Wal-Mart beats Best Buy with $298 laptop

Wal-Mart undercuts Best Buy by $1 by offering a $298 Compaq Presario laptop.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers

Is $299 too much for a laptop? Wal-Mart has answered Best Buy's $299 laptop challenge with a $298 offer.

$298 Wal-Mart laptop
Wal-Mart's $298 laptop. Wal-Mart

"For the first time, a 3GB memory laptop from a well-known brand has ventured below $300," Wal-Mart said in a statement Thursday.

Starting July 26 (this coming Sunday), Wal-Mart will begin selling a $298 Compaq Presario notebook (CQ60-419WM) with the following specifications: a 15.6-inch display, 3GB of memory, a 160GB hard-disk drive, a CD-DVD drive, and Windows Vista pre-loaded. The laptop will use a 2.10 GHz AMD Sempron SI-42 processor and Nvidia GeForce 8200M graphics.

The $1 discount gets you a Compaq-branded laptop versus the Acer (subsequently sold out) from Best Buy. And the Compaq bests Acer with 3GB of memory versus 2GB.

A Wal-Mart blog said that quantities "are limited and will begin selling at 8 a.m. on Sunday, July 26," adding parenthetically, "May want to pass that along because we expect this one will be quite popular."

Wal-Mart will also begin offering, on the same day, a 15.6-inch Acer ultrathin laptop for $548. The AS5810-4657 model will sport Windows Vista Home Premium (qualified for free Windows 7 upgrade); an Intel ULV (ultra low voltage) SU2700 processor; 3GB memory; a 320GB hard-disk drive; and "all-day" eight-hour battery life, according to a Wal-Mart statement.

In August, Wal-Mart will sell the new 10.1-inch HP Mini 110-131NR Netbook too.