Laptops for the kidsTaking a look at some budget laptops that will help you and your child make the most out of online classes.
Lenovo Ideapad 110s
Price: Rs 35,000
The Lenovo Ideapad 110s is one of the best budget laptops to get right now and while the device is not going to blow you over with performance, it’s small size and good keyboard and touchpad make the device ideal for children. The laptop comes with a modest 1.6 Ghz Intel Celeron CPU with 2GB of RAM and 32 GB of eMMC storage. While there are smartphones that are faster than this budget laptop, for children the good keyboard and the nice trackpad will go very far in helping them work on school projects and network with their classmates. The laptop’s small 11-inch screen makes the device extremely portable and it also comes with all of the ports needed for online classes (like the 3.5mm headphone jack). The webcam on this device is pretty bad with just a 360p sensor, but it gets the job done. The device will definitely be slow, but at this range and for this price, it’s one of the better options. The 32 GB of storage will also be kind of problematic if you plan to store anything more than documents on the device but there are models with higher storage capacities for a slightly higher price if you want to opt for more storage.
Price: Rs 44,990
For a slightly higher price than the Lenovo, the Acer A515 is a surprisingly powerful device. The laptop comes with a budget-friendly Intel Core i3 processor with 4GB of RAM and 1 Tb of HDD storage. The laptop is also bigger with a sizable 15.6-inch display but is relatively thin-and-light too. Unfortunately, while the internals may be good for the price, on the external side of things, the laptop does have a cheap feel to it with an all-plastic design with a few strips of aluminum to spruce things up. The keyboard and touchpad on the Acer is also pretty good, typing on the device feels great and the touchpad also comes with Windows Precision drivers so they’re pretty accurate and smooth to use. The webcam is better than the Lenovo with a 720p HD sensor but it’s not very impressive either. Regardless of its shortcomings, the Acer A515 offers pretty decent specifications for the price. The device should handle Zoom with ease and run productivity apps like Word, PowerPoint and Excel pretty well.
Acer Aspire E15
Price: Rs 50,000
The Acer Aspire E15 is no looker. The laptop is all black plastic and is thick and bulky to boot. While the brushed metal texture of the plastic and a few metallic trims here and there try to spice up an otherwise plain design, the chunky plastic build of the device looks really cheap. So why am I recommending this horribly built together laptop? Well, what it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up in performance. If you don’t really care about what the laptop looks like, then at 50k you’re getting an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and a dedicated AMD Radeon 520 GPU. The 256GB SSD is not really that impressive when it comes to capacity but the SSD alone will speed up the system quite a bit. The webcam, as with all the entries above, is not very good, while the sensor is quite good at capturing detail the overall colour and noise is terrible. Decent webcams in budget laptops do seem to be hard to find, but connectivity wise the laptop comes with almost everything including an 8x DVD drive. So, the laptop is a decent one if you consider everything that comes bundled with it even though it does look horrendous.
Price: Rs 60,500
With a considerable bump in the price, we come to the HP 14. The HP 14 comes in various different configurations but we’re talking about the one with the 10th Generation Intel Core i5 with 4GB RAM and 256GB NVMe M.2 SSD. While the RAM definitely needs a bump up, which a few extra bucks would get you, the 4GB would be enough for daily use. The 10th Generation Intel CPUs also come with the Intel Iris Plus Graphics which while being an integrated GPU is plenty powerful to run some Adobe Applications. Running Microsoft’s Office Suite should be a breeze. The keyboard and touchpad on this device are really good and HP even advertises a TrueVision HD Webcam with dual array digital microphones, which is honestly bad. The webcam is horrible at colour accuracy and even the contrast ratio is quite disappointing with lighted areas being completely bloated out. While the webcam definitely underperforms, the dual array microphone is a pleasant addition. The sensitive mics are great when on a conference call or while attending online classrooms. The laptop houses a 14-inch display with 1080p FullHD resolution that should ensure the display is sharp, unfortunately the colours seem a bit dull. The HP 14 isn’t perfect but it is small and compact and offers some powerful performance.
Hunting down a decent budget laptop can be very tiring, tedious and difficult since laptop prices seem to keep going up constantly. While all of the laptops recommended here are brand-new, you might also consider looking for a good second-hand, older laptop for more performance.
Understandably, second-hand laptops will raise a whole host of new concerns and issues, but smart shopping can yield very good results too. If the CPU and motherboard are good, you might even try buying cheap machines and updating the RAM and storage on your own too.