Round up of budget laptops for Christmas 2013

I am looking at finding a budget laptop this year for Christmas and so I am doing my usual thing of scanning and reading through the marketing hype and finding out what is best value. It will take me a good while to get to this list and while it is not exhaustive this is a great place to start your research. If at the end you feel that I have missed a particular laptop model then please let me know by commenting.

Asus X501A-XX402H

At the price of £339.00 this is going to do the basic computing tasks at a decent speed but to get gaming you need a different machine. Its a no for me then but worth exploring otherwise. Its well built and has an ok screen. if you want a surfing tool and run some software then consider this machine. There is no optical drive so you will need to get a USB external one if you want to read DVD's for example. That is a bit of a big blocker for most. This is getting into crossover territory with chromebooks, but this machine has its own drive 320GB which is just about enough.

Toshiba’s Satellite L850D

The 'D' means this is the cheaper AMD version and the one that should be on your budget list. Its mostly good or ok for entertainment with one of the better screens at this price point. Again gaming isnt great - indeed I wonder if gaming is going to be any good with any at this price. Might have to get into 400 pound models. Its quite slow to boot windows 8 and to then load apps like word.

Packard Bell EasyNote TE11HC review

This laptop is available at Tescos and therefore will be very tempting as you are easily distracted from that chore called shopping ! Never buy a laptop on impulse. This one might be ok for standard tasks but again isnt great for gaming and at thisi price if you can go a bit more go for the Lenovo G580. This Packard Bell laptop has a decent spec but one of the cheaper processors limits it and gaming isn't great again. The extra RAM in this machine is held back by the celleron processor.

Lenovo G580 MAAQ9UK review

We may have found a sub 400 pound laptop that can do some limited casual gaming. It has an annoying trackpad but a decent screen. 1TB of hard disk space (STORAGE) is a lot compared to the 320GB in the Asus above. it has 6GB RAM  (working memory) to handle having a few windows open at once. With a dual core i3 (intel) processor it has a decent heart for crunching the stuff that computers do.

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Guide to purchasing a laptop

Guide to purchasing a laptop

Choosing to buy a laptop in this day and age isn’t as difficult as you might think. Take me for example, I claim to know a lot about computer technology, and go on about how tech savvy I am, but I’m lying, I don’t know anything really about software or hard ware. However I do know how to go about making a decision when it comes to making a purchase for a laptop. I have compiled a little guide for the readers to assist you all when you decide your old Dell is starting to give up, much like mine!

Recently I was given the option to purchase a new laptop; all I had to do was look through the online catalogue of makes and models. At first this seems like a daunting task, as I don’t want to spend too much on a laptop that won’t last that long. Afterall most laptops don’t last as long as desktops and are much more difficult to repair or upgrade, unless you spend big bucks on a brand specific model. The first thing I did was filter the price to range from £250 to £500. To my dismay all other filters were not helpful to my search, as I couldnt search for specific graphics cards, only the size of the memory, the size of the screen and the makes.

Each laptop that I was presented with wasn’t what I was looking for, each had an amazing description as all products for sale should have, however I’m not stupid when it comes to laptop specifics. I know that if you want a cheap laptop for gaming, you need a dedicated graphics card. If you want a multimedia centre you need a lot of Ram and memory. I was after a good all rounder, so I was able to continue my work for Style Review, surf the internet with ease, and of course play a few games as well.

My search was on, and was proving difficult and most laptops in the price region that I had set, contained only integrated graphics cards, but had all the features I wanted bar the ability to play a couple of games. I finally stumbled across a very cheap Asus model that had everything I wanted and more, however upon trying to order it, I was informed that it was sold out. Of course there were none left, it was amazing! So back to the drawing board and the hunt re commenced. This time however I took to reading the product descriptions not just the laptop specifics.

This time I fared much better, I discovered a slightly more expensive model, just under £500, which had dedicated graphics, a lot of ram, quite fast, plenty of USB ports and a decent disk drive. The reviews weren’t as positive as the previous design, however I wasn’t about to let that put me off, which in most cases often does. The graphics card, however I didn’t recognize the name that the description had stated, so in this particular case, I did what everyone should do when you don’t know what you’re dealing with. GOOGLE IT! Google had identified the GC as a GeForce model, which I was delighted with as I know Geforce is a reputable brand, and are good for gaming.

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