Yesterday I mentioned that I use a desktop replacement (or "big honkin' laptop") as my primary PC. Machines like these used to cost a small fortune--or, if they were more affordable, come with weak hardware. No more.
Staples has the Toshiba Satellite L775D-S7222 17.3-inch laptop for $479.90 shipped, plus sales tax in some states. That may not seem like such a big deal--I've featured similarly priced desktop replacements in the past--until you see the specs.
The Satellite is a quad-core (!) PC powered by AMD's A6-3400M processor, which features an onboard Radeon HD 6250M graphics accelerator. It comes with 6GB of DDR3 RAM (expandable to 8GB) and a 500GB hard drive. Basically, it's got enough ponies under the hood to handle just about anything--including cool games like Portal (which I only just discovered and am officially ga-ga over).
Other noteworthy specs include three USB ports, one HDMI output, the all-but-standard DVD burner and Webcam, and
Windows 7 Home Premium x64. The keyboard is wide enough to accommodate a separate numeric keypad--always a nice perk for number-crunchers.
The only area where the Satellite falls a bit short is the 17.3-inch screen, which, while admirably roomy, has a maximum resolution of 1,600 x 900 pixels. Although that's more than adequate for a screen of that size, and definitely not a showstopper, I'd rather see 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.
Amazingly, the system weighs just 6.2 pounds. It's not uncommon for desktop replacements to tip the scales at 9 or even 10 pounds. I'm not saying the Satellite is uber-portable, just that it won't break your back should you need to tote it.
CNET hasn't reviewed this model, but 150 or so Staples buyers collectively rated it 4.1 stars out of 5. This might be a good time to mention that the sellout potential here is huge. This is a pretty killer deal on a really nicely spec'd desktop replacement.
Bonus deal: Speaking of Portal, it's available for download from Steam for just $9.99. Having just finished it yesterday, I can safely say it's one of my favorite PC games of all time. Now I just need to find Portal 2 for that price!
Bonus deal No. 2: Eagle-eyed reader Michael found the Acer Iconia 10-inch Android tablet for $319.95, plus around $10 for shipping. (Incidentally, I found it for even less: $314.30 shipped. I win, Michael! :) It's not an HP TouchPad for $99, but it's still a solid deal on one of the better-rated
tablets out there.