The Best Laptops for £400 or less

With us well and truly into the New Year and spring coming up, it’s nearly time for a spring clean and for us to update our tech gadgets with the best.

The Dell XPS 13 has been widely touted as the best laptop of 2017 by multiple expert reviewers with many favouring it over its newer ‘sister’ laptop the Dell XPS 15.

However, if you’re a student who’s strapped for cash or just someone on a budget and on the lookout for an inexpensive but effective laptop, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best laptops for £400 or less.

 

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C100

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  • Price: £280.99
  • Processor: Rockchip Cortex-A17 RK3288C Quad Core
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 16GB eMMC
  • Screen: 10.1″ Touchscreen Display (1280 x 800) Resolution
  • Integrated Graphics
  • Operating System: Google Chrome OS

The ASUS C100 is one of a kind. A unique Chromebook which converts into a tablet, in one swift flip, hence the name. This touch screen, inexpensive Chromebook also features a quad core processor and of course the unique Google Chrome operating system, all within a sleek silver design, with a sensible 16GB for its humble size.

 

The HP Stream 11

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  • Price: £189.99
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N2840 / 2.16 GHz Max Turbo Speed 2.58 GHz
  • Ram: 2GB
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC
  • Screen: 11.6″ HD Display (1366 x 768) Resolution
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit

The HP Stream 11 was made with students in mind and is an instant classic, and that’s why we had to feature it on our list of the best laptops for £400 or less. We currently have it with BullGuard Internet security included in the price.

With a clear focus on robust battery life as well as good quality sound; it also features an ample 32 GB of storage. It comes with DTS Sound built in and is perfect for on-the-go students who don’t want to worry about recharging or not being able to play their favourite music.

 

The ASUS X555 LA

asus-x555-la

  • Price: £349.99
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 (5th Gen) 5200U / 2.2 GHz Max Turbo Speed 2.7 GHz
  • RAM: 4GB RAM
  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Screen: 15.6″ HD Display (1366 x 768) Resolution
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD 5500
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit

The ASUS X555 LA is a high performance laptop with lots of little added extras to make this the ultimate entertainment friendly laptop.

PC mag and PC Advisor recently named it one of the ‘best cheap laptops of 2017’ and it’s no wonder with its exceptional sound quality from the built in sonic Master technology and an Intel Core i5 processor. It also comes with a whole array of ports including two USB 3.0 ports as well as an additional USB 2.0 port and a HDMI port among others.

 

The HP 250 G5

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  • Price: £349.99
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-5005U 2GHz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 500GB HDD
  • Screen: 15.6″ HD Display (1366 x 768) Resolution
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD 5500
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit

The HP G5 is also another firm favourite with it topping PC Advisor’s list for the ‘best budget laptops for 2017’. The G4 was similarly popular and with the G5 replacing the older model, the laptop has only improved. It comes equipped with a hard drive capacity of 500GB and Intel core i5, read our more in depth review of the high performance laptop here.

We hope you enjoyed reading our list of the best laptops for £400 or less. What are your all-time favourite budget laptops? Are you more of a laptop or a PC person? Let us know in the comments section below.

*Please note: all prices are subject to change without notice and all offers are subject to availability*

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Acer Aspire E3 Vs. ThinkPad Edge E145

Newage is all about war of technology. Every day a new technology story comes up, a more advance gadget replaces the older one. Well, this is the same what is happening in the laptop industry. If you are planning to buy cheap laptop or notebook within the budget of £260 and unsure of which laptop, we are going to make things easier for you. Here is the battle of 2 machines, Acer Aspire E3 and Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145. Both of these 11.6-inch notebooks comes under the budget of £260, these two are inexpensive netbooks which you can opt for working at home or for professional use. Let’s see which is a more suitable buy for your needs.

Acer Aspire E3 Vs. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145:

Design and Display

E3-111_silver_nontouch_nonglare_zoom_bigAcer Aspire E3-111, is one of the larger affordable netbooks you will find around. Coming with basic specifications, it isn’t has something really pretty to shout about but it does manage to grab our attention by its robust design with attractive price and performance. It is well-equipped to cater students, home users and can be taken as a secondary PC to work with.

