(Christmas) Wishlist – Laptops

Posted on Posted in Tech & Gadgets

Its already Christmas season this 2016. And as with every year, plethora of price cuts are to be expected for many kinds of goods – laptops included.

So if your looking to buy a laptop before the year ends, whether as a gift to yourself, or for your kids, or for someone else special, now maybe the best time to start saving.

But looking for the “right” one can be a daunting task, especially for those technically challenged. Laptops are expensive, and are a hefty investment. I’m here to help you decide on what laptop to get, what “features” should you be looking for depending on your needs and budget.

Disclaimer: Laptop recommendations that is showcased below came from listings in villman.com. I am by no means affiliated to the said site nor will I guarantee the accuracy of the information displayed in each one of them.

1. On-Budget (Php 10,000 – 18,000)

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Recommended laptops in this range: a. Lenovo 100-S14 b. Dell Inspiron 3552 c. HP 14065TU d. Acer Switch 10

Personally, I’d recommend buyers to save a few more cash to get a more capable machine. But if budget really demands it, then at the very least its good to know that there are some good options within this budget range.

Laptops in this range are more suited for minimal office tasks, such as email, document writing, spreadsheet and presentation creation. Web browsing should be fine, but don’t expect alot of tabs to be open at the same time due to memory limitations.

Battery life in this range should be above average due to the weaker processor in the laptop. The lightest or thinnest laptops out there are also not present within this range, but in general laptop weight and size should not be an issue.

Performance and build quality is the number one (1) thing that you will be sacrificing at this range.

Key factors to look for when looking for laptops at this range are age (should be the latest budget offering in the market – ask local retailer), extra features (is it a touchscreen/convertible laptop, etc) and additional value (are there additional freebies and/or discounts).

2. Mid-range (Php 20,000 – 30,000)

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Recommended laptops at this range: a. Lenovo 100-14 b. Acer Aspire E5 c. ASUS X455LF d. Dell Inspiron 5459

Performance gets a lot better, but don’t expect to find any powerhouse machines here. Like the name suggest, laptops here offer decent performance for decent price. In short, average.

Build-quality, however, is either a hit or a miss. There are laptops in this range that gives great build-quality for its price, and then there are some that falls short even when compared to those in the budget range. So research about the laptop you are going to buy should always be done prior to purchase (look for any manufacturing defects or the likes).

In general, machines of this range are still recommended for basic office use (email, web browsing, document writing, etc.). The increased performance in this range however gives users more options, such as better multitasking, light gaming (MOBA’s such as Dota2 and LoL should be playable at this range) and the ability to run more demanding software like Adobe Photoshop, Android Studio and other emulators, to name a few.

Key factors to look for laptops at this range, as mentioned, are performance (personally recommend to opt for a Core i3 processor & 4GB of RAM), build quality (check for unit reviews in the internet), upgradeability (can components such as RAM and storage be upgraded easily) and brand reputation (reliability & after-sales support).

3. Best value (Php 30,000 – 50,000)

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Recommended laptops at this range: a. Lenovo Yoga 5oo b. ASUS Vivobook 4k c. ASUS Zenbook UX305CA d. Apple Macbook Air

If you know where and what specifically to look for, laptops in this range can often land you the best deals – getting solid laptop offerings at reasonable prices.

But like laptops from the mid range, its a jungle out here. While there are plenty of options, some offerings here might suit your needs better than others.

So in order to get the best deal, you have to be specific on what you are looking for in a laptop. In case you are not sure, here are some options to consider:

  • Touchscreen functionality
  • Size & weight
  • Performance (should at least be Core i5/m3 with 4 GB RAM)
  • Brand reputation & after-sales support (check out laptopmag for current manufacturer rankings)
  • Build quality (plastic vs aluminum build)
  • Upgradeability
  • Device reliability
  • Budget

Based on the things that you are looking for or picked, laptops in this range can cater on any task depending on your use case.

If you’re looking for portability and build-quality, then thin, lightweight laptops such as ultrabooks in this range might be great for you. Otherwise, if performance is a big deal, like for instance when gaming, then an larger, better speced laptop will better suit your use-case than an ultrabook will offer.

4. Industry Flagship (Php 50,000 – 100,000 above)

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Recommended laptops at this range: a. Microsoft Surface Book b. Lenovo Yoga 900 c. Dell XPS 13 d. Apple Macbook Pro

Say you want to get the best laptop out there, regardless of price. Then perhaps its time to take a look at flagship laptops, aka the best the industry has to offer.

Laptops here can be split-up into two categories: great portability, great battery life with good specs, or great specs, good battery life with decent portability. Almost the best of both worlds, but still you have to prioritize which is more important in your use case – additional portability or additional specs.

Both categories will offer you the best build-quality each manufacturers has to offer, since there are no longer any compromises with price.

Recommended use for laptops in this range are for professional work. Whether for software development, video editing, content creation or even basic office stuff. As long as the laptop use justifies its purchase, then all should be fine.

5. Gaming (Php 50,000 – 100,000 above)

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Recommended laptops at this range: a. Alienware 13 R2 b. Acer Predator 15 c. MSI Gaming Pro GE62VR d. ASUS RoG GL552

Technically, gaming laptops can also be considered as manufacturer flagship devices (best they have to offer). But since their use-case greatly differs from your typical flagship laptop, then a separate category is necessary.

Gaming laptops – like its name suggests, are focused on providing the best gaming performance. That means monster specs, large size, and heavy weight.

That is why for most users it won’t make much sense to opt for gaming laptops. If you’re however one of those that wants to have a great gaming experience on a “portable” machine, then key factors to look for are size:specs ratio (higher performance gaming laptops will be heavier compared to lighter-speced ones), upgradeability and obviously budget