October 31, 2005 3:43 PM PST

Will Wal-Mart sell $398 notebooks, desktops?

Wal-Mart and Hewlett-Packard will likely celebrate this Thanksgiving season by attempting to crush their competitors with low-price desktops and notebooks, according to a Web site that tracks bargains.

Black Friday 2005, which posts information about retail deals, posted scans of what appear to be future Wal-Mart newspaper inserts featuring a $398 laptop and a $398 desktop with an LCD monitor from HP. The notebook deal, if consummated, would represent a new low in price for mainstream Windows laptops.

The laptop in the ad comes with a 2800+ Sempron processor from Advanced Micro Devices, 256MB of memory, a 40GB hard drive, a CD-RW/DVD drive and a 15-inch screen.

The desktop, meanwhile, comes with a 3000+ Sempron, 512MB of memory, a 40GB drive and a 15-inch LCD.

The upcoming computers will likely be among several bargains touted on so-called Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that remains the biggest U.S. shopping day of the year.

The expected Wal-Mart deals are "pretty aggressive," said Steve Baker, an analyst at The NPD Group. "But it sure as hell won't be the last $399 notebook or the only one on Black Friday."

Black Friday 2005 does not reveal its sources, and stated that retail deals can change before they come out. Nonetheless, the site noted that it has a good probability of success. Baker and others have also said that PC makers would be extremely aggressive in pricing by the end of the year. During the summer, Baker said that $499 laptops would become somewhat common by the holidays.

"We think it is probably legitimate," said John Spindler, who covers retail bargains at consulting firm Current Analysis.

HP declined to comment on future PC models and the pricing strategy of retailers and Wal-Mart could not be reached for comment.

HP has been somewhat aggressive this year in cutting prices in the retail market. Right before the back-to-school season, the company released a Windows laptop that sold for $499 after rebates. Before that, some companies, including Wal-Mart, sold $499 laptops, but they typically came with processors from Via, as well as Linux operating systems.

Acer, Toshiba and other manufacturers soon followed with similar deals that lasted brief periods.

HP also touted $199 desktops at some retailers, but for very short periods of time and with restrictions.

Partly as a result, HP also stopped losing ground to rival Dell in the third quarter. The two companies saw shipments grow at about the same rate, a phenomenon that hadn't occured for several quarters.

Wal-Mart needs to be aggressive this holiday season, said Baker. For the last two years, the company has come out with somewhat pedestrian offers for the holiday season, and not experienced a huge bump in sales.

What makes the possible offer particularly interesting is that Wal-Mart often will stock 50 to 100 of its "special deal" PCs in each store. By contrast, some retailers will sometimes stock only a token number of advertised specials in each store.

"There could be a couple of hundred thousand of these on shelves," Baker said. "They (Wal-Mart) certainly learned their lesson from last year."

Although often thought of as a purveyor of fishing waders and household appliances, Wal-Mart is also one of the largest PC retailers in the nation, often ranking as No. 2.

42 comments

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Wal-Mart
I will never buy anything from Wal-Mart!
They are an evil corporation, and the wau that they are going to charge such a cheap price for these PC's will be by underpaying employees more than they alread do!
Posted by Maxnl (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
In this case
only partly... its a junky, super low end, outdated computer
Posted by volterwd (466 comments )
Link Flag
Wal-Mart Evil
It is your right never to buy anything from Wal-Mart. How are they evil? Because they want to make money? I hate to break the news to you Max, every corporation wants to make money. No body is holding Wal-Mart shoppers or employees hostage. If they don't like Wal-Mart's wages, policies, etc, they can get another job or choose, as you do, not to work there. Don't call someone evil just because you don't like their policies. For all we know, you are evil.
Posted by tdrush (5 comments )
Link Flag
Wal-Mart Evil?
It is your right never to buy anything from Wal-Mart. How are they evil? Because they want to make money? I hate to break the news to you Max, every corporation wants to make money. No body is holding Wal-Mart shoppers or employees hostage. If they don't like Wal-Mart's wages, policies, etc, they can get another job or choose, as you do, not to work there. Don't call someone evil just because you don't like their policies. For all we know, you are evil.
Posted by tdrush (5 comments )
Link Flag
what a dumb opening comment
Way to start discussion of this topic with some "Wal*Mart is evil" rant.
Posted by shoffmueller (236 comments )
Link Flag
Wal-Mart no more evil than others
I always find that critics of Wal-Mart are incredibly ignorant. They simply do not know what they are talking about. They never have first-hand experience. I have children and friends that work at Wal-Mart. Their pay and benefits are comparable and competative with all the other stores like Sears, Target, K-Mart, etc. How come nobody complains about those companies. In fact, some Wal-Mart benefits are better than mine. And, I work for an Aerospace company. My kids work at Wal-Mart because Wal-mart pays more than my kids prior employment. Without going into further details, I simply have to say that Wal-Mart treats their employees very well. My kids have only one complaint: The idiot customers that cannot read a price tag, or cannot follow directions on the self-serve credit-card scanner.
Posted by gerrychampoux (1 comment )
Link Flag
Wal-Mart
Max, the only thing that I have to say in response to your post is that every single employee has a choice, if they are not happy with the pay or the working conditions, then real plain and simple, they can leave. Not rocket science here, yes some jobs may be hard to come by but at least they are working and bringing home a paycheck.
Posted by DJ236 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Get all Black Friday Ads
Get all Black Friday ads at:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com" target="_newWindow">http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com</a>

