2020 may be one of the dreadful years in the history of mankind, but it’s also the year wherein laptops become a valued necessity more than a commodity. With most businesses switching to online operations, as well as the education sector, the need for a laptop is now at its highest. But, purchasing a laptop in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t sound economical for most. With that in mind, you may want to check out the new laptop brands that emerged in the middle of a crisis. Yes, they’re not the most popular brands in the country, but when it comes to getting the job done, these are the cheapest laptops you can get.
1. KUU K2
KUU K2 14″ sits atop of our list as the best cheap laptop you can purchase for under Php15,000. Currently priced at Php14,400 for the 8GB/128GB SSD model, the package is enough for those who don’t store a lot of files locally. But if you can, we suggest saving a little bit more for the 256GB SSD model that’s only priced at Php15,500. With the addition of vouchers, you can probably get the price below the Php15k threshold.
The reason why we chose the KUU K2 as the best in this category is its balanced spec sheet. At the core of the laptop is Intel Celeron J4115, a quad-core CPU with four threads that turbo up to 2.5GHz. The integrated HD Graphics 600 GPU is enough to make video streaming up to 4K resolution smooth, and the dual-band Wi-Fi modem means a reliable internet connection with the router. There’s even an FHD LCD for crisp and large content on a 14″ canvass.
Lastly, the K2 packs extra features you may find useful, such as a fingerprint scanner, backlit keyboard, a TF card slot, an HDMI, a combo jack, and a touchpad that doubles as a numeric keyboard when you need to. It kinda works like ASUS ZenPad but using a touchpad, not a secondary screen. Also, the K2 is available in Pink color only.
2. Dere R9 Pro
If you want the same package as the KUU 12 but in a large form factor, Dere R9 Pro provides you a 15.6″ screen in exchange for an HD display. The low-resolution screen means that content isn’t as sharp as FHD screens; however, they’re enough for getting the job done in basic tasks and/or watching YouTube videos.
Dere R9 Pro lets you choose from several color options, like Red, Silver, Black, White, and Coral Red. The base model that retails for Php13,900 comes with 8GB/128GB SSD, but if you want more, the 12GB/256GB is only priced at Php14,700. This one is a solid deal if you don’t mind the low-quality display.
Chuwi HeroBook Pro could’ve been our number one laptop if only it didn’t use a dual-core CPU in the Intel N4000. With that in mind, you need to be mindful when purchasing this cheap laptop. The use of a dual-core setup limits what you can do with the device, even with the pairing of 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage. But for the rest of the specs, you’re looking at a good offering here.
The HeroBook Pro dons a silver chassis with MacBook 12″ like keyboard layout. The 14.4″ FHD IPS screen is one of its best features, providing crisp and reasonably bright output. Though the battery is only rated 38Wh, the company claims it can last up to 9 hours of usage. That’s a bit short compared to the other brands, so limit your expectations. Additionally, the 24W charger seems slower compared to others.
For the ports, you get a microSD card slot, 3.55mm jack, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, charging port, and a mini HDMI slot.
Given the specs the HeroBook Pro possesses, it feels like it’s geared towards more content consumption than productivity.
4. Teclast F7s
Teclast F7s is just like the Chuwi HeroBook Pro, but with a lighter build and toned-down specs. And no thanks to the Intel Apollo Lake N3350 dual-core CPU, it’s also the least capable of the group when it comes to basic tasks. Yes, there’s 8GB RAM, but the 128GB eMMC storage capacity means that the loading times of the device are no better than those of cheap smartphones. So, why bother purchasing an F7s?
Well, if you just want a big screen for video conferencing and the convenience provided by Windows. That’s it. But, at least, Teclast F7s has a better FHD screen than the HD of Dere R9 Pro — that makes it a good laptop for video watching.
If you want a decent laptop experience from Teclast, though, you need to step up to the Teclast F7 Plus. The 14.1″ is pretty much the same, but the innards get upgraded to make it suitable for basic tasks — all thanks to the Intel Gemini Lake N4100 quad-core SoC. Additionally, the only model already comes with 256GB SSD, paired with 8GB RAM.
The port selection of Teclast F7 Plus is identical to the HeroBook Pro, but there’s backlighting for the keyboard here. The downside here is that the price of the laptop is Php16,150, which is well above our threshold. We recommend purchasing an F7 Plus during sales and with vouchers, if possible.
That’s about it for the best cheap laptops in late 2020. Do take note that all of them come with legitimate Windows 10 copy. However, only a few come with a 1-year international warranty for after-sales service. You’d have to contact the manufacturers regarding the terms and conditions of the service agreement.