Windows 10 is right around the corner, and if you’re on the hunt for a good low end laptop that is Windows 10 ready, you’ve come to the right place.
Asus EeeBook X205 (₹14,999)
The Asus EeeBook X205 was one of the original $199 Windows 8.1 laptops, and in my opinion, it’s the best of the lot. Weighing at under 1 kg, the laptop comes with,
- a quad core Haswell Intel Atom processor, that can run without a cooling fan and handles everyday tasks like browsing and watching HD videos without breaking a sweat
- a 32GB eMMC with about 16GB free space (an eMMC is basically a slower and cheaper SSD, but still way faster than a rotating HDD)
- an 11.6 inch 768p TN panel, with expectedly decent colors but poor viewing angles
- 2GB of RAM, which is quite enough for light tasks and web browsing on any browser not named Google Chrome
- 10+ hours of battery life
- 1 year of personal Microsoft Office 365 license, and 1TB of OneDrive storage for 1 year
The keyboard is decent and the touchpad is surprisingly excellent. Don’t be put off by the low storage – the laptop supports expansion up to 128GB via its microSD slot. I have been using the EeeBook X205 for the past four months, and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re in the market for a cheap, durable machine that gets the job done.
Micromax Canvas LapTab (₹14,999)
Micromax’s recently launched Canvas LapTab is a two-in-one convertible, whose display can be detached from the lower chassis to be used as a tablet. It carries much of the same internals as the Asus EeeBook X205, with one notable exception – you get a 10.1 inch IPS touchscreen display. Yes, the screen size is smaller, but the color reproduction and viewing angles are much better. And hey, a touchscreen!
The LapTab is not without its caveats, however, especially as a laptop. The small screen size also means the keyboard and touchpad are cramped, and neither is as good as its counterpart on the EeeBook X205.
Still, if you want a tablet for watching videos and reading books, plus a laptop for getting some serious work done, you could do a lot worse than the Canvas LapTab.
HP Stream 13 (~ ₹19,500)
HP’s Stream 11 was the first $199 Windows laptop ever, and if not for the Asus EeeBook X205, it’d be a great bargain. Instead, I’d recommend its bigger sibling, the Stream 13, for everyone who wants a larger display to work with. Both the Stream siblings have the same specs, which is again very similar to the EeeBook X205, but with a more powerful Intel Celeron processor and a USB 3.0 port. Battery life is rated at 7 hours for the siblings, significantly worse than the LapTab and the EeeBook.
Why not recommend laptops with more storage?
While there are laptops with 500GB HDD storage within ₹20,000, we are not going to recommend them. We firmly believe that once you have experienced the speed boost provided by SSDs and even eMMCs, you are never going back. The laptops we have mentioned can boot and launch apps faster than a ₹40,000 laptop with an HDD, and that’s all due to fast flash storage.
While 32GB of total storage and 16GB of available storage may seem bad, you can always add a microSD card (Class 10 64GB models cost less than ₹2,000 these days). Also, Windows 10 has new space saving features that will get you a few GBs extra out of that internal storage.
Which laptop did you pick and why? Let us know in the comments!