Buying a Laptop for Christmas

One of the most popular Christmas gifts over the past few years has been the laptop computer. These portable machines have revolutionised our ability to work, rest and play on the move and have quickly become a vital aspect of our hectic modern day lives. Christmas 2010 promises to be yet another busy period for laptop sales, in particular cheap laptops, as people seek to get the most for their money in these tight financial times.

While the phrase ‘cheap laptop’ may evoke an image of a small, unreliable and unremarkable machine to some, the good news is that there are now a wide range of laptops available that are not only inexpensive but offer some of the more advanced technological features that you would normally associate with a more expensive machine.

For example, look at the new Dell Inspiron M5030. This stylish black laptop comes with a powerful AMD V-series V120 processor and Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed. It boasts a generous 250 GB hard drive and a 3GB memory meaning that it has the power to run some of the more powerful applications smoothly.

The inclusion of the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 graphics card, combined with a stunning 15.6-inch screen, means that this is a perfect machine for those who are seeking versatility with their mobile computing. Someone who needs the power of the machine to run both serious applications for work or study and who perhaps, of an evening, will flick their Dell laptop on to unwind with an hour or two of gaming. As such, this machine makes an ideal Christmas present for a student or younger adult and you can look forward to getting a lot of machine for your money.

Increasingly, however, younger children are requiring the use of a laptop or netbook in order to complete their school projects, keep in touch with friends or just to while away their free time in cyberspace or playing the latest game. The question is; are there any cheap laptops available for the younger person that still offer great build quality combined with the durability and ease of use required for younger children to use the machine?

Fortunately for the buyer, there are plenty of cheap laptops that fit that description. While netbooks may be ideal for PC users who only require basic Internet access or the ability to use simple applications, the fact remains that if you are going to use your laptop more rigorously, or if you have a lot of software on CDs or DVDs that you would like to play on your computer, then a laptop is a much more practical purchase.

One such machine that would ideally suit a younger user is the Compaq Presario CQ62-A25SA laptop. Available for £349.97, the Compaq is powered by the excellent AMD V120 chipset and comes complete with Windows 7 Home Premium. There is a generous 250GB hard drive included along with 2GB of memory and a DVD rewriter. Finishing off this excellent package is a wonderful 15.6-inch widescreen monitor.

All in all, this is a machine that will suit a child from the beginning of key stage two, right the way through to when they sit their GCSEs, A-levels and beyond.

So, with the younger generation now sorted, let us consider the more mature, experienced user, who may well have a specific task in mind when using their new laptop. They may want to use it alongside a hobby, to edit photographs for example, or perhaps to keep up to date with their social networking sites online, to chat to relations in a distant country, or to run high-end programs that require plenty of resources.

A perfect solution is the Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop. Available in a range of colours, this powerful 64-bit machine comes complete with a powerful Intel Pentium Dual Core T4500 processor, 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive and a 15.6-inch widescreen monitor of superb clarity. Its stylish Dell design means it is an instantly recognisable machine and yet inside it contains the hardware to enable the user to complete any task quickly and efficiently. All this comes in a machine that is available for just under £500.

With so many options available this Christmas, it is easy to find a top quality laptop at an affordable price and that will suit the requirements of the lucky person who gets to open it on Christmas day.