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Laptops

Get an Acer Aspire Switch 10 hybrid PC for $229

Normally $349, this budget system goes from laptop to tablet and back again with an easy magnetic connector.

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"Mr. Data, prepare to separate the saucer section." Acer

It's a laptop. No it's a tablet! It's two, two, two computers in one!

In other words, it's a hybrid. And very often those jacks-of-two-trades are a master of none. Today's deal, however, appears to rate pretty well on both fronts.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, the Microsoft Store has the Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-012-12L7 Signature Edition for $229 shipped. Regular price: $349. Price elsewhere: $299.

The aptly named Switch is a 10.1-inch Windows 8.1 system with a screen that can pop free from its keyboard, effectively shrugging off laptop duty in favor of tablet goodness.

This happens via a nifty magnetic "snap hinge" that allows for four different display modes, something you typically see with convertible systems, not hybrids. Nice.

Other specs include an Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of solid-state storage, and a battery that should last you at least 6 hours, at least according to CNET's review of the Switch 10 . That review praised the system's keyboard, touchpad and aforementioned versatility, but dinged its top-heavy design and limited storage. You can add more via microSD or USB, of course, but I'm bummed to see the keyboard has only a single USB port, and it's USB 2.0. Why, Acer, why?

Still, for $229 out the door, this is a pretty sweet system, especially for someone who doesn't need a ton of power but does want a roomy tablet with a keyboard dock. Plus, you get a one-year Office 365 Personal subscription! (It says so right in the description, even though there's a separate Buy option that would seem to suggest it costs extra.)

Thoughts?

Bonus deal: Still haven't pulled the trigger on an Amazon Prime subscription? Your patience has paid off: Tomorrow only, Amazon will be offering a 1-year Prime membership for $72. (Remember, the deal kicks in tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 24. Right now it's just the regular signup page.) Regular price: $99. Sorry, current subscribers, this is for newcomers only. (Newcomers can also watch all 10 episodes of Amazon's newly feted series "Transparent," again tomorrow only, even without a subscription.)

As I've noted many times before, Prime is all kinds of awesome, with perks including free 2-day shipping on nearly everything, an exclusive streaming deal with HBO and a growing library of Spotify-style streaming music.