This site originally had the Walmart ad and has a deal for a Dell laptop for $399 that you can order right now online!
Posted by bradolson (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dell computer
Where is the dell computer listed on this site?
I don't see an ad for Dell but I would like to order one now. Please let me know.

Thanks!
Posted by sooyungli (1 comment )
Link Flag
Wal-Mart sells Explora for $398 now.
I bought one for my 8-year old grand daughter and it works fine. It's got 256MB RAM and a 40GB HDD, nothing fancy but good enough to do what she needs it for. If she ever needs more power, she can always use her dad's PC. Providing PCs for the masses is something that I hope Wal-Mart will succeed at, if we are ever to include everyone in this new information society. Cheap PCs are a must, although the more progressive customer will steer clear of entry-level PCs.
Posted by Des Alba (68 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Price
Sure they won't be 399.99... I mean when you can make 1.99 cents without anybody noticing...
Posted by Jerry Dawson (125 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Total price will likely be: $398.88
Wal-Mart likes to "roll back" prices. So you lose a little on the last dollar and the cents, it's rolled back! :)

It's not even $1.99 rolling back, you are looking at $1.11 total roll back price. On an item reaching $400, that's 00.2 percent off! I can save more than that if I just use my Discover card. :)
Posted by zaznet (1138 comments )
Link Flag
Beware The Stampede!
If each Wal-Mart store has only 50 of these specials on 11/26 then there will be a stampede at the stores when they open at 7AM. Ambulance chasing lawyers, start your engines!
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Stampede
There has been a stampede at our Wal-Mart on every Friday after Thanksgiving, and every Dec 26th, and it was MY wife leading the stampede. That sucker sitting in the car who drove her there, was me.
Posted by Des Alba (68 comments )
Link Flag
50 each store my butt!
Hell, the store by me only had EIGHT of them. Another store in San Antonio (TX) had 29 of them. I don't where this person got that the stores would have 50 - 100 of them. :| Every place I have read so far has had way less than 50, most being in the teens to twenties.
Posted by Al-Mann (1 comment )
Link Flag
$150 desktop from outpost.com
I just bought a $150 (no monitor) desktop
with Linspire from outpost.com


You have to watch for them to go on sale.

If you are looking for a Linux machine here is my list


<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.addonshop.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.addonshop.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.emperorlinux.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.emperorlinux.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.ibexpc.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.ibexpc.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.linare.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.linare.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.linspire.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.linspire.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.linuxcertified.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.linuxcertified.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.microtelpc.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.microtelpc.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.outpost.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.outpost.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://shoprcubed.com/" target="_newWindow">http://shoprcubed.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.sub300.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.sub300.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.systemax.com/divisions.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.systemax.com/divisions.htm</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.walmart.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.walmart.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.xandros.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.xandros.com/</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://tuxmobil.org/reseller.html" target="_newWindow">http://tuxmobil.org/reseller.html</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.us.debian.org/distrib/pre-installed" target="_newWindow">http://www.us.debian.org/distrib/pre-installed</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.linux.org/vendor/system/index.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.linux.org/vendor/system/index.html</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://tuxmobil.org/" target="_newWindow">http://tuxmobil.org/</a> (general information)
Posted by cyber_rigger (70 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ever see a fist fight...
in front of a Best Buy? I did last year when I ventured out on Black Friday. Waited in a line that extended all the way past two other stores who carried electronic components. One of them an Office supply store that was open 30 minutes before Best Buy.

None of the participants got any good deals, unless the bail bondsmen were having discounts too.

Get there early, go directly for what you want, or miss out.
Posted by zaznet (1138 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That's Nothing...
...Here in Richmond, VA, people will beat you with folding chairs and run over you for a 4 year old iBook that likely won't run after the abuse it's suffered at the hands of a bunch of middle schoolers!
Posted by J_Satch (571 comments )
Link Flag
Not too bad of a deal
What Walmart is doing with the $400 computers is probably not undercutting other prices but the first in a series of cheap computers. Major computer makers are going to start selling their inventories at lower than normal prices to make room for new computers that will be able to handle the up-coming Windows OS that requires higher minimum specs to run. I'm not saying that the specs for these computers are lower for most people, but they could only handle the current OS.
Posted by aka_tripleB (2211 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Black Friday Ads
I used BF2005.com last year and found it to have a very accurate price listings of all of the top stores for the black friday after thanksgiving sales. I was able to get most of the things I wanted. It was by far the best site out there. I plan to use it again this year as well. Thank you BF2005.com
Posted by SeeAll (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Since nobody mentioned it...
I thought I would. The reason Walmart's merchandise sells
cheaply is because it is cheap. In my line of work, people come
in and look at a $200.00 guitar in our store and say "I can buy a
guitar at walmart for $100.00." But Walmarts guitar is only half
what our guitar is--which often is not as much as you need to
make a real guitar. If all the parts are plastic, there's just no way
to put these things in adjustment and make them work, or to fix
them when they break. The same is true for all the Walmart
appliances (which they sell under their own 'fake' name brands).
Humidifiers, heaters, fans etc. are made to last one year, then
crap out. So you end up buying 30 fans over 30 years at
Walmart instead of one good fan for 3 times the price that world
have lasted you 30 years. And for young people...yes, there was
a time when appliances did last almost forever. Now, I'm not
talking about "Equate" brand talcum powder, or something
where you can really compare ingredients.

To sum it up, if you buy all this stuff from Walmart for their
"great prices," you end up paying them way more over time for
their disposable appliances/computers/etc. than if you had
bought the real McCoy. And all this stuff goes straight into the
landfill. But we North Americans are have bought into it so much
that now we don't have a choice in many cases, because all the
competition has been squashed.

Anyway, that's my opinion.
Posted by jnrh (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Moral to the story....
If you want cheap junk, you buy it at cheap stores like Walmart
or K-Mart.

If you want good stuff cheap, and Walmart is selling that
particular BRAND and MODEL, then you might be able to save
some money. But check with Sears, Best Buy, Target and other
reputable stores to see if their prices are also good. And watch
out when the particular model is sold only at Walmart - that
usually means that Walmart has 'arranged' to get a stripped
down version at a cheaper price from the manufacturer.

Just remember - Walmart screws its suppliers, Walmart screws
its employees, Wlalmart screws its customers, and Walmart still
takes 4% of the gross for the corporation. Walmart doesn't screw
itself. And that's my opinion. But I certainly am not alone.....
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Couldn't agree with you more.
Back in college I worked at a specialty record store in downtown Chicago. Our CD's were probably a dollar or two more on average than your average corporate mega-store but what you got was service from people who were passionate and knowledgable about what they're selling and it's not edited for naughty words. I'm only 23 and I'm sad that the age of quality products and service that I never grew up in is gone. My only consolation is that I'm sure I cost Wal-Mart a few hundred in busted shopping carts and other property back in the day. &gt;:) Not that I'm proud of it... Well, maybe I am.
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Link Flag
Since You Brought It Up
Fender started making their guitars and equipment in Mexico AND Japan, in addition to their original plant in the LA area. Big price difference, too. Gibson has quietly started marketing 'foreign' made copies of their legendary Les Paul and D-45 under the Gibson name, in addition to their originals made in the USA. I suspect China is the culprit. Schecter and Carvin do not publicize that many of their components are made elsewhere. Peavey and Music Man are almost totally made from components made elsewhere. I could go on, but you get the picture, right? So, my point is: not everyone can afford to pay for an original, and thus there will always be a place for Wal-Mart, or K-Mart, or Target, or whatever saves the customer money. And with PCs, they're all good, as long as they work.
Posted by Des Alba (68 comments )
Link Flag
Probably like sleeping with a whore
Whenever I shop at Wal-Mart I feel good at first because I may have gotten something cheap. But then I realize the quality of the product is not that great and then I am disgusted that I made the choice to shop there to begin with.

