What to look for in a budget Laptop?

S Aadeetya
New Update

Begin the process by identifying how the laptop shall be used. For instance, identify the features you need to prioritize for your laptop. a big screen size or a more light weight option, if you are always on the move. Or you might need a laptop with a high degree of computing power. You might also want a laptop with a touch screen or one with an optical drive. These are just a few options which you may or may not want in your laptop and these could help you save or spend extra money, which could have been utilized in enhancing some other features like OS, RAM or storage. The catch is to cleverly choose your options and features in a laptop so that you get a good buy on a small budget.


Available Price Range and OS 

A budget laptop comes between Rs 25,000 and Rs 35,000. Laptops in this range are purely meant for basic PC usage i.e. productivity work on MS office applications, watching movies, listening to music and surfing the web. their pricing differs with size and the in-built hardware that powers the device. Microsoft's touch optimized Windows 8 has been widely criticized for its shortcomings but even then a touch based screen for the OS is a nifty feature to make computing experience more intuitive. Windows 7 will become the only non-touch operating system in the coming months as Windows XP will be shelved by the company. So your options are limited to Windows 7 or Windows 8 (touch and non-touch option). In case of laptops that are priced really low, you need to check whether it includes Windows OS or not. usually, it's not, so you have to shell out more money for it.

What hardware

This is one of the most important aspects while buying any device and to get the best configuration for a low budget is a tough ask and if your laptop doesn't do what you need it to do, then it could end up being a waste of money. So some key components that you need to be very specific and choose carefully are Processors, Memory, HDD, graphics and last but not the least battery.

Processor & Memory 

A type of component that's making its way into low-end laptops is haswell processor. Intel's newest processor makes the difference in battery life which is a very key aspect in laptops as that will help you work for longer hours while travelling or when you are out for long meetings. Haswell also has better graphics capability. Most budget laptops come with 4 GB RAM, which is good because the absolute minimum raM you should have in a laptop today is 2 GB. the more the RAM available, the faster the computer can load programs and files that have been recently accessed. But if you're really tight on budget and are looking at laptops below rs 30,000 then your options are primarily based around models with 2 gB RAM, which at times can prove problematic while doing multi-tasking which is the norm these days. So try and spend a little extra on more RAM to get a better experience.


Storage: HDD or SSD?

HDD: Still many laptops comes with HDD but you need to know that this will add weight, heat, and lots of moving parts to your laptop. If you need to buy an HDD then look for at least a 320 GB hard drive.

SSD: Solid-state drives are faster than traditional hard drives, but have lower capacity and are much more expensive for each megabyte of storage. Free or cheap cloud storage can be used to enhance the data you can stock, but then data access will be slower than from a local drive. Most budget laptops have at least 320 GB hard drives, but if you want to store good amount of pictures, videos and movies and MP3s in your laptop then 500gB will be the ideal choice.


A more powerful graphics card produces better and faster images. Budget-friendly laptops usually include only integrated graphics solutions or lower-end discrete graphics cards, which lack the power to adequately handle games. For high end gamers there is not much choice in the budget category.

Battery Life

Eveyone wants a decent battery backup for his laptop and which is also a key point before buying one. and most users seek laptops that are relatively light weight and have long battery backup. So, go for at least a 4-cell battery but the ideal will be a 6-cell battery or higher.


Size and Weight

Screen sizes of 11.6-13.3 inches are considered ultraportable and ideal for travel, but laptops with 13.3-14.5 inches are considered midsize that weigh around 4-6 pounds. these laptops are heavier, and in some instances thicker, than lightweight laptops. a 15.4-16.9 inch or 17 inch laptop would be around 5-7 pounds. these laptops are ideal for those who spend most of their time at home or in the office. they offer the most storage space and often the most power, but along with that comes heavier weight. and from the resolution perspective a minimum screen resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels is ideal. Anything less results in blurry, pixilated images especially when watching movies.

Touch or non-touch?

Most new Windows laptops now ship with Windows 8, but not all have a touch screen. You can certainly use Windows 8 without one, but a touch screen does maximize the experience. Many vendors still ship the Windows 7 version for those not ready to make the jump to Win8. For those unfamiliar with the pricing difference between a touch model and non-touch model, it can be anywhere around rs 1500 to rs 3,000 keeping the model and screen size in mind. Windows 8 is more touch optimized but even then a non-touch Windows 8 running laptop is equally effective. Go for the touch model if you are inclined to make the move keeping the future trend in mind.


Last but very important is the connectivity options in your laptop. Things to look for in this are: built-in wireless, which lets you connect to a Wi-Fi network with no additional hardware, HDMI output and uSB ports. Make sure your device has the ports you need.