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Budget in Name only

B50The latest notebooks for classrooms not only have the latest features but sport sub-$400 price tags. In many respects, they actually are more along the lines of mainstream systems than budget ones.

Take Lenovo’s B50, which at $399 starts with a 1,366 by 768 15-inch display, but has an optional 1,920 by 1,080 full HD screen.  The B50 can be set up with an AMD or Intel processor and has surprising creature comforts, like Dolby Advanced Audio v2. It includes Windows 7 software and should be available sometime in July, just in time for the new school year.

13852432055_fdb143aacc_oMeanwhile, the Satellite C family budget notebook from Toshiba starts at an enviable $320 price tag with a Celeron processor. At less than an inch thick, it should fit into any backpack and it comes with either a 15.6- or 17.3-inch screen and your choice of an Intel or AMD processor. There are touch-screen models available and all come with at least 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and Windows 8.1.

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