You don’t have to break the bank in order to get yourself a laptop capable of running Vista. In fact, the Everex Stepnote VA4101M is the “world’s first Vista-loaded laptop priced under $500.” There’s a catch, of course, as you won’t be enjoying the full Vista experience. There are no Aero effects here. That would be explained by the not-so-incredible 1.46GHz Celeron M processor, the not-exactly-exciting 512MB RAM, and the smaller-than-most 60GB hard drive.
So, you don’t exactly have to be afraid of Vista’s heftier requirements in order to experience the next-generation operating system. Instead, you can get this trimmed-down and priced-down unit at your local Wal-mart. Here’s the official Everex Stepnote VA4101M product page, though I’m not sure why you’d still be interested.