Top Budget Notebook Computers

Tablet computers have a special pinchable screen for better hands on control and response.  They are different, not just a smaller laptop.
Tablet computers have a special pinchable screen for better hands on control and response. They are different, not just a smaller laptop. | Source

Ideal for Data Crunching and Entertainment

Lenovo Think Pad x6.1, a tablet computer.  They are a cross between a smart phone and a laptop, making them easy to use and carry.
Lenovo Think Pad x6.1, a tablet computer. They are a cross between a smart phone and a laptop, making them easy to use and carry. | Source
The same Lenovo Think Pad when folded up.  It fits neatly in a briefcase, purse or handbag.
The same Lenovo Think Pad when folded up. It fits neatly in a briefcase, purse or handbag. | Source

The Tablet vs. the Laptop

This Hub showcases some of the most popular, well received tablet (or Notebook / Netbook) computers. It points out what shoppers should have in mind when shopping for a new tablet or notebook computer. The most famous of all tablet computers is the Apple iPad, but it is just one of many brands available on the marketplace.

Notebook computers have become the rage. Not only are they portable and functional, they are lightweight, reliable and very convenient for the executive on the go.

Everyday folks find them pretty useful, too. Housewives, students and young kids use them to take photos, write email or surf the net. Nearly anyone who relies on a computer can use these up-to-the-minute spin-offs of the laptop, its big brother. Tablets are also ideal for those who want a convenient source portable entertainment, whether it's used to watch videos, play MineCraft, or watch a full length movie.

Tablet or Notebook computers can be used on airplanes. They need to be put in Airplane Mode to not disrupt the air traffic controller's communication with the pilot. Hospitals may also require airplane mode, or any other place where other sensitive technical devices are being used.

Features To Look For

  1. Long battery life with 4000 mAh (up to 10 hrs), which will be lessened if watching videos
  2. Lightweight and easy to carry in one hand
  3. Rear camera of 5 to 8 Megapixels (MPs), plus 2 MP front camera for video chats
  4. Adobe Flash support
  5. Sensors and Light sensor, compass and gyroscope sensors built in
  6. Maximal screen size (from 7" up to 11" diagonally) with rich and vibrant colors
  7. WiFi vs. 3G or preferably 4G technology. Apple iPhone has 4G / LTE. With 3G or more, you will need a special phone plan for constant connectivity. Wi Fi is also an option - it is available in many locations but the connection may not be as secure (see Identity theft link, below).
  8. Hard drive space of 1.0 GB is about right - less space may not be adequate
  9. Memory - around 1.0 GB Ram (1.0 Ghz) with 32 internal and a 32 external (chip) memory is a good rule of thumb. Starting out with 16MB is OK, too.
  10. Flexibility - can it switch back and forth to a laptop function with ease?
  11. Audio - built in speakers, ability to add external speakers and headphones are all plusses
  12. Look for self-cleaning software - some tablet computers offer it free of charge.
  13. USB ports are recommended (the iPad does not have them, relying on iTunes or Cloud Support). SIM support, 3.5 Audio Jack and HDMI interface are desirable.
  14. Price - $500 - $800 depending on brand names, sales, promotions and options.

Apple's latest iPad - 2012 release

The new Apple iPad, was released in Spring 2012, featuring a revolutionary new retina screen boasting a 44% higher color resolution.
The new Apple iPad, was released in Spring 2012, featuring a revolutionary new retina screen boasting a 44% higher color resolution. | Source

Apple's new iPad - 2012

What to Expect - Plusses and Minuses

Good News

The compact Apple iPad is pretty special, and that is why it's getting its own section. It is an Apple, not an Android, making it somewhat unique. It is probably the best known notebook / tablet computer on the market today. Its most recent version, released in 2012, has a 9.7" LTA retina screen which makes improved visibility up to 44% better than its predecessor. Its operating system also been critically acclaimed as a technological wonder. In spite of its technical advances, its lowest priced model falls within the desired range, beginning at $500. Take a look at the Hub linked below for a more detailed rundown of its characteristics.

Bad News

The down side of the iPad is that it doesn't use USB ports. That means users must resort to using iTunes, Bluetooth, or the Cloud to transmit data between a user's laptop and the iPad.It also lacks Adobe Support, something which is available on most Android tablets.

Reviews on Notebook Computers

Make and Model Name
Rating (5 = Highest)
Estimated Price
Lenovo Think Pad - X120e
4 stars
$519
Lenovo Idea Pad - S205
4 stars
$579
Asus Eee PC 1215B
3 - 1/2 stars
$385
HP Mini 5103
3 - 1/2 stars
$529
Asus Eee PC 1215N
3 - 1/2 stars
$508
Acer Aspire One 522 - BZ897
3 - 1/2 stars
--
Acer Aspire One 532h - 2326
3 stars
--
Samsung NC 110
3 stars
$282
Toshiba Mini N505 - N508GN
3 stars
$270
Toshiba Mini N305 - N600
3 stars
$380
Use PC World's recommendations as a guide

Updated for December 2012

Make and Model
Rating
Estimated Price
Acer C7 Chrome Book
3,5
$200
Samsung Chrome Book 3g
4.0
$249
Lenovo Thinkpad X130e
4.0
$495
HP Pavilion
4.0
$450
Source: http://www.pcmag.com/products/1565?Type=Netbook

Portable Tablet Laptops

 
 
 
Lenovo G570-4334
3 - 1/2 stars
$659
Samsung NP300E5A - A01DX
4 stars
$659
Lenovo Idea Pad S205-1038
4 stars
$533
PC Advisor's Picks

Gaming on a Tablet Computer

Technology can be combined - this child is playing war games on a tablet computer by utilizing the web cam on the tablet.
Technology can be combined - this child is playing war games on a tablet computer by utilizing the web cam on the tablet. | Source

Buying them Used

A good quality computer when purchased new may have a one or two year guarantee. After that those who can afford it may resell their computer and buy the newest available technology. These hand me down computers are still functional and useful for young high school students or anyone who wants to buy them at half price. Of course, sooner or later there will be repairs to take care of but its life may easily extend to five years or more.

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EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

My MSI laptop is actually a notebook, I was surprised to discover. It is small enough to fit into a large purse. It came with a 2 year guarantee, no problems whatsoever, and it's still going strong in its third year. Write on!

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