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Today I bring you a tale of two laptops -- one small, one large.
The small one is a Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 for $129.99. That's after applying a discount code and waiting on a $50 mail-in rebate -- the latter not a popular option around these parts.
On paper, it's a pretty amazing deal: The Inspiron has a touchscreen and a hinged design that affords tent and tablet modes, among others. It even has a USB 3.0 port and HDMI output and comes in your choice of spiffy colors.
But, hmm, the specs. With an Intel Celeron processor and just 2GB of RAM, this is going to deliver some pretty pokey computing. It may be fine for just the basics, but I suspect most users would quickly get aggravated by the performance. And, again, I know most of you really dislike rebates.
So then I found this: Groupon has the refurbished HP 17-x061nr 17.3-inch laptop for $319.99 shipped. And if you leverage Ebates' 6-percent rebate on Groupon purchases, your final, effective price will be right around $300. This HP sells new for $460 at Quill, $520 at Staples and so on.
Intended as a desktop replacement (because, let's face it, it's a behemoth), the 17-x061nr (which Groupon dubs the "Turbo," so I'll use that moniker from here on out) sports a decent 2.3GHz Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. I usually prefer solid-state drives, but sometimes greater capacity is preferable to greater speed.
The 17.3-inch display runs at 1,600x900 pixels, which is sufficient for its size. In an ideal world, sure, 1,920x1,080, but I think it's the rare user who will miss those extra pixels.
The Turbo also has one of those old-fangled DVD drives, great if you still trade in old-fangled DVDs.
Basically, if you have an aging desktop you're looking to retire, this might make a fine replacement. HP offers a 90-day warranty, which should be ample time to suss out any major issues. Oh, and for what it's worth, over at Staples the Turbo earned a 4.3-star average from over 125 buyers.
Bonus deal: Calling all budding moviemakers! Vizzywig is a powerful editing app for iPhone and iPad; it originally sold for $19.99. For a limited time, you can score Vizzywig (iOS) for free. That's for the original, 2014, version. The 2017 update sells for $99! But even the original is mega-powerful, offering features such as multi-camera video capture, editing while filming, a built-in audio meter and much more.