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I know it feels like summer is just getting started, but it's almost time to start thinking about back-to-school stuff -- including the laptop your kid is going to need.
Today's deal is a rerun. When I first shared it back in March, it was $20 cheaper -- but it was also an open-box deal, which I know is turnoff for some buyers. So here's your chance to go new.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Lenovo Ideapad 100s 11.6-inch laptop for $149.99 shipped, plus tax.
This is my favorite sub-$200 laptop (and, in this case, my favorite sub-$150 laptop) for several reasons. First up: it's adorable, all thin and light (0.7 inch, 2.2 pounds) with a candy-red shell. (If you'd rather have it in blue or white, Lenovo proper has the Ideapad 100s on sale for just $10 more.)
Second, it comes with a one-year Microsoft Office 365 Personal subscription, a $70 value. As you well know, there are plenty of free Office alternatives, but why not choose Microsoft's suite if you can get it free? Next July you can switch over to WPS Office Free or the like if you want.
Finally, battery life is really impressive: up to 8 hours, according to Lenovo. But in CNET's tests (and review), it lasted 10-11 hours in various battery-drain operations.
Needless to say, however, there are caveats. The system has a slow processor and outdated touchpad, which doesn't allow for two-finger scrolling. (Oh, Lenovo...) What's more, it has no USB 3.0 ports, only a pair of USB 2.0. And one of those ports will inevitably power the mouse you'll want to plug in (unless you go Bluetooth). And you'll need the other to plug in a flash drive or hard drive to expand the onboard 32GB of storage. Or maybe not, what with the cloud and all.
I can't imagine any middle- or even high-school student minding these issues, or even noticing them. For $150 and change, this is really an amazing deal.
Bonus deal: Calling all parents! Although you can currently stream "Minions" for free on Netflix, Amazon will sell you the movie outright for $7.99. (That's for the digital, HD, version.) The catch: You must be an Amazon Prime subscriber. The movie sells elsewhere (and to non-Prime people) for $20.
Bonus deal 2: Calling all Trekkies! Just two short weeks until the new movie opens. Until then, feed your brain with a huge DRM-free bundle of Star Trek Magazine issues. You can pay as little as $1 to get seven issues, or pony up at least $15 to get a whopping 25. You can beam some of the proceeds to Make-A-Wish or even the charity of your choosing. The mags are delivered as PDFs, so you can read them on the device of your choice. (My two cents: A PC is best, followed by a large tablet.) Read long and prosper, fellow nerds.