Updated Dec 7, 2010 3:57 PM EST
You already know what not to buy at Walmart
, but I've got a secret: there are some things you definitely should
buy at the discount retailer. Namely, tech products.
As a bona fide Cheapskate, I know good deals when I see them. Walmart isn't the low-price leader for every product category, but I've found some business-savvy gadgets and gear too sweet to pass up:
Acer deserves its reputation for offering feature-packed laptops at low prices. The Windows 7-powered Aspire AS5551 offers everything that 97% of users need: a dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a roomy 15.6-inch screen powered by a dedicated graphics subsystem (just in case you want to edit some video or dabble in 3D graphics). Price: $448.
Every small office should have a good multifunction printer, and the photo-savvy Pixma is one of the top-rated models in its class. (More than 200 users gave it four or five stars.) It has the specs of a printer costing three times as much, including two-sided printing, a two-inch color LCD, five individual ink tanks, and the joy that is Wi-Fi printing. All this for just $79.
Sure, a lot of phones can do the navigation thing, but that's not always practical -- especially if you spend most of your time, you know, talking on them. That's why I prefer a dedicated GPS, preferably one with a 4.3-inch screen (those 3.5-inchers are just too small for comfort). Walmart sells the refurbished TomTom XL 330S for $74.54, an incredibly good price. Features include text-to-speech, optional traffic updates, and support for those awesome voice-packs
I've written about. By the way, don't let the "refurb" label bother you: the unit comes with a six-month warranty.
MiFi: good. Two-year contract at $60/month: bad. That's what you're locked into with Verizon and Sprint, but Virgin's new version of the awesome MiFi 2200 mobile hotspot is available without a contract
pay-as-you-go pricing. Like most places, Walmart sells it in-store for $149 -- but only Walmart offers a $20/month service option. (That's in addition to $10/month and $40/plans, which are the only ones available if you buy it elsewhere.)
Do you live in your car? Then a power inverter like this one is a must: it plugs into your cigarette lighter to provide a pair of 220-watt AC outlets. Plug in your laptop, your iPad, and anything else that needs power/charging. Price: $17.
Well, that's my list. Have you found any Walmart tech-deals worth sharing? Or are you the type of shopper who avoids Walmart because of its politics, practices, etc.?
By the way, all these prices were current when I posted them, but they're definitely subject to change.
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