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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