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Best laptop deals: Speedy quad-core systems at unusually low prices

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(Read caption) Even Apple has occasional product discounts. Check out the rest of these top tech shopping myths from DealNews.

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Quad-core laptops offer unparalleled performance at (usually) higher-than-average prices. However, this week's best laptop deals include four quad systems starting at $699. We've also found discounts on Sony's unique slider, the VAIO Duo 13, and a budget Inspiron from Dell.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p Intel Haswell Core i7 2.4GHz 15.6" LED-Backlit Laptop
 HP ENVY 17t-j000 Quad Edition Intel Haswell Core i7 2.4GHz 17.3" 1080p LED-Backlit Laptop
 Store: HP Home & Home Office
 Price: $729.99 with free shipping
 Lowest By: $170

Is It Worth It?: Kicking off this week's laptop roundup is the mighty HP ENVY 17t-j000. This 7-lb. desktop replacement is built for power users boasting an Intel Core i7-4700MQ 2.4GHz Haswell quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB drive. The ENVY's 17.3" screen resolution tops out at 1600x900, but otherwise this power machine leaves little to be desired.

 Sony Vaio Duo 13 Intel Haswell Core i5 1.6GHz 13.3" Touchscreen Laptop
 Store: Microsoft Store
 Price: $999 with free shipping
 Lowest By: $146

Is It Worth It?: Sony may have bid sayonara to its VAIO line of PCs last month, but that doesn't stop the Duo 13 from stealing the show. Both CNET and Engadget like the Duo 13's redesign, which includes a sliding screen that's easier to activate than its 11" predecessor's. A more spacious keyboard, larger 13.3" 1920x1080 touchscreen, and a bigger touchpad are also stark improvements. Under the hood of this laptop/tablet hybrid, you'll find a Core i5-4200U Haswell 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 4GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD. There's no optical drive, but you do get a stylus (for on-screen scribbling) and improved battery life, the latter of which PC Mag says will get you through a full day at the office.

 Apple MacBook Pro Core i7 2.8GHz 15.4" Laptop with Retina Display
 Store: MacMall
 Price: $2,299.99 via $50 mail-in rebate with free shipping
 Lowest By: $749

Is It Worth It?: It may not be the current-generation MacBook Pro, but this Ivy Bridge-based machine still packs a powerful punch. It's been fitted with 16GB of RAM, a 768GB SSD, and a 2.8GHz quad-core Ivy Bridge CPU. It also packs the stunning 15.4" 2880x1800 Retina display along with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1GB video card and 802.11a/n WiFi.

 Lenovo IdeaPad Z510 Intel Haswell Core i7 2.4GHz 15.6" 1080p LED-Backlit Laptop
 Store: Lenovo
 Price: $699 via coupon code "CARNIVAL" with free shipping
 Lowest By: $400
 Expires: March 5

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Is It Worth It?: Like the aforementioned ENVY, the IdeaPad Z510 is a supercharged laptop aimed at the power crowd featuring a Core i7-4700MQ 2.4GHz Haswell quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. However, unlike the heavier ENVY, this machine fits everything in a lighter 4.9-lb. frame. Additionally, it features a 15.6" 1920x1080 LCD. It's currently the cheapest Z510 we've seen with a Haswell Core i7 CPU and 1080p display.

 Dell Inspiron 15 Intel Haswell Core i3 1.7GHz 15.6" Laptop
 Store: Dell Home
 Price: $399.99 with free shipping
 Lowest By: $50

Is It Worth It?: An everyday laptop for budget shoppers, the Inspiron 15 offers the power of a Haswell dual-core Core i3 CPU clocked at 1.7GHz. Coupled with the CPU you'll find 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The 15.6" machine also offers a 1366x768 LCD, which for $50 you can upgrade to a touchscreen.

 Store: Lenovo
 Price: $879 with free shipping
 Lowest By: $490
 Expires: March 5
 
Is It Worth It?: The 6-lb. Y510p offers top-of-the-line specs in every department. Powered by a Core i7-4700MQ 2.4GHz Haswell quad-core processor, it features a 15.6" 1920x1080 LED-backlit LCD, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. Even better, it allows for dual graphics card capabilities via its Ultrabay dock; an NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M 2GB graphics card is already included. Other gamer-friendly specs include JBL speakers, for room-thumping sound.

Louis Ramirez is a senior features writer at Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.

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