Hey there students, planning to buy a laptop to assist you in your studies, are you? Today’s your lucky day, because we have listed just the laptops that you’re looking for - in this article. Advice regarding specific brands and models will help you make an informed buying decision. And all of the laptops featured here sell under Rs. 35k (at least at the time of writing and publishing this article; we don’t know how the Dollar-to-Rupee ratio will cause price fluctuations in the future, but for the sake of you and your student loan we hope and pray it is minimal at best).
Last month we did a piece on six ultraportable laptops for students interested on light, thin, small form factor laptops above anything else. Although we address this article for students, primarily, because of their perennial credit crunch status (no, we aren’t making fun of you students, just stating facts -- based on personal experience, been there done that), this article is applicable to anyone who wants a budget laptop under Rs. 35k.
Here's our pick of some of the best 14-15 inch budget laptops for students:
1) HP Pavilion 15-n208TU
Best online price: Rs. 34,550
The HP Pavilion series of notebooks is a decent one, and we’ve never come across a Pavilion laptop with any glaring deal-breaking features. They’re all generally good, as per our past experience, and from the looks of it, this HP Pavilion 15-n208TU continues in that tradition. It offers a 15-inch screen and a 3rd generation Intel Core i3 processor, ably assisted by 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.
What separates this laptop from others is that this one isn’t excessively bulky, despite being a 15-inch laptop, weighing in at 2.33 kg. It also has a pleasing appearance with an extensive white finish and a textured finish that stands out from other laptops -- especially in the budget segment. Windows 8.1 and dual onboard speakers with DTS surround sound complete this package. This won’t just take notes, but will also let you do multimedia and entertainment related activities with ease. But no gaming or video editing on this one, please.
2) Acer Aspire E1-572
Best online price: Rs. 34,570
Another 15-inch laptop with an all-black formal appearance, the Acer Aspire E1-572 comes with the latest hardware packed inside (unlike the HP Pavilion 15-n208TU above). It has a 4th Generation Intel Core i5 processor built-in, which is quite mainstream and almost a steal at this price. Its onboard graphics are also better -- Intel HD 4400 -- compared to previous generation products. Overall, the laptop should offer better battery life compared to a machine based on 3rd generation Intel chips. This laptop isn't for gaming but you might still get away with running heavy graphics editing and video editing tools, not to mention animation software as well -- everything that a college going student needs or dabbles in.
The Acer Aspire E1-572’s only catch? It comes with Linux and no Windows 8 flavour -- the reason why it’s so inexpensive. But if you can workaround this obstacle, and somehow manage to procure a Windows OS, this is a great laptop at the price.
3) Lenovo Ideapad S510p (59-398253)
Best online price: Rs. 33,699
If you want to have a fully functional laptop with good build quality, decent looks and all the latest hardware and the latest Windows 8.1 operating system, the Lenovo IdeaPad S510p at under Rs. 34k is a good laptop to check out. Lenovo machines always have a good pair of keyboard and touchpad, and it seems to be the same story on the IdeaPad S510p -- which isn’t a great looking laptop, but you can hardly get anything chic at the price. If there’s anything, we don’t approve of the laptop’s paltry 2GB of RAM, but there’s an unused DIMM slot which can be easily accessed and equipped with extra RAM goodness, should you feel the need. Overall, a good machine at the price.
4) Dell Inspiron 15 3537
Best online price: Rs. 34,550
Dell’s Inspiron series of laptops continues to be the calling card of the brand amongst the masses, and the Inspiron 15 SKU highlighted here continues that story forward. Features and specs-wise, this is a good laptop to have at the price. It has Intel’s 4th generation chips, 4GB of RAM, onboard graphics, 500GB hard drive, and other up-to-date connectivity features that cover all bases. What’s good about this machine is that at 2.25 kg, it tips the scales towards the lighter side for a 15-inch laptop, and might just help sway students or customers who’re looking for a large form factor budget laptop that doesn’t cost much and isn’t bulky either.
5) Asus X551CA-SX014H
Best online price: Rs. 28,991
If you can’t spare more than Rs. 30k, here’s an interesting ASUS laptop that’s worth considering. It’s based off Intel’s 3rd Generation chip -- which won’t be as good as Intel’s current 4th generation CPU -- but that’s a compromise you’ll have to make if you’re absolutely cash-strapped and out of all wiggle room. Barring the CPU, everything else is promising on this ASUS laptop, as it comes with a 15-inch form factor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, onboard Intel HD 4000 graphics and Windows 8 out-of-the-box. Plus it’s a decent looking machine, if looks count in your book. A safe bet under Rs. 30k.
6) Sony VAIO Fit 15E
Best online price: Rs. 30,068
A Sony VAIO stands out from the crowd, at any price bracket, and it’s the same story with the VAIO Fit 15E which is one of the better looking laptops around the Rs. 30k mark. It doesn’t have looks going for it, as it also promises to deliver a fairly acceptable utilitarian experience for a cash-strapped customer interested to buy a multipurpose laptop. This machine runs on a dual-core Intel Pentium chip, so be prepared for a basic experience, and don’t get your hopes up. However, it should have a positive impact on your overall battery life compared to power hungry Core i3s and Core i5s, so there’s a silver lining here after all, eh?
Check out our detailed review of the Sony VAIO Fit 15E laptop series -- not this particular model mentioned above.