Choosing the right laptop

It’s graduation season once again. For parents who have kids going off to college this June, a laptop may be the excellent graduation present (of course, a car and/or a condo unit near his/her chosen university or college would be great, too). And choosing a notebook computer requires much thought. It can get quite confusing, especially if you’re not really a techie. Here’s a good guide on what to consider in choosing your perfect laptop according to the size, processing power, brand, and price, among others.

So, you’ve finally decided to get your own laptop. Buying a laptop is not simple, with the multitude of choices of brand, model, size, features, and even colors. A laptop is as personal as a computer can get. It’s not just a piece of hardware sitting on your home or office desk. A laptop tends to be part of your daily life. It’s like your wallet, watch or mobile phone. Your laptop should be characteristic of who you are”“an extension of your personality.

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  • The article is good but I would add a couple one more factor to consider:

    The service centers. As in: where can you have the laptop fixed. If you travel a lot, make sure that your laptop has international warranties or service centers. Last thing you would want is for your laptop to conk out and you have no place to have it fixed.

    BTW, One component that I found extremely difficult to find in Philippines was the Kensington cable lock. Definitely a must-have for a laptop.

    • Bheng

      what is that (Kensington cable lock)?..

      do u have any recommendations for buying a good cheaper quality laptop, I plan to buy one asap coz smartbro is getting on my nerves right now (cursing them)

      budget: 25 – 30K

      factors to consider: I love browsing the net and always downloading videos and saving a lot of pics too, kinda doing a lot of things at the same time

      do u have any recommendations?..

      one more thing its best to have a battery that can last for like 8 hours

      • just visit my site for more recommendations

  • Thanks for the tip Monsolo. Will include that in part 2 (for the more advanced ones).

    That’s why I recommend the better-known brands. They tend to have better support and service. With some ODMs, you can only get support from the point of purchase. Official warranty is always best for equipment as expensive as a laptop.

    Have you checked Cyberzone at SM Megamall? There are at least two shops that sell Kensington cable locks–both the combination and the key type. Will set you back about PhP 2k, though. But definitely a good investment.

  • Great timing… My bro-in-law is asking me for a suggestion in the PHP 40-50K range. Just for office work, wi fi… can you suggest specific models here? One I am eyeing for him is ASUS A6500R. 1 GB RAM, 40 G HD, 14 in, Combo,… Any better ideas?

  • The IBM R51e, the COMPAQ Presario M2019, the HP Compaq NX6120 PV136PA seem good for that price. Note that some models don’t have an OS pre-installed, so you’d have to shell out an extra 5k for an OEM copy of XP home (or you can go Linux).

  • wrencelot

    you might find this comment annoying, if not insulting, but what would a you do with a super savvy, high end, high tech lappy..? blog, chat, and surf the net..?

    wi-fi is definitely a necessity.. at least 500 mb memory, faster processing, a warranty is a plus factor (and that includes accesible service center) is there a plasma screen now for laptops..? tft screens arent that sexy anymore.. built in speaker, and oh, shockproof!!! an internal id and a tracking device in case if it gets stolen..

  • Another recommended laptop is the Acer 2423.

    I used the Thinkpad R50e 1834 from my previous job, and it was good. I’ll post about my next laptop from my next job, when I get it!

  • actually, wrencelot has a point…which is why if you were purchasing a PC for, lets say, a HS student, I would recommend a low-end PC running Linux. Less chance of getting infected plus, with the few games out there, you know he/she will be spending more time studying than dabbling in Ragnarok.

  • You said goodbye to your R50e na pala, Migs! I thought that was a personal unit. Ako, I’m still making do with my old IBM 390E and a Toshiba Satellite 3000 series.

  • No it was company issue. I don’t really have much use for a laptop I’d buy with my own money, since I work on desks – either my desk here at home, or my office.

  • andrew

    I bought a Compaq M2223AP in Singapore last year for about US$1,000, or P55,000 at that time. It’s pretty good and has everything that I need. Checked at Greenbelt for the same model, it was being sold for P99,000. Go figure. I think fresh grads are better off getting a desktop than a laptop unless they really really deserve it.

