CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. How we test computers

Get a Dell 17.3-inch desktop replacement for $299.99

From the Cheapskate: Yep, it's a big screen for a small price, with old-fangled (but still desirable) features like a DVD drive. Plus: last year's smartphone, this year's steal.

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
3 min read

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.

It's been a long while since I wrote about a desktop replacement. Mostly I'm all about the super-slim laptops, like the Acer Ultrabook from a couple days ago.

But some folks prefer to go big -- big screen, roomy keyboard, huge hard drive. You know, the kind of PC that takes up semi-permanent residence on a desk and offers a comfortable -- rather than cramped -- computing experience.


Like this one: Today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished Dell Inspiron 17-5755 for $299.99, plus $5 for shipping. It's available in your choice of some very snazzy colors, though blue is already sold out.

The low-end version of this laptop sold for $450 when it debuted about 18 months ago. So instead of a dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive (which still would have been decent at this price point), you're getting an AMD A8 quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB drive.

The Inspiron 17 also includes a DVD burner (how quaint!), three USB ports (only one of them USB 3.0, alas) and a 17.3-inch screen. This last has a native resolution of 1,600 x 900, which some might consider low. (I don't.) It's powered by Radeon R5 graphics, a decidedly entry-level option. Can you watch full-screen video? Sure. Can you play high-end games? Probably not, at least not at maximum resolution.

Although it was originally configured with Windows 8.1, these come with Windows 10 Home preloaded, so you don't have to deal with the upgrade hassle.

CNET hasn't reviewed this model, but over at PCMag it scored an Editors' Choice -- and that was based on the entry-level configuration (which, again, was $150 higher).

If there's a downside, it's the same as with most refurbished laptops: a 90-day warranty. (Another $55 buys you a full year courtesy of Squaretrade, just FYI.)

Me, I think $300 for a large, reasonably powerful desktop replacement is pretty sweet -- and I love the color options! Your thoughts?


Clip those cables!


Bonus deal: A scant eight months ago, the Google Nexus 5x offered a high-end smartphone experience for a rather amazing sub-$400 price. Today, it's an outright steal: Daily Steals has the Google Nexus 5x for $259.99 shipped when you apply coupon code cheapskate10 at checkout. It's new, unlocked and compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks (helloooo, RingPlus!)

CNET said, "the LG-built Google Nexus 5X is a fantastic pick for people who want a relatively small, lightweight smartphone with excellent value for money." And that was based on a $379 price tag.

Bonus deal 2: Tired of cord clutter? There are plenty of cheap DIY fixes, but why not go for a commercial solution if it's also cheap? Like this one: Geekbay (via Amazon) has the Onme Cable Clips 6-piece cable management system for $3.99, shipped free for Prime subscribers. You get two black, two brown and two white clips, which can stick to the back of your desk or wherever to route cables neatly and efficiently. Four bucks out the door? Uh, yes, please.