Walmart selling laptop for $348 (if you can find it)

Posted on August 17, 2009

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Walmart announced that they would be selling a Toshiba Satellite laptop with a 17-inch screen for $348, starting Sunday.

Normally, when a big box retailer sells a super cheap laptop for a low price, it sells out quick. Recently, Walmart sold out of the $298 Compaq Presarios. Best Buy sold out of a $299 Acer laptop in a day or so.

If you are REALLY interested in this laptop, I would recommend that you go and pick one up. My guess is that there is not a lot of stock.

It seems that retailers are realizing that people are being drawn to netbooks because of their price. So they are lowering the price on their entry-level (ok, sometimes below entry level) laptops to compete.

Not a bad strategy. Considering that according to an survey of 600 people, only 58% of people who own netbooks are satisfied with their purchase. That compares with 70% satisfaction rating of regular laptop purchasers, according to NPD.

According to NPD, they found that “satisfaction was even harder to ascertain among 18- to 24-year-olds, one of the main demographics manufacturers were hoping to win over with the new products.  Among that age group, 65 percent said they bought their netbooks expecting better performance, and only 27 percent said their netbooks performed better than expected.”

So when confronted with a choice between a tiny $300 netbook vs. a $348 full-size laptop, retailers are guessing that people will pay a little more for a little better performance.

The specs on the Toshiba Satellite, according to Walmart.com:

– Intel Celeron 900 processor, 2.2GHz, 800MHz FSB, 1MB cache Processor.

– 3GB of memory,  expandable to 4GB.
– 250GB Hard Drive.
– DVD+/-RW.
– Wireless WiFi & Wired Ethernet.
– Built-in 56k Model for Dial up connections.

– 17-inch screen
– 3 USB slots
– Windows Vista® Home Basic with Service Pack 1
– 1-Year Warranty with a 1-800 Tech Support

Overall, it is not a horrible laptop. If you want a laptop that will send email and surf the Internet, then it is okay. It will not multitask well and it does not come with Microsoft Office.

Also if you want to run Adobe Photoshop and/or hard-core games, this is not the laptop for you.

Last thought: Make sure you ask about a FREE upgrade to Windows 7 (Microsoft’s new operating system). Windows 7 will be much better than Vista and you should make the upgrade if you can.

Keep this thought in mind: Cheap computers normally have cheap parts that are expensive to replace.

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Posted in: Computers