You wouldn’t find Acer Aspire the slimmest netbook but weighing just weighing just 1.3kg it does win the tag of being slim and well-updated. It has been designed intelligently that even though not being full sized, it has all the useful ports. The plastic chassis are designed elegantly with smooth curves, the lid showcases a thin layer of aluminum giving it a classy look. 1366×768

lenovo-laptop-thinkpad-e145-blue-back-view-8Coming onto its rival, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145 is ideal for students, home and office user. With the same size as Acer Aspire E3, this 11.6 –inch machine gives a tough time to both subnotebooks and netbooks providing excellent battery time. Coming with a matte surface and same display resolution as of Acer Aspire E3 (1366×768) pixels, you can easily work on it even in outdoors. However, it weighs 1.5kg which makes it slightly heavier than the Acer Aspire.

Operating Systems

The Acer Aspire E3 supports only Windows 8.1 whereas Lenovo ThinkPad Edge comes with 2 versions of operating systems, it either runs on Windows 7 or uses the FreeDos operating system. However, it can be updated to windows 8 as well.

Battle of specifications

Until now, we discovered that both of the devices comes with same size and display resolution. This makes our decision harder. When comparing both, judging both the machines on grounds of specifications. The Acer Aspire is powered with Intel Celeron N2830 Dual-Core Processor 2.16GHz with Intel Burst Technology up to 2.41GHz making it to work at much higher clock speed enabling it to perform better than what AMD processor of ThinkPad Edge offer you. Talking about the power of Graphics, Acer is integrated with Intel HD Graphics while Lenovo ThinkPad Edge comes with AMD Radeon graphics.

Acer Aspire coming with 64MB of dedicated system memory, 2048MB DDR3L Memory, 320GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) while Lenovo ThinkPad Edge comes with RAM size of 4GB.

Both the netbooks come with wide range of connectivity options. Acer Aspire packs the latest 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN, has two 2.0 USB ports and a 3.0 port. It also lets you connect to bigger screens as it comes with a HDMI port as well. However, The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge comes with connectivity options that are better suitable for business activities as it packs a VGA port, HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports.

If we analyze the specifications of both overall, the main differences are found in their processors, graphics and memory making Acer Aspire more Adaptable for the home and student use and Lenovo ThinkPad Edge better suitable for professional life.

Battery Life 

Well, when it comes to battery life, we do get really concerned. Let’s see which of these has a better stamina to keep on going. The ThinkPad Edge was made to undergo few battery tests which revealed some superb results in comparison to its rivals around. In the idle mode, battery kept the device alive for 19 whole hours leaving behind its predecessors which only made 6 hours. The Easter Reader’s test exposed that ThinkPad Edge works for total 4 hours when display was set to the lowest brightness with wireless modules turned off. The overall battery tests revealed that ThinkPad edge is ideal for those who demand for longer battery life. Whereas, Aspire couldn’t catch up to this level in terms battery life. It remained alive for 7 hours and 16 minutes in the idle mode. In Easter Reader’s test, again it couldn’t beat the superb battery life of ThinkPad edge. It was found shut down after 1 hours and 48 minutes.

Which One Should I Go For?

Well if you ask us to choose one out of both, our vote is for Lenovo ThinkPad Edge. But this is not the end. Acer’s Aspire locks a really decent keyboard and matte screen with a powerful Intel Celeron processor. But despite being so slim and light weight, we cannot really call it portable because of the battery issues. So, if you plan to have it for the use at university and or professional life where you are most likely to carry you netbook everywhere, it would be a bad choice. It is relatively suitable for working at home where you can easily get an access to charge the device. Undoubtedly, Lenovo’s ThinkPad is a better option if you want to have a netbook which possesses a better keyboard and lasts longer to carry out your professional business tasks efficiently or making university assignments. As both the netbooks come in the same size and with a little price difference but with varying battery lives, you can definitely make a choice easily. However, if you ask about the computing power, then Acer Aspire plays a stronger role performing better but dies soon.

With the Kabibi update success which offers a substantially higher GPU and a decent application performance, ThinkPad Edge manages to earn more points over Aspire especially in battery terms.

Top 4 Ultrabooks of 2015

If you are seeking a latest ultrabook that can serve you with best of the features that comes with attractive ultra-portable design, here is a list of 4 best ultrabooks that will surely rock your computing world. These all ultrabooks are installed with Intel Core processors, fast SSD storage and USB 3.0 connectivity with the price range of £584 to £1,169.

  1. Dell XPS 13

dell-xps-13-still-100565160-origThis is probably the best laptop you’ll come across in the galaxy of ultrabooks.  This 13.3 –inch notebook features horse power which would make your work and play both an enjoyable experience. Its gorgeous display is an added treat to this super-light ultrabook. It has enough battery to keep you on roll for hours. It runs on Intel Core i5-5200 with 8 GB RAM giving impressive performance every time. However, it doesn’t have any ether port which is a slight drawback. Weighing just 2.8 pounds, this is an ultra-portable device providing you with immense pleasant experience.

