Hey -- want a 13-inch laptop but can't afford the 114,900 pennies required to buy a MacBook Air? You may want to have a gander at the new Medion Akoya E3211. Sure, it's not particularly thin, or made from anything resembling aluminium, but it is pretty damn cheap at £500 -- and we do like the cheapness.
Its 1.3GHz SU2700 processor won't break any speed records (ever), but it is one of those consumer ultra-low-voltage jobbies, so it's pretty efficient on the power-usage front. The rest of the spec is fairly respectable, though. You get a generous 320GB hard drive, four whole gigabytes of random access memory, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and -- unusually for a 13-inch machine -- a dual-layer DVD rewriter drive.
The latter makes a great complement to the Akoya E3211's 13.3-inch display. This crams in 1,366x768 pixels in a 16:9 aspect ratio, so the majority of DVD flicks will fit perfectly, as opposed to being stretched or squashed, as is the case on many laptops. Don't get too excited about outputting your digital video signals to an external display though, because there's no HDMI output. You'll have to make do with an analogue D-Sub VGA port instead. Never heard of it? Ask your grandma.
The Akoya E3211 will ship with a copy of Windows Vista Home Premium (and a voucher that lets you upgrade to Windows 7) plus a copy of Nero Burning ROM 8 Essentials, Microsoft Works 9 and three months' worth of BullGuard Internet Security updates to keep you protected against Internet germs. It's available to buy now from the Medion UK Web site.