Having grown tired of sharing a sole laptop among three people I decided to purchase a new laptop a week or so ago. As we already have a “high-end” laptop that plays any games we want, I only needed the new laptop have decent screen real estate, a full-sized keyboard and handle VPN connections to my job with ease.
I ended up getting an Acer Aspire 7551-7422. At ~$450 it certainly isn’t high end, but it does have a quad-core AMD Phenom II processor, a discrete ATi card with 256MB of memory and a 17″ screen with a 1600×900 resolution.
I couldn’t be happier with it for the price. The laptop runs cool, has a spacious keyboard (with a pause/break key even!) and – though I doubt I ever use it – a 1.3MP webcam.
The only annoyance I’ve found is that the power jack is on the right side and since it seems that every jack in the house seems to be on the right side this causes the power cord to always be behind the laptop. This wouldn’t be so bad if that also meant the power cord – unless tucked behind something – is always hanging awkwardly too close to the right side of the laptop.
I’ll be installing Ubuntu 11.10 on it this weekend. I’ll post again on how that goes. In the meantime if you’re in the market for a budget laptop you could do a lot worse than this one.