The rise in remote working and learning has increased the demand for laptops. Moreover, with the rising prices of essential commodities, access to affordable laptops becomes even more critical for online meetings, classes, gaming, or virtual hangouts with friends.
But going for affordable laptops doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing quality and performance. This article will introduce a list of budget laptops under 30k PHP that will enable workers and students to do a wide range of activities for work, play, and social media. To help you choose, we’ll also discuss some essential factors to consider when selecting affordable laptop brands, with guidance from an IT expert, JC Rogelio.
JC Rogelio is first and foremost a fan of upgrading and modifying computers. Due to his passion, he earned a degree in Information Technology from a university specializing in the field. He is tech-savvy and likes to research computer trends. He was a former employee of a Fortune 500 company in the Philippines and now has over 3 years of experience in the IT/Engineering field in Dubai.
Allan Millar joined the mybest PH team in December 2022. Allan is passionate about providing better options for consumers, especially in healthcare and technology. He likes reading global and national news and listening to podcasts. He has academic degrees in Economics and Public Policy.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Table of Contents
Budget-friendly laptops thrive in the Philippines, and this guide provides the best options for getting value for your 30,000 PHP budget—affordable laptops with the best specs your money can buy.
For more detailed information, read on!
Getting an affordable laptop within a PHP 30,000 budget means choosing between Microsoft Windows and ChromeOS operating systems. Both have advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a closer look and check which operating system suits your needs.
Laptops with Microsoft Windows dominate the global market. Most high-end and affordable laptops use this OS due to its high compatibility with many applications. If you’re searching for a computer with maximum software compatibility, choose one that runs on Windows.
When choosing an OS, most of us prefer the availability of built-in software and applications—an advantage of Windows. You can easily plug & play devices and hardware due to Windows’ wide range of support. The only downside for Windows is virus susceptibility.
Beginners in the world of laptops and technology and those who don’t require heavy-duty use may want a user-friendly device with simple tools and fewer applications. ChromeOS laptops give users simplicity and ease of use, making them affordable laptops for students.
Fewer applications translate to better speed in reading data, making their operation faster, especially when opening or closing applications. However, because these laptops often carry smaller memory, applications requiring heavy computing may cause a system crash.
ChromeOS laptops are affordable, fast, relatively stable, and have longer battery life. They specialize in browsing and running web-based applications. Often connected to the internet, ChromeOS laptops frequently update their built-in antivirus. However, its usefulness declines when offline.
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—ideal for storing photos and videos. Its capacity usually ranges from 160GB up to 2TB. However, it consumes more power, and the rotating physical disk makes it prone to damage.
Being cheaper than SSDs, HDDs have bigger storage and the ability to recover lost data, making HDDs an excellent choice for legacy storage. However, because of their moving parts, HDDs risk damage from accidents or extreme temperatures.
Invented to replace the HDD, the solid-state drive (SSD) effectively accelerated the operation of any computing machine. With no rotating disk inside, SDDs instantaneously read and write data faster. Being more expensive, however, SSDs may increase the overall price, potentially limiting your search for a laptop for 30k PHP.
SSDs come with a hefty price but also provide better speed. Laptops with SSDs boot up in seconds and read data up to a hundred times faster than HDDs. In addition, despite the smaller storage, SSDs are reliable and use less energy.
Using SSDs as primary storage might be costly, but doing so will improve everything, from battery life to data transfers. For laptops with HDD and SSD—some have up to 512GB SSD—use the SSD as Windows bootloader and HDD as conventional data storage.
An eMMC (Embedded MultiMediaCard) can read and write faster than an HDD but falls short in storage (currently maxed out at 128GB). In addition, while they operate quietly and use less battery consumption, eMMCs execute programs inefficiently. In other words, eMMCs serve as temporary storage with no advantage in terms of speed and space.
eMMCs are typically the primary storage for Chromebooks. For entry-level, I prefer a laptop with HDD storage rather than a limited Chromebook with eMMC. Chromebooks thrive on web-based applications but with minimal use without the internet.
Reading all the laptop’s specifications can be a daunting task. So, to save you from the trouble and effort, we’ll explain some of the critical functions you must know.
A budget laptop with 8GB RAM allows multitasking by most workers and students. Of course, 16GB also lets you play games with intense settings, but you rarely find laptops worth 30k PHP with more than 8GB RAM. With RAM below 8GB, you must limit the simultaneous applications to avoid lags or crashes.
Laptops with 4GB of RAM may be suitable for light work and school activities, but you may encounter lags. Besides, adding a few thousand pesos for a laptop with 8GB RAM will allow you to do more and faster. Therefore, with a 30k budget, I suggest going for laptops with 8GB RAM.
The chiclet keyboard’s spacing and tactile feel provide better feedback and typing experience than the traditional or membrane keyboard. Because of the spaces between keys, prolonged use of the chiclet keyboard may cause fatigue. However, a membrane keyboard produces more sound, which can disturb your sleeping partner, child, or pet.
