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Get an Asus 11.6-inch touch-screen laptop for $299.99

Go ahead, put your paws on the screen. You might actually like it.

The Asus Q200E is an 11.6-inch laptop with a touch screen, and a steal at $299.99.
The Asus Q200E is an 11.6-inch laptop with a touch screen -- and a steal at $299.99. Newegg

I'm starting to rethink this whole touch-screen thing.

In the past I've come down on the "meh" side of touch-screen laptops, feeling like it doesn't really add anything to the Windows experience. Nice, sure, but not really necessary.

Then, over the weekend, I was gathered around my laptop with my sister, brother-in-law, and other family members, looking at listings for rescue dogs. (Yeah, we're adopting.) And as everyone congregated, to a person they reached for the screen and tried to make the page scroll.

After I yelled at them to "stop getting fingerprints on my screen!," I realized that, yeah, when it comes to scrolling Web pages or lengthy documents, it's pretty nice to be able to flick your way through. I mean, we've all grown pretty accustomed to doing that on our tablets and phones, so why not embrace the capability on our laptops?

Especially when there's no added cost. For a limited time, and while supplies last, TigerDirect has the refurbished Asus Q200E 11.6-inch touch-screen laptop for $299.99, plus around $7 for shipping. That's after redeeming a $50 mail-in rebate (PDF).

The Q200E is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and the aforementioned touch-screen display, which supports multitouch so you can pinch and swipe to your heart's content.

It includes three USB ports (one of them USB 3.0), Wi-Fi (but no Bluetooth), Ethernet, and, of course, Windows 8. The system weighs 2.9 pounds, making it a pretty travel-friendly companion.

Because it's a refurb, your warranty expires after 90 days, which is really the only downside here. The upside is that users seem to really love it. Although CNET hasn't reviewed the Q200E, two TigerDirect customers rated it five stars, 38 Amazon customers gave it 3.9 stars (on average), and over 300 Best Buy customers gave it 4.3 stars. Incidentially, it sells new from those last two stores for $463 and $429, respectively.

The rebate offer is good until July 4, though there's no guarantee the Q200E will still be in stock by then. Indeed, with this kind of pricing, there's a good chance it won't last the morning.

If you're in the market for a compact, lightweight laptop with a touch screen (and I'm really starting to feel like that's a desirable feature), this is one of the best deals I've seen.

Bonus deal: Speaking of sweet, sweet rebate deals, Rakuten (formerly has the Fantom G-Force3 2TB external USB 3.0 hard drive for $69.99, shipped (after a $20 mail-in rebate). Even without the rebate that's a solid buy, but with it -- schwing! This stylish desktop drive is modeled in black and has overwhelmingly positive user reviews. Better still: a three-year warranty. Thanks to reader Mark for sharing this deal!

Bonus deal No. 2: The DietBet is on! And you still have a chance to sign up if you want to lose weight and take other people's money (maybe even mine -- c'mon, you know you want to). The buy-in is $35; the weight-loss requirement is four percent. My tool of choice: the free and fabulous MyFitnessPal app (Android|iOS). Stick with the math and you can't lose. I mean, you will lose. Weight. And then you'll win. See?

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