  • That’s a ridiculous premium. Local prices should only be about 30% more than the foreign liste price.

  • > Local prices should only be about
    > 30% more than the foreign liste price.

    Either that or it was on sale. For the most part, regional sales (usually headquartered at Sing) try to maintain standard prices all over Asia to avoid smuggling, buying from other countries, etc.

    Unfortunately that also means they resort to inflating prices where its supposed to be cheap, and vice versa, to maintain standard SRP. This also explains why some models are unavailable or at least different in specs in some countries. Another possible reason why Andrew’s Compaq is priced differently.

  • filmboy

    After specs, bottom line would then be the price and we all know local prices are insanely high consider a purchase in Singapore where air fare isnt that expensive and prduct prices are significantly lower. Check the terms of warranty though…

  • Ok if u guys are seriously looking for a good deal im importing laptops straight from the middle east. The reason they’re so cheap is that there’s NO TAXES here. I’ve got all sorts of models if ur interested. U can browse some of the items ill be selling at Their in the 35k to 60k price range. All branded all with international warranties. Prices include shipping and delivery. I think they’re pretty competitive, what do u think?

  • My advice is to stay away from the Acer Travelmate and Inspire ranges. For some reason the batteries don’t last for very long – they loose charge badly after only a year or so.

  • Nice! Thanks for the link. I have posted in my pinoy laptop users forum.

  • Mr. Ong

    Hi guys,

    is MSI sg-425 is a good laptop??

  • ramil
  • Kane

    Hi guys,

    would like to ask your opinion on which brand of laptop is the most ideal for Philippine settings.
    I mean keeping your laptop turned-on for 14-20 hours a day here in our country (I do independent offshore business).

    I met a korean engineer of yahoo 1 time & advise me of considering this, & he mentioned of “get a laptop w/ a tropical temperature setting & most importantly the battery should be long lasting.

    Any outputs please?

    I’m off to Singapore in 2 weeks, might want to consider sharing where I could purchase an ideal one.

    Peace & Love!

    Many Thanks,


  • Rae

    I am looking for a laptop that is within the 3-K-40K peso-range and has great specs. Any suggestions? What do you think of NEO laptops? They seem reasonably priced but I’m not so sure of the quality.

  • Shred

    Guys for the cheapest laptops ever in the philippines hands down checkout We get it straight from the middle east where ders no tax dats y its so damn cheap. Check em out and compare if u dont believe me:)

  • is ASUS a good choice?

    with just 36,000 it has the intel core duo processor and 2 gb of memory. what do you think?

  • d teeseling

    I installed on my NEO GL31 windoes XP

    The wireless lan card does not work anymore
    teh bleu lamp indicator keeps off
    What can i do

    can you get me another wlan drver ???

    Thanks in advance


  • eki123

    yeah if ur buying laptop check this site where u can choose the best laptop for u, u can see the specs of the laptop such as size, processing power, brand, and price, among others.

  • marvin

    i’m looking for the right brand of laptop to purchase right now,,my budget is just 20-25k,,i need it asap,,any suggestions??im not going to use it just for leisure so i’m not looking for high specs,,just enough memory, storage and reliable wlan capability will do,,i’m going to use it for education and business purposes,,tnx in advance!!! =)

    • mhays

      hi if u want buy my laptop dell latitude 18thou 2gb na memory nya d k mgsisisi, wifi ready,



  • peachy
  • piggery

    I’m scouting for a laptop. actually eyeing some acer model with a core 2 duo p7350 processor, it has 4gig ram, 12″ crystalbrite screen, 320g hard disk space, and the works (blue tooth, wifi, super multi dvd drive etc…) for only 42k the problem is that I’ve heard that acer laptops aren’t really that good when it comes to durability. See this link here:

    so the question is, what now? the brand of laptops available here in Nueva Ecija isn’t that broad… (no dells, sony, lenovo, etc…) and I’m in a bit of a rush since I really need a laptop right now.

    btw: I can’t find the acer model in their website so I was thinking if it was just a refurbished model?

    any suggestions? price range is about 30-40k

  • lyca


  • rai

    saw this website their prices seemed good

  • p0hp0h

    im planing to buy a laptop for my wife to work at home… any sugestions on a brand for a cheap price to work w/ online teaching… preferably 1 selling in baguio but if the price is good i can go to manila aswell/… thanks….

