The current global crisis has forced many people to work and study from home. This raised the demand for a device, like a laptop, that we can use to do our office work, school work, or even play games with. We can also use it for or Zoom meetings or online hangouts with our barkada.
Right now, laptops are already a necessity - but it doesn’t mean we have to break the bank to get one. In this article, we’ll be introducing a list of great budget laptops that are below ₱30,000, so stay tuned! We will also discuss some of the essential factors worth knowing when choosing one, with the guidance of our chosen expert, Mr. JC Rogelio.
There are a lot of budget-friendly laptops in the Philippine market, but let’s try to sift out the good choices from the not so great before purchasing one.
Getting a laptop under ₱30,000 means choosing between one of two operating systems: Microsoft Windows and ChromeOS. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a deeper look to help you decide which operating system will suit you.
Laptops with Microsoft Windows are scattered across the market globally. Even high-end computers and laptops use this highly popular OS. One of the reasons for its fame is its high compatibility with many applications. If you’re trying to search for a laptop with as few complications in terms of software compatibility, then choose a model carrying a Windows OS.
When choosing an OS, most of us prefer the availability of the software and applications with it, which is one of the advantages of Windows. You can easily plug & play devices and hardware due to Windows OS's wide range of support. The only downside for Windows is virus susceptibility.
Beginners in the world of laptops and technology may want a device that offers simple tools and a user-friendly operation before moving on to a more complicated tech. Laptops with the ChromeOS are good choices in that regard. But, ChromeOS laptops may have fewer applications compared to Windows devices.
Although, having fewer applications can only mean that the device will require a shorter amount of time to read any data. This makes its operation faster with little lag when opening or closing applications. Also, these laptops may often be equipped with smaller memory, so applications that require heavy computing may cause a system crash.
Chrome OS mainly focuses on running web-based applications and browsing, and it's cheaper, relatively stable, fast, and has longer battery life. It also has built-in antivirus, which gets updated frequently. But being offline means that there's nothing much you can do with it.
Laptops may support one or two of the three types of these storage systems: HDD, SSD, and eMMC. Let's get to know which one can provide the best solution to your storage needs.
An HDD can store large files and programs, so it is the ideal storage component for those who wish to store photos and videos. Its storage capacity range can span from 160GB up to 2 terabytes, which is dependent on the space available in the laptop. However, HDD consumes more power and is prone to mechanical issues since there is a physical disk inside that rotates.
HDDs are generally cheaper and offer larger storage. You can also recover lost data, making it a good legacy storage compared to SSD. The disadvantage, however, with HDDs is that they are mechanical and thus rely on moving parts, which do not seem to do well after accidents or extreme temperatures.
The solid-state drive (SSD) was invented to replace the HDD and effectively quicken the overall operation of any computing machine. There is no rotating disk inside, and it can instantaneously read and write data at much faster transfer speeds. Regrettably, SSDs are expensive and could raise the overall price of the laptop.
SSD comes with a hefty price, but you will get its worth. SSDs are reliable, use less energy, boot up in seconds, and up to a hundredfold faster than HDD. The lack of storage may seem a hassle, but the compromise is advantageous.
Having this as your main storage might be expensive, but it will definitely improve everything, from battery life to data transfers. Laptops nowadays offer both HDD + SSD—the more affordable ones only have up to 128GB SSD, so I suggest that you use that 128GB as your bootloader for Windows 10 while using your HDD for conventional data storage.
An eMMC (Embedded MultiMediaCard) can read and write faster than an HDD, but its storage capacity is maxed out at 128GB only. On the other hand, it is quiet and energy-efficient like an SSD, but it is inefficient in executing programs. In other words, this is just a temporary storage component that might not be ideal for users who want a bit more speed and storage space.
eMMCs are typically the main storage for Chromebooks. For entry-level, I will still prefer having a laptop with HDD as storage rather than a limited eMMC Chromebook. The main reason is that Chromebooks are there for web-based applications, so you can't do much without the internet.
