With high school finishing and many students moving off to higher education and with Christmas just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to buy a laptop as a present for yourself, a relative or a friend.

For our gift guide, we’ve set some conditions. We’ll be picking three laptops to be categorised into Budget, All-rounder and Beast. It also cannot be a netbook (so a screen under 10-inches in size), cannot be over $1,000 and must be available from at least one major retailer (i.e not online).

Budget Laptop: Compaq Presario CQ45-805TU

The Compaq Presario CQ45 is a great Budget Laptop featuring Windows 8. With an Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM and 320GB of disk space, the CQ45 is perfect for University or High School. The moderately powered processor will make word processing and web browsing quick. The CQ45 also features 802.11 b/g/n (so it supports the latest wireless band), it has a 6-cell battery which will run the laptop for around 4 hours and it also has a HDMI port, allowing you to hook the laptop up to your TV.

JB HiFi: $393
Officeworks: $393
Harvey Norman: $394

The Beast: Acer V5-571PG Touch Notebook

The Acer V5 Touch Notebook is a fantastic laptop worthy of our Beast title. It features an Intel Core i5 (3rd gen) processor, 4GB of RAM and 750GB of disk space. This laptop has also been made for gaming with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M featuring 1GB of RAM. As per the title, the laptop has a touch screen which is a perfect addition as Windows 8 is installed. Other features include USB 3.0, a 4-cell battery and a HDMI port. The Core i5 processor will sufficiently power demanding applications and games. The 4-cell battery is a let  down but should be sufficient to power the laptop for 2 to 3 hours.

JB HiFi: $997
Officeworks: $978

All-rounder: Dell V561101AU

The Dell 15″ notebook is a great all-rounder laptop made for any situation. It features a Core i3 processor, 6GB of RAM and 750GB of disk space. The Core i3 is powerful enough to satisfy demanding applications but still on the low end side. The laptop has a 6-cell battery meaning it should last for around 4 hours. Paired with a HDMI port, webcam and media card reader, it’s a great laptop that would be great for University, School or Play. It has Windows 8 and 802.11 b/g/n.

JB HiFi: $598

Think we’ve missed out on something or have your own suggestions? Let us know by making a comment below.

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