Best computer deals for 2010

During the International Consumer Electronics Show in January, computer manufacturers announced new models that included powerful new processors, sleek designs and longer battery life. The best part, though, is that many of these new beefed up computers don't necessarily carry beefed up prices.

The reason consumers will pay less for the latest and greatest in computing technology: There is just more of a selection to choose from. Gone are the days when a shopper debated "desktop or laptop?" Now, they can shop for notebooks, netbooks and nettops, too. In fact, as more consumers opt for the flexibility of these new, smaller machines, manufacturers have all but abandoned desktops.

To help shoppers, WalletPop compiled a list of some of the best computers deals for 2010. You won't find traditional desktops on this list. Unless you're editing video or gaming, a desktop just isn't necessary. Instead you could opt for a nettop or notebook with an external monitor and keyboard and get all of the functionality you need with cost and portability benefits to boot.

Best Laptop Deals:

HP Envy 15 - $1299: In a surprise move Hewlett-Packard announced a large permanent price cut on their powerful and sexy HP Envy series. The HP Envy 15 received a $500 price cut but still retains the option for a powerful Intel Core i7 processor that makes this notebook an all-purpose machine that can easily handle video editing and gaming. With the new price and the appearance of coupons worth up to $300, you may be able to find this powerful laptop for as low as $1,000 in the near future. But even at $1,299 it's still a steal.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge - $579: Most of the features of the traditional ThinkPad line are included in this new small business-oriented laptop, including the Lenovo pointer stick that many users cannot go without. Don't let the feature-set fool you though; the Edge with AMD processors starts at $579 and there are routinely deals which bring the higher-end Intel Core 2 Duo model down to below $800. With up to eight hours of claimed battery life, power under the hood and a slim build this is a beautiful notebook for fans of the ThinkPad line.

Best Buy Blue Label Notebooks – starts at $899: Best Buy's new line of laptops from Sony, Toshiba and Dell not only include 4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive and new fast Intel Core i5 processors, they also come with a NetGear Push2TV adapter that allows users to wirelessly stream content to an HDTV at no additional cost. The three notebooks also come standard with a 2 year warranty, 30 days of Geek Squad support and 12 months of anti-virus protection.

Apple Macbook Pro 13" - $1199 ($1099 for students): The Apple Macbook Pro is one of the most popular laptops -- and it's little wonder given that these computers offer seven-hours of battery life, a beautiful design and Apple's OS X operating system. Even at $1199 it's a good deal. Those deals may get even better yet as Apple is rumored to be upgrading the processors in the Macbook Pro line.

Dell Vostro V13 – starts at $449: The Dell Vostro V13 is an impressively portable notebook that shares its design with the slim and expensive Dell Adamo laptop. The Vostro starts at just $449 for a version running Ubuntu; while $599 will get you a faster, more power-friendly, Intel ULV processor and Windows 7 Professional, as well as a larger hard drive. Both of these models are often discounted with Dell coupons and specials.

Best Netbook Deals

HP Mini 5102- starts at $399: The new HP Mini 5102 is a thin and lightweight netbook with Intel Atom N450 processors that offer better performance and battery life than the netbooks that were for sale during the holiday season. The Mini 5102 uses an all-metal case, which provides more durability than plastic. You can configure the Mini 5102 with touch and purchase a student option which comes with a convenient carrying handle and additional Adobe software.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t - starts at $599:
If you really want a full on touch experience on your netbook than the new Lenovo S10-3t netbook, which has already been on sale for $549, is a great choice. Like the rest of the netbooks this device features an Intel Atom N450 processor but unlike the others you can swivel the screen to fold flat for an easier touch experience when taking notes, reading ebooks or general computing.

Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005PE-MU17 - $339: The Eee PC Seashell 1005PE netbook features the new Intel Atom N450 processor which helps it achieve 11 hours of battery life on a 6 cell battery. The netbook also includes a 250 GB hard drive and 500 GB of web storage as well as a chiclet style keyboard that makes typing on the small machine easier.

HP Mini 210 – starts at $279: The HP Mini 201 is one of the cheapest next-generation netbooks available right now. The Mini 210 comes in 4 colors, includes the N450 processor and offers up to 4.5 hours of battery life with the standard battery. The slim form factor and light weight make the Mini 201 a great netbook. In addition to the new processor, HD options and improved keyboard round out the value of this cheap, yet equipped, netbook.

Best Nettop Deals
We asked Brad Linder, editor of Liliputing for some recommendations on low cost nettops and here are two models he suggested for home users.

Acer AspireRevo AR1600 - $199: The Aspire Revo AR1600 is the cheapest nettop that Linder has seen. Its powerful Nvidia ION graphics chip allows this nettop to play back 1080P HD video. Even with Windows XP and just 1 GB of RAM this cheap nettop would perform well in a home theater or as simple desktop computer in your office for simple web browsing and document editing.

ASRock ION 330 - $349: Not only is the ASRock more powerful than the AspireRevo, thanks to a dual core processor, but it also includes a DVD burner which is typically absent on nettops. The only real downside to this device is that it doesn't ship with an Operating System so you'll need to add your own, which could add as much as $119 to your purchase if you want Windows 7 on your nettop. You can also install a free version of Linux or purchase Windows XP to save money.
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