Reading through all a laptop's specifications can be time-consuming. To save you from the trouble and effort, we’re going to explain some of the basic functions that you need to know.
Laptops with a price tag under ₱30,000 will either have 2 GB or 4 GB of memory (RAM). A larger memory means the device will do a better job at handling multiple tasks and applications at the same time.
Hence, if you’re planning to use the laptop for various software, then choose a model with at least 4 GB of RAM. 2 GB models are still good options, but you need to manage your usage of applications to avoid lags or worse, crashes.
Laptops around the PHP 30,000 price range offer 4GB of RAM but with a cheaper processor. I suggest opting for larger RAM for your first purchase—around 8GB if you can spend extra. 4GB is enough for school and office work but won't be efficient for gaming, editing, and photoshop.
Aside from the storage and memory, make sure to check the design of the laptop’s keyboard as well. Preventing mistakes from typing may require a keyboard with deeply submerged keys. On the other hand, laptop keyboards with shallow keys can help ease the burden on your arms and shoulders during typing activities.
Also, if you’re dealing with numbers and formulas, then it’s advisable to buy and use a laptop with a full-sized keyboard. The model will have a numeric keypad usually attached to the right side of the keyboard. Laptops 15.6-inches or more tend to have full-sized keyboards so choose these models if you require the additional numeric keypad.
Good keyboards usually come from the above 30,000 range. I buy Bluetooth alternatives (keyboards, mice, etc.) to preserve the laptop keyboard's longevity. This really ended up being worth it. For 11 years, never once did I have to replace my own laptop's trackpad or keyboard.
Laptops with a 2-in-1 function allow you to use a device like a computer or a tablet. When choosing convertible models, always check where the ports are because they can either be on the tablet or the keyboard.
Having ports on the keyboard side is not ideal since it will be rendered useless once the tablet side is removed. The best setup is to have all of the slots on the tablet side so you can still plug in your peripherals if needed
2-in-1 Laptops are the game changers to this digital world. They are convenient and easy to use, but they are undoubtedly expensive. Most of the 2-in-1 laptops have all of their ports from the tablet side. If you have the budget, I suggest going for Microsoft Surface Pro 7. However, I recommend getting a USB hub to help avoid easily damaging the ports.
Most laptops are now equipped with an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) slot, but it’s wise to pick a model that still offers analog terminals like VGA (video graphics array) as well. In doing so, users can still connect to a broad range of devices and use the laptop as a media source for projectors and monitors.
HDMI is the most used nowadays. Older generation laptops still have VGA. If, in any case, you might need to connect to HDMI/VGA, you can purchase either an HDMI to VGA or VGA to HDMI cable to suit your needs. They're around 300 to 500 PHP and a great accessory to keep especially when you are working and presenting.
Using laptops outdoors means you may have to deal with sunlight or bright light, which can make it difficult to see anything on the screen. Pick a laptop with a non-glare screen so that you can still see things on its screen without maxing out brightness levels that could cost precious battery life.
On-the-go means you meet the sun most of your time. So an anti-glare screen will definitely help save your battery since you won't rely that much on the brightness for you to easily see from your screen.
Basically, laptops that can hold 8 or more hours of operational time are ideal for on-the-go users. If you’re always on the move and you find it difficult to look for a place to charge, then choosing a laptop with a long battery life should be your top preference. However, if you don't go out much and use your device most at home, a smaller battery capacity will suffice.
Check the total amount of time you use your laptop and what you're using it for. If you're mainly into gaming or demanding software (such as 3D, editing, video, etc.), you might need to carry your extra battery pack, charger and at least have a laptop that can stay up to 5 hours.
It’s not a requirement, but having Microsoft Office pre-installed before purchasing the laptop is great because you can immediately get to work. If it doesn’t come with MS Office, it’s not the end of the world because you can buy it when the need arises. If you're on a tight budget, options like WPS Office or Google Suite are also compatible with MS Office programs or OpenOffice and LibreOffice that are free to use.
