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Sub-40k Laptops for the Budget Conscious

I scouted for some good deals (as requested by Max) on budget laptops this week. There are several sub-30K laptops around but they’re not that good enough though. This line-up covers two minimal requirements — they should be Pentium M class and just below Php40,000.

On the 3rd spot is one from Blue Argon Series:

Blue Argon-S
14″ XGA (1024×768)
Intel Pentium M 725 1.6GHz
Intel GMA 900 up to 128MB
40GB Fujitsu HDD
DVD Dual Layer
Card Reader

The specs did not include built-in WiFi but you can get one in PCMCIA for around Php2,500 so we’re still on budget.

The second spot went to Neo’s Endura Series:

NEO Endura 505GL
Intel Pentium M 725 1.6GHz
Intel GMA 900
Intel Pro Wireless 2200BG
256 DDR2 RAM
Integrated Webcam
4-in-1 Card Reader
3 hours battery life


If you’re not after a CDRW, this one’s a good bang for the buck actually. You still have Php9k left for upgrades like maybe an additional 256MB or 512MB of memory.

My final pick would be an MSI Megabok S Series. Really hard to get a light-weight laptop with a small form factor within the specified budget.

MSI Megabook S270-R
12.1″ WXGA
AMD Turion ML-30 1.6GHz
ATI Radeon X200
MSI Wireless 802.11BG
Built-in Bluetooth
8x DVD+/- RW Dual Layer
4-in-1 Card Reader
3 to 4 hours battery life

An equivalent S260-R8 comes with a Centrino 1.6GHz for the same price. Though this one only goes with 256MB of memory, the small screen size and weight is more attractive for travellers. It has the longest battery life as well. You can always upgrade the memory later on.

All 3 laptops above didn’t have a Windows OS pre-installed and you could spend more for one. But there’s always Ubuntu right?

You guys have other suggestions within budget?

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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15 Responses

  1. Miguel says:

    Of the 3, MSI – at least it has a brand (even if it’s established in motherboards and not laptops, yet)

    For unbranded, if it breaks… ???

  2. Carlo says:

    If I am gonna get a Laptop, I’ll stick with IBM. Why? Reliability and Stability though it’s not that affordable. The latest T60 costs around $2,000.00 and the X60 at $2,500.00

    It’s costly but it’s worth buying.

  3. Kiven says:

    hi sir abe,
    i have also discussed this at http://www.pinoygamer.org/2006/11/01/laptops/buying-a-laptop-for-40k-pesos/

    buying the so called unbranded ones such as Blue, Neo, apex chem usa etc are definitely not for those who are not technically savvy. most of these so called unbranded ones use the same parts and the same casing as branded ones. of course, the tradeoff is the support as most of these unbranded manufacturers dont have any online support or bios upgrades. As long as you can get support from the place where you bought it (buy from a reputable source to begin with) you should be fine as long as you know the tech specs of the laptop your buying.

    Im also not so sure about that MSI since laptopking has that model but it comes with 2 unlit/dead/fixed pixels. if you can live with that then its a good deal. 10k discount off a no defect unit.

    pero if youre a gamer and wanna go the unbranded way din lang, check out chembook’s X600 equipped series around 45K. same chassis and parts as those of the VPC brand from villman.

    The Acer Aspire (not travelmate as they dont have the “bright”screen of the aspire series) are also a good buy. i have tested these babies and while they need to have a memory upgrade e the build and performance is very good for its price range.

  4. yuga says:

    @ Migs

    If it breaks, get a replacement part. No support local though.

    @ Carlo

    Let’s confine the specs under Php40k as requested.

    @ Kiven

    Your selections I also considered except that I excluded Celerons in favor of Pentium M with lower RAM. It’s easy to upgrade the RAM than the CPU.

    Usual lifetime of a laptop is about 3 years before it becomes obsolete or beyond repair. The issue of online support also applies to desktops, but do we ever update the BIOS of our PCs?

  5. Kiven says:

    i agree that some wouldnt update their desktop bios as often as gamers or enthusiasts but take the following points in consideration:

    take for example my “old” hp nx6120, hp has released firmware updates to correct some issues with its fans.

    Local laptop enthusiast shop Cooltoyz (cooltoyzph.com) also has a list of branded and unbranded laptop problems that are remedied via a firmware update. from 64bit and Vista support, to heat management, battery life problems like webcam shutting down if the battery life falls below 45%, Multi processor identification issues, cd/dvd drives failing to initialize and other potentially major problems.

  6. Miguel says:

    Manufacturer support are crucial because the user-replaceable parts only include memory, hard drive, battery, and maybe the optical drive and keyboard. Not like your desktop PC where a novice can easily tweak it. For most people, the laptop is a “gadget” – treat it as a unit which needs to be fixed as a whole.

  7. Edwin says:

    Im gonna go with a mac if ever im gonna replace my laptop.

    who wants to trade their macbookpro with
    1 toshiba satellite 1110
    1 Sony Vaio PCG-FRV37

    you know where to reach me. ahehehe

    sana meron

  8. vance says:

    why spent more with mac gawin mo nalang mac yung existing laptop hahaha, mas mura pa… same hard ware lang naman ang gamit ng mac and pc ngayon eh (from what i know).

    baka next year duo core not core 2 duo centrino will reach 40 k low. hehe

  9. vance says:

    i meant the core 2 duo laptops and macbook pro. are the same.. hehe

  10. Miguel says:

    You can’t install Mac OS on a PC laptop – well, not legally and easily at least.

  11. Adrian says:

    i found a better than specified specs above laptop for only 39000. Acer Aspire 3628 ANWXCi. check out the specs her. i got the same specs with this guy http://www.pinoytechblog.com/archives/acer-aspire-3628-anwxci

  12. dennis says:

    I bought my ACER travelmate 2310 at P35k and added 512MB memory (768MB total) for a totla of 39k and it works just fine for most of the tasks i do

  13. Max Limpag says:

    Hi Abe,
    Thanks for the advice. Migs, thanks for the caution. I’ll give this a thought. I just need it for writing, Aptana and managing websites. I don’t plan to play games on it. I’ve weaned myself from my Fifa addiction and I don’t want to ever go back to 8-hour gaming sessions, ever.

  14. joy says:

    hey guys…help me pls…i really dont have any idea about Flextra laptop..pero kasi nung nagawi ako ng gilmore nakita ko sya…and ang taas ng specs with a very low price…46 K core duo na ang processor, 512 ram, 80 g hdd nka ati x1600,wifi and all..tingin nyo kaya ok lng syang blhin??ntatakot kc ako bka msayang lang ang 46k ko if ever mabili ko..what u think???

  15. Tansie Adrian says:

    I want to buy laptop msi s270-r megabook in romania but can send? if I pay shipping ? touchpad are interested in a particular case or for him

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