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Laptops

Get a Lenovo Flex 2 14-inch convertible for $599

Normally $900-plus, this Haswell Core i7-equipped system goes from laptop to almost-tablet with a simple twist.

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The Lenovo Flex 2 looks like an ordinary laptop... Lenovo

Anyone in the market for a new laptop might feel hesitant knowing that Windows 10 is due later this year (probably October). But do you really want to wait 7 to 8 months before replacing the pokey old machine you're using now? And, anyway, Windows 10 will be a free upgrade, so why not take the plunge now?

Especially when there's a deal like this: the Lenovo Flex 2 14-inch dual-mode laptop for $599 shipped. That's after applying the coupon code USP153166, as shown right on the product page. Regular price for this model: $919. (As with any big purchase like this, check for cashback options. Ebates currently offers 3 percent back, for example, an extra savings of about $18.)

The Flex 2 lives up to its name by switching between two modes: standard laptop and "standing" tablet. It's not the tent mode you see with some models, but rather this:

lenovo-flex-2-stand-mode.jpg
...but then swivels around to become this. Lenovo

Surely it folds all the way back for full-on tablet duty as well? It does not, and with a 14-inch screen, you probably wouldn't want it to. (If you did want that, one of Lenovo's Yoga models would probably be a better fit.)

I suspect most users will leverage this primarily as a laptop, for which it's ideally suited: 2GHz Core i7 Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1,920x1,080-pixel touchscreen, and 500GB of HDD storage (assisted by an 8GB SSD for faster booting and shutdown).

Other specs include a backlit keyboard (woot!), three USB ports (though only one of them is USB 3.0 -- why, Lenovo, why?!), a six-hour battery, and a 4.2-pound travel weight. That's not especially light, but keep in mind this is a 14-inch convertible, not a 12-inch Ultrabook.

CNET hasn't reviewed this model, and I haven't found a ton of reviews outside of Lenovo's own product page. Those average out to 3.7 stars out of 5, and I have to admit some of the complaints ("I feel like it will break," "It was heavier than I thought it would be") strike me as just plain weird.

Is this the ideal laptop for everyone? No such thing. But it's a roomy and powerful convertible priced hundreds less than similar models, and therefore worth a look. Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: It's Tablet Thursday! For a limited time, and while supplies last (which may not be long, knowing these guys), the Microsoft Store has the HP Stream 7 Signature Edition tablet for $79, shipped. Regular price: $99. This full-on Windows 8.1 tablet is notable not just for its junkware-free OS and IPS screen, but also its inclusion of Office 365 Personal (a $70 value). Pretty smokin' deal, you ask me.