Desktops

Get a VR-ready HP Pavilion desktop for $649.99

Normally $800, this compact PC has ample horsepower for anything you might want to throw at it. Plus: Lego PC games for under $4 each! And a $5 fix for backseat complainers. Yep, you heard me.

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.


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HP

It's been a long while since I shared a deal on a desktop. Why? Because I continue to feel like no one wants or buys them anymore. But then everyone's all, like, "What? I totally want a desktop! Stop hating on desktops, desktop-hater."

I will say that if you're itching to buy an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift VR system, you're going to need a powerful machine. And as someone who occasionally dabbles in video editing, a fast processor and high-end video card are a must.

To that end: For a limited time, HP is offering the Pavilion 560-p015HVR desktop for $649.99 shipped when you apply promo code HVR200 at checkout. Regular price: $799.99. Oh, and don't forget to investigate your cashback options. Ebates, for example, offers a 4-percent rebate on HP purchases. That would bring your effective total down to $623.99.

It's hard to tell from the photo, but the Pavilion stands just 14.3 inches tall and measures 6.5 inches across -- so it's extremely compact. Indeed, this tower is probably better suited to living on your desk than below it.

Despite its size, the system packs some impressive hardware: a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB solid-state drive and a 1TB hard drive, and, of particular interest to the VR-minded, a Radeon RX480 video card.

Also included: 802.11-all-the-letters Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, oodles of USB ports (including one USB Type-C!), and even one of those DVD-burner things. Here's a full rundown of the specs.

HP bundles a wired mouse and keyboard (blech), but otherwise this strikes me as nicely equipped system for the price. Indeed, it's still pretty rare to find a VR-ready desktop for under $1,000.

Your thoughts? Are you still in the market for desktops like this one? If so... why?

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Tt Games

Bonus deal: Calling all parents! Do your kids a solid and snatch up Lego Avengers (for Windows) for $3.79 and Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (also Windows), also for $3.79. Both are sold by CDKeys.com, both result in digital keys you'll redeem on Steam. Prices on Steam proper: $39.99 and $29.99, respectively.

These games are action- and puzzle-oriented, with lots of clever jokes and zero blood. And, hey, your new desktop will run them without breaking a sweat!

Bonus deal No. 2: I like simple, inexpensive solutions to big problems. Like the person in your backseat who needs to charge their iPhone or iPad -- but your charger cord won't reach.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, A4C has an MFi-certified 2.1-amp Lightning cigarette-lighter car charger for $4.95 shipped. Why this charger over countless others? Simple: It has a 9-foot coiled cable.