Consumers benefit from HP laptops at Wal-Mart for $398 Apple is throwing in an iPod Touch

Consumers are shopping for bargains in back-to-school supplies and only stopping at the best bargains.

Apple is offering students a free iPod Touch (worth $219) with any back-to-school laptop. However, their lowest priced laptop is $999.

Walmart is offering a laptop from HP for only $398 which means you could get your own iPod Touch and pocket $400 in change.

Both HP and Apple offer more powerful computers at higher prices. We wanted to see how the entry level models that most parents will consider stack up against each other.

The MacBook has a 13.3″ screen, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB DDR3 memory, 250GB hard drive, and NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics card at $999.

Walmart’s HP Laptop (model) G62-219CA has a larger 15.6″ screen, 2.30GHz (Dual Core) Intel Pentium T4500, 3GB DDR2, Max 8GB, 320GB hard drive and Intel graphics.

The MacBook is slightly faster on memory and video but has a smaller hard drive and screen. I’d go for the larger screen all things being equal since the screen is what you stare at. The HP can be expanded to 8 GB of memory and the Apple to 4 GB. The Apple has a faster network card. These are all nits and picks that may not be important to students.

Analysts say Apple laptop sales are riding a wave of popularity due to the cult of iPhone status. However, students will find themselves saddled with a 2 year old iPod Touch come September when Apple is expected to release the new model with a front facing camera.

HP is expected to out-sell Apple hands down at these prices although Apple will make more profit for it’s shareholders, something most parents aren’t concerned with.

Click HERE to read more columns by Stephan Pate.

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