A buyer’s guide to the top 10 laptops

HP EliteBook 8730w Price: 1,878 ex. VAT

The EliteBook range is well named, as it's designed to offer as much power as physically possible while still being portable.

The 8730w is a fully fledged mobile workstation, aimed at designers, creatives and other power users. The 1,920 x 1,200 display is from HP's Dreamcolour range, and the Nvidia Quadro FX graphics with 512MB of DDR3 memory is fully ISV certified.

Battery life isn't strong, but this is a workstation you can move from place to place - not a netbook. It's certainly not meant to be used on a train, but perfect if you want to design one.

hp elitebook 8730

Lenovo ThinkPad T500 Price: 989 ex. VAT

Need. More. Power. The Lenovo ThinkPad T500 may be too regimented and boxy to be the Jeremy Clarkson of laptops, but the 2.4GHz of Intel Core 2 Duo is surely fast and brash enough to meet with his approval.

The T500 is not particularly thin, not particularly pleasing on the eye, but it's solid and seems to have a sense of purpose.

And at less than a grand before VAT, this is a relatively affordable no nonsense machine.

lenovo t500

Samsung Q320 Price: 561 ex. VAT

Balance. It's a difficult thing to get right in any walk of life, but that's something the Samsung Q320 does well.

It's not quite the best looking, the fastest, or the lightest laptop around but it isn't too far off in any category. Combine decent battery life nearly 4.5 hours in a light use test with a relatively affordable price tag, and the Q320 looks like a sensible way to spend your hard earned cash.

samsung q320

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.