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Get a Toshiba Fusion 15 convertible laptop for $469.99

From the Cheapskate: a potentially perfect back-to-school PC and proof positive that you can buy a lot of laptop for under $500. Plus two bonus deals, including a free game!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.

As you probably know, I have a penchant for cheap laptops -- like, really cheap laptops, the kind that invariably have small screens, slow processors and limited storage.

Those are fine for some folks, but I know many users would prefer something bigger, faster, better. And that's what I've got today! For a limited time, and while supplies last, Adorama has the Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15.6-inch convertible for $469 shipped.


Let's run down a few key specs, shall we? The system features an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, more than sufficient to run Windows 10 at a speedy clip. Indeed, with that kind of muscle, you should be able to keep a dozen browser tabs open without a performance hit.

And, oh, the screen: It's a 1,920-by-1,080-pixel IPS touch display that can rotate a full 360 degrees on its hinge. That means this laptop easily converts to tablet mode and also stops in between. A 15.6-inch tablet isn't super practical, but there are times when it might come in handy. More effectively, you can use it in "tent mode" or "presentation mode" for various situations.

On the storage front, it's good news and bad. Toshiba gives you a whopping 1TB of space, but it's all traditional hard drive. There's no flash storage here for extra-zippy booting and Windows operation. There's an SSD-equipped version of the Fusion, but as usual it would cost you more and leave you with considerably less space.

Everything else: all good. The Fusion 15 includes three USB ports (two 3.0 -- one of which can charge external devices even when the laptop is powered down -- and one 2.0), an HDMI output, stereo speakers and an SD card reader. The system weighs just under 5 pounds.

CNET hasn't reviewed this model, but feedback around the Web is mostly positive. Here's the only in-depth review I could find. It praised the screen and backlit keyboard (!) and dinged the plastic chassis and so-so battery life.

I think this might work well for a student or business user, as it deftly walks the line between power and portability.

Your thoughts?


Bonus deal: Mrs. Cheapskate is likely going to kill me for bringing another gadget into the house, but I can't resist. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller for $99.99, plus $5 for shipping. This is the first-generation model, but I'm not seeing any issues there. It integrates with Echo, Nest, Wink and lots of other home-automation systems. Plus, the reviews on Amazon (and other sites, such as Home Depot) are overwhelmingly positive. Speaking of which, Amazon's price on a new one is around $190.

Bonus deal 2: Game time! The Humble Bundle folks are offering indie strategy game Spacecom for free. It's DRM-free and available for Android, Linux, Mac and Windows. All you have to do is visit the Humble PC & Android Bundle 14 page and scroll down just a bit to find the offer. Supply an e-mail address and, presto, a game key will arrive in your inbox. While you're at it, check out the rest of that bundle, which includes two games I know to be awesome: Badland and Please Don't Touch Anything. (The Samsung Gear VR version of the latter is even better, just FYI.)