Friday, December 28, 2007

Notebooks offered at Staples next week

Staples has published their advertisements for next week. You don't have to wait for the Sunday paper to get these. Just go to Staples.com or continue reading this blog :)

Notebook specials
You should be used to it by now, Dell continuing to invade brick and mortar stores. So it's no surprise that the Dell® Inspiron™ 1521 notebook at $750 is the spotlight laptop deal of Staples. The 1521 is powered by an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-58 brain, has 2GB RAM, 160GB disk, 15.4" widescreen, super-multi-format dvd drive, and Vista Premium.

Not to be outdone by Dell, HP is offering the HP Pavilion DX6650 for $750 as well, after a $50 Easy Rebate. This laptop is powered by a Centrino Duo Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, 2GB RAM, 200GB, 15.4" wide-screen display, SuperMultiFormat DVD burner with LightScribe, 802.11a/g Pre-N too, built-in webcam, and the obligatory Vista Premium.

But if you are bargain hunting, the Compaq Presario F730us is offered at just $430 after EasyRebate! The EasyRebate is $30 and can be submitted online, no need to cut/mail UPC codes and such. The F730US is powered by an AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC TK-55, 1gb memory, 120gb disk, super multi format dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen with lightscribe, b/g wireless LAN, and of course Vista Premium. Not bad for $430!


Everything else

  • Free PC tune-up and security check, a $30 value. What's the catch? I do not know! Their tune-up includes the following: System analysis,Windows® maintenance and cleanup, Virus and spyware check, and PC dust removal
  • For the times you are sitting on a desk at home or the office or the home office, there's a 19" Envision LCD monitor for just $160. If you prefer a larger screen, the 22" widescreen Envision is just $250. Not bad eh?
  • $35 is what you pay for two PNY 2 gig usb stick drives, or one 4gb Sandisk usb stick. Your choice! Well you can actually get both :)

  • Sunday, December 23, 2007

    Two Dell Inspiron specials until January 2, 2008

    Dell has two Dell Inspiron specials for y'all, continuing until January 2, 2008!

    First up, the Dell Inspiron 1520 Notebook $700 after $150 instant savings. This features an Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 processor, 2gb memory, and a dvd-rom/cd-burner at that price. As with all Dells, you can always customize it your way.

    If you prefer a more powerful laptop, the Dell Inspiron™ 1721 Notebook is $1000 after $323 instant savings. This features an AMD Turion 64 X2 mobile TL-58 processor, 160gb hard disk drive, and 2gb memory.

    This laptop week at Office Max

    Office Max, the home of NO REBATES, has two laptops advertised in the spartan ad-wise Sunday paper.

    first up the Acer Aspire AS5270-4171 for $600. This is while supplies last and may be special ordered at some of the stores. Check with your local stores for availability. It offers an Intel Pentium dual core T2310 processor, 2gb DDR2 memroy, 200gb hard drive, dvd burner, b/g wireless, built-in memory card reader, built-in webcam, 15.4" widescreen and the obligatory Vista Premium. Not bad for an all-around laptop! Check it out!

    The second one is the Toshiba Satelite P205-S7476 for $1000. For that you get an Intel Centrino Duo Core 2 T5250, 2gb DDR2 memory, 200gb hard disk drive, 17" widescreen, HD-DVD ROM with dvd burner, built-in webcam, built-in fingerprint reader, a/g/n wireless, and Vista Home Premium. While supplies last. Some stores may require a special order (eg not available in-store). This is a nice bundle for the multimedia-inclined users as it offers a 17" widescreen and HD-DVD playback for those who have fallen into the trap of committing to BluRay vs HD-DVD before it got settled. Oh the silliness of HD-DVD vs BluRay, but that's another story for another blog.

    And some accessories of interest, 100-packs of Verbatim DVD-R or DVD+R are $25 each, which comes out to 25c per blank dvd. Not bad for Verbatic at brick and mortar.

    If you are looking for an extra monitor to use as yoru home or office base when you are "grounded" there is a 21.6" Samsung 216BW widescreen LCD (3000:1 contrast ratio) for $270, and a 20" Sceptre 2148-8212 widescreen LCD monitor (support digital video up to 1080p) for $180.

    For those on the go, the 4gb Sandisk Cruzer Micro ReadyBoost USB drive (the name is longer than the actual device!) goes for $35, and as always, no rebates!

    Meanwhile the cash for cartridges is back! You receive $3 per cartridge (max 5 cartridges per person per day) when you recycle Lexmark, Dell or HP.

    Saturday, December 22, 2007

    New laptop deals at Staples starting on Sunday (12/23 through 12/29)

    Staples is making a strong comeback with the upcoming circular in terms of laptop offers.

    For $450 without rebate you can get the Acer Aspire AS4520, as long as they have enough of them left in store. The price is tempting because this laptop offers an Athlon dual core 64 X2 TK-53 processor, 1gb memory, 120gb hard disk drive, 14.1" widescreen display, super multi format dvd burner, built-in memory card reader (nice for this price!), built-in webcam, and Vista Home Premium. If you don't object to a 14.1" widescreen instead of a 15.4" widescreen display, grab this laptop!. As always of course be sure to read user and professional reviews of each laptop that you might be interested in. It's just a Google Search away!

    Another Acer is offered, the Acer Aspire AS7720 for $700, no rebates, but while supplies last. This notebook offers an Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo processor T5250, 2gb of memory, 160gb hard disk drive, 17" widescreen display, dvd burner, a/b/g wireless, built-in webcam, and Vista Premium. Of interest particularly to people who like laptops with 17" displays!

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Sony VAIO VGN-FZ250E/B Notebook PC for $1030 today only at Amazon!

    The gold box deal of the day today (Wednesday) at Amazon is the Sony VAIO VGN-FZ250E/B Notebook PC for $1030 and free shipping. The price is only good for today. Check your Amazon Gold Box to see the special offer. (Yes, the gold box is the thing that looks like it is from a Pirates movie).



    The Sony VAIO VGN-FZ250E/B Notebook PC has an Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 processor (2.2 Ghz), 2gb memory (expandable to 4gb), 250gb hard disk drive (Serial ATA), dual layer dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen LCD display, Intel 4965 wireless NextGen N (along with a/b/g), 10/100 Ethernet, Expresscard 34 slot, firewire, 3 USB ports, SD/MemoryStick memory card reader, built-in 1.3 megapixel webcam, and pre-installed Vista Home Premium.

    The laptop itself weights 5.75 lbs, and the shipping weight of the package is 8 lbs.



    Shipping and handling
    This ships for free in the original manufacturer's packaging. There is however a special promotion by Amazon for FREE two day shipping until December 19. This is not just for this laptop, but also for other laptops from Sony, Apple and HP

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    Acer Aspire 5050-5430 for $550 at TigerDirect

    TigerDirect has the Acer laptop 5050-5430 A180-1517 special for $550! The Acer laptop in question offers an AMD 64 Dual-Core 1.7GHz TK-53 processor, 1GB DDR2 memory, 120GB hard disk, 14.1" WXGA screen, built-in Webcam, wireless and Vista Home Premium.

    It also has a Type II expansion slot, 3 USB ports, 1 SPDIF audio jack, VGA and S-Video out, and lots more. You can also find customer reviews at the Tigerdirect website.

    You can also checkout with Google checkout and get $10 off, or use Bill Me Later for a special financing plan.

    Friday, December 7, 2007

    Dell coupon special: Save $200 on all XPS™ M1530 notebook purchases of $1399 or more

    We have a Dell coupon special for you: Save $200 on all XPS M1530 notebook purchases of $1399 or more! More details: Save $200 on all XPS™ M1530 notebook purchases of $1399 or more (before tax, fees, shipping & handling)- Coupon Code: N148DK363R6WB0


    And here is the fineprint on this offer:

    Restrictions: Offer may not be combinable with mail in rebates, dollars off, percentages, or select other promotions. One offer may be applied per cart at checkout. Coupon code expires after first 3,000 redemptions or earlier if offer is terminated earlier. The Home & Home Office site and offers contained herein valid only for end users and not for resellers and/or online auctions. Offers subject to change, not combinable with all other offers. Taxes, shipping, handling and other fees apply. U.S. Dell Home and Home Office new purchases only. Purchase limit of 5 systems per order, but coupon discount applies to only 1 system per cart. Limit of 5 systems per customer please. Dell reserves the right to cancel orders arising from pricing or other errors.


    The XPS notebooks of course are not an entry-level line-up, so keep that mind if you are not familiar with Dell's laptop line up. As you can see, they look very sleek!

    On top of the coupon, Dell has another promotion running in parallel, they offer promotional Dell gift cards depending on the amount of your purchase. You can get up to $200 in that depending on what you purchase. As always, be sure to check terms and conditions.

    Refurbished Toshiba Satellite Pro 4600 notebook for $250!

    We have a bargain price refurbished laptop from Tigerdirect that might be of interest: It is the refurbished Toshiba Satellite Pro 4600 for $250.

    This blast from the past laptop has an Intel Pentium 3 (1ghz), 256mb SDRAM, 10gb hard disk drive, CD-ROM, a 14.1" XGA 4:3 screen, 10/100 LAN, floppy disk (yes floppy!), 7.4 lbs, and Windows 2000. It also has track-point and mouse buttons controls, two PCMCIA slots, one VGA port, S-Video out, and such. Be sure to check the Tigerdirect page for details on the warranty, returns/exchanges, etc.

    Again, please keep in mind that this is a refurbished laptop! Tigerdirect is also running a Google Checkout promotion where you get $10 off a purchase of $100 when you pay through Google Checkout.

    And if you are looking for a value priced 24" widescreen stand-alone LCD monitor for your laptop or desktop, Tigerdirect has a promo for $350 on this 24" Acer, which features 5ms response time, 1000:1 contrast ratio, WUXGA 1920x1200 resolution, DVI/VGA inputs, silver color, 400 cd/m² brightness.

    Please keep in mind that the specials are while supplies last or Monday noon eastern time - whichever comes first!

    Thursday, December 6, 2007

    Toshiba Satellite A215-S7433 $700 at Buy.com!

    The Toshiba Satellite A215-S7433 is offered at Buy.com for the round price of $700.

    The Toshiba Satellite A215-S7433 features an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core TK-55 processor (1.8GHz 512KB L2 Cache), 2GB memory, 160GB hard disk drive, SuperMulti format dvd burner with DL support, 15.4" widescreen display, 10/100 LAN, wireless WLAN 802.11b/g, and the obligatory Windows Vista Home Premium.

    And if you are in the mood for more savings, Buy.com has just launched their new Revolution card which has a unique promotion: You get $20 off your first three purchases of $50 or more. Most of the credit cards offer a discount on your first purhcase, not the first three! So check it out! Buy.com Revolution Card - Apply Now and get $20 off $50 your next three Buy.com purchases!


