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Get a Dell Inspiron 11z 11.6-inch laptop for $299.99

This Core i3 system is a little low on RAM, but it's still an impressive deal on a compact, lightweight laptop.

The Dell Inspiron 11z is mighty attractive at $299.99 shipped.
The Dell Inspiron 11z is mighty attractive at $299.99 shipped. Dell

So that was fun yesterday, doing that guest spot on CNBC -- right up until the feed mysteriously went black. Conspiracy theorists, have at it: Was there some overzealous Apple fanboy manning the broadcast, not liking my comments about the new iPad? It's funny how many people suggested that possibility.

Anyway, if you're looking for further proof that the iPad is a little out-of-whack, price-wise, check this out: While supplies last, Dell has the Inspiron 11z (1121) 11.6-inch laptop for $299.99 shipped (plus sales tax in some states).

That's a pretty amazing price for a one-inch-thick, three-pound portable with a Core i3 processor. In fact, it's making me feel a little sad about the heavier, slower HP Pavilion dm1z I paid $375 for a couple months ago.

That said, the Inspiron 11z is an older model, with fewer bells and whistles and slightly lesser specs. For example, it comes with just 2GB of RAM. That might hamstring the processor a bit, though as long as you keep multitasking to a minimum (i.e. no more than 2-3 programs running simultaneously), it should be sufficient.

Of course, you could always pop in another 2GB module (for all of about $15), but keep in mind that because the 11z comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, the system can address only 3.5GB. (It's still a worthwhile upgrade, though.)

Other key specs include a 250GB hard drive, six-cell battery, and 1,366 by 768-pixel LCD. Unsurprisingly, there's no optical drive.

In short, this is an affordable portable PC for users who don't want to schlep something big and bulky and heavy, but do want to check e-mail, update Facebook, do some word processing, and so on.

Bonus deal: Speaking of iPads, if you're a game-loving owner of one, you'll love this: Today only, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has a Ten One Fling iPad Joystick 2-pack for $7.99, plus $4.99 for shipping. These typically sell for $19.99 apiece. Here's my review of the Fling, which really is an awesome accessory for action games.