If you’re in pursuit of the ideal budget-friendly laptop for online learning, you’re in luck. We understand the importance of finding a wallet-friendly yet efficient laptop, especially for online classes. So, let’s embark on a journey to explore your options. We’ve previously ventured into the world of budget desktops in the Indian market, and now, it’s time to set our sights on laptops. While the allure of a sleek, powerful laptop is undeniable, sometimes a hefty price tag isn’t the right answer, especially if your primary activities involve attending online classes and using basic productivity apps.
In this guide, we’ll unveil some popular laptop series and models from renowned brands that offer affordability without sacrificing quality. Just like our desktop guide, we’ve concentrated on established brands because of their superior after-sales support.
Acer 2022 Chromebook 315 15.6" Full HD 1080p IPS Touchscreen Laptop PC, Intel Celeron N4020 Dual-Core Processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 64GB eMMC, Webcam, WiFi, 12 Hrs Battery Life, Chrome OS, Silver
Dell Chromebook 3189 Laptop, 11.6" HD (1366 x 768) Non-Touch, Intel Celeron N3060, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC SSD, Chrome OS (Renewed)
While laptops may not match desktops in terms of component upgrades, their portability makes them a valuable asset for taking your work wherever you go. If your laptop needs are limited to attending classes and completing assignments, without being tied to specific apps, consider Chromebooks. These laptops operate on Google’s Chrome OS, known for its efficiency on low-end hardware compared to Windows. With access to the full suite of Google apps and the ability to download Android apps from the Google Play Store, Chromebooks offer a versatile solution.
Lenovo 100E Chromebook 2ND Gen Laptop Computer, 11.6" HD (1366 X 768) Display, MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC TLC SSD, Powervr GX6250, Chrome OS, Black (Renewed)
Aligning Your Budget with Expectations
Before diving into the market, it’s crucial to determine your budget and align your expectations accordingly. You can find Windows 10 laptops starting at approximately $270 (USD), but securing one from a renowned brand can be challenging. Hyderabad-based startup RDP offers the ThinBook 1010, while local brand Avita has its Essential series. Most laptops in this price range come with an Intel Celeron or Pentium CPU, 4GB of RAM, an HD resolution display, and a low-capacity eMMC storage.
Dell Premium Convertible 2-in-1 Chromebook, 11" HD IPS Touchscreen, Intel Celeron N Processor Up to 2.45GHz, 4GB Ram, 64GB Storage, Super-Fast WiFi, Chrome OS, Dale Gray (Renewed)
Increasing your budget to around $400 opens up a broader range of options from established players such as HP and Lenovo. In this segment, you can expect slightly more powerful CPUs like AMD’s Ryzen 3 series and Intel’s older 10th Gen Core i3 models. Typically, hard drive sizes are 1TB in this category, but these are mechanical hard drives, not flash storage. Upgrading to at least 8GB of RAM after purchase is advisable for a smoother Windows 10 experience.
2021 Dell 11.6-inch Convertible 2-in-1 Touchscreen Chromebook, Intel Celeron Processor Up to 2.48GHz, 4GB Ram 16GB SSD, HDMI, Chrome OS (Touchscreen) (Renewed)
Stretching your budget to around $600 provides access to improved CPUs, more RAM, and full-HD displays. Within this price range, you can also find models offering both mechanical drives and SSDs, ensuring a snappier Windows experience. Of course, as you ascend the price ladder, you’ll discover even better models, but that’s beyond the scope of this guide.
HP 2023 Newest Chromebook Laptop, 14 Inch Display, Intel Celeron N4120 Processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, Intel UHD Graphics 600, WiFi, Bluetooth, Chrome OS, Modern Gray
Now that your budget and expectations are clear, let’s explore what the market has to offer from some well-known brands.
Microsoft Windows Laptops
Dell boasts a selection of budget laptops under its Inspiron and Vostro lines. The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 series, starting at around $400, features an AMD Athlon Silver 3050U CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 15.6-inch HD display, and a choice of either a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD or a 1TB hard drive. For a budget closer to $550, you can enjoy 8GB of RAM, an AMD Ryzen 3 3250U CPU, and a full-HD display.
Dell’s Vostro series, primarily aimed at small businesses, also suits basic home use. The Dell Vostro 15 3500, priced at approximately $400, offers specifications like an Intel Pentium Gold 7505 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive, along with a full-HD 15.6-inch display. Expanding your budget by around $170 unlocks a better Intel Core i3 10th Gen CPU, 8GB of RAM, and SSD storage options.