    Revolution Card at Buy.com!

    Sony VGN-SZ670NC for $2100 at J&R World

    $2100 will get you the Sony VGN-SZ670NC 13.3" Notebook Computer from J&R World. This is obviously for Sony fans and fans of sleek looking laptops. If you do not belong to both categories, you may not be interested :)

    But here we go, this laptop features an Intel Core 2 Duo processor (T7700, 2.4ghz), 13.3" widescreen, 160gb hard disk drive, 2gb memory (ddr2, 667mhz), DL dvd burner, a/b/g/N wireless, Bluebooth, Vista Business, 1 year warranty. Shipping starts at $17.

    Two $600 Vostro laptop offers from Dell

    The good people at Dell have two Vostro offers for you! Here they are:

    Save $384! Get the VOSTRO 1400 THIN & LIGHT NOTEBOOK WITH 14.1" WIDESCREEN for ONLY $599! . This laptop features an Intel Core 2 Duo, 120gb hard disk drive, 2gb memory, dvd burner, 128mb nVidia graphics card, and a choice of Vista Basic or XP Home. Dell knows that not everyone is in love with Vista :)

    The second offer is: Save $384! Get the VOSTRO 1500 NOTEBOOK For ONLY $599! The 1500 features a 15.4" widescreen, and otherwise similar specs as the Vostro 1400 mentioned above.

    There's also an on-going limited time offer for free shipping and handling. The free shipping offer is also extended on all electronics, accessories and software: ELECTRONICS, SOFTWARE, & ACCESSORIES: FREE STANDARD 3-5 DAY SHIPPING!

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    Two Dell laptop specials!

    We have two specials from the good people at Dell!

    First up for $600, the Vostro 1400 notebook, which features 160gb hard disk, dvd burner, nVidia, Windows XP Home edition, and lots more.

    For users who want more ...Latitude, the Dell Latitude D630 notebook is offered at $950, and has a Core 2 Duo processor, 1gb memory, 120gb hard disk, N wireless, and your choice of Vista Home Basic or XP Home, among other things.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    HP dv6449us refurbished for $650 at J&R World

    The refurbished HP Pavilion dv6449us is on sale at J&R World for $650. This laptop includes an AMD Turion TL-56, 2gb RAM, 160gb 5400rpm hard disk drive, 15.4" widescreen, nVidia GeForce Go 6150, super multi format dvd burner with lightscribe, AGN wireless, express card, media card slot, built-in webcam, Vista Home Premium, and lots more. And the exclusive HP Wave pattern inspired by Zen rock gardens. I kid you not, they charge more for this stuff!

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Cyber Monday: Dell Vostro 1500 for $600

    We have a Cyber Monday deal from Dell: Save $290! VOSTRO 1500 NOTEBOOK for only $599!

    Some of the basic specs of this system: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 160GB hard disk drive, dvd burner, 9-cell battery, built-in 2 megapixel webcam, Windows Vista Home Basic.

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    $300 Compaq laptop at Fry's today only!

    Today only (Black Friday November 23, 2007) the Compaq Presario C700 is on sale at Fry's for $299. It has an Intel Celeron M 530 processor, 1gb ddr2 memory, 80gb hard disk drive, dvd burner, wireless, 15.4" widescreen display, Vista Home Basic, and such. One per household and of course while supplies last. Regular Fry's price is $550. No subs, no rainchecks. Fry's item # is 5433159.

    Dell Vostro 1000 for $400 for a limited time!

    Get the Dell Vostro 1000 with 1GB memory, 120GB HD for just $399! Coupon code RH23N?MWL3KF1C.

    This offer has fineprint, be sure to read them!.

    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Best Buy TV ad talks of Toshiba $230 doorbuster laptop

    TV ads from Best Buy talk about a doorbuster laptop for $230 from Toshiba. Your mileage may vary of course with such a good price/deal. The laptop is the Toshiba Satellite A135-S7403 which features a Celeron 530 processor, 512mb memory (ddr2 sdram), 80gb hard disk drive, 15.4" widescreen display, dvd burner, and Vista Home Basic among other things. This is an in-store only offer.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    Dell Vostro 1400 or 1500 for $600, limited time offer for this laptop!

    Dell has two Vostro laptops on special right now for $600 each! Read on for all the details!

    First up, the Dell Vostro 1500, featuring an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB memory, 120GB hard drive drive, DVD burner, 15.4" widescreen display, and 128MB NVIDIA GeForce GO video card, along with Vista Basic (not Premium) for $600.

    Next up, the Dell Vostro 1400, with Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB memory, 120GB hard disk drive, DVD burner, 14.1" widescreen display and 128MB NVIDIA GeForce GO video card, along with the obligatory Vista Home Basic OS for $600 even.


    Get the Vostro 1500 with 120 GB HD, 2GB memory and 15.4 inch Wide Screen for Only $599!

    Get the Vostro 1400 with 120 GB HD, 2GB memory and 14.1 inch Wide Screen for just $599!



    The fineprint:

    Pricing, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice, are not transferable and are valid only for new purchases from Dell Small Business for delivery in the 50 United States. Taxes, fees, shipping, handling and any applicable restocking charges extra, vary, and are not subject to discount. The Small Business site and offers contained herein valid only for end users and not for resellers and/or online auctions. Dell cannot be responsible for pricing or other errors, omissions, or consequences of misuse of site and its functions and reserves the right to cancel orders arising from such errors. Offers not necessarily combinable. Discounts cannot be retroactively applied. Orders subject to cancellation by Dell. Software & Accessories and Printers, Displays & Electronics offers do not apply to Recommended Solutions systems in the online system configuration pages (including PowerConnect switches); you must purchase eligible items through the separate Software & Accessories and Printers, Displays & Electronics online stores. Limit 5 systems and 5 discounted or promotional products per customer. In case of customers leasing under this promotion, please note that items leased will be subject to applicable end of lease options or requirements. All sales are subject to Dell's Terms and Conditions of Sale located at http://www.dell.com/terms unless you have a separate agreement with Dell.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Black Friday laptop at Staples for $350: The Compaq Presario C712US

    The Compaq Presario C712US is an Early Bird Black Friday special laptop at Staples for $350, without rebates. You can also receive a free printer after rebate if you wish, but that's optional.

    So what is this $350 laptop offering? An Intel Pentium dual core processor T2310, 1gb memory, 80gb hard disk drive, 15.4" widescreen, super-multi-format dvd burner, and of course the obligatory Windows Vista.

    While I do not know anything about the laptop in question, specs-wise this sounds like a really nice deal. Of course this is an early bird Black Friday item at a big chain store, so your chances of getting it are of the lottery variety.

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    Dell Volstro Black Friday deal goes live right now!

    Dell makes their Black Friday VOSTRO 1000 NOTEBOOK deal available right now! That's right, you can order it now! This Vostro notebook has an AMD Athlon dual-core processor, 1GB shared dual-channel memory, 120GB SATA hard disk drive, CD/DVD burner, and your choice of Windows XP Home Edition or Vista Home Basic. As with all things Dell, you can configure it to your liking, but if you add more, you pay more.

    Get Dell’s Vostro 1000 Notebook with 120 GB Hard Drive for Only $399!

    Laptop specials from Buy.com!

    Buy.com has a few laptop specials, and the good thing is that you don't have to wait for Black Friday to take advantage of them!

    First up at $500 even is the refurbished HP Compaq Presario V6305NR, which features an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-50, a 15.4" widescreen, 1gb memory, a 100gb hard disk drive, dual layer dvd burner, Vista Premium, and wireless. Please note this is refurbished!

    If you don't like the idea of refurbished, (and I can't blame you!), the brand new Acer Aspire AS4710-2013 goes for $600 with free shipping. This Acer model features an Intel Pentium DC T52080, 1gb memory, 120gb hard disk, DL dvd burner, wireless, 14.1" widescreen and of course Vista Premium.

    If your laptop is hungry for more memory, and if it is using any version of Microsoft Windows, you can bet it is, how about the Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) PC2 5300 667MHz 200-pin SODIMM DDR2 Laptop Memory for $45? This deal is good 11/19 through 11/25.

    If you think the current laptops are too big, there's an alternative, a really tiny 7" ASUS laptop, the ASUS Eee PC 7" Widescreen Notebook for $400 with free budget shipping. This features 512MB memory, 4GB Flash Storage, Intel Mobile Chipset with a built-in camera. Don't expect to be running servers on this guy though :)

    A good compliment for your laptop or when you are on the road - if you don't object to Microsoft hardware that is - the brown Microsoft Zune 30GB for $120 with free shipping at the moment. Among other things it has a 3" LCD, plays audio, video and pictures, and has an FM tuner too.

    Last but not least, Buy.com has special offers and free shipping on Toshiba laptops:
    Toshiba at Buy.com

    Laptop of the day: Compaq Presario 730NR for $480 at Best Buy

    From what we have seen so far, the laptop of the day is the Compaq Presario F730 at Best Buy for $480, and that price is without any rebates. That's right, no rebates! For that, you can get a versatile performer for the price, including a 15.4" widescreen, 1gb RAM, 120gb hard disk, dvd burner, wireless, Vista Premium, and an Athlon dual core 64 X2 TK-something processor.

    Best Buy, along with Office Max, are allergic to rebates, so usually when you see something advertised there, you know that it's a rebate-free offer. Some people like and some even love rebates, but a number of people hate rebates with a passion.

    As far as availability of the F730 in-store, I do not know. You can always check the Best Buy website or call the store.

    For more details on the Compaq Presario F730, Google is your friend.

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Lots of laptops at Circuit City this week

    Circuit City starts the week with a bang! First up, at $480 after a $30 mail-in rebate (MIR) is the Compaq Presario F730us with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC, 1gb memory, 120gb hard disk, dvd burner, wireless, 15.4" widescreen, Vista Premium and lots more. This is certainly a bang for the buck laptop as it offers a variety of practical features. It obviously does not have all the buzz features, for example there's no webcam, no memory card reader, no fingerprint reader, no expansion slots, but that's why it's $500 and not $1000 :)

    At $550 after a $100 MIR, you can get the Toshiba A215-S7422, with an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-58, 1gb memory, 160gb hard disk, dvd burner, wireless, 15.4" TruBrite widescreen and Vista Premium. Lots of similarities with the Compaq above, if you love the Toshiba Satellites, and don't mind the rebate, this is for you!

    HP offers the dv 6626us at $650 after two rebates totalling $200. Ouch! You get an Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 processor, 1gb memory, 160gb hard disk, wireless, dvd burner with lightscribe, 15.4" brightview widescreen display, built-in webcam, and the obligatory Vista Premium. If you don't mind the heavy rebate amounts and if you are a fan of Intel processors, take a long hard look at this one.

