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A look at the laptop market, including some of the latest products

Sector guide: Notebooks

There’s no mistaking the slow decline of the desktop market. Aside from a strong performance from the all-in-one sector, the segment has moved to the extremes of the market, with some customers opting for lowcost basic machines, while the gaming segment looks to the high-end, highperformance devices.

It is the middle ground between these two extremes that the laptop segment has grown to fill. Offering similar specifications and price-points to its desktop-bound cousins, the middle market bracket seems to be the natural place for the laptop to occupy.

As well as offering strong competition on performance and price point, the laptop segment also fits nicely in with consumer buying trends, which show a much greater emphasis on mobility and style than in previous years, courtesy mainly of the emergence of the IT market as a whole into the mainstream.

These consumer buying trends have not gone un-noticed by the vendors. Intel recently unveiled its ‘Sandy Bridge’ architecture, a system that integrates HD graphics processing in to the motherboard, complementing its Atom and Core range of mobile processors to offer a full suite of mobile components.

In a market where the customer considers the primary USPs of the laptop as almost indispensable, and when manufacturers are increasingly tailoring their products to match this demand, the future for these devices looks extremely bright indeed.


On competition from tablets:

“There is going to be some erosion of the laptop market from webbooks – tablets and netbooks – because when a consumer goes into a store and looks at what they do as a user, they will make their decision based on their lifestyle.

“So if they are an internet-only user, there’s the possibility that a webbook will serve that purpose. Likewise though, with social networking you need ergonomic input, whether that’s in a physical keyboard or a digital one, so it really is about how the consumers want to use their machine.

“But the notebook really has continued to grow in the B2B and the retail channels and will continue to do so.”

On Cloud Computing:

“With the whole cloud element, we are seeing more and more social networking, video streaming and music streaming. All of these things are either rental or viewable online.

“Clearly that has an influence on the buying decision of the consumer, whether they go for a laptop or webbook, but the crucial element of it is that 3G and wi-fi enabled notebooks are able to connect in the home and around cities. The whole ‘access wherever you are’ thing lends itself beautifully to the mobile machine.”

SRP: £249.99
Distributor: Ingram Micro

They say: As sweet as candy, scented as a field of lavender, brisk as lime juice or fresh as the ocean, Aspire One Happy comes in four delightful colours that fill your life with excitement and joy

Specs: 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550, 1GB DDR3 RAM, 10.1-inch WSVGA display, 250GB HDD, Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics, Windows 7 Starter 32-bit

SRP: £399
Distributor: VIP Computers

They say: The Asus X5DIJ-SX468V comes powered by the Intel Celeron Processor T3300, and has the 64-bit version of the genuine Windows 7 Home Premium operating system pre-installed

Specs: Intel Celeron T3300, 15.6-inch TFT display, 320GB SATA HDD, 2GB DDR2 RAM, embedded Intel GMA X4500M graphics, mobile Intel GL40 Express chipset

SRP: £550
Distributor: Bluepoint

They say: TravelMate 5730G-873G25MN notebook comes packaged in the new ProFile design chassis and boosts on-the-job performance with features perfectly suited to the progressive professional’s daily life. Its ProFile’s look and feel is all business and equipped with cutting-edge Intel dual-core processor technology

Specs: 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 3GB DDR2 SDRAM, 250GB SATA HDD, 15.4-inch active matrix TFT LCD display, integrated wi-fi, Windows 7 Professional with optional downgrade to Windows XP

SRP: £699
Distributor: Westcoast

They say: With unparalleled versatility, the HP TouchSmart tm2 lets you touch, draw, type or move everywhere in between. This compact yet powerful notebook converts to a tablet with a simple twist

Specs: 1.2GHz Intel Pentium U5400, 3GB DDR3 SDRAM, 320GB SATA HDD, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5450, integrated wi-fi and bluetooth, fingerprint reader

SRP: £399
Distributor: Westcoast

They say: The R530 is a powerful yet affordable style leader. It offers great all-round value by combining outstanding quality and performance in an ultra-stylish ‘touch of colour’ diamond and metallic hairline finish

Specs: 2GHz Intel Celeron T3300, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, 250GB SATA HDD, Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics, integrated webcam, wireless LAN

HP G72-A10SA
SRP: £433
Distributor: Westcoast

They say: With its sleek design, textured and matte HP Imprint finish the HP G72 notebook PC blends durability with style. Enjoy true mobility that looks good and doesn’t compromise on performance

Specs: 1.86GHz Intel Pentium P6000, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, 250GB SATA HDD, Intel HD Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0, integrated webcam and wi-fi

SRP: £349
Distributor: Westcoast

They say: For PC functionality and performance that’s also fully mobile, choose the HP Compaq Presario CQ62. It features powerful Intel processors, a range of multimedia and productivity features, and stylish design at a good value

