5 Hot Laptop Deals of March 2009 (including Macbook Pro / Macbook Air)

My main laptop, a.k.a. the other love of my life, died yesterday. As I sit here griefing, I’m using a 9” netbook to write this. It sucks. As the pain behind my eye sockets increase with each passing blink, it’s time to hunt for a new laptop on HUKD.

One of the hottest deals right now is the Dell Mini 9’s (installed with Linux Ubuntu), which have been reduced on Dell’s site to a measly £179 (deal found by Brains, thanks!).  This may be a good deal for those who have yet to indulge in the pleasures of a netbook (my eyes! my eyes!), another 8.9" display, whether ‘Truelife’ or not, does not justify for those of us spending most of our waking hours in front of a bright screen.

Here’s results from the best 5 ‘old skool’ normal sized laptop offers in March 2009 I could find:

http://www.hotukdeals.com/images/deals/327191.jpg1. Sony VAIO NR38E/S Laptop £349.99 (found by Mottmania HUKD): Sony laptops to me are the aesthetic equivalent of an Apple. And once you unplug all the “bloat-ware” that comes with it, they function pretty good too. This 1.86 GHz, 15.4” Sony laptop with a dual core T2390 engine, 160GB HDD, 2GB RAM, and DVD-RW does lack a Blu Ray, but reduced in the Argos clearance sale a few weeks ago to £349, it is worth a mention (according to Pricerunner, the next best price is from £398) Only problem is stock, as a few of you have mentioned. [Direct Link to Argos website]

Tip: Reader Casparwhite however points out that refurbished ones are on sale on eBay from £299.99 + £10 P&P. eBay sound dodgy? Well, the seller is actually Clearance Bargains, operated and fully owned by Argos!  The refurbished model also comes with a 12 month guarantee.  At the time of writing, there are still 10+ available. For £310, I’m actually tempted to buy this one myself.

http://www.hotukdeals.com/images/deals/330861.jpg2. Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop £349 (found by faevilangel): I’m not a major fan of Dell laptops. Having owned two myself, I found them clunky and cheap looking. But the new models appear to have a nicer finishing, and this Intel dual core T3400 with 2GB ram, 160GB HDD and a 15.6” screen is worth a mention at only £349 from Tesco online (& in store).

However, note that a dual core and core2duo are not the same, as Faevilangel and others pointed out in the HUKD thread: “core2duo are the newer of the cpu's and runs faster ...... clocks better and better cache (in geek terms)”. For normal use though, I doubt it would make too much of a difference.

http://www.hotukdeals.com/images/deals/312166.jpg3. Toshiba Satellite A200 £349.98 (found by amibees): People seem to say that Toshiba laptops are reliable these days. After destroying mine a few years back, it may be worth looking into what the hype’s all about. This Toshiba Core2Duo with Vista Home Premium from Cdiscount  comes with a 15.4” TFT screen with an Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 Processor, Windows Vista Home Premium, 2GB of RAM, a 160GB Hard Drive, and a DVD Super Multi Drive. Best of all, it’s still available, and for just £349.98, with another 4% with Quidco.

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/5391/39041983911458397879.jpg4. Acer ASP7720G Laptop BluRay £379.99 (found by garbage456): Of all the laptops mentioned here, this one has the highest specs: an Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 Processor, 3GB DDR II memory, a 250GB HDD, Blu Ray, 17” WXGA CrystalBrite screen, and nVidia GeForce 9300M GS graphics. The price? £372.39 (using code March2 for a further 2% off.) The downside? It looks ugly (to me anyways). And perhaps a bit bulky with a 17” screen for most. Reviews here may also be worth a peek (thanks, Romi!).

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/5866/mbair8366137.jpg5. Refurbished Macbook Pro / Macbook Air from £749: I’ve never used a Mac, and not sure if I ever would. But I am moving in that direction. I still can’t justify for the £1.5k average price on a Macbook Pro, but Apple Insider and BW Editorial Director  Paul Nikkel suggests looking at the Apple UK refurbished section.  A 15.4” Macbook Pro 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with a 250GB HDD and 2GB ram still runs at £1,199, saving only £170 off retail. Interestingly, the 17” model saves even more at just an extra £70 (£1,271.36), about 25% off the RRP. A 13.3” Macbook Air may be a good option at 27% off for just £749 (saving £278 off retail).

Add 4% to that via Quidco, and that could actually work out a pretty good savings.

So what’s your pick of the best deal from the above and your thoughts on the PC vs. Mac debate? Have you come across any other good deals that are worth knowing about? Please share your thoughts/comments/advice below!


  • Amanda H.
    Quidco? Quidco!!!??? Of course A savvy shopper would use a different cashback company that a) pays the same as quidco b) pays you days/weeks faster (and has better statement layout) c) Doesn't charge you £5 a year for the pleasure [sheep]Baaaaaaaaaaa[/sheep]
  • Pizza_D_Action
    Got to agree, Quidco suck of late taking AGES to pay out. Funny how they stumped up the cash PDQ when I said I was going to speak to the affilitate and find out why they hadn't sent the cash to Quidco.... hmmmmm
  • Arslan
    Can you use quidco on Apple's refurbished stock?
  • Joe S.
    Just wanted to drop you a note... The Pentium Dual Core is not a completely different type of processor to the Core 2 Duo. The Pentium Dual Cores are exactly the same as the Core 2 Duo processor lines, except with half the cache and sometimes a slower FSB. In terms of desktops (notebooks are similar, just different model series), the Pentium Dual Core T2xxx lines were equivalent to the T5xxx Core 2 Duo's, the new Pentium Dual Core T3xxx are the equivalents for the new T7xxxx Core 2 Duo line. They can be thought of a "budget version". Intel now has Celeron Dual Core -> Pentium Dual Core -> Core 2 Duo - all based on core architecture simply with different cache, FSB, speeds and some features (e.g. VT). The Pentium Dual Core is completely different to the old Pentium D (which is the ****** one!). Confusing I know... There's a slightly old WIkipedia article which goes through it - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_Dual-Core. Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_architecture goes through it in more detail.
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