    For those who like 17" widescreen displays, instead of the smaller ones, the HP dv9610us goes for $700 after two rebates totalling $100. The other specs are as usual, 1gb RAM, 160gb hdd, dvd burner with lightscribe, wireless, Vista Premium and such. Oh the processor is an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-58. It also features a built-in webcam and built-in Bluetooth. If you love 17" screens, this is a slam dunk!

    A Circit City exclusive is this Toshiba Satellite A215-S7444 for $730, and no rebates at all! This packs some heat, 2gb memory, 200gb hard disk, AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-58, 15.4" widescreen, NextGen wireless, Vista Premium, dvd burner, built-in webcam. Not bad at all!

    The above laptop is also avaiable in a City Deal bundle for $900 after aa $30 mail-in rebate. This includes the A215-S7444 Satellite notebook, and the NetGear Wireless N-router, WNR834B100NAS, and Firedog service for two (computers).

    A more beefed up version is the Toshiba A215-S7462 at $850 after a $150 MIR. This has an AMD Turion TL-60, 2gb ram, 250gb hard disk, dvd burner with labelflash, 15.4" widescreen display, wireless, built-in webcam and fingerprint reader and lots more.

    At $900 after two rebates totalling $200 is the HP dv6662se, with an Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo T5250, 2gb memory, 250gb hard disk drive, 15.4" brightview widescreen, Next-Gen wireless, dvd burner with lightscribe, built-in webcam, 12-cell LiIon battery, and lots more. SE in this case stands for special edition.

    And while we are at HPs, the HP Expansion Base 3000 is on sale for $150, after a $50 mail-in rebate.

    At $1000 even, after two rebates of $200, we have a convertible touch screen HP laptop. This Pavilion, the TX 1320us, features a 12.1" brightview touchscreen with a swiveling capability of 180 degrees. This only weighs 4.2 lbs. Under the "hood" there's an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-60 (not TL-58), 2gb memory, 250gb hard disk, NextGen wireless, dvd burner with lightscribe, Vista Premium, built-in webcam and fingerprint reader. So as you can see just because this is a tiny notebook, it doesn't mean it is it not powerful! Great if you love lightweight but powerful laptops with swiveling or touchscreen displays.

    Continuing with the four figures, the HP dv9640us is a multimedia notebook, with a 17" widescreen, built-in TV tuner, Centrino Core 2 Duo blah blah T5250, 2gb memory, 240gb disk, dvd burner with lightscribe, built-in webcam, Vista Premium and such. The price you ask? $1130 after a $50 mail in rebate.

    Last but certainly not least is the Sony Vaio VGN FZ240E B for $1200 after a $100 MIR. Judging from the price, yes it's a Sony :) It has an Intel Centrino T7250 processor, 2gb memory, 250gb hard disk, 15.4" XBrite ECO widescreen, built-in webcam, dvd burner, NextGen wireless, and of course Vista Premium.

    Dell Wish for the Holidays Sunday paper ad

    Dell goes all out on the attack with an eight page ad insert in the Sunday paper. This is using the "Wish for the Holidays" theme and promotes all things Dell, along with their invasion of Staples stores.

    A number of laptops are advertised, so let's see what they have in-store in-flyer for us :)

    The Dell Inspiron 1501, e-value code 12559-DNPHHY1 is $500. It features an AMD Sempron 3600+, 15.4" HD widescreen display, 1gb memory, 120gb hard disk, Dell 1390 wireless mini-card (b/g), Vista Home Basic and free shipping handling (3-5 day option). All that for just $500!

    For $650, the Dell Inspiron 1521 can be yours. It has an AMD Sempron 3600+, 1gb memory, 160gb hard disk, dvd burner, Dell 1490 wireless mini-card for 802.11 a/b/g, 15.4" HD widescreen display, and more. Evalue code is 12559-DNPHLY3.

    Next up at $750 but also with a $50 Dell promotional gift card (see terms and ocnditions) is the Dell Inspiron 1420. E-value code is 12559-DNPHJY3. You get an Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, 14.1" widescreen, 1gb memory, 160gb hard disk, Vista Premium, free shipping and handling and lots more. If you want to upgrade to a 320gb hard disk, you have to pony up $100 more.

    And if you are a fan of 17" widescreen, not those tiny dinky laptop displays, you pay $850 and you get the Dell Inspiron 1721. This has an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-60 (note the TL-60, not TL-58), 1gb memory, 160gb hard disk, dvd burner, Vista Premium and more. Free shipping and handling. E-value code: 12559-DNPHNY3. You also get a promotional $50 Dell gift card with this guy.

    As with all Dell computers, you can configure them to your specs, but obviously adding more features costs extra :)

    Dell also offers nine months no interest on new Inpsiron systems when you get a DellCare protection plan. Should you get a protection plan? That is the big question, and that's for a different time :)

    Also there, the Dell XPS M1330 is featured for $1200. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, 13.3" HD widescreen, 1gb memory, 120gb hard disk, dvd burner, Intel Pro wireless 3945 mini-card with a/b/g wireless, Vista Premium and more. You also get a $100 promotional Dell gift card. Shipping and handling is free. E-value code is 12559-DYCHTL1.

    One recurring theme from this ad emerges: Dell is stingy on memory, as all advertised laptops comes with 1gb memory. Obviously you can add more when you configure the laptop for your order, but offering just 1gb allows them to keep the advertised price lower :)

    Forgive the desktop reference here, but their front page special might be of interest to you, it is the Dell Inspiron 530s desktop for $500, evalue code 12559-DDPHFB1, with a Pentium dual core E2140, Vista Premium, 17" widescreen flat panel, 1gb memory, 250gb hard disk, and dvd burner.

    And they do offer free shipping and handling (3-5 days) on all Inspiron PCs and featured accessories and electronics in the ad.

    Now let's accessorize! The new 20" Dell widescreen flat panel display, model SP2008WFP, which includes a webcam (!!!) and a microphone is $290. Order code is SP208WFP. Yes a webcam in the monitor! How gimmicky is that? :)

    And how about some of the electronics advertised? An 8gb Sandisk Sansa E280 mp3 player for $176, the Fuji Finepix Z10fd camera for $200, and a Philips 47" LCD TV for $1800. Shipping and "handeling" included :) For more check the Sunday paper or the Dell website!

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    Dell invades Staples stores next week (starting Nov 11)

    Dell invades Staples stores next week as they unleash their "mail-order" laptops in-store :) The front page of the upcoming week's Staples circular is full of Dell products! This can makes us wonder, is Black Friday coming early this year at Staples? :)

    Of laptop interest, the Dell Inspiron 1521 is featured front page for $780. This ...inspirational laptop features an AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual Core TL-58 Processor, a 15.4" widescreen, 2GB memory, 160GB hard drive, SuperMulti format dvd burner, built-in Webcam, and of course the obligatory Vista Home Premium.

    And when you are working at the office or at home, what better way to match the laptop with a 22" widescreen Dell LCD computer monitor for the very sexy price of $270. Not a typo, two hundred and seventy dollars :) It has a 1680 by 1050 resolution, 800:1 contrast ratio and 5ms response time. You can also get a 19" Dell LCD monitor for $180.

    Spoiling the Dell party however is Acer with two laptops, one of which is a mere $500. We are talking about the Acer Aspire AS4520 for $500 and no rebates. If you want you can get a free printer after mail-in rebates. What do you get for five hundred dollars? Not a bad deal, let me tell you! It has an AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC TK-53, 1gb memory, 120gb hard disk, 14.1" widescreen display, super multi format dvd burner, built-in webcam and memory card reader, and Vista Premium. Bargain Alert!

    The second one is the Acer Aspire AS7720 for $750. This is ideal for people who like 17" widescreen displays because it has one :) Just like the one above, you can get a free printer after mail-in rebate. The laptop itself has an Intel® Centrino Duo Core 2 Duo T5250 processor, 2GB memory, 160GB hard disk drive, dvd burner, a/b/g wireless, built-in webcam, and everybody's favorite Aero-powered Vista Premium.

    On the accessories front, the 160gb Western Digital Passport portable drive is $100 without rebates!

    Friday, November 9, 2007

    Laptop deals at Fry's electronics this weekend

    Let's get this Fry's party started!

    The HP Pavilion notebooks
    First up, for $600 after a $50 MIR (mail-in rebate) we have the HP dv6605us, which is your typical laptop these days, with a 15.4" widescreen, 1gb memory, 160gb hard disk, Vista Premium, b/g wireless, double layer dvd burner with lightscribe, and such. The processor is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC 1.8ghz TK-55. Now that's a railroad! How about 64X2DC instead? :)

    Next up from HP we have a similarly spec'ed laptop, the HP dv6626us, but this one has an Intel Centrino Duo Core 2 Duo T5250 processor. Another railroad name. Those two microprocessor manufacturers are such copy cats! They even copy each other's names! Shame! Other than the processor the basic specs are pretty similar as the one above. The price is $700 after a $50 MIR.

    For $50 more you can get the HP dv6645us which features an AMD Turion instead of Athlon processor, namely the TL-58 1.9ghz processor, and 2gb of memory instead of 1gb. The rest of the main specifications are pretty similar.

    At the same price ($750 after a $50 MIR), you have another option, a laptop with a 17" widescreen, the HP dv9610us. Some people do love these bigger widescreens, so that's a welcome option for them. Spec-wise it is similar with the dv6645, but has 1gb of memory instead of 2gb, and of course the 17" widescreen instead of the 15.4" widescreen. Obviously it's easier to upgrade from 1gb to 2gb of memory, than from a 15.4" to 17" widescreen (infact, you can't :)

    Moving on, the HP dv6660se costs $900 after a $50 MIR, and it is similar to the ones above, with AMD TL-58, 2gb memory, but a 250gb hard disk. It has the usual assortment of 15.4" widescreen, dvd burner with lightscribe, Vista Premium, b/g wireless etc etc. Please note I am only referring to the main specs here, I am not comparing their spec sheets line by line. There are other differences but they are beyond the scope of this post.

    More HP goodies, the XB3000 notebook expansion base is available for $200 even, while an HP notebook sports backpack with black and green stripes can be yours for $40. No rebates for either one.


    The Sony Vaio Trio
    We have a trio of Sony Vaio laptops in this ad, starting with the Sony CR 240E /B at $1150. You get an Intel Centrino Duo Core 2 Duo T7250 processor, 2gb ddr2 memory, 200gb hard disk drive, 14.1" XBrite widescreen, a/b/g/N wireless (N for NextGen), double layer dvd burner, and more.

