Windows 8 laptop with discrete graphics on sale for £350

The Asus X501A-XX280H has an absurd moniker but don't let that fool you - its specifications and price tag are quite impressive. At £350 at PC World, this laptop comes with Windows 8 and a discrete graphics chip, a rarity at this price. Note that the laptop won’t go on sale until 26 October, after the launch of the new operating system.

The laptop comes with an Intel i3-2330M processor clocked at 2.2GHz (no Turbo Boost) with 3MB L3 cache, 4GB of RAM, a massive 500GB hard disk drive, Windows 8 and an Nvidia Geforce 610M discrete GPU with shared memory.

Other features include an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi, a webcam, island style keyboard, a 6-cell battery (capable of powering the laptop for 3.5 hours), instant on technology, two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 one, HDMI and VGA, Asus’ SonicMaster Lite audio technology, Altec Lansing speakers, a 15.6in 1,366 x 768 pixels display and Asus’ IceCool Technology to keep the laptop cool.

The Asus X501A is just 25mm thick, which, along with its weight, is only marginally bigger than an Ultrabook. The bottom line is that it is nearly impossible to source a more balanced laptop with Windows 8 for such a low outlay.

Asus opted for a rather classy silver-and-black chassis, which builds on the lack of optical drive to keep it as thin as possible.