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Tech Guru's Best Buy

Here is the list of Best Buy Hardware and Software from Tech Guru.


Budget Laptop

Acer Aspire TimelineX 4830T

£478 from www.saveonlaptops.co.uk

A stylish 14in laptop with decent performance, good build and a fine keyboard. The killer feature, however, is its battery life, which lasted more than 10 hours on one charge, making it an excellent budget portable laptop.

  • 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-2310M 
  • 3GB memory 
  • 320GB hard drive 
  • DVD-RW 
  • B Intel HD Graphics 3000 
  • 14in screen
  • 1,366 x 768 pixels resolution 
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 
  • 339 x 239 x 30mm 
  • 2.03kg

Apple iPad 2

£399 from www.apple.com/uk

It doesn't have the most sophisticated hardware specification, but that hardly matters. The software is slick and easy to use, and there are more apps than for any other platform, including Android.

  • Apple A5 processor 
  • 1 GHz speed 
  • 2 cores 
  • 512MB memory 
  • 16GB storage 
  • 9.7in touchscreen 
  • 1,024 x 768 pixels resolution 
  • 802.1ln Wi-Fi 
  • Front and rear cameras
  • 242 x 186 x 9mm 
  • 601g
Budget Android Phone

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro

From £15.32 per month at www.sonyericsson.com

The Xperia Mini's physical keyboard slides out from behind the screen, which makes it easier to type
messages than on most touchscreen phones. With Android 2.3 installed, it's a great phone at an attractive price.

  • 512MB memory 
  • MicroSDHC memory card slot 
  • Android 2.3 
  • 5-megapixel camera 
  • LED flash 
  • 3in touchscreen 
  • 320 x 480 pixels resolution 
  • 92 x 53 x 18mm 
  • 136g
Dual Band Router

Asus RT-N56U

£90 from uk.asus.com

This router looks great and has a very easy-to-use configuration interface. It's also a superb performer, proving fast on the standard 2.4GHz network and impressive on the SGHz network, too.

  • Cable web connection 
  • 2.4GHz and SGHz dual-band 
  • Concurrent dual-band 
  • 300Mbps throughput at 2.4GHz and SGHz 
  • 4 x Gigabit LAN ports 
  • 2 x USB sockets 
  • 5 interior antennaes 
  • 145 x 63 x 174mm
Multifunctional Printer

Epson Stylus SX445W

£200 from www.epson.co.uk

In the balance between speed and quality, the Epson's scales are definitely tipped in favour of
quality. This is particularly true of its photo printing, which produced impressive pictures at a
reasonable cost.

  • 5,670 x 1,440dpi print resolution 
  • 1,200 x 2,400dpi scan resolution 
  • 100-sheet tray capacity 
  • Piezo inkjet
  • 6.3cm touchscreen 
  • 145 x 390 x 300mm 
  • 4.2kg
eBook Reader

Amazon Kindle

£89 from www.amazon.co.uk

Amazon's Kindle is fast, well integrated and very easy to use. It may not have the best specifications,
and there's no keyboard, but it's got a great price and is the top choice for eager readers.

  • 6in 600 x 800 E Ink screen
  • 16 greyscale levels 
  • 2GB memory
  • 114 x 9 x 166mm 
  • 164g
Digital Photo Frames

Kodak Pulse WS730S

£119.99 from www.kodak.co.uk

The matt screen isn't the best at showing off photos, but the frame's Wi-Fi networking makes up for
this shortfall, providing an easy-to-use interface via the web that lets you send pictures straight to
the device.

  • 7in touchscreen 
  • 4:3 aspect ratio 
  • 800 x 600 pixels resolution 
  • 512MB memory 
  • USB port

Acer Aspire One D255

£240 from www.laptopshop.co.uk

The best netbooks combine performance, battery life and features at a low price. This Acer gives more than nine hours on one charge and really feels like it will last on its travels. 

  • 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 
  • 1GB memory 
  • 250GB hard drive 
  • Intel GMA 3150 graphics 
  • 10.l in touchscreen 
  • 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution 
  • Windows 7 Starter 
  • 259 x 185 x 29mm 
  • 1.13kg
Budget PC

Palicomp Phoenix i5 Destiny

£699 from www.palicomp.co.uk

An overclocked Sandy Bridge processor, a Blu-ray drive, a solid 22in Full HD monitor, and now
with an updated graphics card too. At this price, it's a great low-end deal.