    Next up at $1500 we have the Sony FZ 260 E/B which has the same processor as above, 2gb memory, 250gb hard drive, 15.4" XBrite widescreen, a/b/g/N wireless, Vista Premium, 1.3 megapixel webcam, and a dvd burner which is also a BluRay ROM. Yes, it plays BluRay. What it doesn't offer is an answer to the dueling HD formats (BluRay vs HD-DVD). With that in question, are you getting the next VHS or the next BetaMax???

    The third one is the Sony FZ 280 E/B for $1650. Yes, these are Sony prices. You get the same T7250 processor, and similar specs as the one before, but without the BluRay, but with a built-in fingerprint reader. Not sure what the other differences are to jistify the higher price. Maybe the Sony logo shines more? :)


    The lone Apple
    The Apple MacBok black 2.16 is advertised at $1494. Fry's informs us that they are an authorized Appler reseller so worry not. This one has a 2.16ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1gb memory, 160gb hard disk drive, double layer super drive, and a 13" widescreen display. It makes the Sonys look affordable ;-)


    Some accessories of note
    The Logitech V150 laser notebook mouse is $20 after a $10 MIR. What a pain to send a $10 rebate on a mouse! Grrrrr! The Swiss Gear angle notebook sleeve is $20 after a $5 MIR. Oh boy! APC has a universal LiIon notebook battery that claims to offer up to 4 hours runtime at $90 after a $10 MIR.

    Wanna lockup your laptop? The Targus cable lock with a high strength steel cable and up to 10,000 user setable combinations is $15 after a $10 MIR. AirLink 101 offers a slim PS/@ KVM switch for just $19, no rebates, cables included and it supports video resolution of up to 2048x1536.

    Emprex has a 4gb usb flash stick drive for $18 only after a $20MIR though. A brandless 17" LCD monitor is yours for $100 after a $20 MIR. Wow! An SD/MMC USB-based memory card reader is just $4, and no rebates. Thank you very much!

    Samsung has a 22" widescreen LCD monitor, with 1680x1050 resolution, 3000:1 contrast ratio, 2ms response time, 300cd/m2, all that for $270 after a tiny $30 MIR.

    If you can call this an accessory, the Norton Internet Security 2008 suite is free after two mail-in rebates. One of them is an upgrader rebate which means you must have either an older version of eligible Norton software or eligible competitor software.

    We are almost done, Lexar offers an 8gb ExpressCard drive for $90, while PQi has a 16gb USB flash drive for 4100 after a $35 MIR.

    And before we go, take a look at our breakdown of the sub-$1000 laptops

    Sunday, November 4, 2007

    Two laptops advertised by Radio Shack

    Radio Shack's circular that is in effect until November 10, 2007 has two laptops advertised. The Compaq Presario F730 for $550 after a $65 mail-in prepaid gift card, which features an AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC TK-55, 1gb memory, 120gb hard disk, 15.4" widescreen display, dvd burner, wireless, lightscribe, Vista Premium and such.

    The second laptop is the HP Pavilion dv6625 for $700 after a $75 mail-in prepaid card. It features an AMD Turion TL-58 processor, 1gb memory, 160gb hard disk, dvd burner with lightscribe, built-in memory card reader, wireless, 15.4" widescreen display, Vista Premium and such.

    There's also a special financing offer with a minimum in-store purchase of $199 you get 12 months no interest. You still have to make the minimum monthly payments.

    As far as peripherals, the Logitech V200 cordless optical mouse is $20, the Internet keyboard pro $10, a wireless-N USB adapter is $60 on sale, a 4gb Sandisk Cruzer micro usb flash drive is $40. Meanwhile you can get a USB-stick SD or memory stick card readers for $10 each. These are hi-speed usb 2.0 certified. Memory card sold separately as they say in the ads.

    Saturday, November 3, 2007

    Notebook computers at Fry's Electronics this week

    Let's see what Fry's electronics has in store for us this weekend.

    At $500 even, and without a rebate is the Toshiba Satellite A215-S7407, tempting potential buyers with its AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC 1.8Ghz, 1gb RAM, 80gb disk, supermulti format dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen, wireless and Vista Premium. A versatile laptop at that price, but obviously it does have some trade-offs compared to laptops at twice the price. Nevertheless this is not just for email and browsing, the dual processors give it some punch.

    If you prefer a smaller sized laptop, the Toshiba u305-s7432 is available for $700, and it features a 13.3" widescreen, Pentium DC T2310, 1gb memory, 80gb disk, dvd burner, built-in webcam, and the like. Not bad, given that this is Satellite!

    Toshiba offers an affordable 17" laptop as well, the Satellite P205-S7429 for $800. It has some similar specs as the S7407 mentioned above, but with a 120gb hard disk. Obviously the 17" display is the deciding factor for this one, geared towards fans of that.

    Sony fans will be thrilled that they can get the Sony Vaio NR160E/S for $800 without rebates, which features an Intel® Core 2 Duo Processor T5250, 1GB memory, 160GB hard disk, 15.4" WXGA display, dvd burner, wireless and the obligatory Vista Premium. Those who want to spend more and get a smaller laptop, can take a look at the Sony VGN-CR240E/B for $1150.

    Samsung offers the ultra mobile Samsung Q1U V A110 for $1100. This is a 7" touchscreen tablet PC, with a split QWERTY built-in keypad, a 1024x600 display, Vista Premium, and an A110 Intel processor running at 800 Mhz. It has prismatic LiIon batteries which in theory save space while providing plenty of juice. It also has 1gb memory, 60gb hard disk at 4200rpm, wireless, bluetooth, built-in SD/MMC memory card slot, and more.

    Friday, October 26, 2007

    Laptops at Fry's Electronics this weekend

    Let's see what Fry's Electronics has in-store for us for the weekend. As always we start with the lowest price first and move on up. Remember, MIR is mail-in rebate.

    First up, a nice deal for $480 after a $30 MIR, the Compaq Presario F730us with an AMD Athlon TK-55, 1gb memory, 120gb disk, dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen, wireless, and Vista Premium. One per customer.

    A very similarly spec'ed HP, the Pavilion dv6605us for $550 after a $50 MIR. The processor is running at 1.8 GHz with a 512K L2 cache.

    Then at $600 after a $50 MIR is the HP dv6625us featuring an AMD Turion 1.9ghz processor, 1gb memory, 160gb disk, 15.4" widescreen, wireless, dvd burner with lightscribe and the obligatory Vista Premium. Price-wise you may want to compare and contrast this one with the F730us mentioned above. You could save $120 :)

    Yet another HP, the dv2610 is offered at $700 after a $50 MIR, with an AMD Turion TL-58, 1 gig memory, 180gb disk, dvd burner with lightscribe, 14.1" widescreen display, wireless and Bluetooth! Note the difference in screen size, processor (Turion vs Athlon), and Bluetooth-ness.

    Toshiba comes in at $750, without rebates mind you, with the Satellite A205-S7442 with a Centrino Duo T5250, 1 gig memory, 120gb disk, dvd burner, wireless, 15.4" widescreen, Vista Premium and such.

    Those who love convertibles may be interested in the HP tx1305us, which features a 12.1" widescreen touch screen at $900 after a $50 MIR. It is reasonably speced with an AMD Turion TL-58, 1gb memory, 160gb disk, dvd burner with lightscribe, wireless, Vista Premium and more.

    And now we move into four figures territory with three different Sony Vaoi notebooks. First up, the Sony Vaio VGN-CR220 for $1150, without rebates. This puppy is available in different colors. Powered by an Intel Centrino Duo T5250, it has 2 gig memory, 200gb disk, dual layer dvd burner, a/b/g and NextGen wireless, 14.1" widescreen, built-in webcam and Vista Premium.

    Next up, with a 13.3" XBrite widescreen is the Sony Vaio SZ640N/B for $1650 without rebates. It runs Vista Business instead. It has the usual assortment of Intel Centrino Duo T7250, 2gb memomry, 160gb disk, double layer dvd burner, wireless including NextGen, and the other usual features.

    At the same price we find the Sony Vaio FZ280E/B, with a 15.4" widescreen, the same processor and memory as above, but a 250gb hard disk drive. It also has a dvd burner, built-in webcam and fingerprint reader and Vista Premium.


    Accessories
    Two docks are advertised, the Toshiba Dynadock PA3541U-2PRP USB Docking Station with Video Port for $100 and without any rebates! The other one is the HP XB3000 Expansion Base for $200 without rebates and compatible with a number of Pavilion DV-series laptops and some Compaq Presario V-series models.

    How about some accessories? A 512mb Kingston USB flash drive is just $6, while at the other end of the spectrum the 16gb K-Data is $100 after a $35 MIR. The Swiss Gear Synergy notebook backpack can be yours for $55 after a $20 MIR. If you want to spend less, the Targus Feren backpack is $30 after a $15 MIR. For $20 after a $10 MIR you can get the Logitech V220 cordless optical mouse.


    Apple World
    Hey, how about the Macs? What about them? There's one advertised, the MacBook with a Macally black bookshell case for $1100. Fry's is an authorized Apple reseller so do not worry about that. This one features a 2ghz Intel Core 2 processor, 1gb memory, 80gb disk, and sadly a cd burner with dvd-rom capability. Seriously, you expect people to pay $1100 for a laptop without a dvd burner? You can get the Presario F730us for half that price! :)

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    Office Depot Laptops this week (or whatever is left of it)

    Office Depot (ODP) has rebates, and they have to be mailed in and they tend to be of the slow variety, so if you are not are not patient or organized, you may want to avoid the rebate offers. MIR means mail-in rebate :)

    We start with an ODP exclusive model, the Toshiba L45-S7409 for the very tempting price of $450 after a $150 MIR. It is powered by an Intel Pentium dual core T2310, 1gb memory, 80gb hard disk, dual layer dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen, wireless and such. This is nice price for all the features and not to mention the Toshiba-ness. It certainly belongs to the category. Yum!

    Next up at $600 after $150 MIR is the Gateway MT-6723 with the Pentium DC T2310, 2gb RAM, 160gb hard disk, dvd burner with labelflash, 15.4" widescreen, Vista Premium, and wireless. Another ODP exclusive model. This is similar to the Toshi above, but has double the RAM and the hard disk on the surface. I'm sure there's some more differences when you dig further down.

    Next up at $700 after $200 MIR is the ODP exclusive HP DV2617US, with a 14.1" widescreen, Centrino Duo T5250, 2gb, 160gb disk, dvd burner, wireless and Vista Premium. Note the screen size on this one. Some people do prefer smaller screens (smaller screen means smaller laptop in general).

    Toshi returns with the U305-S7448 at $750 after $150 MIR. This has an even smaller wide screen, at 13.3". But it does feature a Pentium dual core T2310, 2gb ram, 160gb disk, dvd burner, wireless, built-in webcam, Vista premium and such.