Also, you shouldn't be too particular with the type and brand of CPU installed in the laptop since you're on the hunt for an under Php 30,000 device. Getting a high-end CPU at this price point will be awesome, but you shouldn't keep your hopes high. It is better to redirect your attention to the other components instead of splurging on a high-end CPU.
Nowadays, you can find convenient and free programs that offer the same services as Microsoft Office. Yes, it is great to have it installed on your laptop, but you can always use other great options like Google Suite, which has been offering free services, albeit online-based. As for CPU, if you really are on a tight budget of P30,000. Core i3 or older generations of i5 will suffice.
Surface Go 2
Chromebook Flex 5
VivoBook Flip 14
14" Performance Laptop
Our Top 1 Recommendation: The Best Overall for Multitasking With 128GB SSD and a Non-glare Screen
Wide Screen With Plenty of Storage for Movie Lovers
The Best 2-in-1 for Everyone—Work or School
A Mid-Range Laptop Made for Work or Play
Perfect for Students and Teachers on a Budget
An Entry-Level Notebook for the Office
Create More With a Top-Notch Convertible
For the Artists and Artists-at-Heart
Get Immersed in Sound with THX Spatial Audio
Premium Specs Without the Premium Price
|Price Starts at||₱26,900||₱29,999||₱28,900||₱27,900||₱18,990||₱29,990||₱25,995||₱21,999||₱25,900||₱18,799|
|Type||Traditional||Traditional Laptop||2-in-1||Convertible||Traditional||Traditional||Convertible||2-in-1||Traditional Laptop||Traditional|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home in S mode||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Home in S Mode||ChromeOS||Windows 10 Home 64-bit||Windows 10 Home SL||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 64bit||Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-1005G10||Core i3-8130U||Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y||Intel Core i3-10110U||Intel Celeron Processor N4020||AMD RYZEN 5 2500U Quad Core||Intel Pentium Silver N5030 Processor||Intel Atom x5-Z8550 1.44GHz Processor (2M Cache, up to 2.40GHz)||AMD Ryzen 3 3200U||Intel Celeron J4115|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)||Intel UHD Graphics 620||Intel HD Graphics 615||Intel UHD Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics||Radeon Vega 8 Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 600||Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)||AMD Radeon Vega 3||Intel UHD Graphics 600|
|Display||15.6" HD 1920x1080 Anti-Glare, 60Hz||14" IPS FHD||10.5" HD 1920x1080, Touchscreen||13.3" FHD IPS, 1920x1080, Touchscreen||14" HD SVA WLED-backlit, 1366x768||15.6" Full HD, 1920x1080||14" HD, 1366x768, Touchscreen||10.1" IPS LED Touch (1920 x 1200)||14" Full HD, 60Hz||15.6" Full HD Screen|
|RAM||4GB DDR4||4GB + 4GB soDIMM DDR4||4GB DDR4||4GB DDR4||4GB DDR4||4GB DDR4||4GB DDR4||4GB||4GB DDR4||12GB|
|Storage||128GB SSD||1TB + 128GB NVMe SSD||64GB SSD||64GB SSD||256GB SSD||1TB HDD||128GB SSD||64 GB||128GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Ports||3xUSB, HDMI, Headphone Jack, MicroSD Card Reader||HDMI, 2xUSB3.1, Headphone Jack, Ethernet||Surface Connector, USB-C, Headphone Jack, MicroSD Card Reader||2xUSB-C, Headphone Jack, MicroSD Card Reader||USB-C, 2xUSB, Headphone Jack, Ethernet||3xUSB, HDMI, Headphone Jack, Ethernet, SD Card Reader||MicroUSB, USB-C, Micro HDMI, HDMI, Headphone Jack, SD Card Reader||HDMI, MicroSD Card Reader||USB-C, 3xUSB, HDMI, Ethernet, Headphone Jack||TF Card, 2xUSB, HDMI, Earphone Jack, Ethernet|
The products we introduce below were carefully curated by the mybest team, from the best-sellers of E-commerce sites like Lazada, and using the points mentioned in our detailed and thoroughly researched buying guide.
