If your budget is restricted this Christmas and you’re desperately looking for a laptop, rejoice as we’ve put together the ultimate list for you, one that packs a laptop to suit everyone’s taste with all of them costing less than £300.
The Novatech W12 is the first on our list and potentially the most impressive of them all. This is a ultra portable laptop (or Thin and Light) which means that it is slotted between a netbook and a full size laptop.
At £299.99, we were surprise to find that it is powered by a capable AMD Neo MV-40 clocked at 1.6GHz, which should be more powerful than equivalent Intel Atom processors. It sports 2GB RAM, a large 500GB hard disk drive and is equipped with an AMD ATI Radeon 1250 Mobile graphics module which is better than most other integrated solutions available at this price.
Novatech managed to cram in a 12.1 inch screen with a 1366×768 pixels resolution, that’s higher than what’s found on some 15.6-inch models.
Add in Wi-Fi, a 1.3Kg weight, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, a HDMI & VGA ports (yes!), three USB ports, an Ethernet Port, a card memory, Windows 7 Home Premium (not Starter) and you have a very cable laptop indeed.
Its only flaw is the lack of an optical drive; but that’s a necessary shortcoming given that it aims at a distinct audience which prefers portability to flexibility. The other unknown that could be an issue is the battery life and its capacity.
From the small to the mighty, we meet the eMachines G420 from Saveonlaptops, a clearance model. Available for £299.97, this laptop has a feature unseen at this price, a huge 17.3-inch screen capable of showing 1440×900 pixels.
The rest is pretty much standard; an AMD Sempron SL42 processor clocked at 2.1GHz with 512KB L2 cache, 1GB RAM, a 160GB hard disk drive, a DVD writer, a dedicated Geforce 9100M video card with 256MB memory.
Other features include a VGA port, four USB ports, a webcam, two speakers 802.11n Wi-Fi and, unsurprisingly, a full numeric keypad.
There are a few shortcomings to having a large screen though at such a budget price; corners have to be cut elsewhere (slower processor and less memory), it is quite heavy at 3.7kg, the battery life is less than stellar at 2.5 hours and because it is a clearance model, comes with Windows Vista Home Premium.
That said, if you are looking for a desktop replacement unit that can double as a capable second television set, the G420 is a potential candidate; oh and you get free BullGuard Internet security with it, a product worth £45.
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