Having gone down the route of purchasing the branded laptops (hp's, Compaq, iMac) and being bitterly disappointed with them all, we (as a family turned to the lesser brand).
I am currently studying at university and so plucked up the courage to go for the Asus and I am beyond satisfied. It's light, quick, and bright and powerful which for a laptop is surely what you need!!
I am studying journalism and so typing is essential and the keypad is one of the best I have experienced. The buttons have a reassuring feel that they won't break and respond to every push.
The i3 dual core has dealt with everything I have had to throw at it and has kept up with processing whilst having multiple windows and programmes running at the same time with flawless results.
The battery power is superb, only being 3/4 charged it lasted me more than 3 hours of a train journey whilst typing.
At £300 it HAS to be taken a look at and cannot be overshadowed by its small brand. (I've friends who have has Sony vaio's which have broken instantly and respond as much as a deaf person to a starting gun). It even now after extensive use for several months still has that 'fresh out of the box' feel each time I use it. Therefore I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new laptop, especially students as it handles with everything you need, and more!!