Laptop sales have seen a huge upturn in demand in the year 2020 with most education and business activity being shifted online. While smartphones are capable of accomplishing a lot these days, a bigger screen and more processing power are often required to keep up with things like watching lectures, completing assignments, and attending meetings. Unfortunately, with the depreciation of the Pakistani Rupee, most new mid-spec machines can easily cost more than Rs.80,000, putting them out of reach for most of the average consumers. However, there’s no need to worry, because we’ve compiled a list of capable laptops coming in at under Rs.35,000 that will help you stay on top of work without tempting your pockets.
All of the following recommendations are used laptops with specifications decent enough to handle word processing, video streaming, web browsing, video conferencing, and other day to day tasks. They are all easily upgradeable for people who want a little more performance and are sturdy enough to last 2-3 years easily. However, they are not gaming laptops, and cannot handle professional work such as photo and video editing on Adobe software such as Premiere Pro or Photoshop. It might also be difficult to run the latest versions of heavy programs such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, and Android Studio.
Prices and specifications may also fluctuate based on condition, seller, location, and other factors.
Acer Swift 3
Acer has been at the forefront of releasing budget laptops laden with useful features and impressive internals for a while. The Swift 3 is one of the low-cost laptops that comes with an AMD Athlon 300U processor onboard. The Swift 3 comes with a brushed metal textured chassis that looks classy. The sturdy hinge works so well that there is minimal to almost no friction when lifting the display. The keyboard is well laid out with sufficient space in between and offers great key travel distance. There is a lot of room for ventilation on the bottom side of this laptop. But we are quite skeptical about the effectiveness as when the laptop is placed on a flat surface, there is a chance that the hot air will circulate within the chassis. The RAM and HDD compartments are placed on the backside and easily swappable with the removal of a single screw. The 4GB DDR4 RAM makes sure that light multitasking is a possibility with this mid-range laptop. The 1TB HDD on this laptop provides ample space for offline file storage. The Acer Swift 3 comes with a 14-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The laptop has a 48 Whr Li-ion battery inside that gives a battery life of about five to six hours.
Dell Latitude E7440
Dell is known for its hardware and sturdy laptops definitely top this list. The Latitude is another premium machine from its time but good examples are available at around the Rs35,000 price point in today’s market. The laptop is the best-specced machine on this list and features a 4 gen Core i7-4600U quad-core processor with 4GB RAM. It also has the best screen with a non-glare 14-inch IPS touchscreen with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Moreover, the case materials include aluminum and a carbon-composite material giving it a sturdy and premium feel, resistant to shock and flex. The storage capacity is a bit limited at around 256 GB but it’s an SSD, meaning much better performance and quicker bootup times. Additional storage can also be added and the RAM is easily upgradeable, as with most laptops from this time. The Latitude carried a price tag of almost $2000 when new, which is certainly believable for the specs and build quality is offered. It can now be had for the equivalent of $220, which is an absolute bargain.
Lenovo ThinkPad X240
The most affordable laptop on the list is the ThinkPad X240 from Lenovo. The ThinkPad X240 is a powerful business laptop with incredible build quality and performance for the price. The X240 features a 4th generation Intel Core i5-4300U dual-core processor paired with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, offering a very respectable amount of performance even by today’s standards. The laptop comes with a 500GB hard drive offering plenty of storage capacity and even features a 12.5-inch touch screen display. Both the RAM and Hard Drive are easily upgradable, meaning an extra boost of performance can be added if need be. One of the biggest selling features of the X240 was the incredible 15-hour battery life when new. Other salient features include a fingerprint scanner, HD webcam, backlit keyboard, 2 USB 3 ports, VGA Port, HDMI Port, N Series WiFi Card, LAN slot, and a 180-degree hinge. Surprisingly, the X240 retailed for $1,495 when it was new, but a well-maintained example can be had for less than Rs. 35,000 these days. ThinkPads are some of the most durable and best-performing laptops on the market and the X240 has the specs to give its owner a great user experience for years to come.
Lenovo ThinkPad L440
Another laptop from Lenovo’s ThinkPad lineup, the L440 is another great option for a budget laptop. The L440 is a little bigger than the X240, featuring a 14-inch screen to the X240’s 12.5-inch screen. Other than that, it has a powerful 4th gen Intel Core i5-4300M dual-core processor which is a bit more powerful, more energy-efficient version of the X240’s i5-4300U. The laptop comes with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB Hard Drive, both of which can be upgraded easily. The case material is a matte-black plastic with a rough, grippy finish making it very durable and resistant to scratches. The design is pretty simple and minimalistic, without any real hints of aesthetics. It sports the same amazing keyboard and trackpad ThinkPads are famous for and also features a 180-degree hinge. There’s a 720p HD webcam, a fingerprint reader, 4 USB 3.0 ports, a DVD drive, and HDMI. The L440 has claims an impressive 11 hours of battery life thanks to a 100Wh battery.
HP ProBook 440 G1
The HP ProBook 440 G1 is another great option for people looking for a quality laptop at an affordable price. The ProBook is another laptop meant for business and it’s reflected in the sleek yet durable styling of the machine. The aluminum material used in the laptop’s construction helps give it a premium feel. The 14-inch laptop comes with an Intel Core i5-4200M CPU with a max clock speed of 3.1GHz and 4GB of RAM, making it snappy enough to handle everyday tasks. It features a 320GB SATA Hard Drive and has a DVD player for playing movies and games. The display is a 14-inch LED-backlit antiglare panel with a 1366×768 pixel resolution. The laptop has plenty of I/O ports including an ethernet port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, a media card reader, HDMI, VGA, microphone, and headphone jack. It also has an integrated webcam perfect for video conferencing. It has a claimed battery life of 9.25 hours and includes a fingerprint sensor for extra security. The ProBook 440 G1 is a popular laptop among students due to its compact yet not too small size, great performance, lightweight, and durable materials.
HP EliteBook Folio 9470M
Finally, we have the HP EliteBook Folio 9470M, an attractive, classy Ultrabook made from lightweight magnesium. The 9470M is one of the better-looking laptops on this list and sports a design that still looks modern. Like the Dell Latitude E7440, it was marketed to the higher end business laptop market and therefore has plenty of specs to back up the good looks. The 9470M is powered by an Intel Core i5-3427U CPU with 4GB of RAM. Storage space is a little on the low side with a 256GB SSD, but again, both the RAM and Hard Drive are easily upgradeable, meaning this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The display is a 14-inch 1366×768 pixel LED panel without touch sensitivity. The laptop has a 720p webcam, fingerprint reader, SD card slot, 3 USB 3.0 ports, and VGA. Battery life for the 9470M stands at 7.5 hours when new, which is a decent amount.