Get a refurbished HP 14-inch laptop with Windows 7 for $339.99 shipped
Not interested in Windows 8? Here's you chance to score a powerful Core i5 Windows 7 system for cheap. Plus: a screaming-good bonus deal.
Don't like Windows 8? Too bad: You're stuck with it, at least if you're shopping for a new PC.
Ah, but if you're willing to go the refurb route, you can still find one running the comfortable old shoe that is Windows 7.
To wit: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Secondipity has the refurbished HP Pavilion dv6-7027NR laptop for $339.99 shipped. And as an added bonus, Secondipity will donate a portion of the purchase to the charity DonorsChoose.org.
This is a 14-inch laptop with an Intel Core-i5 processor, 6GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, a DVD burner, and an LED-backlit screen. I've always found this screen size to be just about perfect for desktop and mobile work alike: not too big, not too small. Indeed, the Pavilion is just large enough to include a full numeric keypad, a huge boon to anyone who works with numbers.
The ta-daaa feature, of course, is Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. See you in hell, Metro!
The Pavilion includes three USB ports, though it's not stated anywhere if any of them are USB 3.0. Also, don't expect blazing-fast graphics: an integrated Intel HD 4000 with shared video memory powers the graphics subsystem. It should be fine for everyday stuff, but you probably won't be playing BioShock Infinite on this machine.
Still, that $339.99 price tag is pretty solid for a laptop with a Core i5, er, core, and keep in mind your Windows 7 options are getting fewer and farther between.
Like most refurbished laptops, this one comes with a 90-day warranty.
Bonus deal: For a wholly different computing experience, check this out: DealFisher has the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T for $449.99 shipped. (It sells elsewhere for at least $600.) It's a 1.6-pound Windows 8 tablet with a keyboard dock, a 64GB SSD, an 11.6-inch touch screen, dual cameras, and AT&T-powered 4G LTE! (Service costs extra, natch.) Not sure what performance is like with an Atom processor, but I'm mighty tempted to find out!
Bonus deal No. 2: This is not so much a deal as it your chance to win something. Between now and May 21, you can. It's the CNET Get Hooked Up Sweepstakes, and all you have to do is vote for what you consider to be the Z10's coolest feature. Cool!
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