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Ten... Core i5 laptops

Sandy Bridge computing on the go

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Asus N53SV

RH Numbers
RH Recommended Medal

The Asus N53 is the Core i5, 15 in brother to the Core i7, 17in N73SV I looked at in April. It shows a clear family resemblance but is a certainly smaller, lighter and cheaper. Like the N73, it's a bit of a looker – the more time I spend gazing at the wavy side line, the more I like it. However, it doesn't feel quite as solid as the competition from Acer or Toshiba, despite it's hefty 2.8kg weight.

Carried over from the N73 is the Bang & Olufsen sound processing technology, some very fine speakerage and a Blu-ray combo drive. On the down side you also get the same degree of keyboard flex. I’m all for a bit of bouncy-bouncy, but not when it comes to my laptop keyboard.

With 6GB of RAM and an Nvidia GPU, the Asus is the gamers’ choice. Indeed, you won't find a better i5 machine for the job unless you opt for something from the new Sandy Bridge Alienware range which, sadly, I couldn't lay hands on in time for this feature.

Other feathers in the N53's cap include an impressively bright LCD panel with very robust viewing angles and a built-in hybrid DVB-T/analogue TV tuner making this as impressive a media machine as it is a gaming platform.

Goes head-to-head with the Acer as a smart and affordable multi-purpose machine.

Asus N53

Reg Rating 85%
Price £625
More Info Asus

Dell Latitude E6420

RH Numbers

Not the most interesting machine to look at but the dowdy exterior of the Latitude conceals built-like-a-brick-outhouse build quality. The shell is made from brushed aluminium and magnesium and approved to the US Department of Defence’s MIL-STD 810G standard which includes resistance to gunfire vibration, so you can work and pop a cap in someone's ass at the same time.

Over all the E6420 feels very robust, compact and rounded and at just over 2kg it’s not that heavy for a machine with so much metal in it. Indeed, I can see it appealing to anyone who is going to cart their laptop around a lot.

The keyboard has a lot ThinkPad about it right down to the navigation nub and extra mouse buttons above the track-pad. Happily the keyboard also feels like a ThinkPad - it’s as solid as a rock with absolutely no base flex while the keys themselves are nicely profiled making for a very pleasant typing experience.

Coming from Dell’s business range, the E6420 can be specified up to your heart’s content though I have to say charging £12 for a webcam seems a bit steep. The E6420 is a rare commercial laptop in that it offers a backlit keyboard too for an extra cost of £33.

Built like a brick privy, Dell’s Latitude will take the knocks from the exec lifestyle.

Dell Latitude E6420

Reg Rating 75%
Price £1068
More Info Dell

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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