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Laptops

Acer targets tightwads with cheap laptops

Christmas has come and gone, and our bank balances are just about to stabilise -- time to blow £300 on a cheap laptop

Filthy, dirty cheapness is all the rage -- we know this because we're constantly being harassed by friends and colleagues about what sort of laptop or PC they can buy for peanuts.

We normally treat such requests with contempt, especially when they're not accompanied by offers of free alcohol, but when we're in a good mood we tend to direct people towards Acer's range of budget PCs.

The company has absolutely no qualms about releasing high-end products like the Aspire TravelMate 8215WLMi -- one of the first laptops to use a Blu-ray drive -- nor does it have a problem releasing laptops and desktops that are cheap enough to fall out of a cereal box.

PC World is currently showing a series of adverts for a sub-£600 Aspire laptop, and there are several sub-£500 machines with some pretty impressive specifications. Pick of the bunch was the Aspire AS5582, which comes with Vista Home Premium edition, a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and 1GB of RAM for £489. This is stunning value for money.

If you want something that even a tramp can afford, you might want to check out the Shop Acer Web site. It's currently flogging a 15-inch Acer TravelMate 2492 for £360. Okay, its specification isn't amazing, but the Celeron M 1.6GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 60GB hard drive make it absolutely fine for anyone who simply wants to surf the Web and write the odd word-processing document.

Go on, tightwad, get your wallet out. -RR