Stuck in the mid­dle

Computer Shopper - - LETTERS -

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?

Gary Hearne

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