Stuck in the middle
I’ve been a Shopper subscriber for many years, and pretty much every bit of technology I own has come from one of your recommendations.
In January 2012, I lost the video output on my desktop PC, and although I was sure this was fixable, I had a lot of work to do and a strict deadline, so I needed an emergency computer. As usual, I went straight to the latest issue of Shopper ,and found a strong review for the Acer Aspire 5749, and it was only £400. That was my first laptop, and my first experience of Windows 7, and I loved them both.
Now, after more than five years, I think it’s time for an upgrade, not because there’s anything wrong with it, but because nothing lasts forever, and I don’t want to have to make an emergency purchase if something goes wrong. And of course, I’ve been searching through the laptop reviews for something of around the same level. But I’ve been disappointed.
I use my computer for standard office stuff (Word and Excel), browsing and so on, and to run stats and data mining software (SPSS, R, RapidMiner); no high-power gaming, no video or music editing, so my needs are, I think, quite modest. All the reviews of recent months seem to be focused on the lower end (Chromebooks, tablets) or the super-powerful – and super-expensive – high-end machines.
Consequently I was really looking forward to this month’s laptop group test (Shopper 356), but again there is this gap in the £500-£800 price range where I would hope to find something affordable and reliable without the bells and whistles I simply don’t need. I’m just looking for a reliable Windows laptop with decent performance and a sensible amount of internal storage for normal use – a 2017 equivalent for my lovely Acer. And I’m sure I’m not the only reader in this position. Is there really nothing out there in this price range worthy of being reviewed?