What’s better, getting a free Xbox with a new PC or an iPod Touch with a MacBook? With the new school year around the corner and graduations underway, Microsoft is offering high school and college students a free Xbox 360 4 GB Console with the purchase of a Windows 7 laptop priced $699 and above. While an Xbox might be counterproductive to your studies, it’s certainly an attractive perk if you’re looking to buy a new Windows 7 laptop.
How the Deal Works
In order to leverage this deal, you must have a Student ID or .edu email address to meet the eligibility requirement. Students enrolled in an accredited high school, 2-year, or 4-year institution are eligible for this offer. According to Microsoft, the offer is available now, but end dates vary by retailer, so we recommend shopping earlier – rather than later. Additionally, the free Xbox promotion is only valid in the United States, Canada, and France.
Where to Buy
Did you know there are Microsoft Retail Stores in the United States? While they’re certainly outnumbered by Apple retail locations, the Microsoft Store is one of the participating retailers. You’ll more likely be closer to Best Buy, which is also taking part in the deal. Be sure to bring your official Student ID and/or .EDU email address for verification.
But, who actually shops in retail stores these days? Microsoft has partnered with Dell.com and HP.com to offer the deal to qualified students. Be sure to check with your retailer before purchasing your Windows 7 Laptop, because terms vary by store. With the wide selection of laptops available, you’ll surely be the coolest techie on your dorm’s floor. Just keep your roommates mitts off of your free Xbox 360 4 GB console.
What’s the Better Deal?
Apple hasn’t publicly launched it’s Back to School promotion, which gives students an entry-level iPod Touch with the purchase of select MacBook Pro models. For the sake of comparison, let’s say they continue the tradition for 2011. The Xbox 360 4 GB console and Apple iPod Touch 8 GB normally cost $199 and $229 respectively. But, the “cheapest” MacBook starts at $999, whereas the Microsoft promotion starts with laptops $699 and above. Technically you get a bigger “bang” for your buck with the Microsoft promotion, given you don’t buy a $2,000 Windows PC on steroids. But then again, more people have use for an iPod Touch than they do an Xbox 360 console. And quite frankly, iPods continue to have strong resale value. Hit up the comments and let us know what you think about the deal, and whose side you’re taking: Ben the PC guy or Mac Daddy.
Top Three Windows 7 Laptops for Students and Recent Grads
Are you a recent graduate with a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket? While the collegiate financial advisor in me says save your money for $1 drink nights and some fun nights on the town, perhaps buying a laptop is the more sensible option. C’mon, we all know you’ll use the laptop more for Pandora and watching hilarious YouTube videos than you will homework, anyway.
1) Dell Inspiron 14r – If you need a basic computer that lets you do your homework and have some fun doing it, the Dell Inspiron 14r is a solid choice. It balances portability with a solid feature set that pleases most non-techies. But future video editors, creative designers, and photographers better look elsewhere, because the laptop isn’t built for resource intensive tasks.
2) Samsung Series 9 – If you plan on carrying your laptop to class, you’ll definitely appreciate the Samsung Series 9’s Duralumin, which as its name implies, is super lightweight and rugged. Plus, it boots up in 3 seconds because it uses a 128 GB solid state hard drive for maximum flexibility. With an Intel Core i5 Processor, this stylish laptop doesn’t sacrifice speed for its good looks, either.
3) HP Pavilion dv7t – If you’re looking for an affordable desktop replacement you can bring home with you on breaks, the HP Pavilion dv7t is a viable option. Despite this big boy’s hefty weight and size, it certainly packs a punch. A better-than-HD 17-inch screen, regular HDMI port, and optional Blu-ray drive, are amongst the laptop’s most media-friendly features. Oh, and don’t forget HP’s accidental damage plan, so if you spill beer – oops I mean coffee – on your keyboard, it isn’t the end of the world.
Don’t Forget a Case
You’ll need something to tote your laptop in when you go to college, right? Save more than 50 percent on a new laptop bag through NexTag Deals. For a limited time, get a $40 eBags.com gift certificate for only $15. Better hurry though, a deal like this won’t last long.
NexTag is not affiliated with the Microsoft Free Xbox 360 4 GB Console or Apple Back to School promotions. Any opinions expressed in this article are of the author and does not represent NexTag’s views or opinions.