    Using your laptop for too long, or is it overheating or are you worried the surface you are putting it on may not be good for it? The catch all solution is to use a chill mat. And this week they have the Targus® Notebook Chill Mat on sale for $20.

    If you want to hold the Big Blue in your hands, the Lenovo R61i is avaiable for $800 after $250 MIR. It runs Vista Business, Centrino duo T5250, 2gb ram, 160gb disk, dvd burner, wireless, built-in fingerprint reader and more. Another ODP exclusive.

    Back to the HPs with the Pavilion DV9620US at $850 after $200 MIR. This puppy has a 17" widescreen, and is intended as a desktop replacement in power. The processor is an AMD Turion TL-58, 2gb ram, 240gb disk, dvd burner with lightscribe, wireless, built-in webcam, Vista Premium and more.

    Zooming on up we find the Toshiba Satellite A205-S7468 at $950 after $200 MIR, with an HD-DVD player drive as the spotlight. This of course makes it a good candidate as a multimedia computer for that purpose alone. As you probably know Toshiba is one of the driving forces behind HD-DVD so you bet they are going to try to push it out there as much as they can. What else do you get from this notebook? Centrino Duo T5250, 2gb ram, 200gb disk, wireless including NextGen, Vista Premium, built-in webcam and 15.4" widescreen.

    Next Sony's multicolor wonder, the Vaio CR220 is $1150 after $150 MIR. You chose the color and the style and you pay the price :-) This has a Centrino Duo T7250, 2gb memory, 200gb hard disk, dvd burner, built-in webcam, 14.1" XBriteECO widescreen, Vista Premium, wireless and more. For Sony fans :)

    Last but certainly not least is the HP DV9650US for $1250 after $200 MIR, with Centrino Duo T5250, 2gb RAM, 320gb hard disk (WOW!), dvd burner with HD-DVD playback, wireless including NextGen, TV Tuner, 17" widescreen, built-in webcam, and Vista Premium. Clearly a do-it-all notebook as you get your bigger screen, your tv tuner, and your HD-DVD player all in one. The 320gb hard disk is a nice touch as well given the multimedia-ness of this guy.

    And this concludes our coverage of the ODP laptops this week :)

    New laptops models invade Best Buy

    Six new laptop models adorn the pages of this week's Best Buy circular. Six new laptops and some of the prices may surprise you! For those who hate rebates, there are no rebates to fill! What you pay is what you pay!

    A brand new laptop is coming out of the gate at $400. This may belong in the category I call The Remnants, but for a number of uses and applications it may be more than good enough. So what is laptop? It is the Toshiba Satellite A135-S7404. This Best Buy exclusive model comes out of the gate at the price and it's a Toshiba to boot. How can Toshiba make a $400 model? I do not now that answer, but I do know that it has an Intel Celeron processor, 512mb ddr2 memory, 80gb hard disk, dual-layer dvd burner (wow!), 15.4" TruBrite widescreen, and Vista Basic. If these are the only features you need, this is not bad. Or if you plan on running Linux or other lightweight operating systems.

    Our first dual core model is the new Acer EX4620-4605. As you can see, even the model naming is new. It is powered by an Intel Pentium dual core, 2gb RAM, 160gb hard disk, dual layer dvd burner, 14.1" CrystalBrite widescreen, and Vista Premium. All that can be yours for $600. Especially if you prefer the smaller 14 inch displays instead of the typical 15.4 inchers.

    Next up Sony gives its fans something affordable (in terms of Sony pricing) to put under their Christmas tree: The Sony Vaio VGN-NR180E/W is just $650, with an Intel Centrino Duo Core 2 Duo, 1gb memory, 200gb hard disk, dual layer dvd burner, 15.4" XBrite-ECO widescreen and of course Vista Premium. A reasonably priced Centrino Core 2 Duo Sony? Wow :)

    Next we have a computer made from cows! The Gateway P6301 is $700, with a 17" widescreen, Pentium dual core, 1gb RAM, 160gb disk, dual layer dvd burner with label flash and Vista Premium. A Best Buy exclusive model. Ideal if you must have a 17 inch display.

    Another Best Buy exclusive at $950 is the HP DV2660SE, SE presuambly standing for Special Edition. This Verve tries to justify its price because of a 14.1" HD BrightView widescreen, fancy cover design (what?), 2gb RAM, 250gb hard disk, dual layer dvd burner with lightscribe, built-in webcam, mobile remote, and Vista. They call it "a stylish powerful performer". Is it?

    The last of the advertised new laptops crosses into four figures. You guessed it, it's a Sony Vaio VGN-FZ-240E/B at $1300. Powered by the Centrino Duo Core 2 Duo Intel Making Up Long and Unnecessary Duo Names Duo Silly Duo T7250, it features 2gb RAM, 250gb hdd, dual layer dvd burner, NextGen wireless, built-in webcam, Vista Premium, 15.4" XBrite ECO widescreen and the Sony brand which I'm sure adds about $300 to the price :-)


    That's all the laptops. Here are some accessories:

  • Belkin F5L001 cooling stand with fan, $30
  • Belkin F8N044-BRN chocolate color cushtop for laptop for $30. Even thought it says chocolate, DO NOT EAT IT!
  • Avid Pinnacle's PCTV HD ultimate stick with flash memory is $98. Model is 8230-10020-71. Nice name if you want to ask for it by name at a store :)
  • And how about some Madison Avenue accessories? A full page ad in the circular is devoted to a new exclusive line of Liz Claiborne fashion-forward bags and carrying cases for your technology gadgets, be it laptops, digital cameras, cell phones, iPods, and such.

  • Monday, October 22, 2007

    Breakdown: Grouping the sub-$1000 laptops

    This is only my opinion, so please bear with me! I will be breaking down the current sub-$1000 laptops for classicifcation purposes, but also to aid in understanding the market. The categories are presented in price order, the lowest price always first :-)

    The first category, I call The Remnants, these are older less powerful single processor laptops, usually having older processors such as Celeron, smaller than 15.4" widescreen display, cd burner with dvd-rom, but not a dvd burner. they may also have only 512mb of RAM, smaller hard disk, and limited (or no) wireless capability, and probably Vista Home Basic, since 512mb can't really handle Vista Premium. In my opinion, unless you only want these features or you find these dir cheap, I recommend that you avoid them because for about $50 to $100 more you can get a much better bang for your buck.

    The next category is what I call The Bang for the Buck category. This includes the laptops that hover in the $450 to $650 price range and have a number of nice features, but they are not state of the art. Typically you get:

  • 1gb RAM
  • AMD Athlon or Intel Pentium processor - both dual core
  • 80gb to 160gb hard disk
  • dvd burner (double or dual layer, sometime supermulti which really just means Panasonic DVD-RAM support) with either lightscribe or labelflash
  • 15.4" widescreen display
  • a/b/g wireless but not NextGen N wireless
  • Usually no extras like built-in webcam, built-in memory card reader or built-in fingerprint reader. All of these can be added via USB.
  • Vista Home Premium

    Next up, a category that often overlaps with the previous one is what I call The New Value Frontier and goes up to $800ish. It usually offers most of the features of the previous categories but may offer one or more of the following as well:
  • 17" widescreen instead of 15.4"
  • built-in webcam and built-in memory card reader, maybe fingerprint reader
  • 2gb memory instead of 1gb
  • bigger hard disk
  • maybe NextGen wireless

    And last but not least, I am grouping everything in the Open your Wallet category where the prices can start from the $800s all the way to infinity. Okay, not infinity but close :) These have all the latest features and/or some unique characterists that justify the extra price such as convertible displays, or touchscreens, or convertible touchscreens. Also some have HD-DVD or BluRay support which adds to the price premium, especially BluRay. The buzz features such as NextGen wireless, built-in fingerprint reader, webcam and memory card reader abound. Style and size are a premium for some models. Those 12" little bits costs a lot more than the "standard 15.4" widescreen" models. Others have race car affiliations (Ferrari), or luxurious bling bling or leather. But don't let the blign bling fool you, some of them are really more powerful than the previous categories. Some have both style and substance. But the commoon denominator is that you have to pay four figures :-)

  • Lots of laptops at Circuit City this week

    Circuit City offers a wide variety of laptops this week in their circular brochure found in the sunday paper and in the stores. Lots of nice deals, but not for those who are rebate-averse. Remember, MIR stands for mail-in rebate :)

    Let's start with the lowest prices as always. At $470 after two mail-in rebates ($30 + $130) we have a really nice deal if you don't mind rebates. The Compaq Presario F730us is an AMD Athlon 64X2DC TK-55 laptop, with 1gb memory, 120gb disk, dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen, lightscribe, wireless and Vista. A value-packed laptop for that price!

    For $100 more (after one $130 MIR) stands the Gateway M6721 with an Intel Pentium DC T2310, 1gb memory, 160gb disk, dvd burner with labelflash, 15.4" ultrabright widescreen, wireless and Vista Premium. You may want to compare this with the F730us mentioned above as they have similar specs!

    Next up is a great value for lovers of 17" widescreen laptops, the Toshiba Satellite P205-S7438, for $650 after two MIR ($180 total). Its other basic specs are similar to the F730us mentioned above, except it has 160gb hard disk.
    If you value the Toshiba brand and a 17" widescreen, this is for you!

    Next we move into the next tier of sub-$1000 laptops with the HP Pavilion dv6646us, a Circit City exclusive models that costs $730 after a $50 MIR. What makes it a next tier more? It has NextGen N wireless, 2gb ram, AMD Turion TL-58, 160gb hard disk, dvd burner with lightscribe, built-in webcam and Vista Premium.

    How about some accessories? The HP Expansion Base 3000+ is $150 after a $50 MIR, and includes a wireless keyboard and mouse combo along with integrated speakers. Model is ES234AA. Interesting?

    Back to the computers, we have another HP, the Pavilion DV6654us. The price tag is $850 after a $50 MIR. Why this price? It features an Intel Centrino Duo Core 2 Duo T5250, 2gb memory, 250gb hard disk, nextgen wireless, built-in webcam, dvd burner, and 15.4" widescreen. Trade-offs, trade-offs! Do you get this or spend less for a laptop with fewer features?

    And now we interrupt the regular laptops for a Circuit City bundle, which they call a "City Deal". It includes Microsoft Office Home and Studnet 2007 with Firedog installation, and the centerpiece of the set, the Toshiba Satellite A215-S7444 for a total price of $890 but without any rebates. Gasp! This is claimed to be a Circuit city exclusive. The laptop itself has a 15.4" widescreen, AMD Turion TL-58, 2gb memory, 200gb disk, dvd burner with labelflash, Vista Premium, NextGen wireless and built-in webcam.

    The weather is nice how about a convertible? Ooops! This is not a car blog! But we do have a convertible laptop, the HP Pavilion TX1320US for $1000 after two MIR (total $200). The 12.1" brightview touchscreen with 180 degree swiveling capability is the centerpiece and the reason for this price of this notebook. But it's no slouch, as it has an AMD Turion TL-60, 2gb memory, 250gb hard disk, NextGen wireless, dvd burner with lightscribe, built-in fingerprint reader and webcam, Vista Premium and such. Good things come in small packages but at a price premium :)

    The last laptop is a Sony which explains why it is $1250 after a $50 MIR. The Sony Vaio VGNFZ240EB features a 15.4" XBrite-ECO widescreen display, Intel Centrino Duo Core 2 Duo T7250, 2gb memory, 250gb hard disk, Nextgen wireless, dvd burner, built-in webcam and Vista Premium. Of interest to Sony fans I'm sure, but it's not exactly the best bang for the buck for the rest of us :)

    And let's close with some more accessorizing! The Kensington slimblade presenter mouse is $30 (I didn't make up that name!), while their accompanying keyboard is $40. If you prefer to buy a set with more, you pay $100. Addition by addition :) Meanwhile a new Targus 15.4" laptop case is $30, and 1gb of Kingston PC2-5300 667hhz DDR2 is $40 (model KVR667D2S01GR). Oh boy, who comes up with these user friendly names? :)

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    A trio of laptops at Office Max this week

    A trio of laptops is featured in this week's Circular Ad by Office Max. As always, we start with the lowest price. And keep in mind, Office Max is allergic to rebates, so what you see is what you pay!

    At $650, the Acer Aspire AS5720-4171 2152-4290 makes a case for itself as it is a nicely featured notebook with 2gb RAM, 200gb hard disk, 15.4" widescreen, dvd burner, Intel Pentium T2310 dual core, built-in webcam and memory card reader, wireless and Vista Premium. Office Max claims this is an Office Max exclusive model. Certainly this is a reasonable trade-off between low price and variety of features. If you compare it with the Compaq F730us for example, you get double the RAM, almost double the hard disk, and a built-in webcam and a memory card reader. So ultimately it is up to you whether you value all these enough to pay an extra $100 to $150. Obviously you can buy external/USB webcams and memory card readers, and you can upgrade the memory card yourself, but if you prefer a hassle-free purchase, you should probably take a long hard look at this Acer puppy!

    And now we move on to another Office Max exclusive! This one is a trio! The trio costs $950. For that you get the HP Photosmart M547 digital camera, the HP C4280 3-in-1 printer, and of course the HP Pavilion dv6627om-b. The entree features an AMD Turion 64X2DC TL-58, 2gb RAM, 160gb hard disk, b/g wireless, dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen, built-in webcam and memory card reader and Vista Premium. So that raises the question, get this bundle or pay $300 less and get the Acer. Well, apart from the question whether you prefer HP or Acer, the big question is do you really need the HP camera and the HP 3-in-1 printer? Chances are you already have cameras and printers. I don't know what the price of the printer is stand-alone, but the HP M547 is a pretty entry level camera of the sub-$150 variety. So ask the question and do the math :-)

    The third of the trio of laptops is in the next tier of features, and for that it crosses over into four figures. The Toshiba Satellite P205-S7476 - thank you for the user friendly user names ;-) This puppy costs $1100 and it better earn it! It has an Intel Centrino Duo Core 2 T5250, 17" widescreen display, HD-DVD playback (Toshiba is a big proponent of HD-DVD), 2gb DDR2 RAM, 200gb harddisk, a/b/g/N wireless, built-in webcam and fingerprint reader, and Vista Premium. As you can see it packs a lot of the latest laptop buzz features: 17" display, HD-DVD, Next-gen N wireless, fingerprint reader, and webcam. If you are interested in those, then you justify the $1100 price. Otherwise the $650 Acer looks really nice wallet-wise :-)

    Two budget laptops advertised at Radio Shack

    Radio Shack's circular for the two weeks ending 10/27/07 features two budget priced notebook computers, and they both include a mail-in prepaid card offer in order to get the low price.

    First up, at $450 after a $100 mail-in prepaid card is the Acer Aspire AS4315. This is a rather entry-level model with an Intel Celeron M520 processor, 512mb RAM, 80gb hard disk, cd burner with DVD-ROM (no dvd burner), b/g wireless, and 14.1" widescreen display. The Operating system is not mentioned in the ad. My recommendation is to pay a bit more and get some of the more beefed up entry-level laptops. For example during the Columbus Day weekend you could get the Compaq Presario F730us for $480AR.

    A more powerful computer than the Acer above is the Toshiba Satellite L45 at $600 after a $50 mail-in prepaid card. This has an Intel Pentium 2310 dual core processor, 1gb RAM, 120gb hard disk, supermulti dvd burner, b/g wireless, 15.4" widescreen display and such.

    I do not know what the pre-paid card is, whether it's a Radio Shack gift card or a Visa/Mastercard gift card. Radio Shack's ad did not explain. But they do have a special financing promotion, 12 months no interest on new notebook PCs, with minimum $200 purchase. You still have to make minimum monthly payments.

    For "accessorizers", the Gigaware 26-284 wireless optical travel mouse is just $20, while the one with the retractable cord (not cordless, but USB), is on sale in-store for $12. Also of laptop interest, the 4gb Sandisk USB 2.0 flash drive is $40, while the 1gb MyMusic USB2.0 mp3 player wiht fm tuner is $50 while supplies last.

    Saturday, October 20, 2007

    Two laptops advertised by Staples (October 21 through 27)

    Two laptops are advertised by Staples for the upcoming week, October 21 through October 27, 2007.

    First up, the lovely Acer Aspire AS5520 for $600 flat no rebates no schmebates. This is your typical versatile all-around laptop in this price range. What do you get? You get an AMD Turion 64X2DC TL-58 processor, 1gb RAM, 200gb hard disk drive, 15.4" widescreen, supermultiformat dvd burner, built-in webcam, wireless and Vista Premium. Not bad eh?

    The second laptop is for people who love 17" widescreens. The HP Pavilion DV9620 costs $850 after $50 Easy Rebate, and features an AMD Turion 64X2DC TL-58, 2gb RAM, 240gb hard disk, supermultiformat dvd burner with lightscribe, wireless, built-in webcam and memory card reader, and of course Vista Premium. A nice bundle for those who love 17" widescreen displays.

    That's all from Staples laptop-wise. But both of those are interesting deals and worth a look if that's what interests you. Obviously they are not the bargain that the F730us was at $450 after rebate during the Columbus Day sale week, but these two have plenty to cheer about!

    Notebook deals at Fry's Electronics this weekend

    Let's see what Fry's Electronics has in-store for us this weekend! We will be presenting the laptops in price order, lower price first :)

    First up is the Compaq Presario F730us offered at $480 after a $30 mail-in rebate. This notebook which was a popular Columbus Day deal at Fry's features an AMD Athlon 64X2DC TK-55 processor, 1gb RAM, 120gb hard disk, Vista Premium, dvd burner with lightscribe, 15.4" widescreen and wireless of course. Not much is known about it yet, but it follows on the heels of the successful budget model the F572us.

    Toshiba is one of the big names in laptops, and their Satellite A215-S7427 is tempting at $600 without rebates. It is powered by the same processor as the F730us mentioned above, and has similar features except it trade-offs a 2gb RAM for an 80gb hard disk. One per person.

    At $650 after a $50 MIR stands the HP dv66265us. This puppy is spec'ed similarly to the F730us mentioned above, but it features an AMD Turion, not Athlon processor. The processor runs at 1.90GHz with a 512KB + 512KB L2 cache.

    At $700 after a $50 MIR is the HP Pavilion dv2160us. This guy has an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-58 1.9Ghz, 1gb RAM, 160gb hard disk drive, double layer dvd burner with lightscribe, 14.1" widescreen LCD, Vista Premium, wireless and Bluetooth. This is ideal for those who want a feature packed laptop but also prefer a smaller size. Note that it has a 14.1" widescreen, not the customary 15.4" widescreen. This is a reasonable trade-off between getting the standard 15.4" laptop or the ultracompact ultraexpensive ones.

    Stationary screen frustrating you? Then take a look at the HP TX1305us for $900 after $50 MIR. It has a 12.1" convertible swiveling widescreen display, which is also a touchscreen. It has the usual features you would expect in this price range, AMD Athlon, 1gb RAM, 160gb disk, double layer dvd burner with lightscribe, Vista Premium, a/b/g wireless, etc.

    There are three Sony Vaios advertised, all featuring Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo processors, 2gb RAM, double layer dvd burners, and wireless. They differ on some of the other specs which explains the price variation. The CR240E/B is $1200, while at $1700 you can get either the SZ640N/B or the FZ280E/B.

    Apple users has a choice of the MacBook 2.0 for $1094 or the MacBook 2.16 for $1294. They use Intel Core Duo processors, 1gb RAM, and 13.3" widescreen displays. The other specs are different, which explains the price difference (dvd-burner, processor speed, size of hard disk, etc).

    Last but not leasst, let's accessorize! For $100 you can get the HP Notebook QuickDock. $100 flat, no rebates and such. Also from HP, their Notebook Messenger Bag that fits notebooks with displays up to 17" widescreen is $40 flat, no rebates. If you want a more expansive Notebook Expansion Base the HP XB3000 is $200 (no rebatesw) and compatible with a list of Pavilion and Presario notebooks. If you feel like Tom, you can chase the Logitech V320 for $30 after a $10 MIR. You can protect your notebook with the Targus notebook computer key lock for $15 and no rebates. And if you love the SwissGear bags, the Blue Maxxum backpack is $55 after a $15 MIR and good for notebooks up to 15.4" widescreen.

    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Two laptops next week at Staples - $500 Acer mania?

    Hot off their heels of a major success story wiht the $450AR Compaq Presario F730us, Staples is coming up with a duo of tempting laptops next week. First up a $500 Acer, the Aspire AS4520, for $500 without any rebates! What do you get for a cool five hundred? An AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC TK-53, 1gb RAM, 120gb hard disk, 14.1" widescreen, supermultiformat dvd burner, built-in webcam and memory card reader and Vista Premium. This is ideal for people who want a smaller laptop than the 15.4" but without paying the premium for those cutesy ultracompact laptops. Check it out!

    The second advertised laptop is the HP Pavilion DV6626 for $650 after a $50 Easy Rebate. Easy Rebates can be submitted online, no need to mail stuff out. It is powered by an Intel Centrino Duo Core 2 blah blah T5250, 1gb RAM, 160gb hard disk drive, 15.4" widescreen display, supermulti format dvd burner with lightscribe, a/b/g wireless, built-in webcam and memory card reader and Vista Premium.

    Sunday, October 7, 2007

    Laptops advertised by Office Max this week

    OfficeMax don't do rebates, so what you pay is the final price! First and front page on their ad is the Toshiba Satellite S7454 2152-4307 at $800 featuring a 17" widescreen, AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-58, 2gb RAM, 120gb hard disk drive, super multi format dvd burner, wireless networkings, built-in webcam and Vista Premium. A nice bundle for those who love 17" widescreens :)

    The second and last notebook of the circular ad is the Compaq Presario F732NR, at $600 even, with 15.4" widescreen, AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC TK-55, 1gb ram, 160gb hard disk, wireless, dvd burner, and Vista Premium. But if you are considering this, you may want to instead take a look at the Compaq Presario F730us offered at Staples this week for a mere $450 after a $30 rebate.

    And if you want some portable storage for your laptop, the Toshiba 1gb USB flash drive is a mere $10, and the 2gb Sandisk Cruzer Micro Ready Boost is $25, while the 4gb edition is $40. And if you want a backup/external monitor, the 20" Sceptre 2148-8212 is just $170, featuring a 1680x1050 resolution.

    Saturday, October 6, 2007

    Two great laptops during Columbus Day weekend at Staples!

    The big bruh-ha-ha laptop of the weekend is the Compaq Presario F730us for just $450 after a $30 mail-in rebate. This is the real deal folks. You get an AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC TK-55, 1gb RAM, 120gb hard disk, supermulti dvd burner with lightscribe, wireless, 15.4" widescreen and Vista Premium. This is nice for a sub $500 laptop. Very nice!

    The second laptop of the weekend circular is the Acer Aspire AS7720 at $700 without any rebates! This is ideal for those who like 17" widescreen monitors because it has one :) You also get 2gb of RAM with this guy and 160gb of disk, which is interesting to trade-off over the F730us. Rounding up the features is Vista Premium, dvd burner, wireless, built-in webcam, and Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo T5250.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007

    Eleven laptops on Circuit City this week

    This week's Circuit City circular has a total of eleven notebooks advertised. Enough for a football or soccer team. Although I highly recommend keeping your laptops away from the football or the soccer field ;-) We will present them with the lower price first, because we all love low prices! But first, they have a special offer for all except for HP and Compaq laptops: Free CA internet security software and free Lexmark X2580 printer after $150 in mail-in rebates. Oh by the way, we will be saying MIR for mail-in rebate, and AMD 64X2DC for AMD 64 X2 Dual Core. Every single one of these lovelies includes Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium, so we won't be mentioning it in the individual paragraphs below. It reduced the spec clatter :-)

    Starting at $500 after $100 MIR is the Toshiba Satelite L45-S7423. This 15.4" widescreen is powered by an Intel Pentium dual core T2310, and has 1gb memory, 120gb hard disk, dvd burner, wireless.

    Next up at $570 after a $50 MIR is the HP Pavilion DV6605s. This 15.4" BrightView widescreen is powered by an AMD Athlon 64X2DC TK-55, 1gb ram, 160gb disk, dvd burner with lightscribe, wireless.

    And now we have a Circuit City exclusive model, at least that's what they claim anyways, the Acer Aspire AS5630-6288. Don't you just love these user friendly model names? This puppy costs $650 after $80 MIR. It has an Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo blah blah blah T5500, 2gb memory, 160gb disk, 15.4" crystalbrite widescreen, wireless, dvd burner, built-in webcam.

    If you want some help in setting up your home wireless network, they have created a bundle of the Firedog service needed to do that, and the HP DV6605us for $670 afte a $50 MIR. As you can see, the DV6605us is also offer above stand alone, so this is only for those who want the Firedog service, otherwise, you would be paying an extra $120. And we don't want you to spend more than necessary here at Notebooks Etc! Unless of course you are planning to send us an early XMas present, in that case, spend spend spend ;-)

    Another Circuit City Exclusive appears, the Toshiba A215-S7444, for $730 and *gasp* no rebates! This is an AMD 64X2DC TL-58, 2gb ram, 200gb hard disk, 15.4" widescreen, dvd burner with labelflash, Nextgen wireless (a/b/g/n/), built-in webcam and more.

    But if you are a fan of bigger screens, for an extra $20 more and no rebates, you can get the Toshiba P205-S6307. Be advised though this is a closeout, so your mileage may vary. It has an Intel Pentium DC T2130 processor, 1gb memory, 160gb disk, wireless, dvd burner with labelflash.

    An extra $30, at $770 after a $50 MIR will get you the HP DV2419us. This Circuit City exclusive is a closeout model, but it doesn't stop it from having an AMD 64X2DC TL-56, 2gb ram, 160gb disk, next-gen wireless along with the alphabet soup, dvd burner with lightscribe, built-in bluetooth and webcam, and a 14.1" Brightview screen. Yes, fourteen inch monitor.

    From exclusives we now go to Special edition models, the HP DV6458SE. Also a closeout model with perhaps limited availability, this $900 laptop after a $50 MIR is powered by an AMD 64X2DC TL-60, 2gb ram, 160gb disk, nextgenwireless, dvd burner with lightscribe, 12-cell battery, built-in webcam, and 15.4" widescreen.

    Up next the Toshiba A205-S4777 for $950 after absolutely no rebates. Kudos to Toshiba for that, but how about some user friendly model names please? So what do you get for $950? An Intel Centrino core 2 duo T5450, 2gb ram, 200gb hard disk, nextgen wireless, dvd burner with labelflash, built-in fingerprintn reader and webcam, and more.

    Into the four figures we go with the HP dv9548us for $1200 after $150 MIR. This Circuit city exclusive model features an Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo T5450, 2gb ram, 200gb disk, nextgen wireless, dvd burner with lightscribe, 256mb dedicated video memory which is important for those running video-intensive applications, and a trio of built-in, TV Tuner (hooray!), fingerprinter reader and webcam.

    Last but certainly not least, is the Sony Vaio VGNFZ240/EB for $1300 but no rebates. Thanks for the user-friendly name Sony! This puppy has an intel centrino core 2 duo T7250 brain, 2gb memory, 250gb disk, 15.4" Xbrite-ECO wide screen display, next-gen wireless, dvd burner, and builtin webcam. As you can decipher from the model name, this is a Sony Vaio FZ entertainment PC. The purchase will certainly entertain Sony's accountants :-)

    Sunday, September 30, 2007

    Fab Four laptops at Office Max this week

    If you dislike rebates you will like Office Max because they don't do rebates! So what you pay is what you pay. And with that out of the way, let's see what we have this week: A quartet of notebook computers at relatively reasonable prices for brick and mortar (and without rebates).

    First up, at $600 is the Acer Aspire 5610-2089. As you may recall, Acer is buying Gateway so that's going to create some interesting situations. This guy has an Intel Pentium dual core T2080, and the usual assortment of features such as 1gb memory, 160gb disk, dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen display, wireless LAN of the 802.11 b/g variety, a built-in memory card reader and web-cam (nice!) and the obligatory Vista Premium.

    The the next sub-category of sub-$1000 laptops is led by the Toshiba satellite A205-4797 at $800 even. It is controlled by an Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo T5300, and has 2gb memory, 160gb disk, dvd burner, a/b/g wireless, built-in webcam, 15.4" display, and Vista Premium.

    For $50 more you have the option of an interesting HP bundle which includes a notebook backpack, the HP C4280 color all-in-one printer and the HP dv6423om-b notebook computer. Judging from the model name, this looks like an Office Max exclusive deal. Although similar bundles may be found elsewhere. It's a big marketplace :) The laptop is powered by AMD's Turion 64 X2 DC TL-58, 2gb RAM, 160gb disk, dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen, built-in memory card reader and webcam, b/g wireless, and Vista Premium.

    Last but not least, at the same price of $850 we have an alternative to the traditional laptops, the HP TX1205us. It has a 12.1" widescreen display that can swivel. They call them convertible displays. They have another version with a touchscreen convertible display but obviously that costs more. This one is powered by an AMD 64 X2 DC TL-56 Turion, 1gb memory, 160gb disk, b/g wireless, dvd burner with lightscribe, built-in webcan and memory card reader, and Vista Premium.

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Gateway 22nd anniversary specials

    Gateway, soon to be purchased by Acer, is offering two notebook specials as part of their 22nd anniversary. And while Gateway people are celebrating, let's look at the notebooks!

    First up, at $600 is the "mainstream notebook" as they call it, the Gateway NX570X notebook. Star Trek connection anyone? No rebates to send. Under the hood there is an Intel Pentium DC T2080, 15.4" widescreen, Vista Premium, Intel a/b/g wireless, MS Office Home and Student 2007 hogware, 1gb memory, 80gb 5400rpm disk, built-in memory card reader, but sadly it appears to have a dvd-rom/cd-burner, not a dvd-burner. Which for $600 may be a deal killer. But according to Gateway.com you can upgrade to a super multi format dvd burner for $49 more.

    Next up for those who like 17" widescreen displays is the Gateway NX860S at $700, without rebates. Yes a 17" laptop without rebates at $700! Nice if you like big screen as I just said. Am I repeating my self? Yes I am repeating myself! Okay, enough of the Comedy Central routine. This one has similar specs as the notebook mentioned above, another difference being the 8-cell LiIon battery instead of a 6-cell battery - and believe me you need that if you are powering a larger display. Also comes with cd-rw/dvd-rom, but you can upgrade to a super multi format for $49 more.

    Yes, both of the laptops mentioned here are customizable at Gateway's website. And if you are wondering what "super multi format means", here is a quick explanation: Multi-format means it supports both PLUS (+) and DASH (-) formats, so it does dvd+rw, dvd+r, dvd-r and dvd-rw. Super is used to denote Panasonic DVD-RAM support. Dual or double layer refers to the double layer discs which costs a lot more and go by the DL name. DVD+R DL is more common, DVD-R DL are harder to find and more expensive. These are two layers on the same side of the disk. Not to be confused with double sided disks that have content (or burnable area) on both sides. These are very rare at the moment for dvd burning. And while we are add it, Label flash or Lightscribe allow you to use your dvd burner to create a custom dvd label on the top (non-playable) side of the disc. To do this however you need to purchase lightscribe or other technology compatible discs that are prepared for this process. You can't used the lightscribe technology on regular shiny silver discs.

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Laptops at Circuit Circuit,a look inside the circular

    This week, September 16 through 22, we have eight laptops offered by Circuit City. We will present them in ascending price order :-)

    Starting at $500 after a $30 rebate is the Compaq Presario F572us, in a rather typical $500-ish notebook configuration, with 1gb memory, 80gb hard disk, dual layer dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen, Vista Premium, and b/g wireless LAN. The processor is the AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC TK-53. The 6-cell LiIon battery lasts just over two hours.

    Next up at $600 after two rebates of $50 each, is the HP DV6426-us. It is powered by an Intel Core Duo T2450, 1gb of memory, 160gb hard disk, dvd burner, a/b/g/ wireless, 15.4" widesreen, and Vista Premium.

    If you prefer a 17" widescreen display, we have some good news for you! The HP Pavilion DV9410us is available for $700 after a $50 MIR. The processor is an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-56, a popular sensor among laptops in the sub-$1000 price range. The main specs are 1gb memory, 160gb disk, dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen, Vista Premium, and b/g wireless. As you can see there is a price premium on getting a 17" display, but I think it is a very reasonable price to pay if you want a 17' display!

    Sony fans will be thrilled that they can get their hands on a Sony for just $700 after a $50 MIR. The model is the Vaio VGN-N365EB, with an Intel Core Duo T2450, 1gb memory, 120gb disk, dvd burner, b/g wireless, 15.4" widescreen and Vista Premium. So if you want to have that Sony Vaoi in your possession, you don't have to break the bank!

    If you think a "glued-in" display is not flexible enough for you, the HP TX1205US offers an alternative with a 12.1" swiveling widescreen display. As you can expect, there is a price premium to pay for this convenience. That premium is $850 after two $50 mailin rebates. But don't let the small screen size fool you. This is not an entry-level computer. It has an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC 1.8GHz TL-56, 1gb memory, 160gb disk, dvd burner, b/g wireless, and Vista Premium.

    If you want a Big Blue computer, you don't have to break the bank by too much! The Lenovo Thinkpad R61 7732A12 is $850 after a $150 rebate. What do you get for that price apart from the Lenovo-ness? An Intel Core 2 duo T5250, 2gb memory, 160gb disk, dvd burner, a/b/g wireless, and Vista Premium. The display is a 14.1" widescreen.

    Back to the 17" widescreen displays we go with the HP dv9429us at $900 after a $50 MIR. But this is not just a big screen, as this Pavilion notebook has improved specs in many areas: 2gb memory, AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-64 2.2ghz, and next generation N wireless. And of course Vista Premium and a dvd burner.

    The last of this week's eight-pack at Circuit City is the HP dv6565us for $950 after a $50 MIR. This mid-size is powered by an Intel Core Duo T5250 1.5ghz, 2gb ram, 200gb disk, dvd burner, a/g/N wireless, 15.4" widescreen, and Vista Premium.

    And a notebook purchase does not stop there. The endless cycle of accessory purchases continues this week with a Kensington Ci65m wireless notebook mouse for $10 after a $10 MIR, a Verge red messenger bag for $20, a Sony 17-in-1 memory card reader for $25, and an HP Quickdock ES631AA for $100 after a $15 MIR. And this concludes today's instalment :-)

    Nice laptop deals at Best Buy this week!

    This week's circular from Best Buy has something for everyone, with emphasis on the bargain end of the spectrum. Why do I say that? Because the Gateway ML3109 is offered at $350, and yes, no rebates to get that price! As expected with these type of deals, only 1 per household, and stock may fly off the shelves faster than free ice cream in the middle of summer. As expected at this price, this is a very basic laptop, with 512mb memory and Vista Basic. It has a Centrino processor (details not mentioned) along with a 80gb hard disk, and a dvd-rom/cd-burner. No dvd burner at this price point, at least not yet :) The display is a 14.1" Ultrabright widescreen.

    Also having a 14.1" Crystalbright widescreen is the Acer Aspire AS5570-2067 at $500 even, without rebates! This is a more powerful notebook, with an Intel Pentium dual core, 1gb memory, 160gb hard disk, dual layer dvd burner and Vista Premium. As you can see the difference between this one and the one before is quite noticeable. This is a better bang for the buck since you get more power and flexibility. Which is probably why it's one per household and no rainchecks.

    But if you prefer a larger 15.4" widescreen, the HP dv6480nr comes to the rescue at $600 as a Best Buy Exclusive model. You get the usual assortment of features such as 1gb memory, 160gb hard disk, dual layer dvd burner, Vista Premium with Lightscribe, nVidia GeForce GO 6150. And what's under the hood? An AMD Turion 64 X2 dual core (DC)!

    The next step up in features comes from the brand new Gateway M1615 at $800. It has an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC, 2gb memory, 250gb hard disk which is nice for those who want to take a lot of multimedia on the road. Also a dual-layer dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen, Vista Premium, and built-in webcam and Bluetooth.

    If you want an even bigger screen and want a digital tv tuner to boot, how about the HP dv9535nr at $1250? It has an Intel Centrino Duo Core 2 Duo (what a silly way to name their processors!), 2gb memory, 240gb hard disk, dual layer dvd burner with lightscribe, and Vista Premium. The differentiating features of this Best Buy Exclusive model include a 17" HD widescreen display, a digital TV tuner, an nVidia GeForce 8600M GS with 256mb dedicated memory, built-in webcam and a remote control. How much of a good deal this is it is really up to you! For the same price you can get two of the $600 HPs mentioned above. So think of it that way when you compare!

    Please note that wireless features are not mentioned in this ad. Please check with the manufacturer's website or the retailers website for details. For your convinience I have added a list of laptop manufacturer pages in the right hand column of this blog. And if you have any feedback or suggestions for this blog, please feel free to leave a comment :-)

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    What's cooking at Office Max?

    The new weekly circular has been posted at OfficeMax.com, and the following three laptops are included, starting with the lowest prices first. Because we like lower price$!

    Standing at $550 and without rebates is the Compaq Presario F572us with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC TK-53 processor, 1gb memory, 80gb disk, b/g wireless, Vista Premium, 15.4" widescreen display and a dual layer dvd burner. This was offered at Staples and Circuit City for $480 a few weeks ago.

    Next up is the Acer Aspire 5610-2089 with a Pentium T2080 DC, 1gb memory, 160gb disk, dvd burner, b/g wireless, built-in media card reader and webcam, dvd burner, 15.4" widescreen and Vista Premium. No rebates, as you may know, Office Max is not a big fan of rebates!

    The last laptop is the HP TX1209us at $900 featuring a 12" swiveling widescreen display. This model does not have a touchscreen however. It is powered by an AMD Turion 64 X2 DC TL-56, 1gb memory, 160gb disk, lightscribe dvd burner, built-in memory card reader, b/g wireless, and the obligatory Vista Premium.

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Let's spend this weekend at Fry's

    Well not every single moment of the weekend, but just a couple of hours for some shopping :-) Friday is the day that Fry's publishes their ads, online and in the newspapers. So, let's take a look at the laptops offered, starting with the lowest prices first. Most of these are only one per person, so if you want more, keep the wig, the moustache and the extra outfit in your car ;-)

    First we have the HP DV6405, which looks like the average sweet-spot priced model, with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 DC TK-53, 1gb memory, 120gb disk, 15.4" wide display, doulbe layer dvd burner, wireless LAN (b/g), built-in memory card reader, and Vista Premium. The price is $600 after a $50 mail-in rebate. Only one per customer the ad says.

    Next we have the Toshiba A215-S4747. Don't you wish they gave them names that were easier to remember and pronounce? I sure do! This puppy is $700, but without the burden of rebates. Powered by the Athlon 64 X2 DC TL-56, it has 1gb memory, 200gb disk (nice size!), double layer dvd burner with labelflash, b/g wireless lan, 15.4" wide display and Vista Premium.

    At the same price but after a $50 rebate comes the HP DV6426us, this one going with the Intels, namely the Centrino Core Duo T2450. As expected it has 1gb memory, 160gb disk, double layer dvd burner with lightscribe, 15.4" wide screen, 4965 AGN wireless, and Vista Premium.

    Staying in the Pavilion camp, the HP dv6445us features an AMD Turion 64X2DC TL-56, 2gb memory, 160gb disk, double layer dvd burner with lightscribe, a/b/g wireless, and of course 15.4" widescreen and Vista Premium. Oh the price? It's eight hundred dollars after a fifty dollar rebate.

    The first of two swiveling screen laptops, the HP TX1210us costs $900 after a $50 mail-in rebate. The main difference between this one and the one listed right below is that this guy does not have a touchscreen. And if you want a touchscreen, you have to one hundred dollars more:

    Next up we climb into the four figures with the HP TX1219us. As you may glean from the model number, this is a tablet style pc with a twist and swivel 12" touchscreen display. You pay the price for such luxuries as this guy costs $1000 after a $50 MIR. The processor is not something to be shy about, it's an AMD Turion 64X2DC TL-58, with 2gig RAM, 160gb hdd, double layer dvd burner with lightscribe, and a/b/g/N wireless (yes, that's N for the Next Generation). Also a built-in fingerprint reader and web-cam along with everybody's "favorite" Vista Premium.

    From the world of Apples and Oranges, the Apple MacBook 2.16 costs $1294, wiht an Intel 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, 1gb memory, 120gb disk, double layer superdrive (not to be confused with supermulti), and a 13.3" widescreen.

    Yes, we have a Sony, hopefully without any rootkits ;-) The Sony FZ180 costs $1700 (no rebates). Its claim to fame is having a BluRay disc drive. BluRay being one of the two struggling high definition disc formats. But worry not, it also has a double layer dvd burner. Its other features are more or less as expected, Centrino Core Duo T7300, 2gb memory, 200gb SATA disk, nVidia GeForce 8400M GT GPU, a/b/g/N wireless, and Vista Premium.

    Let's Accessorize!
    No purchase is complete unless you accessorize! And we have some interesting ones today, such as the Inland Pro Deluxe Notebook case for $20 after a $10 mail-in rebate. Next up, a SwissGear Comet 15.4" case for $60 (after $10 rebate), or a stylish SwissGear Rhea case for the Ladies for $70 (after $10 MIR). If its the Logitech V320 cordless optical mouse you are after, it's yours for $30 (after $10 MIR). Want to secure your latop with a Targus 6 foot high strength steel cable key lock? Pay $15 (after $10 MIR).

    Welcome to Notebooks Etc

    As you can tell from the title name, this blog will focus on notebook and laptop computers. With prices falling even further, these are now affordable and available for an even larger percentage of the population. In fact a number of them can be had for around five hundred dollars, if you are at the right place at the right time.

    One of the goals of this blog is to help you be at the right place at the right time :-) Another goal is to give you as much information as we can without clutter, multimedia, drama or unnecessary blah blah. This blog believes in "information first!", everything else is secondary :)

    We are always interested in hearing from our readers and from other fellow bloggers, so please feel free to write a comment!

    Further Reading (latest posts)