Buying PCs And Laptops - A Guide To the Best on the Market in April 2010

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Whether you’re buying your first computer or looking to upgrade that 2003 model, this comprehensive guide of top models should come in handy:

Desktop PCs:

AppleMac Pro: Based on the Nehalem microarchitecture the Mac Pro uses Intel’s X58 chipset, and comes loaded with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Apple’s popular iLife suite. This powerful desktop PC has 3GB RAM (expandable up to 16GB), a 640GB hard drive (expandable up to an enormous 4TB), and runs on the 2.66 GHz Intel Pentium II Xeon processor. Also featuring five USB 2.0 ports and Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR.

Mecer Graphite Cosmos: If gaming is your thing, consider buying this state-of-the-art, futuristic looking PC. It runs on Intel’s Core i7-920 processor and comes with a 3GB RAM (expandable to 24GB) and a mammoth 500GB hard drive that you can expand to 2TB. It brings games to life with a 7.1 hi-def audio with Dolby and stunning graphics courtesy the ATi Radeon 5750-1G DDR5.

Apple iMac: The iMAC is so much more than its impressive tech specs (3.06GHz Intel Dual Core Processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD, Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard). It makes your life easier with its wireless keyboard, Magic Mouse, built-in iSight camera, and Bluetooth.  



Dell XPS 730 H2C: This is an advanced gaming PC, guaranteed to keep you glued to the screen! Dell’s XPS 730 H2C has excellent performance technology, including the latest NVIDIA nforce 790i Ultra SLI chipset, impressive cooling mechanism, and the NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT graphics system. Runs on the Intel Core 2 Extreme processor.

Asus Eebox 1501: If you’re obsessed with HD entertainment, stand out from the crowd with this stylish, ballerina-inspired, clutter-free HTPC. Equipped with VESA-display and NVIDIA ION graphics, you can watch your movies and play your games in stunning 1080p HD. Runs on Intel Atom N330 dual core processor; 2GB RAM; 250GB HD.

Apple Mac Mini: Equipped with a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 160GB HD, and 2GB memory, this tiny and sleek machine is especially known for its graphics performance and energy efficiency. Comes loaded with Mac OS X Snow Leopard and iLife ’09.


HP Touchsmart IQ540: This touchscreen equipped PC is awesome for home use. It comes with an infrared receiver, stereo speakers, wireless mouse and keyboard, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD, and a 22” LCD TFT widescreen display monitor.




Lenovo A600: Lenovo had redefined the all-in-one desktop format with its A600. If its 21.5" glass-panelled full HD screen (1080p display), 4GB memory, and 640GB HD doesn’t impress you, its 3D motion controller, integrated light-adjusting webcam, wireless keyboard (including touchpad), and laser mouse sure will! 

Asus Eee Top ET1602: An impressive, all-in-one touchscreen desktop running on a 1.6Ghz Intel N270 Atom Processor, this Asus futuristic looking PC is sure to grab attention. With a 160GB HD and 1GB RAM, everyday storage shouldn’t be a problem. Comes with a 15.6” LCD/TFT monitor, 5.1 SRS premium sound, and a 1.3MP webcam.

Acer e-Machine EL1700: Running the NVIDIA GeForce 7100 and nForce 630i chipset, Acer’s EL1700 comes with a 1GB RAM, 160GB HD, 5.1 hi-def audio, and Intel’s Dual Core processor.



Apple MacBook Pro: One of Apple’s most popular notebooks, the latest MacBook Pro runs on the Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz processor and comes with the Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard OS. It’s a slim but powerful laptop with a 250GB HD and 4GB RAM. It has a beautiful 13.3”/15.4”/17” LED backlit glossy/matte widescreen display and comes with an integrated webcam. The MacBook Pro also has a powerful battery (7-8 hours of battery life) and great graphics thanks to the nVidia Geforce 8600M GT.

Lenovo ThinkPad X301: An update on the X300 model, Lenovo’s X301 is a stronger and more powerful business notebook with a 1.60 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB RAM, and 128 GB HD. The most noteworthy feature of this ThinkPad is its fingerprint reader and svelte yet solid magnesium body. Also equipped with an LED-backlit, 13.3” matte-finish display and a 1.3MP webcam.

Lenovo S10E: This IdeaPad from Lenovo is perfect for everyday use. It has a stylish design with white and turquoise accented keys. Equipped with Quick Start (boots in about 10 seconds!), Intel’s Atom Processor (N270), a 160GB HD, 1GB memory, and a 1.3 MP camera.

Asus EEE PC 1008 HA: This thin and sleek notebook from Asus kind of resembles the MacBook. It has a wonderful frosty white or black case and packs all the usual features required for everyday productivity such as an Intel Atom N280 processor, 160GB HD, and 1GB RAM. It has a 10.1” screen 1024x600 resolution display and a 6 hour battery. 


Asus UL30A: Another great choice for students, the UL30A is a 13.3” ultra-light notebook (less than 1” thick) with an impressive 10 hour battery life. The laptop has a minimalist design with a smudge proof aluminium case. While the screen is a little too glossy, this notebook is good value for money with a 500GB HD and 8GB RAM.



HP EliteBook 6930p: This 14.1” laptop is HP’s most popular business notebook. It has a sturdy design (anodized aluminium casing), excellent display (1280 x 800 pixels), a 2MP webcam, spill-proof keyboard, and a business card reader. This rugged yet elegant laptop comes with a 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor, 2GB RAM, and 160GB HD. 

Asus Eee 1201N: This is a low-cost, high performance product from Asus, featuring a stunning display (12.1”, 1366x768 pixels), ultra-sensitive touchpad, and great speed. Its battery life leaves a lot to be desired, but other than that, this laptop is great for daily computing with its 1.6-GHz Intel Atom Dual Core N330 Processor, 8GB RAM, 250GB HD, and a 3MP webcam.

Acer Aspire 5738DG: This 15.6” laptop from Acer features a 3D LCD panel and is a good all-purpose laptop, although a bit pricey. With 4GB of RAM and 500GB HD, this good looking laptop also features a CineCrystal LED-backlit Display for eye popping images. 

LG E300: Featuring Intel’s 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo T7500 Processor, 2GB RAM, and 200GB HD, the E300 has a 13.3” transflective (widescreen) display. It is a lightweight notebook with good connectivity and a 1.3MP camera.



Acer Aspire One: The latest Aspire One from Acer is incredibly popular with students and home users because of its great looks and affordability without sacrificing performance. Available in snazzy colours, this 10.1” notebook runs on the 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor, has a 160GB HD, and 1GB RAM.  

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