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Latest Which? laptops results uncover budget and blow-out models

With laptops from ?350 to ?1,300, there’s something for every pocket in the latest batch of laptops tested by Which?. However, as our results showed, they aren’t all worth picking up. With a line-up of familiar names in the lab, including HP, Lenovo and Asus, expectations could be high.

We subjected each one to our usual tests, checking not only the raw power of the laptop and how fast they are, but also how long the battery lasts when not plugged it, the responsiveness of the keyboard, and how pleasing the screen is, among other things. Some laptops impressed us so much that they achieved Best Buy status, and we strongly suggest that they be placed at the top of your shortlist if you’re after a new laptop. Other’s didn’t fare quite so well, let down by poor audio and murky screens.

Laptops Best Buys[1] – see the laptops that scored top in our tests

Asus Zenbook Flip UX370

If you’re watching the pennies, this laptop isn’t the one for you. At ?1,300, it’s the priciest model in our latest batch, but what do you get for all that money? It’s a stunningly slim laptop that packs in a fair amount of power, thanks to a seventh generation Intel i5 processor.

It should prove fairly speedy, when accessing programs, and we were fairly impressed at its start up time. Asus states a battery life of up to 11.5 hours between charges, but our own tests disagreed. As the name suggests, the Zenbook Flip can fold its screen back on itself, essentially converting it into a large tablet.

Read our full review of the Asus Zenbook Flip UX370[2] to find out if it’s worth bending over backwards for.

Lenovo Ideapad 320-15IAP

At the other end of the scale is this Lenovo, pitched as an entry-level, budget laptop. It’s asking price, ?350, reflects its modest specs, but we’ve seen even cheaper models than this become Best Buys in the past. Lenovo quote a battery life of around 5.5 hours, which is a slight cause for concern as we often find that manufacturers claims are somewhat optimistic, and under six hours is nothing to shout about.

Find out how it fared in the full review of the Lenovo Ideapad 320-15IAP[3].

Asus ZenBook UX410

This Asus sits somewhere between the two laptops above, priced at ?600, and with an Intel i3 processor. It could make for a good everyday machine with that competent processor, and it looks more stylish than its price tag suggests, with a solid aluminium frame. Of course, we don’t give points for looks in our reviews.

So can this Asus offer brains as well as beauty? Find out in our full review of the Asus ZenBook UX410[4].

Lenovo Ideapad 720-15IKB

If it’s power you’re after, this Lenovo laptop could be for you. Pitched as a model for gamers and professionals, it has a beefy 7th generation Intel i7 processor, as well as a dedicated AMD Radeon graphics card, offering plenty of grunt.

Chances are this will be overkill for those looking to check Facebook and write the odd Word document, but could this laptop suit those with more demanding needs?

Find out in our full review of the Lenovo Ideapad 720-15IKB[5].


  1. ^ Laptops Best Buys (
  2. ^ Asus Zenbook Flip UX370 (
  3. ^ Lenovo Ideapad 320-15IAP (
  4. ^ Asus ZenBook UX410 (
  5. ^ Lenovo Ideapad 720-15IKB (

New desktop PCs tested from under £500

Our latest desktop PC tests prove you don’t need to spend big for a great computer, with one of our high-scoring Best Buys on offer for less than ?500. We’ve tested PCs from big-name brands including Asus, HP and Dell in our lab. While some have impressed our experts with speedy processors, others have struggled with slow performance.

Read on for some highlights from our most recent desktop PC lab tests, plus advice on choosing the desktop model that’s right for you. Best Buy desktop PCs[1] – powerful computers for your home office

Picking the perfect desktop PC

Desktop PCs obviously aren’t portable like laptops, but they’re far easier to customise depending on your needs. While a laptop might need replacing completely after a couple of years, a sturdy desktop PC may just need a couple of components swapped out.

Picking a desktop PC over a laptop can save you money for the equivalent specifications, too. It’s often cheaper to buy a powerful i7-processor desktop than an equally powerful laptop, for example. If you’re struggling to pick a PC that’s right for you, see our guide on How to buy the best desktop PC[2] for some handy buying tips.

