Get a Lenovo Netbook tablet for $399
No, it's not as slim or sexy as an iPad. It is, however, a full-fledged computer, complete with QWERTY keyboard, Flash support, a Webcam, and all the rest.
If you're in the market for a Netbook, why not choose one that has a split personality?
I'm talking about the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t, one of the world's few convertible Netbooks. That means it starts out like a traditional model, complete with QWERTY keyboard and all that, but then magically transforms into a touch-screen tablet.
List price on this bad boy? A fairly steep $599 if you buy direct from Lenovo. But the company currently has them on sale, and a coupon code adds significantly to the savings.
Specifically, you can get the IdeaPad S10-3t Netbook tablet for $399 shipped (plus sales tax in most states). That's after adding the item to your shopping cart and applying coupon code USPS4F524 at checkout.
The S10-3t has pretty standard Netbook specs, at least to a point: Intel Atom N450 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Windows 7 Starter.
Then we come to its 10.1-inch multitouch touch screen, which can take full advantage of Windows 7's touchy-feely capabilities.
This model comes with a four-cell battery, which should be good for at least a few hours of operation. However, you can toss a spare six-cell battery into your cart for $49, a surprisingly low price. That's something to consider if you travel a lot.
I've actually had some hands-on time (pun intended) with the IdeaPad, which you can read about over at Business Hacks. You should also check out this guy's S10-3t fan site, home to all kinds of optimization tips and how-to videos. (Performance is not this Netbook's strong suit, but the site offers many ways to improve it.)
I guess a comparison between the IdeaPad and the iPad are inevitable, especially since I'm now using both. Although they're almost completely different animals, my Cheapskate logic goes like this: the IdeaPad does a lot more (it's a bona fide computer, after all) for $100 less than the base iPad.
I'm not sure when the coupon code will expire, so if you agree this is too good a tablet deal to pass up, I'd jump on it.