Decent laptops for the price of a premium mid-range smartphone
As we embrace the new normal, one piece of kit for any student or working individual is a decent, dependable laptop that they can use at home or any place that implements proper social distancing. Compared to phones though, laptops are pretty pricey, though you can still get a decently-specced one for productivity, light multimedia work, and a little gaming in between at under Php 30K.
For our recommended work from home (WFH) laptops, our minimum requirements include an SSD drive, at least 4GB RAM, and at least an Intel Core i3 or Ryzen 5 processor.
Length of a manufacturer’s warranty is also important, and the longer it is, the more time you don’t spend worrying about something going wrong with your laptop. ACER offers the usual 1-year warranty, while Lenovo and ASUS offer a 2-year warranty. On top of that, ASUS also has 1-year accidental damage protection on top of its 2-year warranty.
That being said, here are our top 9 picks:
Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (Core i3)
This IdeaPad S145 model has a 7th-generation Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM, MX110 discrete GPU, and a decent 512GB PCIe SSD drive for most basic productivity tasks. For under 30k, this model is a good deal with its large SSD drive and discrete GPU–even if it is a few generations old. With a discrete GPU, this notebook can even do light gaming on the side.
The Core i3 version of the IdeaPad S145 is priced at Php 28,495 and can be purchased at their official Lazada store.
Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (Ryzen 5)
If you are for team Red, Lenovo has a Ryzen version of the IdeaPad S145. While it also has 8GB RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD drive, this version adds a 1TB HDD to the mix. Powering it is a Ryzen 5 3500U processor paired with a Vega 8 GPU, which should provide enough muscle for light multimedia work.
The Ryzen 5 version of the IdeaPad S145 is priced at Php 29,495 and can be purchased at Gigahertz.
Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (Ryzen 5)
If you are fine with only an SSD drive, Lenovo has an SSD-only model of the Ryzen-powered IdeaPad S145. By removing the hard drive, you save Php 2.5k on this variant, giving it an official SRP of Php 26,995. This model can be purchased at Gigahertz.
ACER Aspire 5 14-inch (Core i3)
For those who want ACER laptops, this Aspire 5 model should do the trick for you. This particular variant comes with dual storage options (1TB HDD and 256GB SSD) and is powered by a 7th-generation Core i3 processor. While RAM is small at 4GB, you can expand that to 16GB.
ACER Aspire 5 15-inch (Core i3)
Looking for a sub-30k laptop with the latest 10-generation Intel processor? This Aspire 5 model is the best deal you can get, as it has a Core i3-10110U processor paired with an MX250 discrete GPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage, and 1TB HDD storage. In addition, it has a spacious 15-inch display, making it ideal for those looking for an affordable laptop that can do multimedia tasks.
The Core i3 version of the Aspire 5 is priced at Php 29,999 and can be purchased at Gigahertz.
ACER Aspire 5 14-inch (Ryzen 5)
If you want something more powerful than the Core i3, you can opt for the Ryzen version of the Aspire 5. This model comes with a Ryzen 5-3500U processor, 256GB SSD drive, 1TB HDD drive, and 8GB RAM.
This Aspire 5 is priced at Php 29,999 and can be purchased at Gigahertz.
ASUS Laptop X409 (Core i3)
Even if it is a few iterations old, ASUS’ X409 laptop is still a good deal. This particular model has an 8th-generation Core i3 Processor, a large 512GB SSD, and 4GB onboard RAM that is expandable to 16GB.
This VivoBook is priced at Php 25,995 and can be purchased at Silicon Valley.
ASUS VivoBook 15 X512 (Ryzen 5 + Radeon GPU)
This VivoBook model gets you a Ryzen 5 3500 processor, along with a 256GB NVMe SSD, Radeon RX540x discrete graphics, and 4GB RAM. This notebook is a steal, as it has a 15-inch display with a Full HD+ resolution.
The VivoBook 15 X512 is priced at Php 29,995 and can be purchased at Villman.
ASUS VivoBook 15 X512 (Ryzen 5 + Vega GPU)
If you don’t mind having an integrated GPU, ASUS has a more affordable VivoBook 15 X512 with a Vega 8 integrated GPU. This model also has a 256GB NVMe SSD and adds a 1TB HDD for your storage needs. However, this one is better than the Radeon version as it has 8GB RAM onboard.
The VivoBook 15 X512 is priced at Php 28,995 and can be purchased at Gigahertz.
That’s our list for competitively-specced laptops for under Php 30k. Are there other laptops deals we missed out on? Let us know in the comments section.