Get a 12-inch Hannspree dual-core laptop for $290
This is a refurbished model with a 90-day warranty, but at this price, I guarantee they won't last long.
A quick housekeeping note: If you're a subscriber to the Cheapskate newsletter (scroll down a bit to find it), you probably noticed that after the holidays, the frequency dropped off to twice weekly. Well, I'm happy to report that the Cheapskate will once again be landing in your inbox daily! Estimated arrival time: 10 a.m. PT.
That said, I still urge you to visit the blog directly whenever you get to your computer in the morning. Sometimes, through no fault of my own (ahem), a deal is already sold out or expired by the time the e-mail arrives. If you want to be the bird-getting early worm, your best bet continues to be an early site visit.
Here's a prime example: Mwave has the refurbished Hannspree HannsBook 12-inch laptop for $290, plus $10 for shipping. That's a Netbook price on a Netbook-size portable with laptop-caliber features! Consequently, it will probably sell out fast.
Update: And sure enough, it's now showing as "temporarily unavailable" (which most likely means it's out of stock).
Better known for its monitors, Hannspree has crafted a sweet system here. It features a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and a 12.1-inch screen.
Because there's no optical drive, the HannsBook weighs a travel-friendly 3.4 pounds. Mwave lists a 90-day warranty, though it's not clear if that's through them or the manufacturer (most likely the latter).
The product page shows eight user reviews, all of them five stars. I'd say if you're looking for a compact but reasonably powerful portable PC, this beats the pants off any Netbook you'll find.
Bonus deal: As I said the other day, TV deals are coming fast and furious. Wal-Mart is now selling a Sceptre 46-inch LCD HDTV for $499, with free site-to-store shipping (plus sales tax). That is simply an unreal deal on a 46-inch TV, and the mostly positive user reviews suggest solid quality as well.