American consumers must be spending too much time at the beach, not enough time shopping, because a lot of stores are dropping their prices on electronics. Some great laptop deals were announced today. Plus, take a look at our recent video, Ask a Store Clerk, after the jump. We checked in with Hector at J&R and got some good netbook-buying advice.

The Acer Aspire One 8.9-inch netbook is available for $258 at WalMart (it's usually $300). Drawback: it only has a 3-cell battery, so you'll probably get less than three hours of battery life. Splurge if you can and get the 10-inch, with a six cell battery, for $328 (it usually costs around $350). UPDATE: BOTH DEALS ARE STILL AVAILABLE AS OF 7/21.

J&R just released its Black Friday in July newsletter, which is full of deals. The Eee PC 1000HA (aka the Seashell) is $349, marked down from $389. UPDATE: IT'S NOW $379.

The 14-inch Acer Timeline is $649, marked down from $699; note that it has a budget processor, a 1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Solo (for better performance, you'd want a Core 2 Duo of 2.0 GHz or above). But it has 4GB RAM and a 320GB hard drive. UPDATE: IT'S NOW $699.

DealNews has the Gateway M-6888u for $500 after a rebate (compare to $550 at Amazon). It's got good specs: 4GB RAM, 320 GB hard drive, and an Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz processor. UPDATE: THIS DEAL IS AVAILABLE UNTIL 7/26.

NewEgg has the Acer Aspire AS6930-6073 for $750; I can't find the same model elsewhere, so I can't provide a good comparison, but that's a good price for these specs: 2.4 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, plus an NVIDIA graphics card. UPDATE: THIS PRICE IS STILL AVAILABLE.

NewEgg also has the Toshiba Satellite L305-S5933 for $450, which is $100 off its standard price. It's got 3GB RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a relatively weak Pentium processor. UPDATE: THIS DEAL IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE.