SLIDESHOW

8 Great Laptops Under $800

It seems like most of us these days can share Groucho Marx's sentiment: “I started out with nothing and I have most of it left.” These great laptops won't strain your bank account.

Don't Break the Bank

With money so tight these days, perish the thought of buying a new laptop, no matter how badly it might be needed. After all, a good laptop has to cost at least $1000, right? Cheaper laptops aren't good enough for everyday use, are they?

But a perfectly good notebook doesn't have to cost more than $800, and at that price there's a model to fit nearly every need. Before you think about spending enough money on your next laptop to prompt a security call from your credit card company, take a look at these fine systems, each a steal at under $800.

Samsung Series 3 (NP350)

Samsung packs impressive performance into a small, light, and affordable laptop.

Pros

- Good performance for the price

- Small, slim, and light

Cons

- Display isn't as good as we expect from Samsung

- Poor touchpad rocker button

Specs | Pricing

HP Pavilion dv6

HP's dv6 is a classy-looking (though slightly bulky) laptop with a good mix of features for its price.

Pros

- Very good video playback quality

- Excellent keyboard with a great feel

Cons

- DVD drive's eject button is tiny

- Speakers distort at high volume

Specs | Pricing

Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG

Angularly stylish, with battery life for miles, this laptop is also a good performer. The 5830TG gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Pros

- Good performer

- Excellent battery life

Cons

- Slightly narrow viewing angle

- Crowded software installation

Specs | Pricing

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420

Fans of ThinkPad keyboards and input devices should welcome this affordable, not-too-heavy model, but gamers and hard-core number crunchers should look elsewhere.

Pros

- Great ergonomics, fairly lightweight

- Good webcam, four USB ports, and ExpressCard slot

Cons

- Mediocre performance and battery life

- No 5GHz Wi-Fi

Specs | Pricing

Asus Eee PC 1215B

If you want an ultraportable's dimensions and can live without state-of-the-art performance, this laptop is a bargain.

Pros

- Ultraportable in size and screen real estate

- Good ergonomics and video playback

Cons

- Not for gaming

- Slow benchmark performance

Specs | Pricing

MSI FX620DX

A solid, well-rounded laptop -- not stellar at any one task, but decent at most.

Pros

- Good performance for the price

- Two USB 3.0 Ports

Cons

- Lots of "blipping" from the speakers

- Unresponsive touchpad, and buttons are hard to press

Specs | Pricing

Dell XPS 15 L502X

The entry-level Dell XPS 15 (L502X) will delight multimedia buffs, but it's too big and heavy for frequent travelers.

Pros

- Roomy, 15.6-inch display

- Great multimedia and pretty good gaming

Cons

- Mediocre computing performance and battery life

- Heavy and chunky, with an oversize brick

Specs | Pricing

Dell Vostro 3350

Weighing under 5 pounds, the compact Vostro 3350 offers excellent battery life, but performance falls short.

Pros

- Compact, attractive, and lightweight

- Excellent battery life

- Mobile broadband module

Cons

- No dual-band Wi-Fi

- Uninspiring performance

Specs | Pricing