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Best Desktop and Laptop Systems Under $500

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/28/2008

If you're eying a desktop or laptop system priced below $500, chances are you might find a wide array of netbooks and nettops falling under that price. Luckily, I was able to come up with the best desktops and 2 laptop systems at the sub-$500 price mark which are neither netbook nor nettop.

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    HP Pavillion A6600F Desktop PC

    HP Pavillion A6600F In the current standards for a decently spec'd desktop PC, the HP Pavillion A6600F would definitely pass with its powerful features. Yet, it's not too heavy on your budget. Priced at $489.99, who would expect that you could find a desktop PC such as this one? We're looking at a sub-$500 desktop system with the following specs: 2.2 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core Desktop Processor with 1MB L2 Cache, 3GB PC2-6400 RAM expandable up to 4GB, 320 GB SATA HD, NVIDIA GeForce 7100 Graphics with TurboCache, Super Multi DVD Burner with LightScribe, and Windows Vista for its OS. Now, do you believe me now when I say that this machine can certainly compete with other high-end and highly-priced desktop PCs?

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    Compaq Presario SR5610F Desktop PC

    Compaq Presario SR5610F If you're not so much into Intel powered machines, then this Desktop PC from Compaq dubbed Presario SR5610F might just be the budget desktop PC for you. That's because, if you're not an Intel fan, you are most probably an AMD Athlon-loving geek. That's fine because AMD-powered machines are not only powerful, they are certain priced lower than those running on Intels. The Compaq Presario SR5610F boasts a 2.5GHz AMD Athlon X2 4800 dual-core CPU, 3GB PC2-6400 RAM expandable up top 4GB, 320 GB HD, NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE Graphics, SuperMulti DVD Burner with LightScribe support, and Windows Vista Premium. This desktop PC also sports a functional industrial design which would definitely go nice with your home interior. The Compaq Presario SR5610F will set you back for $399.99.

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    Acer Computer AX1200-U1510A Desktop PC

    Acer Computer AX1200-U1510A Desktop PC When it comes to budget PCs, no manufacturer could possibly compete with Acer. This brand is well known for powerful machines that won't hurt your budget at all. With an SRP of $399, the AX1200-U1510A desktop PC features an AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core 5000+ 2.6 GHz CPU, 4GB DDR2 RAM expandable up to 8GB, 320 GB SATA HD, and NVIDIA GeForce 8200 Graphics. In addition, the AX1200 Desktop PC also boasts of a sleek, stylish, and space-saving design. The desktop package comes with 2 PS2 ports for the keyboard and mouse, 5 audio jacks, and other standard input and output ports. If you're an Acer fan looking for an affordable desktop package, the Acer AX1200 might be your best bet.

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    Dell Inspiron E1405 Laptop

    Dell Inspiron E1405 Dell has also joined the netbook fray recently, and we can understand why it has shifted its manufacturing focus on netbooks. Fortunately, we were able to find an Inspiron laptop with enough decent features to be worth a second glance in the Dell Inspiron E1405. This Dell laptop boasts a slim and compact design packed with an Intel Core Duo processor T2300, 14.1-inch widescreen LCD, Intel IGP Media Accelerator, integrated network card and mode, 1GB RAM, 60GB HD, and DVD+/-RW 8x DVD and CD burner. These features may not be too impressive for you, but hey it’s good enough for its price of $450.

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    Acer Aspire 5315-2698 15.4-inch Laptop

    Acer Aspire 5315-2698 Like I said before, finding a traditionally-spec'd laptop today is so hard since every PC manufacturer seems to have refocused their attention to making their own netbooks in order to compete with the Eee PC. Fortunately for us, Acer still has some affordable laptops up their sleeves such as the Acer Aspire 5315-2698 15.5-inch laptop. The problem with most budget laptops is that they may not have the most powerful features. Either they have a not-so-powerful CPU or less RAM capacity. The Acer Aspire 5315 is a mixture of both. While its Intel Celeron 560 processor may not give you too much boost in terms of computing powers, its 1GB RAM is more than enough to run the system smoothly. Aside from this, the Aspire 5315 also has a 120GB HD and an integrated super-multi drive. It’s powerful enough to run on Windows Vista Premium as well. As for the price, this machine will set you back for $448.99.