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Good heavens, we are all spoiled rotten.
Information at our fingertips, computing powerhouses in our pockets, laptops for $129.
Think about this last for a second. A mere 25 years ago, an IBM ThinkPad would have cost you $2,375 (or around $4,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars). And it would have been a heavy, bulky slowpoke with a small, grayscale screen.
Just 20 years ago, a color laptop -- the Gateway Solo, for example -- cost over $6,000 (inflation-adjusted). Ten years ago, a Dell XPS cost around $3,300. Not that you couldn't buy a laptop for less, but it's easy to forget how expensive they used to be.
This is the machine you buy for a kid who needs a laptop, the one who's heading off to middle school in the fall or needs something a little better than the aging hand-me-down you bought four years ago.
It's no powerhouse, but it's powerful enough, with an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM (one would expect 2GB at this price point) and 16GB of expandable storage.
Whoa, that's not much, right? Keep in mind this is a Chromebook, so it's designed to store schoolwork and other documents in Google's cloud. That said, you can easily (and inexpensively) devote one of the N22's two USB 3.0 ports to a full-time flash drive -- like this SanDisk 32GB Ultra Fit drive for $14.39. (Don't get me started on how cheap that is.)
Lenovo packs in a few other amenities as well, including a webcam that can rotate up and down, a water-resistant keyboard and a battery that's good for up to 10 hours of runtime. The N22 also offers Bluetooth 4.0 and all the Wi-Fis: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. It weighs 2.8 pounds.
Not too shabby for $129, am I right? The one caveat I have is printing: Your student will almost certainly need to do some, so you'll need to make sure you have a Google Cloud Print-compatible printer. (See "How to print from a Chromebook" to learn more.)
Bonus deal: Game time! If you never played the Mass Effect series, you missed on some truly epic action-RPG sci-fi goodness. You also saved yourself a boatload of money, because for a limited time, Cdkeys has the Mass Effect Trilogy (PC) for $5.19. Over at Steam, just the first two games alone would run you $40. (Mass Effect 3 isn't even available there.)
This deal nets you redemption keys for Origin, though, not Steam -- meaning you'll need an Origin account and the client software.
The three games debuted in 2007, 2010 and 2012, and all earned top marks from GameSpot (among other sites). Check out this review of Mass Effect 3, just to get the flavor.
I don't know how much longer the trilogy will be available at this price (I first spotted it yesterday), but I do know it's a killer deal on three phenomenal PC games. Don't miss it!