For frequent number users, you may consider buying a laptop with a numeric keypad, usually located on the right side of the keyboard. Laptops 15.6 inches or more tend to have full-sized keyboards with numeric keypads, so choose these models if you require a numeric keypad.
Good keyboards usually come from laptops priced more than 30,000 pesos. I use Bluetooth alternatives (e.g., keyboards, mice) to preserve the laptop keyboard’s longevity. For 11 years, never once did I have to replace my own laptop’s trackpad or keyboard.
You can use a 2-in-1 laptop like a standard computer with a keyboard or detach it and enjoy its tablet mode. When choosing convertible models, remember that the ports can be on the tablet or the keyboard. However, ports should be on the tablet instead of the keyboard, so you can still plug in your peripherals even when using it as a tablet.
Convertible laptops are game changers. They are convenient and easy to use but undoubtedly expensive. Most of the 2-in-1 laptops have ports on the tablet side. If you have the budget, I suggest using Microsoft Surface Pro 7. However, I recommend getting a USB hub to help avoid easily damaging the ports.
Most laptops within 30,000 pesos have an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) slot. However, buying a model with analog terminals like VGA (video graphics array) can be helpful. Multiple options allow users to connect to various devices, including projectors and extra monitors.
While most laptops have HDMI ports, older-generation laptops have VGA ports only. However, for working or presenting, you may purchase an HDMI-to-VGA adapter or VGA-to-HDMI cable—handy accessories with many affordable choices.
Using laptops outdoors or in a room with lots of natural light means dealing with sunlight or bright light, making it difficult to see anything on the screen. An anti-glare screen helps users without maxing out the monitor’s brightness. Such screens also reduce eye strain as they protect your eyes from glare.
On-the-go working exposes us to the sun. So, an anti-glare screen will help save your battery since you won’t rely much on the brightness to see from your screen easily.
Laptops with more than 8 hours of battery life provide the best option for on-the-go users. Therefore, long battery life should be critical if you’re often on the move and find it challenging to find an outlet. On the other hand, a smaller battery capacity will suffice if you frequently use your device in one place, such as those who work from home or with fixed workstations.
Check the usual purpose for using your laptop and the amount of time. For example, if you’re into gaming or CPU-intensive software (such as 3D modeling and video editing), you might need to carry your extra battery pack and charger and have a laptop you can use for at least 5 hours.
Having Microsoft 365 pre-installed lets new laptop buyers immediately get to work, or you can buy it separately. In addition, laptop buyers on a tight budget have cheaper or free compatible alternatives, including Google Workspace and WPS Office (with free WPS Standard) and free options like Microsoft 365 for the web, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice.
With a tight budget, buyers have lots of trade-offs to consider. For example, instead of buying a laptop with a high-end CPU, you may consider older-generation CPUs and redirect your attention to the other laptop components.
You can conveniently use web-based office software for free such as Microsoft Office Online or Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. If you prefer to install software like Microsoft 365, your free options include OpenOffice and LibreOffice. With a 30k laptop budget, you may also go for Core i3 or older generations of i5.
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HP Laptop 15-dw3033dx
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Powered by 11th Gen Intel Core i5 and 16GB RAM, the Acer Aspire 5 leads our list of laptops under 30k. It packs an impressive power to enjoy learning, work, and play. Acer Aspire 5 allows you to collaborate confidently with its automatic framing, advanced background blur, and gaze correction for a more engaging video call experience.
Its 1920x1080 14” full HD display matches the narrow bezels and Acer’s visual technologies for dynamic color and viewing comfort for binge-watching movies or TV series. You also have plenty of space with its 512GB SSD. For less than 30k PHP, do all your tasks with Acer Aspire 5!
The MSI Modern 14 laptop has the portability and power to keep up with your dynamic lifestyle. Its 11th Gen Intel Core i3 and 16GB RAM DDR4 ensure fast and seamless multitasking performance for work and play. You can type freely and comfortably with the MSI Modern 14’s backlit keyboard.
Its full HD screen, the weight of 1.3kg, and 512GB SSD allow you the freedom to pursue productivity and pleasure. With easily adjustable system modes and resources, you can control your battery life to suit your daily tasks. MSI Modern 14 also tops our list of laptops below PHP 30k!
Xiaomi RedmiBook 15's 1920x1080 15.6" full HD anti-glare and wide display provides the perfect size for added productivity and viewing pleasure. Its large touchpad ensures plenty of room to maneuver.
The Redmibook 15’s 11th Gen Intel Core i3 and 8GB DDR4 RAM allow smooth performance for your everyday tasks. You’ll enjoy your online meetings and classes with its HD 720 camera, DTS tuning, and enhanced sound output with 2W + 2W stereo sound speakers. Its battery can last for over 10 hours of working time and charges to 50% in 33 minutes!
The realme Book’s 14" 2160×1440 ultra-HD screen delivers superb image quality indoors or outdoors with its display brightness of up to 400 nits. The sharp image detail allows maximum productivity and viewing pleasure, whether at work or while enjoying movies. Its backlit keyboard and extra-large touchpad enhance your efficiency day or night.
