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Most laptops are fragile. One hard bump or accidental brush with gravity and you could be looking at a cracked screen — or worse. Not good news for students and other folks who lead, er, intense lifestyles.
Sure, you could buy a ruggedized, battlefield-ready system, but it’s likely to be heavy, clunky and expensive.
Or not, if you hop on this Woot deal: the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E for $269.99, plus $5 for shipping. Unlike most Woot stuff, it’s new not refurbished. Like most Woot stuff, it’s available today only and while supplies last. Regular price for this configuration: $799.
Just to be clear, this is not the Chromebook version of this machine. In fact, it runs Windows 10 Professional. The latter nets you some decidedly business-oriented extras, including remote-access services and Bitlocker drive encryption.
What’s more, the Yoga 11E offers some ruggedization features, including a rubber bumper along the top and reinforced corners, hinges and brackets. The Dragontrail-glass screen is six times stronger than conventional glass, according to Lenovo, and promises resistance against scratches and cracks.
If there’s a downside to all that, it’s more bulk and heft than you typically see in an 11.6-inch laptop. The system weighs 3.3 pounds and measures nearly 0.9 inch thick.
Beyond that, this is a fairly standard convertible, meaning it can leverage its 360-degree hinge for tablet mode, tent mode, and presentation mode.
Noteworthy specs include a 128GB solid-state drive, 4GB of RAM, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, stereo speakers and, of course, a touchscreen. The processor is the only weak link in the chain, an Intel Celeron N2940 that’s likely to prove a little pokey for higher-end apps.
CNET hasn’t covered this model (though you can gain some insight by looking at the review of the Chromebook version), and I’ve found few reviews elsewhere.
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all PC, but if you’re looking for something that can take a beating, fold from laptop to tablet and back again and give you full-blown Windows computing for well under $300, this looks like a nice option. Your thoughts?
Bonus deal: Still not convinced a music-subscription service is right for you? Scrounge up a buck and you can make an informed decision: Rhapsody is once again offering a three-month Premier subscription for $1. After that it’ll run you $9.99 per month, or $95.88 (equivalent to $7.99/month) if you prepay for the year. In fact, there’s a Valentine’s Day special that shaves that price even further, giving you (or your hon-bun) a year of Rhapsody for $85.
Bonus deal 2: Not along ago I asked if it made sense to buy a Surface tablet, focusing primarily on the larger, heavier, more expensive Surface Pro line. My verdict: no, it makes no sense. But the Surface 3 is smaller, lighter and more affordable, meaning it’s a smarter buy if you want an actual tablet — one that can run Windows software and pair with a keyboard cover. Plus, it’s on sale: For a limited time, the Microsoft Store has the Surface 3 tablet for $399 shipped, which is $100 off the regular price. That’s for the 2GB model with 64GB of storage — an extra $100 bumps you to 4GB and 128GB. (Actually, all the models are on sale for $100 off.) Want to dodge sales tax? Nebraska Furniture Mart (no, I’m not making this up) has the baseline Surface 3 for $398 shipped.