Budget laptops have taken local stores and buyers by storm. First came the generic, whitebox laptops – OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) components that system builders and shops can assemble. The “branded” makers then came in to compete in the 40,000 peso segment. These include the IBM Thinkpad R50e 1834 (various submodels), HP/Compaq Nx6120, and Acer Travelmate 2312WLCi.
What these units have in common:
- Intel Celeron M processor. These are just about as fast as the Pentium M used in “Centrino” brand laptops, but with shorter battery life. It has SpeedStep (it can lower the operating speed) but not Enhanced SpeedStep (it cannot lower the voltage used to power it up).
- 802.11B/G Wireless LAN for 11 or 54 MBps WiFi.
- 40-60 GB 4200 RPM hard drive
- 256 MB memory
- Enough battery for around 2 hours life in normal use, using 4-cell batteries. Higher-end laptops use 8-cell batteries.
- No Windows license. You need to install your own, or an alternative operating system.
This new market segment will surely grow the local laptop usage base, as well as complementary services such sa WiFi hotspots and supply/repair shops.