PCR checks out the latest notebook machines and suitable accessories available on the market…

PCR’s guide to laptops and accessories

Laptops continue to sell well despite the rise of tablets thanks to their mix of portability and power. PCR checks out the latest notebook machines and suitable accessories available on the market…

Asus X102BA

Distributor: VIP Computers

The X102BA ultraportable from Asus is a 10.1-inch Windows 8 notebook, complete with a touchscreen, Office Home & Student 2013 and SonicMaster audio technology. It includes a webcam, USB 3.0 and Instant On support.

Specs: AMD Temash dual-core CPU, Windows 8, SonicMaster, 10.1-inch HD touchscreen, AMD Radeon HD 8180G.

SRP: £299.99

Microlab B51 portable speaker

Distributor: Smithie UK

The B51’s two 1.5-inch drivers are USB powered, with no batteries required, and the whole unit can clamp on to the lip of a laptop screen. Additional devices can play audio through the speakers using the 3.5mm aux-in jack.

Specs: 3.5mm input, two 1.5-inch drivers, clamp mount, four-watt output, USB powered.

SRP: £9.99

Edifier Sound To Go Plus

Distributor: Exertis Micro-P

Sound To Go Plus is a portable all-in-one micro speaker with a rechargeable Lithium battery. Encased in a brushed aluminium chassis, the Sound To Go Plus features two channel stereo with two full-range 1.25-inch drivers. 

Specs: Class D amplifier, two-channel stereo, two full range 1.25-inch drivers, aux input, oval passive radiator.

SRP: £49.99

Trust 15.4-inch Notebook Carry Bag

Distributors: Entatech, Exertis Gem

This bag has a large padded main compartment as well as extra compartments for accessories. The bag includes an adjustable shoulder strap, dual metal zippers, Velcro fasteners and is made from high strength fabric.

Specs: Padded main compartment for 15.4-inch devices, high strength fabric, adjustable shoulder strap, metal zippers.

SRP: £9.99

Razer Orochi Mobile Gaming Mouse

Distributor: VIP Computers

Made to let gamers play on the move, the Orochi can work both wirelessly or wired. A 6,400dpi 4G laser sensor is featured, and the mouse supports Razer’s Synapse 2.0 software, which automatically updates firmware.

Specs: 6400dpi 4G laser sensor, wired/wireless Bluetooth 3.0, up to 30 hours battery life, Synapse 2.0 enabled.

SRP: £64.99

Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500

Distributor: Exertis Gem

Compact enough to travel alongside a laptop or notebook, the wireless Microsoft 3500 mouse uses BlueTrack technology in order to work on nearly any surface. A ‘Plug-and-Go’ nano transceiver is included.

Specs: BlueTrack technology, eight-month battery life, Plug-and-Go nano transceiver, ambidextrous design.

SRP: £25

Hyundai HS2 External SSD

Distributor: Smithie UK

For laptop users who need a little more storage, Hyundai has developed a range of portable external storage drives. The drives feature a light indicator which glows blue when connected to USB 3.0 and white when connected to USB 2.0.

Specs: 60, 128, 256 and 512GB capacities, indicator LED, USB 3.0, includes free 30 day Symantec trial.

SRP: £59.99 (60GB) – £295.50 (512GB)

Edifier Aurora

Distributor: Exertis Micro-P

The Edifier Aurora series is a 2.1 portable speaker system consisting of an aluminum tube subwoofer with two full range satellites. The Aurora is designed to maximise space and comes in a range of ten colours.

Specs: 2.1 system, aluminum subwoofer, two full range satellites, ten different colour schemes.

SRP: £59.99

Trust 17.4-inch Notebook Carry Bag

Distributors: Entatech, Exertis Gem

Made to carry 17.4-inch devices and their peripherals, this bag has a large padded main compartments as well as extra sections for accessories and other smaller devices. The bag includes an adjustable shoulder strap, dual metal zippers, Velcro fasteners and is made from high strength fabric.

Specs: Padded main compartment for 17.4-inch devices, high strength fabric, adjustable shoulder strap, metal zippers.

SRP: £13.99

Asus ROG Shuttle Backpack

Distributor: VIP Computers

Designed for gamers on the go, the Shuttle backpack fits up to 17-inch laptops, with a padded interior to keep devices protected. The backpack is water resistant and has pockets for a mobile phone, media players and valuables, with another compartment for A4-sized documents.

Specs: Fits up to 17-inch laptops, water resistant, padded interior, mobile phone pocket, dedicated valuables pocket.

SRP: £69.99

Trust Xstream Cooling Stand

Distributors: Ingram Micro, Exertis Gem

The Xstream is a five-step height-adjustable notebook stand with two cooling fans and reinforced aluminium inlay which allows users to adjust their notebook screen to a desired ergonomic viewing height and distance.

Specs: Five-step adjustment, rubber pads, two cooling fans, foldable design, suitable for up to 17.4-inch devices.

SRP: £23.99

Sony SA1 Dual USB

Distributor: Ingram Micro

A portable and easy way to back up or share data from a PC, the SA1 drive has dual USB and micro USB connectors. Available in black, white or violet, the stick can also be used as an additional storage drive of up to 32GB.

Specs: 16 or 32GB, USB and micro USB connectors, black, white or violet, two-year warranty.

