Get a quad-core HP desktop for $269.99

From the Cheapskate: This stylish tower packs 8GB of RAM, a 2-terabyte hard drive and more.

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
2 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.

I haven't shared a desktop deal in many moons -- in part because I don't see them very often, and in part because I think most people use phones, tablets and laptops for their everyday computing activities.

That said, for things like games and video editing, it's hard to beat the horsepower of a tower. Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished HP Pavilion 500-424 desktop for $269.99, plus $5 for shipping. And it's a powerhouse.

Enlarge Image

Well, mostly. The Pavilion runs on a quad-core AMD A8-6410 processor, which, according to CPUBoss, is roughly equivalent to an Intel Core i5-4200. It also includes a whopping 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM and a 2-terabyte(!) hard drive. That should provide ample ooomph for most software, though you could boost performance even further by adding an SSD as a boot drive.

Something else you might want to add, but can't: a dedicated video card. That's because there's no available expansion slot to accommodate one. So you'll have to make do with the integrated AMD Radeon R5 graphics subsystem. I don't know anything about it, other than it probably won't let you crank up game graphics to maximum detail.

That said, with its decent processor, oodles of RAM and massive hard drive, you could easily use the Pavilion as a file or media server. Oh, and it comes with Windows 10 Professional, something I didn't expect from a refurb.

In the past I've seen desktops like this selling for well above $400. At $269, this is pretty stellar. Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: A tale of two Chromebooks: Woot has the refurbished Samsung XE303C12 11.6-inch Chromebook for $119.99, plus $5 for shipping. Groupon has the refurbished Acer CB3 15.6-inch Chromebook for $139.99 shipped. Both come with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 90-day warranty, and both have a native screen resolution of 1,366x768 pixels. I think that's a little low for a 15.6-inch screen, but if you're more concerned about size than pixels, it's a pretty amazing deal.

Bonus deal No. 2: Game time! Warner Bros. Entertainment's Batman games have earned glowing reviews from players and critics alike. (Obligatory "Holy successful videogame franchise!" remark.) For a limited time, Gamersgate has Batman: Arkham Origins (PC) for $5. Price elsewhere: $20. Although it earned a rating of just 6 (out of 10) from GameSpot, the big complaint was the lack of anything new in the gameplay. But if you're new to the franchise, this is $5 very well spent.