If you’d rather have power than portability, a desktop replacement may be more suitable. A larger chassis affords more space for the fitting of high-performance components and can allow for better heat management, keeping the audible whirring of fans to a minimum.
Ultraportable laptops with 11- to 13in screens are becoming increasingly popular in this price range.
Intel is sponsoring laptop makers to build thin-and-light Windows PCs under the Ultrabook moniker. Such laptops are relatively fast, with low-power dual-core processors and solid-statestorage.
You’re unlikely to find more than 128GB of solid-state storage in a sub-£1,000 laptop. You can supplement this provision with an external hard drive; plump for one of the latest USB 3.0 models to take advantage of the faster transfer speeds.
For hard-disk-based home-entertainment laptops, look for at least 500GB for storing your photos, video, music and more.
Intel’s Core i3/i5/i7 processors have become the standard for most laptops, particularly ultraportables. AMD also makes mobile processors, which offer faster integrated graphics than Intel’s current Sandy Bridge generation of Core processors (faster mobile Ivy Bridge chips may be here by the time you read this) but can’t match them for application performance and energy efficiency. If you have a low budget, buying an AMD-based laptop may be the cheaper option.
If you’re more serious about gaming, you’ll need something with a little more grunt inside, such as nVidia’s GeForce GT 555M or an AMD Radeon M graphics processor.
Go to Group test: What’s the best laptop for under £1,000?