Ten 15in notebooks for under 400 quid
Back to school, boys and girls
Packard Bell EasyNote TV
Packard Bell hasn’t bothered to update its web site recently, and only seems to be selling the EasyNote TV through Amazon at the moment, which makes it difficult to take a look before you break out your credit card. Fortunately, it’s not at all bad for the price – the casing feels quite sturdy, and the 1366 x 768 display provides a clear, colourful image for watching video or browsing through your photo library.
There’s an AMD A8-4500M processor with integrated Radeon HD 7640G graphics. This AMD chipset is pretty nifty, outperforming most of Intel's Core i offerings here and can cope with a little casual gaming too. The 4GB memory and 500GB hard disk give no cause for complaint and the battery life is quite respectable at around the four-hour mark. So long as you don't mind buy before you try, it's certainly worth considering. Oh, and in case you're wondering, it doesn't have a TV tuner, just an HDMI port so you can connect it up to your set for big screen viewing.
Reg Rating 75%
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Samsung Series 3 300E5A
Shop around and you'll notice that Samsung’s budget Series 3 laptop benefits from a recent price cut that brings it handily under the £400 mark. First impressions aren’t great though, as the plastic casing has a budget looks and feels to it. However, it does get the basics right, starting off with a welcome anti-glare coating on the 1366 x 768 screen.
Also on board is a 2.3GHz Core i3 processor, as well as a healthy 6GB memory and 500GB hard disk, which should be all you need for most routine computing tasks. Battery life is a respectable four hours, and the Series 3 weighs in at a modest 2.3kg, so not too hefty to lug around either. With a decent helping of RAM that will certainly aid performance and a screen that doesn't act like a mirror, this Samsung isn't a bad deal at all.
Reg Rating 80%
More info Samsung