I have a female friend who would like to purchase a Laptop. She is NOT PC friendly, I have been given the task of helping her out. She wants it for Internet and EMail use. Maybe some occasional word processing. The catch is her budget of $500. I told her that a basic desktop is more in line with her budget, but that just won't do, as a desktop will not make for a pretty room. You see, you can put the laptop away and out of sight when not in use. Go figure. I've never shopped for a Laptop before, so I started looking at local retailers and it looks like $1000 is a basic starting point pursuing that avenue. Online searches yielded some models that started around $750. I also saw quite a few refurbs. I would prefer something new and A-stock for her if possible. That way she would get some user support, a warranty, and hopefully, reliable usage. A local PC Warehouse does sell some used ones, they had 1 in stock for her price. IBM thinkpad, model # 356x (?). P166, 2GB HD, 24MB ram, W98, modem included. No CD rom. They're asking $450, 1 month warranty. I'm no PC expert, but I think 24MB ram is too low for running W98 and internet surfing, plus I think she'll need at least a CD rom for loading some occasional software. Can she find something on her budget? Should we try to stretch it to $600-700? Not very likely though. I've been told IBM is reliable, what brands do you think make for a reliable laptop. All help is appreciated. Thanks. Rich B.