SRP: £13.20 (16GB), £35.50 (32GB)

Microsoft Lifecam Studio

Distributor: Exertis Gem

The Lifecam Studio can offer high-resolution video on the go, with a range of image improvement features and a clamp for hooking onto the lip of a laptop or notebook. A high-fidelity microphone is also integrated into the Lifecam for video calling capability.

Specs: Widescreen sensor, auto-focus, TrueColour technology, ClearFrame technology, high-fidelity microphone.

SRP: £65.33

Be.ez LE swift briefcase

Distributor: Tech Data

The Swift briefcase is designed to allow users to take their laptop or iPad and documents on the go, alongside a selection of accessories. The case features nylon fabric inside and out and Duraflex buckles. The Swift weighs 360g, is covered with black double-thread real nylon fabric outside and is available in two liveries inside – wasabi green or coffee brown.

Specs: 360g, 36x24x3-inch main compartment, Duraflex buckles, nylon construction, wasabi or coffee colours.

SRP: £39.90

Asus ROG Nomad Backpack

Distributor: VIP Computers

The Nomad is a backpack designed for gamers. The Nomad can carry a 17-inch notebook and has an internal suspension system in order to protect devices on the move. The bag also features shoulder padding and a ventilated design.

Specs: Seven compartments, padded ergonomic panels and straps, carabiner, water-resistant 1680D ballistic nylon.

SRP: £94.99

Trust Chicago 16-inch Notebook Trolley Backpack

Distributors: Ingram Micro, Exertis Gem

The Chicago is a large weatherproof two-in-one backpack and trolley bag that fits notebooks with screens up to 16-inch. It features an aluminium telescoping handle with a lock and four front zippered pockets for extra storage.

Specs: Two wheels, aluminium telescoping handle with lock, four front zippered pockets with detachable cord.

SRP: £49.99

HP EliteBook 840 G1

Contact: HP

The HP EliteBook 840 G1 is a thin and light Ultrabook for business travellers. It is military-standard certified for rugged reliability and features the HP Sure Start security technology to prevent virus attacks and corruption.

Specs: Windows 7 Professional, Intel Core i7-4600U processor, 14-inch touch screen, SDRAM, 500GB SATA HDD.

SRP: £1,344

LA Robe Sunset

Distributor: Tech Data

LA Robe is made from a soft shape-memory material, which is designed to form around the shape of users’ laptops and keep them protected. The Sunset collection includes two color sets for LA Robe – Sunset Flame and Sunset Indigo.

Specs: Shape-memory material, compatible with iPad Air, MacBook Air 11 and 13 and MacBook Pro 13.

SRP: £22.90

NGS StarStand with two cooling fans

Distributor: Meroncourt

The StarStand can keep any laptop cool, using two cooling fans powered over USB. The ultra-slim design is constructed from metal and is lightweight enough to carry around.

Specs: Ultra slim, USB connection, two cooling fans, metal design, compatible with any laptop.

SRP: £19.99

HP Pavilion x360

Contact: HP

The HP Pavilion x360 is a touch-convertible PC with a 360-degree hinge that lets users convert the x360 from notebook to stand, tent or tablet mode. The x360 is available with built-in Beats Audio and HP Connected Music.

Specs: Windows 8.1, Intel Celeron CPU, 11.6-inch HD LED-backlit touch screen, 4GB SDRAM, 500GB HDD, Beats Audio.

SRP: £349

4World Bag HC for 15.6-inch notebooks

Distributor: Meroncourt

Designed to carry around 15.6-inch devices, this black shoulder bag features three main zippered compartments, with multiple additional pockets and sections inside.

Specs: Suitable for 15.6-inch devices, three zippered compartments, 430x310x170mm, black.

SRP: £64.99

Trust Sydney Slim Bag

Distributors: Ingram Micro, Exertis Gem

The Sydney is a laptop bag for devices with screen sizes of up to 14 or 16 inches. The bag is made from weatherproof and high-strength fabric, and features front pockets for a tablet, charger and other accessories.

Specs: Padded main compartment fits laptops up to 14 or 16 inches, two zippered front pockets, slim design.

SRP: £14.99 (14-inch), £16.99 (16-inch)

Razer Kabuto Mobile Gaming Mouse Mat

Distributor: VIP Computers

Made for gaming on the move, the Kabuto is an ultra-thin gaming mouse mat made of microfibre material and backed with a natural rubber grip base. The 129x280x1.27mm mat can also double as a screen protector.

Specs: Microfibre tracking surface, natural rubber base, doubles as a laptop screen protector.

SRP: £14.99

HP Spectre 13 x2 Pro

Contact: HP

The HP Spectre x2 Pro is a two-in-one Ultrabook that features 4th generation Intel processors combined with a solid-state drive. The x2 Pro features HP CoolSense technology that adjusts temperature based on environment.

Specs: Windows 8.1, Intel Core i5 CPU, Intel HD Graphics 4200, 4GB SDRAM, 256GB SSD, 13.3-inch touchscreen.

SRP: £1,268


Exertis Gem – 01279 822 822

Exertis Micro-P – 01256 707070

HP – 0845 270 4000

Ingram Micro – 0871 973 3000

Meroncourt – 01462 680 060

Tech Data – 0871 880 3000

Smithie UK – 01256 844 028

VIP Computers – 0871 622 7500

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