The time around Thanksgiving is always considered to be the busiest shopping season in the U.S.. Unfortunately for those looking for fantastic deals, often that is the same time when companies are looking to put their newest and fanciest electronics out to show. What is cheap tends to be things you'd rather not buy. It was to my surprise then that I learned today that once again Wal-Mart will be offering a sub $400 laptop, and one that packs in enough hardware to be worthy as a workstation. The Compaq laptop comes with a Sempron 3300+, 512MB of RAM and a 60GB HDD. It also has a 15.4” screen, standard for most laptops these days. At that price point, it makes it on-par with desktop workstations, and is the cheapest retail laptop available at the moment.

Of course, it's only available through the Wal-Mart chain and unfortunately is not available online. But when one big store sells something cheap, it often leads to others doing the same. Could a decent, sub-$400 laptop available for everyone be here soon?