Specs: 2.2GHz Intel Celeron 900, 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, 250GB SATA HDD, Intel HD Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0, integrated wi-fi

SRP: £260
Distributor: Target Components

They say: The Toshiba Satellite C650 features an all-new sophisticated black textured finish. With its subtle yet elegant design the Satellite C650 looks the part at home, school, university, in the office, and out and about

Specs: AMD Sepron V120, 250GB HDD, 15.6-inch display, 2GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium, integrated webcam

SRP: £728
Distributor: VIP Computers, Computer 2000, Ingram Micro, Micro-P

They say: The most potent processors from Intel drive diverse thrilling adventures, high productivity and memorable moments. With all new Intel Core i CPU inside, the N Series has the power and seamless capabilities to achieve and enjoy more with great power efficiency and a smooth user experience

Specs: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5, Intel HM55 chipset, 640GB SATA HDD, 15.6-inch HD display, 4GB DDR3 RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT425M integrated graphics, integrated wi-fi

SRP: £1000
Distributor: VIP Computers, Computer 2000, Ingram Micro, Micro-P

They say: Asus is renowned for its expertise in creating innovative laptops, and the N73 is no exception. With its huge 17.3-inch HD LED Screen this laptop looks good whether it’s switched on or off, and offers the perfect canvas for all your favourite movies, games and TV shows

Specs: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5, Intel HM55, 640GB SATA HDD, 17.3-inch TFT display, 8GB DDR3 RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT335M integrated graphics, inbuilt 2MP webcam, integrated wi-fi

SRP: £499
Distributor: VIP Computers

They say: The X52F series represents fantastic value for money as a budget level multimedia machine and is one our cheapest offerings that has the latest i3 Processor technology

Specs: Intel Core i3, 15.6-inch TFT display, 320GB SATA HDD, 2GB DDR3 RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200, Altec Lansing speakers

SRP: £699.99
Distributor: Ingram Micro

They say: Packed with everything you need to enjoy an unforgettable entertainment experience as well as top performance to be productive at home or on the go, the new Aspire 5745PG puts the world at your fingertips via an HD multi-touch enabled LED panel and customisable Acer TouchPortal that lets you easily manipulate your multimedia and have fun

Specs: 1.73GHz Intel Core i7-820QM, 4GB dual-channel DDR3 RAM, 15.6-inch HD display, Nvidia GeForce GT330M, 640GB HDD, integrated wi-fi and Bluetooth

SRP: £899
Distributor: Ingram Micro

They say: The new Aspire 5745DG is the ultimate home and mobile entertainment centre. Watching any 3D multimedia on this sophisticated notebook will make everything else seem dull

Specs: 2.4GHz Intel Core i3, 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, 320GB HDD, 15.6-inch HD LED display, Nvidia GeForce GT425M, integrated webcam and wi-fi

SRP: £550
Distributor: Ingram Micro, Computer 2000, Micro-P

They say: The Vaio E series notebook refuses to blend in. Designed with personalisation in mind, its spectrum of available colours, subtle patterns and inviting finishes let you choose a style that’s all your own

Specs: 2.13GHz Intel Core i3, 3GB DDR3 SDRAM, 320GB SATA HDD, 15.5-inch active matrix TFT display, integrated wi-fi

SRP: £299
Distributor: Ingram Micro, Computer 2000, Micro-P

They say: Light, easy to carry and simple to use, the Vaio M series mini notebook from Sony is a great value way to experience the world of Vaio. This fullyfeatured mini notebook is an ideal go-anywhere companion for web browsing, chatting with friends online or checking emails over a coffee

Specs: 1.6GHz Intel Atom N450, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 250GB SATA HDD, 10.1-inch backlit LED display, integrated wi-fi and bluetooth, Intel GMA 3150

SRP: £530
Distributor: Westcoast

They say: The HP ProBook 4525s notebook PC is a 15.6- inch diagonal notebook with advanced multimedia support and AMD processors, featuring Vision Pro

Specs: 2.3GHz AMD Turion II P520, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, 250GB SATA HDD, ATI RADEON HD 4250, integrated wi-fi and bluetooth

SRP: £1,500
Distributor: Ingram Micro, Computer 2000, Micro P

They say: Built tough for business, the Vaio Z series notebook offers the portability form factor with the performance of a larger computer. Encased in durable and elegant premium carbon fiber and featuring scratch-resistant XBRITE-DuraView LCD technology, the Z series notebook is designed to withstand the rigors of the road

Specs: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-520M, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 13.1-inch active matrix TFT LCD display, integrated wi-fi and bluetooth, integrated webcam

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