I have never slept with a ***** but I bet I would get experience the same feeling.
Posted by Drewzilla (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Consumers like the price
we get at walmart the idea of having a laptop for under 400 dollars is something I will more than likely look into after all it is faster than my home PC. As for wages I like walmart and if the wages are 8.33 an hour I would say great most wages in this area are 5.15 to maybe 6.00 per hour an no benefits what so ever. Besides the more you make the more the prices on all other goods start to climb so you will be no better off. I think most people that get over 10 dollars an hour are over paid anyway. Get real and get over the evils of walmart. There are worse places to work and live in this world.
Posted by Blindman001 (1 comment )
Link Flag
warning to walmart customers--please read
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://icpowerhouse.com/" target="_newWindow">http://icpowerhouse.com/</a>

1-800-242-1922

WARNING TO ALL WAL-MART CUSTOMERS:

There is NO customer service with IC Power computers.

I have personally called IC Power 3 times.

The wait on the 800 number for tech support is 15-20 minutes. NO ONE WILL ANSWER. What happens is that a customer is placed on hold for 20 minutes, listening to elevator music, then a message comes on stating that due to high call volume, someone will call you back, please leave your name and number. The customer then leaves their name and number. 2 weeks later, after leaving two messages, and no one has called me back.

The only time I got a return call, one week later, was when I threatened to sue Wal-mart and IC Power. The caller left a message stating his extension was 152. I dialed the 800 number and then dialed ext. 152, which places a customer on hold for 20 minutes, then the same message comes on stating that due to high call volume, to leave a message.

The IC power webpage is no better, the email form is fake: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://icpowerhouse.com/FAQ/faq.files/email%20form.htm" target="_newWindow">http://icpowerhouse.com/FAQ/faq.files/email%20form.htm</a>

If a customer attempts to fill out the form, then hit submit, the customer gets back this message:

Not Found
The requested URL /FAQ/faq.files/\\59.120.208.50\SendMailw.asp was not found on this server.

There is no way to contact customer support. There is no customer support.

Travis
Posted by travb (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE: no response after call for customer assistance
Maybe it's just time to contact the Consumer Affairs division of your Att'y General's office.

For every person who DOES complain, it is estimated there are fifteen more who are harmes and who do not -- simply out of embarassment or because they don't know what the remedy might be. By filing a formal complaint, and maybe by running ads in places like Craig'sList where others can join a class action suit, if need be, you cna find a remedy.

REALLY fun is to find out the name of the little *&#38;$%% president of the corporation -- and serve him/her/it (has to be at their home) with a small claims suit. THEY have to show up -- or pay. ;]

Remember, you have ONE YEAR from the date of purchase to make them make good on REPLACING with an all new unit. And the guarentee begins again with each replacement date.

Hope this helps.
Posted by zannord (1 comment )
Link Flag
Will WAL-MART sell $40 GPS?
The megaretailer will get into the holiday markdown spirit with magellan handheld GPS <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.highspeedsat.com/exploristxl.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.highspeedsat.com/exploristxl.htm</a>
receivers and some auto GPS devices:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.highspeedsat.com/-magellin/" target="_newWindow">http://www.highspeedsat.com/-magellin/</a>
The GPSs will be cheaper than most others currently on the market.
Posted by electronino (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
i tried calling just for shits and giggles
this guy isnt lying....no customer support at all.."please continue to hold, an agent will be with you shortly"
Posted by triexel (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It is now Jan 29th, 2009 I bought one of these HP Laptops that to quote;
" by volterwd October 31, 2005 8:42 PM PST
only partly... its a junky, super low end, outdated computer"
My wife used this computer daily for 3 years now. We have had virtually no problems with it. It has been an outstanding value. The only problem is that my wife is a school counselor, and she finally ran out of hard drive space with it. (Can you imagine filling up a 40 gig harddrive in three years?) This Black Friday 2008 I went back to WalMart, and bought her a new Toshiba for $548.00. So far it seems to be a very good computer also. This one came with an 80 gig hard drive, so it should take her through another few years. I have inheirited the 2005 model, and after wiping out the memory, I will get many mor years of service out of it, I am sure.
I wonder why some so called computer experts are so fast to criticize some of these computers.
Posted by BobD9 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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