Its 1.38kg weight and sleek aluminum build provide supreme portability and durability. Underneath the dazzling display, this elegant machine runs on 11th Gen Core i3 and 8GB dual-channel LPDDR4x memory to allow seamless multitasking. The realme Book charges quickly at 50% in 30 minutes and supports up to 11 hours of 1080P local video playback.
HP Laptop 15-DW3033DX’s reliable performance all day long lets you stay productive and entertained with its 11th Gen Core i3, 8GB RAM DDR4. Its 15.6” 1920x1080 full HD widescreen allows you to see more and do more during your busiest days.
HP’s True Vision HD Camera gives you a truly professional virtual presence with vibrant clarity, even in low light. Its dual speaker setup enables you to enjoy exceptional stereo quality. The numeric keypad boosts productivity as you work with numbers for school or work. With a 30k PHP laptop budget, the HP Laptop 15- DW3033DX gives tremendous value for your money.
Get more for less through this affordable everyday Lenovo laptop tailored to work and learn through its 11th Gen Core i3 and 8GB RAM DDR4. The narrow side bezels make the most of the 15.6” HD display with a touchscreen feature to make the most of Windows 11.
Lenovo’s Privacy Shutter values your privacy by giving your fingertips physical control of your webcam. Its numeric keypad allows you to be more productive, whether working on personal finances, small business, or preparing a spreadsheet for school or work. This cheap and reliable Lenovo laptop gives you productivity, privacy, and enjoyment for less than 30,000 pesos.
Whenever you are busy working or playing, the ASUS Vivobook laptop lets you enjoy daily activities by running programs smoothly and simultaneously working with multiple browser tabs with its 10th Gen Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB RAM DDR4.
The Vivobook’s 256GB SSD shortens load times, while its 15.6” HD anti-glare screen gives impressive color and clarity. This laptop also has a numeric keypad that allows you to be more productive in working with numbers. With ASUS Vivobook, your 30k PHP laptop budget goes a long way!
Chuwi might be a lesser-known brand, but it competes with the rest with its power to satisfy your mobile needs for a budget of 30,000 pesos. Chuwi Corebook X runs with a highly efficient quad-core, octa-thread CPU, 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, and 8GB RAM DDR4, allowing effortless multitasking all day.
Chuwi Corebook X’s 14” 2160x1440 full HD IPS screen provides an appealing, vibrant display. Its spacious 512GB SSD and full-size backlit keyboard allow you to be productive at night or day, while its 1MP webcam gives you an excellent virtual presence for your meetings or hangout with friends.
Huawei Matebook 15 features a 15.6” 1920x1080 anti-glare IPS screen with an 87% screen-to-body ratio and narrow bezels. The full-size chicklet keyboard and support touchpad allow more typing comfort. Under the hood, the 10th Gen Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB RAM DDR4 power your everyday multitasking.
It comes with a 65W USB-C charger that allows fast charging to 53% in just 30 minutes. Its power button functions as a fingerprint reader for extra privacy control with ease of use, thereby conveniently maximizing your single press to power on and log in simultaneously. Its recessed camera located in the keyboard lets you have extra privacy control.
With less than 1.5kg, the Infinix Inbook X1 Pro runs on 10th Intel Core i3, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, and 256GB SSD for effortless performance, immersive viewing and listening experience, and long battery life. Infinix’s 55Wh battery and Smart Battery Management System allow lower power consumption in various scenarios, providing extra battery life whenever needed.
Its crisp 1920x1080 14” FHD display and 4.19mm ultra-thin bezel give a perfect viewing experience—a size and weight suitable for working and watching movies. This little device packs a punch and is the most affordable on our list!
Now that you have a laptop in mind, allow our expert, JC Rogelio, to answer some of the most asked questions to help you take better care of your device.
You can extend your laptop’s life by updating its software whenever available since it helps keep your laptop up to date. Since most updates focus on improvement and optimization, you can supplement that by frequently running scans for viruses or malware. Scanning checks whether your system is infected or if there are suspicious applications installed in your system.
Keeping your laptop in a well-ventilated area and using an external fan to reduce the heat during usage helps maintain an acceptable operating temperature minimum. You can also consider transitioning to the cloud, which allows your drive to handle internal applications. If you have the budget, switching from HDD to SSD can make operations much faster.
Check if a simple restart will do the trick. If not, press CTRL + Shift + ESC for Windows (or Alt + Cmd + Esc for Mac) to activate Task Manager and inspect running background applications. End or force quit running and unnecessary apps. Alternatively, check and install the latest software updates for system improvements.
You may also consider upgrading the RAM and swapping your HDD to SSD. If all else fails, consider a complete reformatting. Always remember the laptop’s primary purpose and capacity, so don’t be surprised if your entry-level laptop slows down when playing RAM-intensive games.
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: Allan Millar
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.
No. 1：Acer｜Aspire 5｜A514-54-5686/59LQ/56S7 (Pink/Silver/Blue)
No. 2：MSI｜Modern 14｜B11MOU-1004PH
No. 3：Xiaomi｜RedmiBook 15
No. 5：HP｜HP Laptop 15-dw3033dx
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When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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