Top 5 affordable laptops for the South African student

5.7 million jobs are at risk of total automation in South Africa
5.7 million jobs are at risk of total automation in South Africa. (image: official GDC)
Affordable laptops
Top 5 most affordable laptops for the South African student. (image: official GDC)

Students are in constant need of a device that is affordable and can handle all the workload. There are a variety of laptops available on the market, and picking the right machine that is capable of delivering can sometimes prove to be a challenge.

Depending on the course you are enrolled for, whether your school work entails you working on large documents or 3D graphics, videos or photography locating the right machine for the task is very important.

Like many budget laptops, there are some compromises, the biggest is performance but as a student what really is important is making sure those assignments are completed and submitted on time. Another consideration when buying a laptop as a student is personal need, whether you need to handle five hours of homework, but also need it for that once in a while Netflix binge.

IT News Africa has compiled a list of the top five and most affordable laptop for South African students.

Dell XPS 93601. Dell XPS 9360 Intel Core i5-7200U 13.3″ Notebook 

The Dell XPS 13 has memory that is expandable to 16GB. For students who use productivity applications, like Word or Excel, they can experience the longest battery life of anything up to 22 hours, 21 minutes. Students can also enjoy up to 13 hours of battery life when streaming Netflix content or browsing the web with Microsoft Edge. The device comes at a fairly higher price but with a 7th generation Intel processor Core i5 and Intel HD 620 Graphics in its slim frame, the price is worth it.

Price: R 20,189
Processor: 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor (3M Cache, up to 3.1 GHz)
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge display, anti-glare
Operating System: Windows 10 SL
Memory: 8GB
Graphic: Intel HD Graphics 620
Wireless connectivity: Killer 1535 Wireless-AC 2×2 + Bluetooth 4.1
Audio: Stereo speakers professionally tuned with Waves MaxxAudio Pro 1W x 2 = 2W total
Webcam: Widescreen HD (720p) webcam with dual array digital microphones

Lenovo ThinkPad E5602. Lenovo ThinkPad E560 15.6″ Intel Core i5 Notebook 

The Lenovo Thinkpad E560 has up to 9 hours battery life unplugged, which can allow students to get a full day of work in on a single charge. With Windows, the device has Battery Saver to automatically conserve power, making it easier for students to work longer on those assignments and play harder. Windows has more built-in security features than ever for helping protect against malicious software. For students who need to use video calling and web conferencing, the low-light sensitive 720p HD webcam offers wide-angle viewing and face-tracking.

Price: R 11,445
Operating System: Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit
Display: 15.6″ HD (1366 x 768) Anti-Glare, 220 nits
Processor: Intel Core i5-6200U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.80 GHz)
Memory: 4 GB DDR3 (+1 slot free)
Storage: 500GB 7200rpm Hard Disk Drive
Connectivity: BGN 1×1 BT4.0
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
Webcam: 720p Camera
Battery: 6 cell LiPolymer Battery

ASUS Vivobook Max3. ASUS Vivobook Max Intel Core i3-6006U 15.6″ Notebook 

Designed for daily computing, the stylish ASUS VivoBook Max employs the very latest keyboard and touchpad technologies. The ASUS Vivobook weighs 2kg and comes with an HDMI connection, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port, 1 USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C port and a D-sub VGA port. It optimises each pixel in the video frame to increase sharpness and contrast by 150% which gives a great quality image.

The device is designed to give students an immersive multimedia experience. The larger 106mm x 74mm touchpads found on the VivoBook Max Series have a palm rejection feature which differentiates between actual fingertip and palm contact to prevent unintentional cursor movement.

Price: R 6,129
CPU: 2.0GHz Intel Core i3-6006U
Operating System: Windows 10
Memory Capacity: 4GB
Weight: 2 kg with Battery
Battery: 3 Cells 36 Whrs Battery
Memory: 4GB DDR4-2133 on-board ( 1 open slot , upto 20GB)
Storage: Hard Drive: 1TB 5400RPM SATA HDD
Graphic: HD Graphics 520
Wireless connectivity: Built-in Bluetooth

Dell Inspiron 31624. Dell Inspiron 3162 Intel Celeron 11.6″ Wifi Notebook 

This device comes in three different colours, White, Blue and Red. The Accurate touchpad makes the pointing and gesture recognition precise. With the HDMI connection, you can connect your laptop to an external monitor or big-screen TV to view content in FHD/1080p resolution. The USB 3.0 port transfers files up to 10x faster than USB 2.0 ports, saving students a lot of time when transferring large files to an external hard drive or network, this will ensure you move on the next assignment quickly.

Price: R 3,999
CPU: Intel Celeron Dual Core N3050 (1,6GHz/2MB cache)
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
Memory: 2GB Single Channel DDR3L at 1600Mhz
Hard Drive: 500GB
Video card: Intel HD Graphics
Battery Life: up to 9 hours 34mins
Slots: Noble Lock Slot, Micro SD Card Reader (SD/SDHC/SDXC)

Lenovo Ideapad 110S5. Lenovo IdeaPad 110S-11IBR Intel Celeron 11.6″ Notebook 

With a weight of 1.15 kg, the Lenovo IdeaPad has 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, an audio combo jack, an HDMI connection allowing students to connect the laptop to external monitors or TV and a Micro SD slot. It comes in White, Red, Silver and Blue. The Keyboard is responsive and the Touchpad supports gestures. The Lenovo IdeaPad has a portable design and enough performance for working on documents and browsing the internet. The device is simple with a capable budget especially for those with basic needs like students.

Price: R 3,499
CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Celeron CPU N3060
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
Screen: 11.6″ HD (1366 x 768), 220 nits with Anti-Glare Glass
Graphics: Intel HD Integrated Graphics
Memory: Up to 2GB DDR3L
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Webcam Front: 0.3MP fixed focus camera
Audio: 2 x 1W speaker
Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
Battery Life: Up to 8 hours

By Fundisiwe Maseko
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