Sunday specials: Wal-Mart, Best Buy battle over $300 laptops

Summary:The $298 Compaq laptop that generated so much coverage this week goes on sale at Wal-Mart today. Hopefully no one was trampled this morning, but if Best Buy's recent experience with a $300 Acer laptop is any indication, it could be tough to get your hands on this one.

The $298 Compaq laptop that generated so much coverage this week goes on sale at Wal-Mart today. Hopefully no one was trampled this morning, but if Best Buy's recent experience with a $300 Acer laptop is any indication, it could be tough to get your hands on this one.

HP is taking orders on a nearly identical model. Their configuration of the Compaq CQ60Z starts at $350 with a 15.6-inch display, 2.1GHz AMD Sempron SI-42, 2GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce 8200M graphics, 160GB hard drive and Vista Home Basic. That's not as good a deal as Wal-Mart's model, the Compaq Presario CQ60-419WM, which has 3GB of memory and costs $50 less, but it's still not bad.

Computerworld noticed one big drawback with these $300 laptops equipped with Vista Home Basic: HP is not offering free upgrades to Windows 7, which ships on October 22.

Best Buy is fighting back with a Toshiba laptop exclusive in today's circular priced at $299. The Toshiba Satellite L305-S5955 has a 15.4-inch display, 2.2GHz Intel Celeron, 2GB of memory, Intel integrated graphics, 160GB hard drive and Vista Home Basic. Best Buy also has the Compaq Presario CQ60-211DX (15.6-inch display, 2.16GHz Intel Celeron, 2GB of memory, Intel integrated graphics, 160GB hard drive and Vista Home Basic with SP1) for $330. That one is clearly a better deal than the version on HP's site, but it's a toss-up compared with Wal-Mart's.

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Intel, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Software, Windows

About

John Morris is a former executive editor at CNET Networks and senior editor at PC Magazine. He now works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made. No investment advice is offered in this blog. All duties are... Full Bio

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