August 7, 2013 0 comments

Despite the fact that there’s a whole range of portable computing devices available in the market, laptops continue to hold their position. In fact, now, they’re available at a wide range of price points, starting for as low as Rs. 15,000.
That’s why this time, we’ve done this comparison slightly differently. First, we’ve carried comprehensive reviews of 7 laptops that some of the key players in this segment sent us for evaluation. These are divided across three different price categories-Below Rs. 40,000, Rs. 40-50,000, and above Rs. 50,000. At the end of these reviews, we’ve given a comparison chart of about 70+ laptops that cost between Rs. 15,000 to 31,000. The prices and specs given in this table have been taken from the respective laptop vendors’ websites.

Acer Aspire E1-571G 

[image_library_tag 671/82671, alt=”acer-aspire” width=”281″ height=”205″ ,default]

The E1-571G is an entry-level laptop from Acer, but provides decent performance thanks to its Core i5 processor and NVIDIA GeForce 710M graphics.
Though the laptop’s build quality is quite solid, its weight it slightly on the higher side. Most laptops in this price range weigh around 2.3 kg, whereas this one is a tad heavier at 2.5 kg. The laptop’s looks are fairly ordinary as well. The touchpad is smooth but a bit to the left from the usual position. The webcam can take snaps at a max resolution of 0.9 MP and videos at 720p.
The device works well with Windows 8 operating system and gets its processing & graphical power from Intel Core i5-3210M and NVIDIA GeForce GT 710M (with 2GB dedicated VRAM). You will not have to worry for storage as 500GB should be sufficient for regular usage. It boasts of numerous connectivity options including USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, SD card reader and a DVD optical drive.
In our performance tests, Acer Aspire E1-571G gave reasonably good results. It scored 2700 in the PCMark 11, while the 3DMark score of P1228 suggests that the laptop can handle programs which need heavy graphics processing. However, the battery backup of 2 hrs 30 min is average as compared to others in the shootout.
Bottom Line: For an entry level notebook, it delivers good performance with a nice mix of features.

Price: Rs 37, 594
Key Specs: Windows 8, Intel Core i5-3210M, 4GB DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 710M, 500GB SATA HDD, DVD R/W, 15.6″ Display (1366 x 768p), Bluetooth4.0, WiFi, 2-in-1Card reader, 2 USB2.0, 1 USB3.0, 1 HDMI, HD webcam
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Acer Aspire V5 -571

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Unlike the Aspire E-571G, this model from Acer is slimmer, and more smartly designed. However, it’s not as powerful. While the 571G has a Core i5, this one is based on i3 processor. Perhaps that’s also why it costs lesser as well.
The thin form-factor of Aspire V5 doesn’t make much of an impact on the weight which at 2.3 kg is slightly bulky to carry around. The silver metallic color provides for an elegant look and the 15.6″ anti-glare display works fine with a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768p. There is a full-size chiclet style keyboard with a dedicated numeric keypad that gives a nice feel. The Synaptics touchpad has a smooth matte finish. The 1.3 MP camera is good enough for regular video chats.
The system comes preloaded with Windows 8 64-bit and is packed with Intel Core i3-2375M processor & 4GB RAM. There is ample amount of hard drive space at 500 GB. The connectivity options include a Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, 2-in-1Card reader, 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB3.0, 1 HDMI and a DVD optical drive. There is no Ethernet option provided, so that’s a huge drawback.
The laptop’s not a great performer, infact it got the lowest rank in our shootout. In PCMark11 benchmark test, the score of 1842 is low which implies the system is not capable enough to take heavy tasks. We tried to run 3DMark 11 benchmark, but all we got was a message: “direct x-11 hardware not supported”, which means its graphical capabilities are not sufficient to support heavy games or computer animation. The backup is moderate at 2 hrs and 20 min.
Bottom Line: A pocket-friendly and good looking laptop, but not good for professional use.

