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Comparing Two $350 Laptops

When it comes to a buying laptop, the rule of thumb is don’t go cheap. This means that you really have to save money in order to buy a decent laptop, but it is guaranteed that it will be worth it in the long run.

But maybe this time it’s different. It seems that there are some laptops now that are pretty cheap but powerful enough. And when I say cheap, it’s not just under the $700-range, but also under the $400-range. Ars Technica compares two of Walmart’s finest laptops that are within this range — the $378 Acer Swift 1 and the $350 Gateway GWTN141-2.

Both of these are serviceable if cheap laptops, but the Gateway, despite being the less expensive model, will be the clear winner for most people. It's more powerful, more repairable, more upgrade-able, and in our testing, a bit more reliable as well.

Check out their comparison over at the site.

(Image Credit: Jim Salter/ Ars Technica)


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As a computer professional, I recommend staying away from either of those. Main reason: Not enough RAM. For inexpensive, get a a Chromebook instead of a bottom-of-the-barrel PC.
Before COVID, there were good laptops on sale for $400. Since the buying spree of April, prices have gone up at least $100 if not $200. Look for a big drop at the end of the year.
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