I've been waiting for this. I just hope there's enough inventory to go around.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, the Microsoft Store has the Asus ZenBook UX305FA 13.3-inch Ultrabook for $599 shipped. That's after applying coupon code PCGRAD15 at checkout. (Depending on where you live, you may be on the hook for sales tax as well.)
I mention inventory because this ZenBook seems like it's constantly sold out. And with good reason: It's a startlingly good deal, even at the regular $699 price. I've yet to see it sell for a dollar less, so I'm seriously jazzed about this.
The UX305 made waves a couple months ago for delivering robust specs for hundreds less than competing models. Those specs include 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a native screen resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels. And that screen has a matte finish -- in your face, glare!
Other noteworthy features include a fanless design, three USB 3.0 ports (one of which can rapid-charge your phone), up to 10 hours of battery life and a chassis that measures just under half an inch thick.
Also, because this is a Signature Edition, it comes without the smattering of Asus shovelware you'd normally have to uninstall.
I do have a few qualms. First, no backlit keys, a feature I've come to really appreciate on the Samsung Ultrabook this will be replacing. Second, the built-in speakers are pretty terrible, though if you plug in headphones you'll be treated to an audio subsystem from no less than Bang & Olufsen (in your face, Beats!).
If it sounds like I know the UX305 pretty well, it's because I recently reviewed it. Spoiler alert: loved it, even with the aforementioned qualms.
And for $599? Ye, gods, yes.
Bonus deal: If the letters "DIY" fill you with unbridled enthusiasm, here's a deal you won't want to miss: The Humble Maker Book Bundle lets you name your own price for a collection of "Make" and other DIY-oriented e-books. Or pay at least $15 to net a much larger collection. The books are available in ePub, Mobi and PDF formats, so you can read them on the device(s) of your choice.
Bonus deal: Game time! While you're visiting the Humble Store, grab Shadow Warrior (PC/Mac/Linux) for just $5.99. I have extremely fond memories of the 3D Realms original, which was kind of like an Asian-influenced Duke Nukem. But unlike the colossally bad remake of that classic, the totally new Shadow Warrior (released in late 2013) has earned high marks from critics and players alike. It sells for $39.99 on Steam (which, incidentally, is where you'll redeem your key).