The barrage of notebooks flying our way with Windows Vista pre-installed
and ready to "wow" has included a rather wide range of models and choices, but we've yet to come across a pre-fab unit sporting Microsoft's latest OS and
demanded less than $500 -- until now. The Everex
StepNote VA4101M is the proud owner of a $498 pricetag, a 15.4-inch WXGA display, and Vista Home under the hood, but what this unit lacks in price, it makes up for in weak componentry. Users will likely be let down by the paltry 1.46GHz Intel Celeron M 410 processor, 512MB of DDR2 RAM, 60GB hard drive, and lack of Bluetooth, but hey, you get what you pay for. Notably, Everex did manage to include a dual-layer DVD burner, 802.11b/g, Ethernet, 56k modem, VGA out, and a trio of USB 2.0 ports. So while you won't buy much horsepower for half a grand these days, Everex's latest StepNote can get your feet wet with Vista
without breaking the bank, but waiting on that CPU to catch up with your clicking finger just might negate any value that was here.