Price: Rs 34,500 (1 yr warranty)
Key Specs: Windows 8, Intel Core i3-2375M, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 500 GB SATA HDD, DVD R/W, 15.6″ Display (1366 x 768p), Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, 2-in-1 Card reader, 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, and 1.3 MP webcam
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Asus VivoBook X202E

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Asus VivoBook X202E is an extremely light device for a notebook. The design and the form factor gives it a feel of an ultrabook. It is one the slimmest notebooks around with dimensions of 120 x 8.5x 78 mm and weight of just 1.3 Kg. It comes with 11.6″ LED Backlit HD display and touch enabled screen with a max resolution of 1366 x 768p. It has elegant esthetics & robust build quality for everyday life and has metallic chassis with aluminum hair-brush textures to enhance its looks. The keys on the ASUS VivoBook X202E’s keyboard are smaller than average, but we were still able to type at a comfortable pace. The large 4.1 x 2.4-inch touchpad is very responsive and interestingly has a small gray line in the middle bottom to separate the right and left clicks. The HD webcam is good enough for video chatting and conferencing.
Asus VivoBook has the Windows 8 operating system and gets the power from 3rd Generation Intel Core i3- 3217U, 4GB DDR3 RAM and 500GB of hard disk space. The graphics processor (Intel Chief River processor) is somewhat weaker than others in this laptop. Connectivity options in the VivoBook are adequate comprising of Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB and an SD card slot. There is no optical drive though.
Asus X202E is not a great performer but you should be able to complete your regular tasks (without much graphics). In the PCMark7, we got a score of 1905 which is a bit lower than other laptops used in this shootout. This laptop was not able to run 3DMark 11, as we got an error message: “Fail work load error”. The battery backup of 4 hours is pretty good though.
Bottom Line: If you need a light laptop for light workloads, then Asus VivoBook X202E can be considered.

Price: Rs 39,999
Key Specs: Windows 8, Intel Core i3-3217U, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB SATA HDD, DVD R/W, 11.6″ Display
(1366 x 768p), Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, Ethernet, HDMI, USB and SD card slot
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Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition (7520)

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Dell Inspiron has always been a pocket friendly series for the customers but this time, with 15R 7520, Dell has increased the price a bit. However, the device is is good on performance, including regular gaming and graphics intensive works.
The Dell Inspiron 15R 7520 sports a premium design and tough build. As compared to the Inspiron 15R, The 15R-7520 uses more Aluminum in its body, giving it better looks and a sturdier design. The 15R was made completely of plastic. The lid itself has an aluminum cover that provides nice protection for the display. You will have the flexibility of changing the upper lid if you get bored with current one. The chicklet keyboard remains the same as with the previous model. The touchpad is also traditionally designed and very smooth to use. The inspiron 15R has dimensions of 252 x 30.3 x 378 mm and weighs around 2.8 kg, which makes it uncomfortable to work on while on the move. The HD webcam works well enough to meet your expectations.
This Inspiron model still has Windows 7 OS, getting powered from the 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3210M processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, AMD Radeon HD 7730M DDR3 2GB and 1TB hard disk. The 15R laptop contains almost all possible connectivity options including 4 USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth and DVD optical drive.
The i5 processor and AMD graphics card shows its impact on the system and graphical performance. PCMark7 and 3DMark 11 gave scores of 2563 and P1670, which implies that Dell Inspiron 15R 7520 has the necessary ammunition to counter heavy jobs. However the battery backup is a bit on the lower side.
Bottom Line: if you are looking for a laptop which can replace your desktop at home and run heavy applications, then Dell Inspiron 15R 7520 is the answer.

Price: Rs 55,900
Key Specs: Windows 7, 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3210M processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, AMD Radeon HD 7730M DDR3 2GB, 500GB SATA HDD, DVD R/W, 15.6″ Display, 4 USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth.
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Dell Inspiron 14R Turbo

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Inspiron 14R is another rugged laptop from Dell and is a smaller replica of inspiron 15R. In our shootout, 14R is the most costly laptop at a price of 61k. However, it is powered by Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA graphics card to handle the heaviest of applications.
Like its bigger cousin, the Inspiron 15R, the 14R is also made up of plastic but that hasn’t impacted the robustness of this system. There is brushed metallic finish on the outer lid and inner palm rest area, which obviously gives a stylish look to this notebook. But then this solidity takes the weight of machine to 2.4 Kg which is higher as compared to other 14″ laptops. It has got a 14″ display with a max resolution of 1366x768p which is a norm in laptops these days. The chicklet-style keyboard is very comfortable to use and along with a smooth touchpad, they pair up nicely. There are three additional backlit buttons on the top right for direct access to Windows Mobility Center, Dell Support Center and for switching off the monitor. With this laptop, you also get an inbuilt 1.0 MP HD webcam with digital microphone.
Dell Inspiron 14R works nicely with Windows 7 OS, getting its power from 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3612QM, 6GB DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M and well supported by a 1TB HDD. The 14R laptop boasts of plenty of connectivity options such as 4 USB 3.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth and a DVD optical drive.
In the PCMark 7, it displayed a strong statement with a score of 2970 where as in 3DMark 11, there was a score of P 1731 which means that Inspiron 14R is robust enough to process bulky applications. Battery backup was decent at 3 hrs.
Bottom Line: Strong performance, decent battery and powerful specs all make up for an option worth considering.

