Nowadays you can buy a laptop for next to nothing. Prices have fallen so dramatically that you can pick up a new system while shopping for spuds in your local Tesco -- and they're surprisingly decent machines. Supermarket offers come and go, but there's no reason to miss out on a bargain. We've selected four laptops you can buy now -- and for some time to come -- all for around £400.
First up, we recommend you look at the Advent 9515. It's a desktop replacement model with a good 15.4-inch screen, a quick 2GHz AMD Turion TL60 CPU and an ample 2GB of RAM. It's quick enough to do pretty much everything, except perhaps run the latest games. Still, the 160GB hard drive provides enough room to stash a load of movies and pictures, and you can watch and make your own DVDs thanks to the integrated rewriter drive. Not bad for £400, eh?
Next is the Dell Vostro 1400, which is even cheaper than the Advent 9515. You can pick one up for £233 excluding delivery, but for that you get an extremely capable machine. We wouldn't normally touch anything that comes with a 1.86GHz Celeron M 540 CPU and 1GB of RAM, but we can't complain when it costs this little. The Vostro 1400 also ships with a 120GB hard drive, an 8-speed internal DVD rewriter drive, an Intel X3100 graphics card and a 14.1-inch display. Hardly mind blowing, but it's quick enough to run Windows Vista Home Premium edition and makes a fantastic second PC.
Our next two submissions are not only extremely cheap, but are also extremely portable. The Packard Bell EasyNote XS weighs little more than a bag of sugar and is small enough to fit inside a handbag. It comes with a 7-inch display, a 1.2GHz VIA C7-M CPU and 1GB of RAM. Unlike other laptops of this size, it uses a standard 2.5-inch hard drive, which gives it a comparatively high storage capacity. While 30GB might not sound like a lot, it's plenty in a machine of this size. Pop a few dozen of your favourite movies on it, hop in the car and enjoy an entertaining road trip.
No low-cost laptop list would be complete without the iconic Asus Eee PC. It's about the same size as the EasyNote XS, but is considerably less expensive. You can pick one up for about £220, for which you get a laptop using 900MHz Celeron M ultra-low voltage CPU and 512MB of RAM. It's hardly the most potent machine but its Linux-flavoured operating system isn't as demanding as Windows, so it runs just fine. The entry-level model ships with a 2GB solid state hard drive, so you can forget about using it to store loads of files unless you buy a separate SDHC card. On the whole, though, it's a fantastic laptop that'll make you the envy of your friends.