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Get a 17-inch Toshiba laptop for $350

Shopping for a desktop replacement? Toshiba's big, beautiful Satellite doesn't have a ton of horsepower, but it's more than up to the basics. There is, however, a rebate.

It's not perfect, but it's still a 17-inch desktop replacement for $350!

If you missed out on Walmart's recent $348 Toshiba laptop, fear not: Buy.com has an almost identical Toshiba Satellite L355-S7905 for $349.95, with free shipping.

That's a pretty jaw-dropping price, but there are a couple caveats. First, the out-the-door price is $399.95; you'll have to wait 8 weeks or so on a $50 mail-in rebate [PDF].

Second, this is a refurbished system, so the warranty expires after 90 days. You can extend it to one year for $60, but at that point you might be better off with a new model.

Finally, I don't love the Toshiba's 2.16GHz Intel Celeron processor. (Celerons are notoriously pokey.) At least the remaining specs are solid, including 3GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and a SuperMulti DVD drive.

Oh, and that glorious 17-inch LCD, which has a native resolution of 1,440 x 900 (that's better than 720p, if you prefer to think in HDTV terms).

Alas, there's no Webcam, and the OS is Vista Home Basic. You can always upgrade to Windows 7 when the time comes, but there's no free upgrade included here.

So, yeah, this deal definitely has a few compromises. On the other hand, I continue to be blown away that you can get a 17-inch desktop replacement for just $350. A year ago, you'd have paid twice that.

And make no mistake, the Satellite has plenty of horsepower for everyday computing. Indeed, it's faster and way better equipped than your average Netbook, which sells for about the same price.

While you're mulling that over, keep in mind that the rebate offer expires in two days (Sunday, Sept. 6). Have a great holiday weekend, and I'll see you back here on Tuesday!