Disclaimer: These products are recommendations made by our team at mybest Philippines. Our expert, JC Rogelio, is not affiliated with, nor is she endorsing any of the brands we mention below.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home in S mode|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-1005G10|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)|
|Display||15.6" HD 1920x1080 Anti-Glare, 60Hz|
|Ports||3xUSB, HDMI, Headphone Jack, MicroSD Card Reader|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Display||14" IPS FHD|
|RAM||4GB + 4GB soDIMM DDR4|
|Storage||1TB + 128GB NVMe SSD|
|Ports||HDMI, 2xUSB3.1, Headphone Jack, Ethernet|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home in S Mode|
|Processor||Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 615|
|Display||10.5" HD 1920x1080, Touchscreen|
|Ports||Surface Connector, USB-C, Headphone Jack, MicroSD Card Reader|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-10110U|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics|
|Display||13.3" FHD IPS, 1920x1080, Touchscreen|
|Ports||2xUSB-C, Headphone Jack, MicroSD Card Reader|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
|Processor||Intel Celeron Processor N4020|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics|
|Display||14" HD SVA WLED-backlit, 1366x768|
|Ports||USB-C, 2xUSB, Headphone Jack, Ethernet|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home SL|
|Processor||AMD RYZEN 5 2500U Quad Core|
|Graphics||Radeon Vega 8 Graphics|
|Display||15.6" Full HD, 1920x1080|
|Ports||3xUSB, HDMI, Headphone Jack, Ethernet, SD Card Reader|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Processor||Intel Pentium Silver N5030 Processor|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 600|
|Display||14" HD, 1366x768, Touchscreen|
|Ports||MicroUSB, USB-C, Micro HDMI, HDMI, Headphone Jack, SD Card Reader|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Processor||Intel Atom x5-Z8550 1.44GHz Processor (2M Cache, up to 2.40GHz)|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)|
|Display||10.1" IPS LED Touch (1920 x 1200)|
|Ports||HDMI, MicroSD Card Reader|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64bit|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 3 3200U|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon Vega 3|
|Display||14" Full HD, 60Hz|
|Ports||USB-C, 3xUSB, HDMI, Ethernet, Headphone Jack|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit|
|Processor||Intel Celeron J4115|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 600|
|Display||15.6" Full HD Screen|
|Ports||TF Card, 2xUSB, HDMI, Earphone Jack, Ethernet|
So you now have a laptop on your mind, then what? Allow our expert, JC Rogelio, to answer some of the most asked questions on the internet to help you take better care of your device.
Cheaper laptops, in general, will not break easily because of their own hardware and software, even if there's a compromise in specifications, parts, aesthetics, and warranty. It is how you use it, what you use it for, and how you take care of it that affects its longevity.
You can extend your Laptop's life by updating its software if available since it helps keep your laptop up to date. Since most of the updates focus on improvement and optimization, you can supplement that by frequently running scans for viruses/malware to check whether your system is infected or if there are suspicious applications installed from your system.
Keeping your laptop in a well-ventilated area and using an external fan to reduce the heat during usage helps the operating temperature at a minimum also helps. You can also consider transitioning to the cloud, which helps your drive to solely be used for internal applications. If you have the budget, switching from HDD to SSD can make operations much faster.
First, check if a simple restart or shutdown will do the trick. If not, check what background applications are running by checking the Task Manager by pressing (Alt + Ctrl + Del) for Windows/ (Alt + Cmd + Esc) for Macbook. If there are running apps, end their task or force quit. If there's still no luck, check the updates and install the latest software updates for improvements.
If all else fails, you can opt for upgrading the RAM and swapping your HDD to SSD, then a full formatting/reset will put the icing on the cake. Laptops are initially purchased based on your purpose of use and specifications, so let us say you tried to play games on a netbook, it won't be able to start, or it will be slow.
If you get a laptop that is powerful enough to run games, below are articles discussing gaming mouse and headsets, as well as some games that you might enjoy.
Re-editor: C. Lacson
Reviewed by: IT Specialist, JC Rogelio.
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
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