A quick housekeeping note: I'll be on vacation tomorrow (Friday, July 8). See you back here on Monday!
Much as I'm loving tablets these days, it's getting harder and harder to justify spending $500-plus on one when you can get an entire laptop for hundreds less. Apples and oranges? Maybe so, but when it comes to productivity, I think laptops still win the day.
While supplies last, TigerDirect has the refurbished Acer Aspire AS5552-3691 15.6-inch laptop for $319.99, plus around $9 for shipping. Make sure to note the "while supplies last" part, because at that price, I don't expect they'll last long.
Indeed, that's one of the best deals I've ever seen on a dual-core laptop. Its 2.2GHz AMD Athlon II P340 processor may be on the entry-level side, but with 4GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and Radeon HD 4250 graphics, the system has ample horsepower for everyday computing tasks.
If there's a downside to the Aspire's otherwise solid feature set, it's the 15.6-inch display, which tops out at 1,366 by 768 resolution. That's a little low for a screen of this size, though I don't think it'll impact your productivity.
Other specs include 802.11n Wi-Fi, a DVD reader/burner, three USB ports, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. The system has pretty much everything a student or home user needs.
Except for a one-year warranty. Like most refurbished laptops, this one is covered for just 90 days. That's often the price you pay for a low price. I think it's worth the risk; let me know if you disagree.
Bonus deal: Another winner from TigerDirect: the refurbished TomTom XXL530S 5-inch GPS for $69.99, plus $4 for shipping. That's the lowest price I've ever seen on a 5-inch nav system. Again, the warranty is just 90 days--but, man, that's a hard deal to pass up.