  1. Asus ZenBook UX305

Asus-inline1Presenting the superbly-built Asus ZenBook with full metal chassis, a very thin and light ultrabook that will surely make you run after it. Powered by 800MHz Intel Core M 5Y10, it is an incredible machine providing excellent performance. It is a highly portable device loaded with intelligent features; it is a beauty with brains. With Intel HD Graphics 5300 and 8 GB RAM, it serves you in its best forms no matter where you go. Moreover, it comes with full HD display bearing crystal clear and bright images letting you enjoy everything on the screen. And how can we forget to mention its long battery life which enables you to work in relaxing environment for long periods. It is truly the most desirable ultrabook with a much agreeable price point.

  1. Lenovo LaVie Z

maxresdefaultWondering which ultrabook holds the record of being the lightest? Well, here it is, the unmatchable Lenovo LaVie Z weighing just 1.87 pounds! Apart from being light weight, it also wins at providing the user with excellent performance and stunning display. The 13.3 –inch LED anti-glare WQHD display comes with the resolution of 2560 x 1440 defining picture details in finest forms.  Furthermore, powered with Intel Core i7-5500U, it serves you with superb performance. Few things are questionable, the mediocre battery life, build quality and astronomical price tag. Otherwise, it is by far one of the best ultrabooks you’ll find around.

  1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

lenovo-thinkpad-x1-carbon-touch-ultrabookHow can we forget to mention Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon when talking about the top rated ultrabooks in town? This is an amazing business ultrabook that comes big on features. This elegantly designed machine comes with Intel Core i5-4300U and 4 GB RAM. The 14-inch screen has a decent resolution of 2560 x 1440 IPS.  With clever ergonomic keyboard and offering fantastic specs, it is something worth noticing for your business world. However, the battery life proved to be an average one. Overall, it’s a remarkable business laptop that serves you stylishly with excellent performance.

Encounter the Within-Budget Lenovo Laptops Trio

Lenovo has managed to bring us quite a lot of variety in the gadget world winning a lot of appreciation in the market. Introducing wide range of smartphones, tablet computers, smartphones, workstations, servers, electronic storage devices, IT management software and smart televisions. Now, Lenovo is all set to release budget laptops this June that can be equipped with Intel’s RealSense 3D camera.

Lenovo Z series

lenovo-laptop-ideapad-z580-gray-backThe launched Lenovo’s Z series is our top prioritized budget laptops in the list. The Z51 and Z41.

Lenovo Z51-70

Z51-70 is an affordable 15-Inch laptop with great specs features especially if you are looking for laptop that works great for multimedia and also provides you with refreshing gaming experience. Talking about the performance, Z51-70 is probably one of the best laptops that show smooth performance as it has been equipped with newest technology and power saving. It comes with 5th Generation Intel Core i7-5500U dual-core processor featuring a reliable speed. The 16GB memory facilitates you to carry out daily computing tasks responsively. Whether it be multi-media, latest games or any other heavy loaded wok, Z51 doesn’t let you down. It is also a commendable multi-tasker enabling you to do things simultaneously very efficiently. Not only that, now enjoy crispy, bright and clear images on the Full HD LED-backlit display with 1920×1080 resolution. Watch your favorite movie shows providing stunning visuals and maximum entertainment.  Z51 with its great performance and reasonable price is surely a smart buy for you.

Lenovo Z41

Ideapad_100_14_Black-15The 14-inch Lenovo Z41 can be referred as the sibling of Z51 as both run on the latest 5th gen Intel Core i7 and supporting upto 16 GB of RAM and a storage capacity upto 1TB. It is equally good for enjoying home entertainment as well as carrying out official tasks. It delivers stunning graphics as it has a FHD display. In order to make your multi-media experience even more superb, it introduces the impressive Dolby DS 1.0 Home Theatre. This definitely provides an ideal atmosphere to experience ultimate pleasure of crispy sound, clear visuals. You will surely enjoy listening music and gaming on the laptop.

Moreover, It comes with the advance Wi-Fi technology, 802.11 a/c. This makes the internet speed 3 times better than what we usually experience on our regular laptops. So this means you can now have the option of faster web surfing, faster downloading of your favorite songs, and games. The Z series come in vibrant colour options namely, ebony black, crimson red and chalk white. Loaded with so many features and latest specs, there is no doubt that Z41 and Z51 are intelligently engineered ensuring higher levels of productivity. Considering the affordability factor and full on packed performance, these laptops deserve a good applause.

