Tablets may be selling like hot cakes but as far as productivity is concerned, they are still far, far away from beating the likes of notebooks and desktop PCs. While major brands are still duelling for the top spot in terms of specs and thinness, most consumers have forgotten that you don’t need to spend a bomb on a laptop, even a relatively modest amount may prove to be sufficient for your needs. Recently, we’ve got a lot of readers asking us about good laptops under the 30K price tag. Well, it has been hard to really recommend a particular product owing to a variety of reasons: consumers want ‘good enough’ specs at a good price, while the laptops come with a relatively outdated configuration and build tradeoffs, which makes us not want to recommend them. However, exceptions exist. Here’s a list of five laptops under Rs. 30,000 that are worth checking out.
Acer Aspire V5-431
Laptops are getting slimmer by the day, but there hasn’t been much compromise on the price factor yet. Low-budget laptops, on the other hand have had certain tradeoffs between specs and design. With the entry of the new Aspire V5 series, Acer is planning to converge the beautiful design that often accompanies an Ultrabook with a pretty low price tag for their new V5-431. In terms of design aesthetics, the V5-431 is quite a looker and has the capacity to compete with quite a few top-of-the-line models.
Acer Aspire V5-431: A 14 inch display
The Acer Aspire V5-431 is powered by a Sandy Bridge Intel Pentium 987 processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, and comes with 2GB of RAM and a 500GB hard disk drive. The 987 is one of the low power processors and has close to half of the power consumption of 2330M and 2350M processors. This one operates at a TDP of 17W, as opposed to the 35W TDP of the others. The V5 comes with an integrated Intel HD graphics card. Holding it all together is the 64-bit Windows 7 Home Basic operating system. Other features include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There are no status indicators for them, though. The keyboard is a full-sized one, but this being a 14 incher, a dedicated numpad has been eliminated.
If you have been looking at plain specs, the Pentium 987 processor may be a deterrent for some. However, in the real world scenario, if you need a lightweight, portable laptop for office work, web browsing and your personal entertainment needs such as watching movies, then the V5-431 will not disappoint you one bit.
Unlike their overpriced smartphones and tablets, Samsung notebooks are priced at extremely competitive rates. This one is no different. Though Samsung’s estore has priced the laptop a little above the 30K mark, a lot of online sites are selling it for two or three grand cheaper, making it affordable for those on the lookout for a budget laptop.
Comes in a dual tone finish
The notebook is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor 2350M at a clock speed of 2.3 GHz. There’s a large 15.6 inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 and Intel HD Graphics 3000. Samsung provides free DOS along with the device but a lot of other sellers are giving it with Windows onboard. The spec sheet is complete with 4GB of RAM and a 750GB HDD, which is enough for your personal entertainment needs. The laptop comes in a dual tone silver and black finish and though it may not win any design awards, it’s got enough under the hood to keep you engaged.
Acer Aspire E1 - 571
The 571 has a glossy black exterior with a dual tone silver and crystallized black finish in its open state. Not many models at this price tag have a superlative finish and feel to it; the 571 gets brownie points for that. The E1-571 has a 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels and a webcam at the top. The bottom chassis consists of a speaker grill above the full-sized keyboard which comes with a numpad too.
Worth a buy
The E1 is powered by an Intel Core i3 - 2350M processor running a clock speed of 2.3 GHz, which is a tad faster than the Core i3 2330M processor found on most other entry-level notebooks. Graphics and video are taken care of by Intel’s HD 3000 integrated graphics solution, which is good enough for very basic gaming and HD video playback. The notebook has 2 GB of RAM a sufficiently large 500 GB hard drive.
The E1 comes with a copy of Windows 7 Home Basic pre-installed. You don’t get some of the premium features such as USB 3.0 but you do get three USB 2.0 ports. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are standard as well. All in all, it’s really well spec’d in comparison to the competition, which typically offers a slower processor or a smaller hard disk drive.