a family friend is off to ucl at the start of the next academic year and was asking about what laptop to buy. she would have very different requirements to me; not requiring huge amounts of disk, processor or memory (or the other gadgets such as sd and wi-fi which have become so important to me). so browsing around there are some incredibly good deals for entry level laptops and they do have surprisingly good specs.

the four that looked pretty good to me were:
Apple iBook£799
IBM Thinkpad£558
Sony Vaio£930
Toshiba Satellite Pro£700

as ever, if you want the latest and greatest then you have to pay through the nose, my tecra was over £2,000 to contrast with these prices!