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Affordable Laptops For Dads And Grads

With many laptops offering features similar to those found in desktops, people are starting to make them their primary computer.

If you are looking to give a laptop for Father's Day, as a graduation present, or looking to replace your old computer, CBS News technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg discussed some affordable options on The Saturday Early Show.

In general, budget laptops range from about $500 to $1,000, but sometimes you can find deals and get them on sale for even less then $500. Generally speaking, the more you spend, the more you get — so make sure you've thought ahead about what you plan to use your machine for.

If $1,000 is your max, look past the big brand names. An Acer is a smart choice — the Acer Aspire 3680 starts at $599.99 and, Sieberg says, should fulfill your needs.

If you can spend a little more, you may want to try the Gateway C-120X convertible, starting at $1,299.99. The notebook's high-impact magnesium case offers durability and strength while minimizing its size and weight. It includes an integrated optical drive, so video and music is always at your fingertips.

Handheld computers have become more and more popular recently. While a lot of users have a BlackBerry, there are other choices for a pocket-sized PC.

The Sony Vaio® VGN-UX380N Micro PC, priced at $1849.99, is so small, it's hard to believe that it's a PC. But, it is — it even has Windows Vista. Technically, it's more of a palm-sized computer or ultramobile PC than a laptop. If you're looking into a small and light laptop, it's worth considering.

Gamers have different needs then other PC users. For your gaming laptop needs, Sieberg recommends the Alienware Aurora m9700, which starts at $1599.99. Alienware advertises that it's great for gamers and also for users looking for a desktop replacement.

The Apple MacBook, starting at $1099, is great for users who want an alternative to a PC, as well as for "creative" types. It even includes a built-in video camera for on-the-go videoconferencing, as well as a suite of what the company calls "digital lifestyle applications."

Here are some places to get more information about Sieberg's recommendations and other laptops: