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 :-)

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