Get a dual-core Compaq laptop for $379.99 (after rebates)

This business-class Compaq packs in more power and features than you'd expect, given the price.

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
$379.99 buys you an awful lot of notebook. Amazon

In the market for a new notebook? Office Depot has a humdinger of a deal: a fully loaded dual-core Compaq Presario for $379.99 (after a pair of mail-in rebates--sorry). Shipping is free, but you may have to pay sales tax.

Highlights of this model include a 2GHz Athlon X2 QL-62 processor, 160GB hard drive, a DVD burner, and a 15.4-inch screen. It also has a six-cell battery and 5.8-pound travel weight. You get a one-year warranty and 24-7 toll-free tech support.

In other words, this system has all the computing power most people need, and it's priced, well, about the same as many Netbooks. Which begs the question: why would you buy a Netbook when you can get a full-featured laptop for the same money?

I know, I know: size and weight. If you travel a lot, I can see those being big concerns. Personally, I want the big screen, full-size keyboard, DVD drive, powerful processor, big battery--shall I go on?

Whoops, didn't mean to bring up the old Netbook-versus-notebook debate again. The fact is, this is a rockin' deal on a portable PC. Yeah, you have to deal with a pair of rebates, but $379.99, people!