Lenovo IdeaPad 100

Laptop-Lenovo-IdeaPad-100-14IBY-14.1inch-giá-5.2-triệu-2In competition with the HP stream 13, Lenovo has come up with its IdeaPad 100. It is made available in both 14- and 15 inch size installed with Windows 8.1. The display having a pixel resolution of 1366 x 768-pixel delivers relatively dim 200nits. This is understandable because of its low price range. The battery life is just 4 hours which is quite disappointing for people who have to work on laptops for long hours.

However, it renders good connectivity options as it comes with one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port. Also featuring HDMI, Ethernet and a card reader as well. The specs are quite modest but are good enough for simple use.

Lenovo IdeaPad Z50-70

lenovo-ideapad-z50-70-blackLenovo IdeaPad Z50-70, a beauty offering high end technology and stylish design compelling us to review it with best of our observations and deciding whether the input devices and the case are worthy to its price tag. Lenovo’s Z50-70 series comes up in several blacks and whites with numerous different combinations of CPU, graphic cards memory and storage devices. Let’s find out more of what it offers.

Elegant Design

You will surely find the design of IdeaPad Z50-70 and high class one in premium form. Most of the display has been painted plastic with the top deck as well the metallic trim runs to the laptop’s circumference fashioned out of original metal. The display lid comes up with a satin silver finish and the underside is black plastic. The edges of the laptop have been shaped down slightly giving it a distinguished look.

15.6’’ Display

The 15.6- inch TN large display comes with the usable pixel density of 141 ppi offering full HD resolution. It appears sharp in the windows interface and with 125 percent scaling applied makes the fonts appear clear. However, the screen is quite shiny and you would have to make an effort to fight passed reflections to use it in daylight. Moreover, the color contrasts and reproductions are not very impressive. It covers only 56 percent of the humble sRGB gamut in the tests taken and 90:1 lousy contrast ratio, typical for a cheap Windows laptop after all.

Connectivity

Coming in much lesser price, connectivity cannot really keep up the expectations. IdeaPAd Z50-70 has two USB 2.0 ports located one on each side. It also has an extra v3 port on the left joining HDMI and VGA video ports there. To make the heat exhausting process efficient, internal finned heat sink is present on the side helping hot air to exhaust rapidly.

Performance Test

Till now we have discovered features of this notebook quite average. Let’s find out how well this machine performs. Installed with the powerful corei7 CPU accompanied by the GPU Nvidia GeForce 840M and a dedicated memory of 4GB, it promises a relatively satisfactory performance.

IdeaPad was made to undergo few tests to specifically discover about its performance in comparison to other PCs and its own predecessors. Greenbench 3 revealed that Lenovo’s processor and memory combination satisfies to around 70% of the performance measure. The Lenovo IdeaPad scored around 2222 points in the PCMark 7 while PCMark 8 recorded total of 1959 points at home usage and scored 2638 points at work. These results are competent in line with the hard disk and chipset specification. This confirms that the performance delivered by Lenovo ThinkPad is quite good for performing office tasks as well as for carrying other computing activities such as real time video editing, complex picture editing etc.

Talking about games, limitations are there by GPU than the CPU. But it should enable you play even complex titles with 1366×768 pixels in medium, sometimes even high, settings.

Battery Runtime

If you are a gaming fan and interested in mobile gaming, it will probably last for just one-and-a-half hours in this configuration. In the WLAN test, the battery run time of 281 minutes is the recorded average result. But considering the small capacity of 41 Wh, this isn’t so bad after all. Consequently, we can say that the battery life proved to be good enough lasting for nearly five hours (4 hour 58 mins) in the lopped-video over Wi-Fi endurance test.

Verdict

The Lenovo Z50-70 is a good-built 15-inch laptop with a full-HD display and distinct NVidia graphics. The quality of its hardware is quite good considering its price, and battery life of around five hours, plus sub-2.4 kg weight, makes it more usable as mobile workstation. Overall, Lenovo IdeaPad Z50-70 was found to decent and strong. The performance is found quite well and its efficient thermal management makes it cool and comfortable to use.

How to Choose a Laptop for Father

fathers-day-laptopsFather’s day is coming up and it’s a call to get your old man a new PC. Though your father might have his pension 3x your salary but it’s the thought that matters. He must have bought you couple of PCs over the years so it is time to get him something special a pay back to the technology he always bought you. Before buying you need to make a plan of everything as we suggest before letting you spend your valuable earnings on something and a list of steps that you might need to take.

