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I'm often asked for cheap laptop recommendations. Whoops, let me punctuate that properly: I'm often asked for cheap-laptop recommendations. (Otherwise you might think the recommendations themselves are cheap. Hyphenation is important!)
Today, I can think of no better cheap laptop than this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Lenovo Ideapad 110S for $109.99 shipped (plus tax). If supplies run out on Best Buy's site, you might try eBay, where it's also listed at the same price. Normally it sells for $199.99.
If this seems familiar, you might be thinking of the Ideapad 100S, which I dubbed the best cheap laptop of 2015. What's different about the 110S? Aside from being cheaper, at least during this sale, it actually solves two of my big problems with its predecessor.
First, the 110S has a USB 3.0 port (along with a pair of 2.0 ports). The 100S was USB 2.0-only -- something you could live with, but a bummer all the same.
Second, the touchpad on the 110S supports gestures, most notably two-finger scrolling. With the 100S, you pretty much had to use a mouse to preserve your scrolling sanity.
Beyond that, the specs are pretty much the same: slow processor, limited RAM and storage (2GB and 32GB, though the latter is easy enough to expand via flash drive or microSD) and mediocre battery life (courtesy of a mere two-cell battery).
However, you do get an HDMI output and, better still, a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal -- which has a value of $70 all by itself.
Want to learn more? Read CNET's review of the Ideapad 110S. Conclusion: "The Lenovo Ideapad 110S is a simple but capable budget laptop for those with basic needs and who don't want to make the Chromebook leap." That review -- just a week old -- was based on the $199.99 price tag.
But "basic needs" is the key phrase, there: I recommend this only for tasks like Skype, podcast recording, everyday Web stuff and, of course, Office-powered productivity.
I hope that both the sale and stock last long enough for you to score one of these!
Bonus deal: Next time you're in your car, take a peek at the stereo area. Is there a CD slot that's going mostly unused? Would mounting your phone over it get in the way of other controls? If the answers are "yes" and "no," here's a killer deal: the Mpow red CD-slot universal smartphone mount for $8.99 when you apply coupon code DL7JSSE3 at checkout. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers.
I like the splash of color, even if your phone ultimately blocks most of it.
It's just my $0.02, but I think a car-mount is absolutely essential. If a CD-slot design won't work for you, look for one that can go on your dashboard, clip to an air vent or stick to the windshield.