Nearly seven-eights (86.3 percent) of respondents to a PC Advisor survey would consider buying a laptop - but more than half of these are looking at a sub-£500 model.

Asked 'What's the most you would consider spending on a laptop?', 12.4 percent ticked '£300', while 36.5 percent set their limit as £500.

"I think all you would need for portable use can be found on a laptop under the £300 price tag," commented forum member Seth Haniel. "Anything more would be a lot more comfortable on a desktop PC."

But the comments in the discussion suggested these attitudes have changed in response to shifts in the laptop market. Some commenters said they had spent far more in the past, but simply didn't see the need now that functional laptops can be had for under £500.

"This one was £1,200, previous one £1,500, and one before that also expensive," said bugle. "Now there is more choice and the prices have fallen so I doubt if I will ever pay as much again."

"I have paid over £1500 for a laptop, but I doubt if I'll do that again," chipped in the Forum Editor.

"My current laptop cost me £999 new and was a beast when I bought it, but is distinctly underpowered compared to new machines that can be had for half the price," added alan14.

Laptops gain in popularity

A total of 48.9 percent, then, are aiming below £500 - and the fact that laptops are available at these price points may be behind the growing popularity of the laptop.

The option 'Nothing - I wouldn't buy a laptop' was selected by just 13.7 percent, leaving 86.3 percent willing to consider a purchase.

The higher laptop price brackets saw some voting, but this tailed off as the price rose. A respectable 18 percent were willing to stretch as high as £750, while 9.6 percent set the bar at £1,000. The top two categories saw a combined 9.7 percent willing to go above £1,000.

Based on 840 votes, 16 Sep 2010. Add your vote to the poll, or join the discussion in PC Advisor's forums.

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