His Usage Habits

Find out what is your father’s usage habits? If he is a businessman then get him a multitasking laptop with spacious RAM and more storage options. If he have retired and spends his most of the time sitting at home and enjoying the discussions with his friends then get him the laptop with lesser complex functions and make sure that it provides the necessary media supportive apps.

Your Budget

Yes budget matters because you do not want to end up asking your dad for second pocket money. No matter what your budget is you can get the best laptop easily with all the facilities of any expensive laptop.

Size

Size matters a lot keeping your father’s comfort in consideration you need to be very careful about the side. But their capabilities vary with their sizes. A 10 to 12 inches will be thinnest and lightest but you might have to sacrifice keyboard size for portability. A 13 to 14 inches usually weight 3 to 4.5 pounds with best balance of portability and usability. 15 inches is the most popular size and also inexpensive but some of them are on the bulky side. If laptop will be kept on desk all then you can get 17 to 18 inches.

Battery Life

Figure out how much you father will be using it. If used rarely than 3 hours or less battery life will be enough. If he will be using for half of the day then 5 hours of endurance or more will be perfect to buy. But if he is a busy bee and do like all of his work on his laptop then look out for 7 hours of juice to assist him in his uninterrupted work.

Operating System

Choose which operating system you want to have. Either you can get what you have already experienced (if had a good experience) or just go with the expert’s advice. Starting with Windows that are preferred almost by everyone and comes in widest variety can put a little dent on your pocket. Compared to Windows Mac OS can be affordable, available on Macs only provides an attractive, powerful UI perfect for strong multitasking. They can be more expensive when it comes to Macbooks. Chromebook are much affordable and ideal for surfing Web, social networking and emails.

Brand

In the last, which brand you want to go for. If there is any specific likeness of your father then get him that same brand or go with your choice.

Ace of the ACER

Recently, in a press conference held at New York’s City New Trade Center, Acer’s CEO claimed that he will be the last man standing for the PC industry. The company grew its business PC market share by 80 percent, he added. Jason Chen also promised of being the first one on delivering tech geeks with the devices showcasing the best of the newest technology & products.

acer_logo

Acer unveiled dozens of its products including tablets, PCs, gaming products and smartphones. Talking about the finest picks, Aspire Switch 11 V laptop-tablet hybrid catches the limelight. It comes up with unique hinge design enabling it to position in 4 distinct modes. Its key features include 11 inch full HD screen protected by Gorilla Glass 3 providing protection against damage, can be detached from the key board base to become a tablet, excellent battery life up to 8 hours with high quality keyboard. However, its poor touchpad, clunky, unimaginative built are its drawbacks.

Furthermore, Acer announced about its Z series line up. Recently launched, Acer Aspire Z Series is the talk of the town. The two new AiOs — the Aspire Z3-710 and the Aspire ZC-700 — with Windows 8.1, will be getting the windows 10 update when such time rolls around. The Z3 is the larger & superior of the two, sporting a 23.8-inch touchscreen display with 10-point multi-touch, while the ZC model has a more modest 19.5-inch display. However, both the models entail Full HD resolution and LED backlight.

The Z 3 model with its slim body, measuring in at 36 mm, comes up with various processor options to its users. Buyers can choose among the Intel Core, Pentium, or Celeron processor. Talking about the storage, Z3 has 2TB of hard drive storage and up to 8 GB of RAM. Further enhancing, there is also an optional DVD super Multi optical drive for those needing it.

Acer has also introduced 2 new models of Chrome box CXI2, featuring a 4th generation of Intel core i3 processor making chrome box powerful & a better performer. Talking about the design, the Acer Chrome Box has been adorned in such an attractive way that it provides with a refreshing user experience. The exterior of the unit is adorned with a diamond-like engraved texture that’s an energizing change to the usual slab of matte plastic on most Chrome OS devices. The chrome box CXI2 is shipped along with the mouse and keyboard. This is a bonus to its users considering the price of the overall package.

Well, this was a brief drive of the newly introduced Acer products. After all the reviews loaded up, checking out the latest Acer batch is a sure thing. Considering the technology used, features & design, Acer has certainly put in efforts to provide their buyers with best of the user experience. However, Acer comes no more different than its rivals such as AUS, Dell & MSI but Acer has the edge on being the biggest vendor of chrome devices.