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Most laptops are fragile. One hard bump or accidental brush with gravity and you could be looking at a cracked screen -- or worse. Not good news for students and other folks who lead, er, intense lifestyles.
Sure, you could buy a ruggedized, battlefield-ready system, but it's likely to be heavy, clunky and expensive.
Or not, if you hop on this Woot deal: the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E for $269.99, plus $5 for shipping. Unlike most Woot stuff, it's new not refurbished. Like most Woot stuff, it's available today only and while supplies last. Regular price for this configuration: $799.
Just to be clear, this is not the Chromebook version of this machine. In fact, it runs Windows 10 Professional. The latter nets you some decidedly business-oriented extras, including remote-access services and Bitlocker drive encryption.
What's more, the Yoga 11E offers some ruggedization features, including a rubber bumper along the top and reinforced corners, hinges and brackets. The Dragontrail-glass screen is six times stronger than conventional glass, according to Lenovo, and promises resistance against scratches and cracks.
If there's a downside to all that, it's more bulk and heft than you typically see in an 11.6-inch laptop. The system weighs 3.3 pounds and measures nearly 0.9 inch thick.
Beyond that, this is a fairly standard convertible, meaning it can leverage its 360-degree hinge for tablet mode, tent mode, and presentation mode.
Noteworthy specs include a 128GB solid-state drive, 4GB of RAM, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, stereo speakers and, of course, a touchscreen. The processor is the only weak link in the chain, an Intel Celeron N2940 that's likely to prove a little pokey for higher-end apps.
CNET hasn't covered this model (though you can gain some insight by looking at), and I've found few reviews elsewhere.
There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all PC, but if you're looking for something that can take a beating, fold from laptop to tablet and back again and give you full-blown Windows computing for well under $300, this looks like a nice option. Your thoughts?
Bonus deal: Still not convinced a music-subscription service is right for you? Scrounge up a buck and you can make an informed decision: Rhapsody is once again offering a three-month Premier subscription for $1. After that it'll run you $9.99 per month, or $95.88 (equivalent to $7.99/month) if you prepay for the year. In fact, there's a Valentine's Day special that shaves that price even further, giving you (or your hon-bun) a year of Rhapsody for $85.
Bonus deal 2: Not along ago Surface Pro line. My verdict: no, it makes no sense. But the Surface 3 is smaller, lighter and more affordable, meaning it's a smarter buy if you want an actual tablet -- one that can run Windows software and pair with a keyboard cover. Plus, it's on sale: For a limited time, the Microsoft Store has the Surface 3 tablet for $399 shipped, which is $100 off the regular price. That's for the 2GB model with 64GB of storage -- an extra $100 bumps you to 4GB and 128GB. (Actually, all the models are on sale for $100 off.) Want to dodge sales tax? Nebraska Furniture Mart (no, I'm not making this up) has the baseline Surface 3 for $398 shipped., focusing primarily on the larger, heavier, more expensive