electronics and gadgets

LIST: Laptop choices for students in the range of P30,000

Gelo Gonzales
LIST: Laptop choices for students in the range of P30,000

All photos from their respective manufacturers

Some of these models are also currently discounted as part of brands' back-to-school promos

The P30,000 price point feels like a sweet spot for students looking for a laptop with specs such as an Intel Core i3 (or an AMD equivalent where available) and at least 8GB of RAM that are certain to handle most daily tasks smoothly, along with a few nice-to-haves such as an SSD storage for fast start-ups, an HD webcam as opposed to a standard definition one, or for some, a crisp OLED or a higher resolution display. These laptops are solid daily drivers, and most of these models offer a more powerful Core i5 version or 16GB RAM upgrade for those who plan to edit videos.

These don’t skimp on style either, with pretty sleek-looking choices from Huawei, Lenovo and realme.

Smooth gaming might be a little bit of a challenge as most of the models in this price range only offer an integrated graphics unit, but these are reliable enough to help get you good grades – and maybe then you can ask your folks for an RTX-on capable laptop in the future.

Acer Aspire 3 series

Acer is known for their often more affordable offerings than the competition, and their Aspire 3 models, ranging from P20,000 to about P30,000, offer attractive specs for the price. We suggest going for one with at least a Core i3 processor (usually found starting at the P24,000 range) instead of the slower Celeron or Pentium chips. Most models come with 4GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, but going for a model with at least 8GB of RAM will give you a noticeable performance boost. As for storage, you can always beef up your capacity with an external hard drive. 

Acer also currently has a promo for participating Aspire 3 models until September 15, 2022 wherein a purchase nets you either a P1,000 discount or a P3,000 Adidas voucher at participating SM stores. 

realme Book

Though a new name in the laptop scene, the realme Book has really good specs for its current price of P28,990, down from its original 2021 launch price of around P37,990. It looks like a MacBook Air but far cheaper.

It has a Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage in a sleek, ultrathin form factor. But its best features are a 2160 x 1440 resolution, making for a very sharp image, and its fast-charging capability – features that are not usually found in this price range. This boils down to a matter of taste but we like its more square, classic-looking 3:2 aspect ratio that sets it apart from most 16:9 laptops.

One thing to note: the realme Book was launched back in September 2021, so if you’re considering this, it’s best to watch out for potential announcements of a newer model coming out – although a successor might mean it’ll launch again with a similar P37,990 price tag.

Xiaomi RedmiBook 15 

Also taking design cues from the MacBook is the RedmiBook 15, priced at P25,999 from August 20 to September 30 as part of Xiaomi’s back-to-school sale.

Its regular price is P26,999, and was launched just last June 2022. It also has a Core i3 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. The i5 version is also currently discounted from P37,999 to P35,999.  

Dell Inspiron 15 3511

At about P32,000, the laptop comes with an Intel Core i3 chip and 4GB of RAM. As expected at this price point, you also get an HD 720p webcam, which is a step above the usual standard definition 480p webcams at the sub-P30,000 range.

We also love the hinge design that gives the laptop a little bit of flair.

What the Inspiron doesn’t have going for it though is that there are similarly priced or lower priced options that already come with 8GB of RAM. Dell Philippines also said they are gearing up for a sale soon, although actual dates have not yet been provided. 

Huawei Matebook D15 2021

Huawei’s Matebook D15 2021 is also currently on sale on their official site, from P31,999 to P28,999. You get a Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of hard drive storage. Some of its more unique features are its thin bezel (a nice 87% screen-to-body ratio), fast-charging, and a fingerprint scanner on the power button.

If you use a Huawei phone, you also get features for easier interfacing between your phone and the laptop. Huawei has the cheaper D14 models but are currently out of stock in their store. Their newer models are the D16 laptops, but these start at higher prices of around P55,000. 

ASUS VivoBook 15 OLED

As its name suggests, what you get here is an OLED display for better colors and higher levels of sharpness than the standard LCD laptop screen. That’s the premium feature along with Harman Kardon-engineered audio that drive this multimedia-oriented laptop’s price a little bit higher at P34,995.

Like most of the models we’ve listed here, you get a Core i3 chip and 8GB of RAM. You do get a bigger 512GB of SSD storage, which is far more usable unlike the 256GB storage, which will require you to get an upgrade pretty quickly. 

ASUS also currently has a back-to-school promo until August 31, 2022 which includes the VivoBook 15 OLED (Core i3). With the promo, getting the unit will net you a North Face bag worth around P4,000, and a P2,000 Birkenstock voucher. 

Lenovo IdeaPad 1 Gen 7 (15-inch)

Currently discounted at P31,995, it features an AMD Ryzen 3 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage in an ultrathin frame. It also has 65W fast-charging, Dolby Audio speakers, and a privacy shutter for its webcam. The laptop’s regular price is P33,295. – Rappler.com

Shop laptops at a discount using this Lazada voucher code.

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.