Get a 17-inch desktop replacement for $419.97

Acer's nicely equipped, Windows 7-powered laptop is a bit big for travel, but it's a great match for your desk. One small hitch: the 90-day warranty.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
What's blue, refurbished, and runs Windows 7? This $420 laptop with the 17-inch screen. TigerDirect

I know plenty of people who are looking to replace aging Windows XP desktops. My advice: choose a so-called "desktop replacement" laptop. These systems provide roomy screens and full-size keyboards, yet they can still move around the house with relative ease.

TigerDirect has a seriously solid deal on a refurbished desktop replacement: the Acer Aspire AS7540-1284 17-inch laptop for $419.97 shipped.

Yes, we've seen models in this price range before--but not quite as nicely equipped as this one. For starters, the Aspire's mammoth 17.3-inch LCD isn't powered by some wimpy Intel graphics chip; it rocks ATI Radeon HD 4200 hardware. It's integrated, yes, not discrete, but it should provide enough horsepower for a little gaming, a little video editing, that kind of thing.

Other specs include a 2GHz AMD Athlon II dual-core processor, 3GB of RAM (expandable to 4GB), a 320GB hard drive, and even an HDMI output for connecting to HDTVs.

The Aspire features a glossy blue lid, not the basic black you usually find in low-priced systems like this one. And, arguably best of all, it comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, not XP.

Because it's a refurb, the warranty expires after 90 days, a not-unexpected catch. As usual, I choose to see the upside: any problem that may have existed has almost certainly been corrected.

Regular Cheapskate readers know that TigerDirect deals tend to sell out or disappear quickly, so if this looks like a winner to you (it sure does to me), act fast.

Bonus deal: The Energizer Energi To Go AP1500 iPhone battery back originally sold for $80, but Newegg has it for just $12.99 shipped! My only complaint is that it necessarily replaces whatever case you're currently using. That hassle aside, it's an incredible deal.