  • 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K at 4.5GHz 
  • 4GB memory 
  • Asus P8P67 Pro-B3 motherboard 
  • l TB hard drive 
  • Blu-ray 
  • ATI Radeon HD 6670 
  • 2.1 Logitech speakers 
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
Digital SLR Camera

Pentax K-r

£360 from www.jessops.com

A Canon or Nikon DSLR might feel like a safer bet, but the K-r's competitive image quality, excellent controls, abundant features and outstanding performance make it our favourite.

  • 12mp CCD 
  • 27-82.5mm zoom 
  • 3x optical zoom
  • 3in LCD 
  • Shutter 1/6,000-30secs 
  • ISO 100-25600
  • 125 x 143 x 98mm 
  • 798g
External Hard Disk

Verbatim Store 'n' Go USB 3.0

£70 from www.amazon.co.uk

A portable drive that ranked among the top USB 3 performers in our tests, this comes in a variety of
exotic colours and costs a very reasonable amount per gigabyte.

  • 500GB HDD 
  • USB 3.0 
  • Nero BackltUp & Burn software
  • 2-year warranty 
  • 80 x 121 x 15mm 
  • 150g

Belkin Play Powerline HD Dual Pack

£56.99 from www.belkin.com/uk

While its performance isn't quite top of the league, and there's no pass-through socket, this HomePlug is £10 less than its closest rival. It offers fantastic value for money, and is very easy
to set up.

  • 1Gbps quoted speed 
  • No pass-through socket 
  • 1 Ethernet port 
  • 128-BIT AES Encryption 
  • 2-year warranty


Bitdefender Internet Security 2012

£18.49 (One year, one PC) from www.bitdefender.co.uk

It's hard to find fault with Bitdefender because it has so much going for it. The software coped with all the security problems we threw at it and achieved a perfect score in our false-positive tests.

  • Real-time protection 
  • Email scanning 
  • Web-link scanner 
  • Rescue disc 
  • Firewall 
  • Parental controls 
  • Spam filtering
Video Editing

Serif MoviePlus XS HD

£59.99 from www.serif.com

It's a bit ugly, but it's extremely functional, and provides a straightforward set of features that are easy to use. It's clear that the people who made this software have paid close attention to what users really want. 

  • Image stabiliser 
  • Export video as AVCHD, AVI, MOV, MPEG 2/4, WMV 
  • YouTube online format 
  • DVD- and Blu-ray-disc authoring 
  • Unlimited timelines
Photo Editing

Adobe Photoshop Elements 10

£79 from www.adobe.com/uk

This version isn't worth an upgrade, but new users will find it offers phenomenal photo-editing power for the price.

  • Object Search 
  • Facebook photo-tagging 
  • Orton Effect 
  • Crop guides 
  • Curving and flowing text 
  • Save photos as JPEGs and PDFs 
  • Upload to YouTube
System Maintenance and Clean up

TuneUp Utilities 2011

£29.99 for 3 PCs from www.tuneup-software.co.uk

Its sophisticated interface isn't ideal for beginners, but if you're happy to explore the available opt ions, you should find something to boost your PC, especially if you switch off some start-up programs.

  • Single-click fix 
  • Individual tool selection 
  • Startup optimiser 
  • Redundant program booster
  • Speed booster 
  • Disk defragmenter 
  • Registry cleaner
  • Windows customisation 
  • Privacy tools
Back Up


£33.98 (one year, one PC) from www.carbonite.co.uk

Carbonite is the easiest online back-up service to use by some margin, and it integrates well with
Windows. It offers a continual update cycle, so new and altered files are backed up immediately. 

  • Automated back-up 
  • Encryption 
  • 30-day versioning 
  • Deleted files saved for 30 days 
  • Access from any PC

Microsoft Office 2010

£80 for 3 PCs from www.amazon.co.uk

PowerPoint and Outlook see the biggest changes, but usability boosts make this a worthy upgrade. Some versions of the suite are better value than others, though.

  • PowerPoint 
  • Outlook 
  • OneNote 
  • Word 
  • Excel 
  • Lync
  • InfoPath 
  • SharePoint Workspace