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Packard Bell EasyNote S4947: Bargain-bin laptop

A budget Packard Bell laptop arrived this morning -- you don't get any of that high-speed Core 2 Duo nonsense, but it is incredibly cheap

Guess what we found on our doorstep this morning. No, apart from the bailiffs. Yes, that's right, a Packard Bell EasyNote S4947 laptop. We're not sure which of the two caused us the most embarrassment, but we paid our debt, wrapped the EasyNote in a bin liner and hurried off to work.

Like most of Packard Bell's laptops, the S4947 is cheap. We couldn't find it anywhere on the Internet, but if you stumble across one in your local PC World, it'll set you back in the region of £450 -- and snobbishness aside, that's actually very good value.

You don't get any of that high-speed Core 2 Duo nonsense, just a good old-fashioned Pentium M 740 running at 1.73GHz, 1GB of RAM, and a 120GB hard drive -- all of which is perfectly fine for everyday office tasks and Web surfing.

Our only real gripe would be the hackneyed black and grey chassis -- it just screams 'cheap' at the top of its tacky plastic lungs. Thankfully Packard Bell makes up for this with the 15.4-inch screen -- it's so glossy and sumptuous-looking we could lick it. You even get Windows XP Media Center and a free Vista Home Premium upgrade.

Like we said, we couldn't find the S4947 on the Web, but we saw a few of its low-cost brethren on the PC World Web site, all of which offer pretty good value for money. Go on, you cheapskate. You know you want to. -RR