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Sure, you could buy Apple's newest iPad for $500. But you can also get a full-service laptop with a keyboard and everything instead. How much computer can you really get for less than $500? Quite a bit, as long as you manage your expectations.
That's easier with Chromebooks. Chrome OS isn't nearly as power-hungry as Windows, so you can get by with a lower-end processor, slower storage and less memory -- many of the components that make a laptop expensive.
Chromebooks - Chrome - OS-specific - Android - Apps
But while Chromebooks can run Chrome OS-specific and Android apps, some people need a full Windows operating system to run heftier applications. That comes with a need for a faster processor with more cores, more memory -- 8GB is the bare minimum -- and more storage for applications and the operating system itself.
Solid-state drives (SSD) can make a big difference in how fast Windows feels compared to spinning hard disks (HDD), but they also push the price up. So if your budget can stretch a little, you may want to consider stepping up from a base option to a 128GB SSD.
News - Two-in-one - Screen - Display - Tablet
The good news is you can get a convertible (aka a two-in-one) -- a laptop with a screen that flips around to turn the display into a tablet, to position for comfortable streaming or to do a presentation -- at a pretty reasonable price, for Windows or Chrome OS. All convertibles have touchscreens, as that's a prerequisite for tablet operation.
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Prettiest - System - Aspire - Display - Ton
It's not the prettiest system, but the Aspire includes a good 1,920x1,080 15.6-inch display, a ton of ports -- new and old -- and even a DVD burner for those still working in the world of physical media. What's more, you can open...
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