Office Depot's $99 PC

Dennis Faas's picture

Not so long ago we reported on Microsoft's demand that those corporations responsible for the tech industry's hardware should make computers far more affordable. At the time, the magic number was around $100, enough to afford the very basic frame of a computer without the faintest hope of running legitimate Microsoft software.

The notion itself was aimed at the quickly developing third world, such as India or China, where tech production and manufacturing is quickly becoming integral to foreign economies. With that said, apparently Americans like the idea of cheap computers, too. This week Office Depot is offering customers a $99 (USD) PC, although those interested should pay attention to details.

For the back-to-school period September 3-9, Office Depot is offering a Hewlett Packard desktop with Celeron D 352 processor for just $99. Other features include 256 MB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive.

How'd they do it?

The system itself includes a number of applicable rebates, all serving to lower the cost under the $100 mark. The HP PC regularly retails for $429 USD, but with Office Depot's instant $100 rebate and an additional $230 in mail-in rebates the cost shrinks and shrinks. However, the mail itself poses a problem. With the cost of shipping the system, Office Depot's bargain desktop rises again to $200. That's right, the cheap system features a shipping cost equal to the PC itself. (Source:

According to sources, deals like these often make or break company profits. As September rolls on, expect similar retailers to make similar offers, since the last two weeks of the month also mean the last two weeks of the third quarter. So, despite the apparent bonanza of deals at retailers like Office Depot and Best Buy, every indication is there that the sales won't end with the first week of class. (Source:

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