Since being acquired by Acer, Gateway's main objective has been to undersell every other big name that distributes cheap laptops. And to its credit, the company has succeeded in putting out some of the most affordable laptops, even if most of the designs look eerily similar. The Gateway NV5807u ($600 street) is cheaper than comparable offerings from Dell, HP, and Toshiba. Unlike its competitors, though, there is no room for customization: The 15.6-inch widescreen, Intel processor, and 4GB of memory (among other common parts in budget laptops) are set in stone for this model. Still, these are the parts I'd recommend for any other brand's budget models, especially when money is tight around the house.