HP Chromebook 14 Laptop, Intel Celeron N4120, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB eMMC, 14" HD Display, Chrome OS, Thin Design, 4K Graphics, Long Battery Life, Ash Gray Keyboard (14a-na0226nr, 2022, Mineral Silver)
HP follows a similar distinction between its home and business product lines. The 14s and 15s series cater to home users, often available at discounted rates online. These laptops, closer to the $550 mark, offer similar specifications as Dell’s Inspiron 15 line. You can choose between AMD or Intel CPUs, mechanical or flash storage, and 8GB of RAM in models priced around $550.
HP’s business line of laptops might lack flashiness but compensates with competitive specs within the budget range. Look out for the G7 and G8 series, featuring AMD Ryzen 3 and Intel 11th Gen CPUs, with prices ranging from $400 to $550.
Lenovo’s V14 and V15 series laptops, priced around $550 (lower online), offer sleek designs and current-generation specs, including Intel’s 11th Gen CPUs. For a more stylish and portable option, consider Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 3i, starting at just under $550. It boasts an Intel 11th Gen Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a full-HD 15.6-inch display. Lenovo’s website also showcases appealing deals on student laptops.
HP Chromebook 11 G7 EE 11.6" Chromebook - 1366 x 768 - Celeron N4000-4 GB RAM - 16 GB Flash Memory, Chrome OS, Intel UHD Graphics 600 - in-Plane Switching (IPS) Technology - English Keyboard (Renewed)
If you’re seeking a budget Acer laptop, explore the Aspire 3 and Aspire 5 series. According to Acer’s official online store, prices begin at around $360 for models equipped with an AMD Athlon Silver 3050U CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. You can later add an NVMe SSD for improved performance. The Aspire 5 range, starting at approximately $530, features a slimmer design and superior CPU specs.
Acer also offers its Extensa range for those on a tight budget. On Amazon, you can find an Acer TravelMate series laptop with impressive specs, including a Core i3 11th Gen CPU, 8GB RAM, a full-HD display, and a 1TB hard drive, all for just $410.
HP CHROMEBOOK 11 G8 - Education Edition - 11.6'' - CELERON N4020 - 4 GB RAM - 32 GB EMMC - US (Renewed), Black
For exceptional value, consider Xiaomi’s RedmiBook 15 e-Learning Edition, available for $590. This laptop boasts a full-HD display, Intel Core i3 11th Gen CPU, 256GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM. If you require more storage, a 512GB SSD variant is available for $640. Realme also entered the laptop market with the Realme Book (Slim), priced at around $630. While slightly beyond the scope of this guide, it offers an Intel Core i3 11th Gen CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 2K (2160×1440) resolution display.
Asus has a long-standing reputation for offering value-for-money laptops in the Indian market. The VivoBook 14 and 15 series present competitive specs at attractive prices. The Asus VivoBook 15 X515, starting at roughly $400, includes an Intel Pentium Silver N5030 CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and a full-HD display. Asus also offers the stylish EeeBook 14 E410 series, featuring an Intel Celeron N4020 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD for about $335.
Lenovo 11.6" 300e Chromebook Touchscreen LCD 2 in 1- MediaTek M8173C Quad-core 2.1GHz 4GB LPDDR3 32GB Flash Memory Chrome OS Model 81H00000US (Renewed)
If your work or studies don’t hinge on specific Windows applications, Chromebooks are a fantastic choice. Google’s lightweight Chrome OS delivers superior performance compared to Windows on similar hardware, along with extended battery life. While Chromebooks can reach premium price points, affordable options abound.
The HP Chromebook 14a, available for approximately $375, offers an Intel Celeron N4020 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 14-inch HD display. In April, HP introduced an 11-inch model, the HP Chromebook 11a, powered by a MediaTek MT8183 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and a battery promising up to 16 hours of usage.
Lenovo offers a budget-friendly option called the Duet Chromebook, starting at just $360. This 10.1-inch convertible laptop features a detachable screen, a built-in kickstand, and versatility.
Lastly, Asus delivers mainstream Chromebook models with various screen sizes, including the Chromebook Flip with its 360-degree rotating keyboard.
Choosing the right laptop for your online learning needs doesn’t have to break the bank. With a clear budget in mind, you can explore the numerous options available from reputable brands. Whether you opt for a Microsoft Windows laptop or a Chromebook, there’s a cost-effective solution to enhance your online learning experience.