    • mhays

      hi if ur intersted buy my laptop 18thou 2gb memory, 1.74ghz, 794 mhz, wifi ready, ms office, anti virus.

  • saw this website their prices seemed good

  • Eiji17

    ,check this
    ,is neo laptops good?

  • Wisecrack

    Hi. I’m based in the Philippines and I am looking for a laptop to purchase–would be primarily using it for video and image editing as well as basic uses of a laptop such as utilizing Microsoft Office, Internet, etc.

    I’m confused which of the three models of laptops should I purchase. I understand that each of them have different RAMs. But I am planning to upgrade it to 4GB, an additional of 1,000 PHP to its price.

    I have earlier decided to buy Lenovo Z370, but as I was canvassing, many people suggested the other two models. The lower price also of ASUS is enticing. Plus I am afraid to have a broken motherboard as it has happened to me twice before due to the heat of the AMD Processor (Acer Aspire 4520). I am highly considering the durability since, of course, I want the laptop to last for a long time.

    To give you an idea on the said models, the Lenovo Z370 costs PhP 37,900; Lenovo Z470 costs PhP 40,992 (both with Win7 Home Premium OS) while ASUS K43SJ costs PhP 27,984 without the OS. Would probably cost PhP 31,984 with the OS.

    Here are the specifications:
    Lenovo z370: http://www.villman.c…_Z370_5906-9411
    Lenovo z470: http://www.villman.c…_Z470_BlackPink
    Asus K43SJ: http://www.villman.c…tail/Asus_K43SJ

    Hope you can give me a detailed review and comments on the said models as it is still not yet available in the Internet. Thanks!

    Would also want to ask if it is better to buy a laptop at PC Express in Gilmore than in Cyberzone Megamall? Or is there any other place with better deals?

    As I canvassed, there was only a 1000 PhP difference between PC Express Gilmore and Megamall.


  • tefhanne

    im planning to buy a laptop this month.. any suggestion affordable laptop na pwede for programming and web developing? tnx

    • a lot of people are buying the Asus K-series mainstream laptop. bang for the buck.

  • Arsalan Siddiqui

    Excellent Post! If you want to save money refurbished Laptop might
    just be your best option. Everyone cant afford the prices of new laptops. All wants a good laptop in a cheap rates. Cheap refurbished laptops does not mean that you buy a laptop that can not work very well but in general is kind of cheap refurbished laptop computers that have been repaired or replaced parts that were damaged so that the laptop could work similar to other new laptops, but sold at a cheaper price. I also bought a refurbished laptop in a Christmas deal from Electro Computer Warehouse it was “Dell Latitude D630” Product ID is “dell_latitude_d630_holiday_specials” its awesome, very cheap and working well like a new one. Its fulfill my all requirements, i really like it and satisfied with it.

  • Danish Wali

    Everybody loves a great deal no matter what time of year it is. With Christmas slowly passing by there will be some awesome after Christmas deals to be had on refurbished laptops and desktops. Finding the right refurbished laptop or desktop for yourself is not a hard thing. Most sites offer customer reviews of each product they sell and market which allows previous buyers to give present buyers an idea of what they are buying. It is always helpful to read those reviews before you make your decision. Infact I was also looking for a refurbished laptop for myself and I just came through “ElectroComputerWarehouse” and have found a great deal there. You can also check it. I am sure you will find a good one for you as well.

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  • Cyn

    Hi.!! I would just like to ask.. Yeah, I am one of those who’s planning to buy a new laptop/netbook.. Can you suggest some brands that I should look into.. I’ll using this in my work (word, excel and/or presentation), some light gaming, social networks and some video playing.. Can you suggest me something.? I’m having a hard time thinking of this.. Oh, by the way my budget is in the range of Php 18k to 22k.. Maybe.. 🙂 Thanks..