Suggestions for a decent small laptop anyone?

I write this as I’m fed up with not being able to find what I want at the price that I want.


Display 1. I have had a Samsung NC10 netbook for quite a few years now but am increasingly fed up with the far-too-small 1024×600 display. I need at least 768 pixels high. How people can cope with such tiny pixel counts now is beyond me, it’s no good for really pretty much all applications and websites now (or even when I first had the thing years ago).

Display 2. No damned glossy screens. They’re just nasty. Viewing angles seem hopeless and the reflections make them just unusable. A sensible matt-finish screen please.

Processor. The other gripe with the NC10. A single core hyperthreading Atom CPU doesn;t cut it. The machine must not grind to a halt when the antivirus is updating or Windows Update is doing its thing in the background. This probably rules out Atom CPUs altogether. Something like an i3 would be good, maybe a low-end i5. My main laptop (a Dell E6520) has a dual core hyperthreading i5 with turbo boost and this is perfect for this machine. For the smaller laptop I need reasonable CPU power but also 3+ hours battery life.

Physical dimensions. Not too big! Probably about 11/12 inches wide. As thin and light as possible.

Price. I want to be paying no more than about £400 for this.

So, what have I found so far? The Dell Latitude E6220 is a very nice machine, but I think it’s just a little too big, and even on the Dell Outlet they are too expensive. I thought I had found the perfect machine in the Samsung 350u – except despite looking as though it was only released late last year (2011) it seems to be out of stock eveywhere so is presumably discontinued. The Samsung 305u is interesting but I’m not sure how much grunt the AMD E-450 CPU will have. Benchmarks seem to indicate about three times the performance of the Atom in my NC10 but about three times less than that of the i5 in my E6520 – I’m not convinced.

So, over to you! I’m happy to buy refurbished from authorised outlets as long as they come with a 12 month warranty. Suggestions please.

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