Want to know why Netbooks are dead? Because you can buy a full-size, full-featured laptop for the same price. Witness today's deal from TigerDirect: the Acer Aspire AS5250-BZ853 15.6-inch laptop for $279.99, plus $8.77 for ground shipping.
The caveat: that's the after-rebate price. You'll pay $329.99 to get out the door, then get a $50 rebate (PDF) by mail. As is common these days, it'll come in the form of a prepaid debit card.
I know not everybody likes rebates, but when you look at the endgame price, this is nothing short of a redonkulously good deal. Seriously, a year ago? You'd be looking at $279 for a crummy, under-powered Netbook with a cramped keyboard and tiny screen.
The Aspire's keyboard is anything but cramped; it's even wide enough to accommodate a dedicated numeric keypad, which is really a nice amenity. And that 15.6-inch screen is the opposite of tiny.
The Aspire also comes with an AMD E-350 dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 350GB hard drive. Those are some entry-level specs, to be sure; you may want to think about grabbing another 2GB module. (I'm assuming it has a slot available--the specs don't say--but check the manual before you buy additional RAM.)
Ultimately, if you have modest computing needs and don't mind waiting 8-10 weeks for a rebate check (er, card), this qualifies as one of the best laptops deal I've seen--like, ever. Consequently, it will probably sell out quickly, so get your clicking finger in gear!
Bonus deal: Here's a good bookend to yesterday's free DVD ripper deal: WonderFox Soft is once again giving away HD Video Converter Factory Pro 3. Just download the program, then register it using code BB1747D443AAB51FF3148A77B6FEBC0AC0A7E4CC.