I bought a Dell 9100 computer earlier this year, to replace a decrepit beige box that was so absurdly out-of-date that I couldn't even donate it to a developing country. The Dell was a sensible, convenient choice. I got the spec I wanted, without the hassle of building it myself, and it was delivered to my door, in six dull boxes that sat on the landing while I tried to get excited about unpacking them. Desktops are practical, but they aren't sexy. That's why I want a laptop for Christmas.
Since it's all about sex appeal, I'm opting for the ultraportable Sony Vaio VGN-TX1XP (£1,580 from Dabs). The TX1 is small and light, measuring 272 by 195 by 29mm and weighing only 1.25kg with the battery in place. It has a widescreen 1,366x768-pixel LCD, a built-in DVD±RW drive and an independent AV system, so I can watch DVDs in bed without falling asleep while I wait for Windows to boot. It has Memory Stick, SD memory card and PC Card slots, so I can transfer photographs directly from the memory cards of my various cameras, and there's an i.Link (FireWire) port for importing camcorder footage.
Storing all that multimedia might be a problem, since it only has a 60GB hard drive, but with built-in wired and wireless networking, it shouldn't be too hard to move the files to the 500GB drive in the Dell. All this computing goodness is wrapped up in a super-sexy carbon-fibre shell, giving it spiritual kinship with Formula One racing cars and America's Cup yachts.
Sony quotes a battery life of over seven hours, but I'm still going to get a spare (£139 from SonyStyle), because there's nothing sadder than a laptop without power. I also fancy the semi-hard carrying case, which is "made of luxurious material for comfort" (£37 from SonyStyle). Once the laptop is nestling in its padded jacket, I can think about my own comfort. Trackpads are okay in emergencies, but for comfortable photo editing, I'll need a mouse. After much trawling I've settled on the Logitech V200 Cordless Notebook Mouse, in black (£23 from More Computers). -Mary Lojkine
Today Mary has bought these items:
Vaio VGN-TX1 laptop for £1,580
Spare battery for £139
Semi-hard carrying case for £37
Logitech V200 Cordless Notebook Mouse for £23
Mary has already bought these items:
Sigma 14mm and Canon 70-300mm lenses
Epson P-4000 photo viewer
Canon Selphy CP710 photo printer
She has £1,175 left to spend before Christmas Day. Click here to find out more about Crave's virtual Christmas shopping spree.