Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Can a $298 laptop jump-start back-to-school?


schoolbus2Check out efforts to get serious back-to-school shopping underway.

Wal-Mart announced plans to start selling on Sunday a Compaq Presario laptop for $298.

Gary Severson, Wal-Mart U.S.’s senior vice president of home entertainment, told Reuters he thought the deal represented a “screaming value.”

The retailer also plans to cut the price of an Acer laptop with an 8-hour battery by $50 to $548. The computer has 3 gigabytes of memory, a 320 gigabyte hard drive and qualifies for a free upgrade to the Windows 7 operating system when it is released.

Retailers ranging from Wal-Mart, to Target, to J.C. Penney have outlined their plans to lure back-to-school shoppers. Penney is using a special website,, to reach web-savvy teenagers who shop for themselves in the back-to-school period but may have less money to do so this year.