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Get a loaded Lenovo laptop for $399

Normally $649, but with a coupon code chopping the price to below $400, the Lenovo G550 offers ridiculously good value--and a spreadsheet-friendly numeric keypad to boot.

For less than $400, the business-savvy Lenovo G550 features a full-size numeric keypad.

In the market for a new laptop for home, work, or school? Lenovo has the nicely appointed G550-29582CU for $399 (plus sales tax in some states) shipped.

That's after applying coupon code USPG550CU, which expires after 700 uses--but still seemed to be active as of this morning.

Whenever I find a notebook selling for under $400, I start looking for compromises: a slow processor, a short warranty, Vista Home Basic, that kind of thing.

The G550 seems pretty compromise-free. In addition to its dual-core, 2GHz Pentium T4200 processor, it sports a 250GB hard drive, a 15.6-inch LED-backlit screen, a DVD burner, and Vista Home Premium.

Other goodies include a Webcam, an HDMI output, and a six-cell battery.

Lenovo backs all that with a one-year warranty on parts and labor (including the battery). You're also eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 7 when the time comes.

Alas, you can't customize the configuration, and I couldn't find any information on the G550's size or weight. In fact, the site has no detailed specs at all. (Seriously, Lenovo?)

With a little detective work, however, I learned that the system weighs about 5.9 pounds and measures 14.9 inches wide by 9.6 inches long by 1.4 inches thick. That extra width is to accommodate a full-size numeric keypad--good news for number-crunchers.

This model normally sells for $649, so to get out the door with it for $399 is mighty nice. Definitely worth a look!