The deal: Compaq Presario CQ41-209TX - Most affordable Core i3 All-rounder - $896.00
Each price bracket tends to have two types of specials. The first is the technology leader, which packs the most powerful processor or component such as a graphics card prossible for the price, at the expense of some other components in the unit. The second is the value leader, which doesn't have a stand-out component, but offers a combination that aims to be better across the board. A classic example of the second is this 14in Compaq Presario CQ41-209TX at Dick Smith. It's one of the most affordable combinations of Core i3, 4 GBs of RAM, 500 GB hard disk and discrete graphics card yet. Generally notebooks with this combination cost $100 more. The Compaq's 512 MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4350 is at the low end of the discrete graphics card range, but it does provide a boost compared to video performance from integrated graphics. It means that if you want to play games, you can, even if at low detail settings. The CQ41-209TX has a DVD burner, a 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader, 3 USB ports, a HDMI port and a 6-cell battery. In short, an affordable all-rounder that easily gets through office computing tasks, and manages to give you a simple taste of 3D gaming.
Where to buy it
Available until 31st Mar 2010
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