATA drive for about $100.