Not too long ago, the sub-$500 computer was a dream, now it’s a CompUSA commonplace. And now, thanks to a partnership between Wal-Mart and Linspire Inc., the sub-$500 laptop is also a reality.
Walmart.com is selling for $498 the Balance laptop, which runs the Linspire (formerly Lindows) Linux-based operating system. The laptop comes fully equipped with the Linspire 4.5 operating system with a KDE-style GUI, an Internet suite and a Microsoft file-compatible office suite, and can be used with both dial-up modems and broadband connections.
Wal-Mart and Linspire claim that the Balance notebook is the lowest-priced laptop currently on the market to include a complete operating system and office suite.
The laptop comes with a Via C3 1GHz processor and 128MB of RAM, which is expandable to 512MB with SODIMM (Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Module). Since Linspire recommends 256MB for optimal performance with Linspire 4.5, upgrading the memory would be a worthwhile option. The laptop also includes a CD-ROM drive, a 30GB hard drive, an RJ-45 Ethernet jack and a 14.1-inch LCD screen.
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