Price: Rs 61,275
Key Specs: Windows 7, 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3612QM, 6GB DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, 1 TB SATA HDD, DVD R/W, 15.6″ Display, 4 USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, wifi, Bluetooth and DVD optical drive.
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Dell Inspiron 5520

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Dell Inspiron 5520 is another notebook touching 40K price point, which has got almost everything that’s required by a person who uses his laptop ruggedly. You can use this laptop for day to day activities and some heavier multimedia processing applications.
The plasticky body is embraced by the rounded curves and stylish dark-grey brushed metal-effect finish. Still, it weighs 2.7 Kg which makes is pretty heavy. The 15.6″ display with a resolution of 1366 x 768p is the norm for this category. The keyboard is nice on the fingers thanks to the nice spacing and smooth action. We were impressed with the responsive touchpad which has multi-touch capabilities for scrolling and zooming, along with two separate buttons. There is an HD webcam which works well for video chatting or conferencing.
Dell Inspiron 5520 is again a Windows 7 laptop which is powered by 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3210M processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4000. To support these, 500GB of space is enough. You won’t miss anything for connectivity as there are 4 USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth and DVD optical drive.
As the notebook is powered by a Core i5 processor, the processing power of Inspiron 5520 is enhanced which is reflected by a PCMark 7 score of 2518. It is not as good as inspiron 5523 though but still good enough for fast processing. 3DMark 11 score of 5520 shows that it is not capable of handly very heavy graphics applications. The battery backup is above average at 4 hours.
Bottom Line: if you don’t want to spend too much and desire a mix of good performance, lots of connectivity options and a decent battery backup, then this is a good option.

Price: Rs 39,490
Key Specs: Windows 7, 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3210M processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 500GB SATA HDD, DVD R/W, 15.6″ Display, 4 USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth and a DVD optical drive.
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HP Pavilion m4-1003tx

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HP Pavilion m4 is a mid-range notebook and one of the best in this class. It has got the best figures amongst all notebooks in our shootout and can be used both for multitasking as well as playing regular games.
This machine has a compact and attractive design with glossy finish, light weight (approx 2 Kg) and a spill resistant keyboard. With dimensions of 347 x 24.5 x 245 mm, it is not a slim notebook but still feels nice to carry along. The display is 14″ in size which works best at 1366 x 768p. Typing on the keyboard is a breeze while the matte-finish touchpad provides a brisk response. You can also use the touchpad to scroll, zoom, and rotate images and web pages.
This pavilion laptop is boosted by a solid hardware configuration which includes Intel Core i5-3230M (2.6 GHz), 8GB DDR3 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce 730M 2GB graphics card. The Windows 8 system makes use of 1TB of hard disk for storage where as there are numerous connectivity options such as 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, DVD drive, SD card slot, HD webcam, Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth.
The overall performance is better than all other laptops in this shootout, as indicated by the benchmark scores. In PCMark 7 and 3DMark 11, it scored 3097 and P1744 respectively which means that you can do any type of work (thanks to the Core i5 processor & NVIDIA graphics card with 8GB RAM) including intense graphics and animations. The battery backup is on the lower side though at 1 hr and 30 min.
Bottom Line: At 50k, this notebook is worthy option given its solid performance and features.

Price: Rs 49,990
Key Specs: Windows 8, Intel Core i5-3230M,8GB DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, 1TB SATA HDD, DVD R/W, 14″ Display, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, DVD drive, SD card slot, HD webcam, Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth
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[image_library_tag 700/82700, alt=”table” border=”0″ border=”0″ ,default] 


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