Desktop PCs from under ?500

Dell Mini Tower Desktop PC (Inspiron 3000) – ?400

This desktop PC from Dell is powered by the latest generation i5 Intel processor and 8GB of Ram, which makes it a speedy pick when it comes to juggling internet tabs and editing pictures and videos.

Tucked inside is a 1TB hard drive, which offers more than enough space for most. We put the Dell Inspiron 3000 to the test in our lab, running it through our video conversion task to see how quick it really is. To see how this desktop PC scores, head over to our Dell Inspiron 3000 review[3].

Asus VivoPC K20CD – ?360

Up for grabs at less than ?400, this Asus desktop has a sixth generation Intel i3 processor, 8GB of Ram and a whopping 2TB of storage.

While the i3 processor on the entry-level model might result in some occasional slowdown, it’s also available with an i5 or i7 processor and up to 16GB of Ram. If you’re after an affordable Windows 10 machine, the VivoPC K20CD should be on your radar. Is this Asus desktop PC a Best Buy?

You’ll have to read our Asus VivoPC K20CD review[4] to find out.

HP Desktop 460-p035na – ?430

The HP Desktop is a little on the chunky side, but it’s certainly worth considering if you’re a buyer on a budget. This model runs on an Intel i3 processor from the last (sixth) generation, has 8GB of Ram and a 1TB hard drive. There’s also a DVD writer on-board, which means you can back up pictures and videos to discs.

For our expert verdict on this desktop PC, see our HP Desktop 460-p035na review[5].

Desktop PCs to avoid

We’ve been hard at work testing some of the latest desktop PCs on the market. Only the computers that boot up quickly and handle resource-intensive software with ease are worthy of best Buy status. Meanwhile, our selection of Don’t Buys are plagued by sluggishness and slow start up times.

To find out more on all of the desktop PCs we’ve tested, head over to our desktop PC reviews[6] page.


  1. ^ Best Buy desktop PCs (
  2. ^ How to buy the best desktop PC (
  3. ^ Dell Inspiron 3000 review (
  4. ^ Asus VivoPC K20CD review (
  5. ^ HP Desktop 460-p035na review (
  6. ^ desktop PC reviews (

Printer ink: save money with third-party brands

Printer makers, such as HP, Epson and Canon, would much rather you use their printer ink in their printers. However, in our survey of more than 8,000 printer owners, the top-10 highest-rated printer ink brands were all third-party sellers. You can save around 40% by going for a third-party brand, and that doesn’t have to mean sacrificing print quality.

We show you the best printer-ink brands, and the best places to buy your ink. Printer reviews[1] – find the best-rated inkjet and laser printers based on our expert testing

Save ??? with cheap printer ink

While the big brands can rate higher on quality, when it comes to price they just can’t compete. In our snapshot look at pricing, we found a re-manufactured high-capacity black-ink cartridge from a third-party brand for a Best Buy printer at almost 40% cheaper than a branded alternative.

Third-party sellers often offer ink in value multipacks, potentially giving big savings. We found a multipack of four XL black cartridges for the high-scoring printer for just ?18.50, while a single branded original ink cost ?12.53.

Best places to buy your printer ink

Most people buy their ink online (66%), compared to in a shop (34%), but we have ratings for both so you have options. Amazon is the most popular place to buy ink online, while Tesco is the most popular high street store – however, neither were the highest-rated sellers in our research.

Read our full printer ink results[2] to find out which are the best. If you have a laser printer, we have ratings of laser toner brands, too.

Printer ink problems

You may worry about using third-party ink brands over fears that the cartridges will cause problems to your printer. While the chance of having a problem is a little higher with third-party inks, it’s not by a massive amount.

In our research, some 82% of people with printer-branded ink cartridges didn’t have a problem, and that drops only slightly to 76% for third-party ink users. Few problems are terminal, and you have options if things do go wrong. If you get a ‘cartridge not recognised’ error message, for example, try removing the cartridge and then re-installing it.

This might trigger the printer to accept it.

If not, contact the retailer or seller to request a refund or replacement.

More troubleshooting help is available from the Computing Helpdesk website[3].


  1. ^ Printer reviews (
  2. ^ full printer ink results (
  3. ^ Computing Helpdesk website (

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