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Get an HP notebook at a Netbook price: $300

If you're thinking about buying a low-priced Netbook, you might first consider this HP laptop for $299.

So you missed out (for now) on the Great TouchPad Fire Sale of 2011? Don't worry. There are other tempting computer deals to be had. For example, Best Buy is selling this HP laptop for $299.

The specs are fairly pedestrian for this aging but still quite capable machine: 3GB memory, 320GB hard drive, 14-inch screen, and an AMD Turion II processor that will do just fine watching YouTube videos, talking on Skype, surfing the Internet, listening to music, or saving photos. Plus, at 4.9 lbs, it is fairly light for its size.

Best Buy is selling an HP laptop with a 14" Display, 3GB Memory, and 320GB Hard Drive. Best Buy

I'm not a notebook expert, so I asked CNET reviewer extraordinaire Dan Ackerman to give me the lowdown on this machine. His take: it's so last year. AMD has moved to a new CPU family and HP has moved this G line of laptops up to the Pavilion family, with upgraded with Intel Core i3 processors, he said.

But, Ackerman's bottom line: "For $300 it's not a bad deal if you need something bigger than a netbook/ultraportable that's speedy enough for basic Web surfing and productivity," Ackerman said.

This is a new, not a refurbished unit, with Windows 7 Home Premium, and it comes with a limited one-year warranty. Amazon is selling the same HP laptop for $499.89.

I checked the user reviews on this notebook and they seem mixed. Several complain about slow loads of Web pages. Others complained that the machine constantly freezes up. On the other hand, most said it was a decent machine that performed as they expected, and is ideal for teens.

My take is that for a price of a Netbook, you can have a pretty powerful computer and not have to squint to see the screen. If you buy it and run into problems with it running slow or freezing, you're only out the time it takes to return it.