Why buy a laptop under Rs 20,000?
Not everyone needs a wafer-thin laptop or a laptop to run high-end PC games. Sometimes all it takes is a simple laptop to make Skype calls, run Word, Excel or other Office applications, or watch movies or TV shows. Students staying in hostels need a basic computer for their assignments and projects for which a budget laptop should suffice.
Sometimes you need another computer at home for the basic tasks of your kids and every other family member. Today’s budget laptops are often good enough for basic photo editing that you can’t always easily do on your phone or tablet.
Best laptops under Rs 20,000
Acer Aspire 3 (A315-32)
Out of all the laptops we tested under Rs 20,000, we found the Acer Aspire 3 (A315-32) to offer better performance and the best price. It’s thin enough which we liked. The plastic case is well constructed, there isn’t much flexibility in the lid or keyboard. The lid can be tilted up to 180 degrees, so you can work comfortably.
It’s one of the few laptops in this segment that has bottom access to the RAM and hard drive for easy upgrades. The laptop comes preinstalled with Windows 10, along with some useful apps that help keep drivers and software up to date. The laptop is equipped with Intel Pentium Silver N5000 quad-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 1TB hard drive and Wi-Fi 802.11ac.
In tests such as file compression and video encoding, the Aspire 3 (A315-32) took the shortest time compared to other laptops we tested. Battery life is good too, with a single charge you can get more out of your day.
The Aspire 3 (A315-32) isn’t a perfect laptop and the reason behind this is that Acer has given so many specs in this price segment, but the display and speakers are a bit compromised. Viewing angle is also not the best and the brightness could have been better. The stereo speakers are at the bottom and if you can hear loud noises from them, the sound doesn’t sound a bit good.
This is one of the heaviest laptops we tested. Overall, if you want a big screen and low resolution isn’t an issue for you, then the Aspire 3 (A315-32) for Rs 19,990 could prove to be the best option for you.
iBall CompBook Netizen 4G
We’ve tested many iBall laptops over the years, but the company’s recently launched CompBook Netizen 4G is a unique offering, especially considering its price. This laptop comes with a 4G SIM slot, with which you can always stay connected to the internet.
This feature can be useful for those who travel frequently and don’t want to interfere with installing 4G dongles or tethering on the phone. Battery life is very good and with light workloads we managed all the day’s work with ease. The CompBook Netizen boasts a full-HD display that allows sharp photos and text to be displayed on the 14-inch panel.
Built-in storage is 64 GB, which is better. At the bottom of the CompBook Netizen 4G is a compartment where you can place a 2.5-inch SSD or hard drive. There are a few things where it lags behind other competing devices, namely CPU power and build quality.
Intel Celeron N3350 processor was used in this laptop which is quite old. The single and multicore performance is also not good, which takes more time for file compression and video encoding. The plastic body does not look very sturdy nor does it give a premium look. This laptop is available in India for Rs 14,990. Asus offers nicer laptops in this series.
Here’s How We Picked These Best Budget Laptops Under Rs 20,000
Our main criterion in this segment was that the laptop had to have Windows 10 pre-installed. There are many alternatives that only come with DOS or free Linux and are sold at a lower cost. Such laptops may only prove to be a better option for you if you have already purchased a Windows license or are comfortable with Linux for general web browsing and such tasks.
Second, we ignored older laptop models that come with weak and outdated CPUs. This allowed us to refine our search. You can’t expect Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen CPUs in the price segment below Rs 20,000. In this segment you will only find laptops equipped with Intel Pentium or Celeron CPUs.
We’ve ignored laptops based on Intel’s older Atom X5 series and AMD E2 and A series APUs, as they are quite old now. Intel Pentium Silver N5000 is a good CPU. It is new and also reduces power consumption. It comes with DDR4 memory support.
Pentium N3xxx series laptops are generally available in this price segment. It’s a bit old so you only get four cores on some models. The Intel Celeron processor is not as powerful as the Pentium series. The Celeron N4000 is a newer CPU, but it only has two cores.
We focused on laptop models available on online e-commerce sites so that customers can easily buy them if they want to. Most of these models should also be available in offline stores in India in case you are hesitant to buy laptops online.
One thing you should know is that laptop prices continue to fluctuate. In such a situation, there may be a slight increase in the price of laptops approaching Rs 20,000 in this list.
Asus VivoBook X540MA
The VivoBook X540MA laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron N4000 CPU and comes with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The USB ports in this laptop are well chosen, although they are all placed next to each other, very close to each other. So if you use a USB device with a plug that is wider than normal, it may block the corresponding port.
You get a DVD drive in this model, which proves useful when you need to back up. This laptop is a bit heavy. The plastic and color scheme makes it look a bit cheap. The performance is also slow, the viewing angles of the HD display are also weak. The battery life isn’t good either and there are much better options out there for around 18,990.
This Asus branded laptop is currently available for Rs 12,990. It uses the old Intel Celeron N3350 CPU, but its compact size will appeal to most people. It is thin and light, but also has a USB Type-C port, which is not seen in this segment. The 11.6-inch screen isn’t huge, but the HD resolution isn’t too low, at least not for this size.
The biggest problem is the storage of the laptop. Just 2 GB DDR3 RAM and 32 GB eMMC flash memory is not enough for Windows and your applications. Windows boots up quickly, but we couldn’t get many things up and running during the test because the storage was causing problems. If you’re going to use web-based apps or do most of your work in a browser, this shouldn’t be a big deal for you. The Asus E203N has a microSD card slot, with the help of which you can expand the storage space if necessary.
HP Notebook 15-Bs589TU
At the time of writing this article, the price of HP Notebook 15-BS589TU was about Rs 19,789. We couldn’t test this laptop, but at this price you get Intel Pentium N3710 quad core CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, DVD writer, three USB ports, HDMI and LAN port in this laptop. It comes with an HD webcam and a 41-watt-hour battery.
iBall Compbook Premium v2.0
CompBook Premio version 2.0 is powered by a strong Intel Pentium N4200 CPU and comes with 4 GB of RAM. It is light and portable and comes with Windows 10. The battery life is also good. It is available for Rs 17,235, much less for 32GB of built-in flash storage applications and files. As we mentioned in our review, we found that the plastic case twists easily. The display is also not very good. On the other hand, the battery life is quite good.
iBall Compbook Marvel 6
The price of iBall Compbook Marvel 6 is about Rs 11,990. For this price, you get a full-HD 14-inch display, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. Storage can be an issue for you if you store a lot of files.
The CPU is good for basic tasks, but still a bit weak compared to other options. The body and trackpad are not sturdy, but at the bottom of this laptop is a compartment where you can store a 2.5-inch hard drive. Like the CompBook Premio version 2.0, the battery life is also good.