Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dual Core Notebooks Under $1,000

If you held off buying a new notebook because you were waiting for prices of dual-core chips to drop, and then waited again until Vista arrived, your patience has paid off. We set out to find leading-edge laptops on a $1,000 budget, and came up with these six choices. Each has a dual-core processor and is Vista-ready. Depending on when you buy one, you'll either get a coupon for a free copy of the new operating system (for systems shipped before January 30th, if Microsoft indeed ships the new OS on that day as expected), or you'll get Vista preloaded (for systems built after January 30th).

We recommend dual-core processors even for cash-strapped buyers. Time and again, our tests showed dual core's performance advantage, which translates into real-world productivity gains. And a dual-core processor helps future-proof your investment, as many mainstream apps and games are in development that will take advantage of two processing cores.

A dual-core processor, coupled with 1GB of memory (which all of these systems have), will provide more than enough horsepower to run Windows Vista Home Premium, which contains the slick new Aero interface, parental controls, better security than in Windows XP, and a ton of usability improvements when it comes to search and managing digital media.

The following six options differ in size and features, but each delivers the dual-core Vista experience at a good price. Pick the one that best matches your mobile lifestyle.

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