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Laptops

Back-to-school laptop deal: The Lenovo Yoga 710 for $550

That's $250 off the regular price and at least $100 less than you'll pay elsewhere. Plus: A complete Raspberry Pi 3 kit for $60.

lenovo-yoga-710-laptop-mode

"Laptop" is just one of the Yoga 710's four display modes.

Lenovo

Feels like summer just started, but here we are planning the next school year already.

For example: Kids need a laptop for homework and whatnot? Today's deal might be the perfect fit, albeit with one caveat.

For a limited time, Best Buy has the Lenovo Yoga 710 15.6-inch 2-in-1 laptop for $550 shipped (plus tax). It normally sells for $800, and the best price I've seen elsewhere is at least $100 more.

See it a Best Buy

The caveat: Is a 15.6-inch laptop suitable for a student? If most of the work is being done around the house, then absolutely. That's not to say the Yoga isn't portable; it's reasonably backpack-friendly at 4.5 pounds and 0.7 inch thick. But I think a college student, someone who's always on the go, might be happier with a 13.3-inch machine that's a bit smaller and lighter.

That's also just my two cents. College students might very well appreciate the Yoga's versatility: Its 360-degree hinge allows it to quickly transition between laptop, tablet, tent and stand modes. (Quick survey: Does anyone actually use those latter two modes? And while we're at it, is there any real practical value in a 15-inch tablet?)

Wherever and however it gets used, the 710 is a nicely appointed system. It's powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. This last is the one thing I recommend whenever anyone asks me for laptop suggestions; an SSD makes a huge difference in performance, even if it means settling for less storage space. I'll take a 256GB SSD over a 1TB hard drive every day of the week.

Other than that, you get a full-HD touchscreen, a fingerprint reader and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. CNET hasn't reviewed the Yoga 710 (but found a lot to like about the similar Yoga 720). However, over 1,700 (!) Best Buy customers rated it 4.4 stars on average. The biggest complaint: The right shift key is too far to the right; the up-arrow key gets in its way. (Touch-typists may indeed find that aggravating.)

I think Lenovo makes some of the better laptops these days, and $550 is a very solid deal on a model as speedy and versatile as this one.

Your thoughts?

This whole Raspberry Pi kit is just $60.

Abox

Bonus deal: I don't know much about Raspberry Pi other than it's a tiny computer that smart people are using to do cool things.

I do know a good deal when I see one: For a limited time, Globmall has this Abox Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Ultimate Starter Kit for $60 with promo code SQSUFP4V. Regular price: $80. 

See it at Amazon

The kit includes not only the Pi 3 B Plus hardware, but also a case for it, an HDMI cable, a Samsung 32GB Class 10 microSD card, a USB Type-A/Type-C card reader and two copper heat sinks.

Here's where it gets interesting: The kit has a 4.9-star average rating. Fakespot says all 18 reviews are "low quality" (meaning potentially fake), but ReviewMeta says only one is suspicious.

That's... a head-scratcher. As I've noted before, questionable reviews don't indicate a bad product. I read many of them myself; only a couple made me wonder about their legitimacy. Fortunately, Globmall backs this with a 12-month warranty -- and I suspect that if you're going to encounter a problem, it'll be within the first few weeks. (That's true of most computers, in my experience.)


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