Here's what I've learned recently: My 11.6-inch HP Pavilion dm1z is too small. My 18.4-inch Acer Aspire is too big. I need a laptop that's right in the middle, one that's slim and light enough to be portable, but large and powerful enough to handle my daily workload.
I think I've found it. For a limited time, you can get the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 ultrabook in sapphire blue for $649 shipped (plus sales tax where applicable). That's after applying coupon code USPU42F1011 at checkout. It normally sells for $969.
Why the steep price? Because this isn't your average entry-level ultrabook. For starters, the U410 has a 14-inch LED-backlit screen, not the usual 13.3-incher. It's powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, a whopping 8GB of RAM, and a hybrid drive system: one 32GB SSD, one 500GB HDD. That means Windows should boot and run with SSD alacrity, but you still get the capacious storage afforded by a traditional hard drive. Schwing!
Speaking of Windows, the U410 comes with Windows 7 Home Premium -- now a major selling point, ironically. Wait much longer to buy an ultrabook (or any other PC) and you'll end up saddled with Windows 8. That's why I think you should buy that new PC sooner rather than later.
Other specs include a 1-megapixel Webcam, an HDMI output, and Dolby-powered stereo speakers (though don't expect miracles -- they're still tiny). At 4.2 pounds and 0.8 inch thick, the U410 isn't exactly a lightweight, but it's definitely not a back-breaker, either. To my thinking, it's juuuuust right.
The aforementioned discount code is supposed to be valid until October 19, but you know how these things go: the U410 could sell out before then, or the code could suddenly stop working. As of this writing, it's working, and the system is in stock.
Of all the ultrabook deals I've seen recently, this one offers perhaps the best mix of desirable hardware and major discount. I am soooo tempted right now. You?
Bonus deal: Today only, Giveaway of the Day has Paragon Partition Manager 12 Home Special Edition (Win) for free. Such a tool could come in handy for anyone looking to set up a dual-boot configuration, like, say, for Windows 7 and Windows 8. Sure, you can accomplish much the same thing with Windows' built-in tools, but this is easier to use and offers more features.
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