Dueling $300 15.6" laptops at Walmart and Best Buy – competition is good!

It’s the pre-back-to-school rush (or maybe the pre-pre rush) and every electronics retailer and e-tailer knows that students love new laptops. Best Buy and Walmart both have a Celeron 900-based 15.6″ laptop with 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. Best Buy’s is Toshiba, plus it has DDR3 RAM instead of DDR2, so I’d go with that one over Walmart’s Compaq. They aren’t anything special, but the fact is these are better computers than you could get for a grand a year or two ago. If you need a holdover notebook before switching to a Mac or nicer PC, this would be a good time to buy.

So why the hell are they selling these things for so cheap? Well, let’s say they’re selling these things pretty much at cost. They know that if you get the computer from Best Buy, you’ll be coming to them for repairs, extra software, and so on, and you might even fatten up that shopping cart with a wireless mouse and a game or two. It’s a loss leader to get people in the door, and there ain’t nothing wrong with taking them up on that deal.

[via PC World]