Laptops to be a steal this Christmas season


As we ramp up toward Christmas, one perennially hot electronics item has lost its mojo among shoppers at the checkout register. Fortunately, that means good news for deal hunters.

What a difference the iPad makes. Year after year, during the back-to-school season, I used to get so many calls from parents trying to figure out strategies to buy a laptop for their student. This season, however, it was crickets when it came to calls about laptops because of all the excitement about tablets.

The computer category as a whole is really kind of a “has been” for retailers. But to me, tablets are not the be all, end all; they’re just another form of computing, and one that is generally better at play than at work. If laptops are still relevant for life, their wounded duck status is going to make them a real steal this Christmas season.

I was looking at an ad for a local Fry’s Electronics store. Their full-featured laptops cost half what an iPad cost. For my money, though, the key thing is that keyboard. Having that traditional keyboard is great if you’re writing long e-mails or a college paper.

I’m expecting that by Thanksgiving, you’ll routinely see full-featured laptops for $199 – $250 at most retailers. If having a full-featured computer still works in your life, the savings are on your side this fall.

Editor’s note: This segement originally aired Oct. 28, 2011

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