This Weekend's $299 Laptop Battle

On Saturday, November 8th, Walmart is having their Pre-Black Friday Sale starting in-stores at 8am. The sale has been covered in-depth in an earlier post, available here. The big draw is the $299 Compaq Laptop.

Then, on Sunday, November 9th, in Best Buy's weekly advertisement, they will be having an eMachines Laptop on sale for $299. And now you're stuck, which laptop do should you buy?

We've put their specifications head-to-head in the following table, highlighting the positives of each laptop.

Best Buy Walmart
Brand eMachines Compaq
Model # eMD620-5777 CP50-139WM
Processor 1.60 GHz AMD Athlon w/ 512KB L2 Cache 2.0 GHz Intel Celeron 575 w/ 1024KB L2 Cache
Screen Size 14.1" WXGA (1280x800) 15.4" WXGA
Memory 1GB DDR2 2GB DDR2
Hard-Drive 160GB 5400RPM
Optical Drive 8X Dual Layer DVD Burner Dual Layer DVD Burner
Graphics ATI Radeon X1200 Integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD
Operating System Windows Vista Home Basic w/ Service Pack 1
Ethernet 10/100 LAN, 802.11b/g Wireless LAN
USB Ports 3 USB 2.0 Ports
Warranty 1 Year
Weight 5.3 lbs Unknown
Minimum Quantity 15 Units 10 Units
Product Specs click here Unknown/Unavailable

Walmart's Compaq laptop takes the edge because it has a faster processor (along with twice the L2 cache), a larger screen (although this will make the laptop larger and heavier) and 2GB of DDR2 memory over the 1GB from Best Buy's eMachine.

Aside from the integrated graphics cards (which we give the eMachine a slight edge for the X1200 over the GMA 4500), these laptops are eerily similar in specifications, sharing similar or the same hard-drives, optical drives, operating system and connectivity ports.

Apples to apples, the Walmart Compaq computer is the better purchase by a slim margin. You really can't go wrong with either laptop at a $300 price-point. Best Buy will have 5 more guaranteed laptops on hand than Walmart and since Best Buy hasn't marketed this week's sale like Walmart has, you might have an easier time getting the laptop at Best Buy.

The good thing is, the sales are on two completely different days. You can go to Walmart on Saturday and if you don't get the laptop, you can try on Sunday for the Best Buy laptop. Hope this helps with your holiday shopping!

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