Business Laptops For All Budgets: Round 2

In round one of business laptops of for all budgets, we listed a few machines that featured old and new hardware, like the Intel Core 2 duo and the latest Core series of CPUs. In this article, let’s take a look at business machines, preferably with newer hardware. Since laptops from a given brand have variants belonging to two or sometimes all three segments, entry-level, mainstream and high-end, we shall discuss them together as opposed to categorically.

Lenovo Ideapad V460 (Entry-level and mainstream)

  • Weight: 2.2 kg
  • Screen Size / resolution: 14-inch / 1366 x 768
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-330M, 2.13 GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3
  • Hard drive: 320 GB
  • Graphics: Intel HD
  • Operating System: Free DOS
  • Price: Rs 36,400

Targeted towards the small business segment, the V460 series of laptops offer good value for money, in terms of hardware. Looking at the specs, a notable downer is the absence of a Windows Operating System, especially considering that there are laptops with this hardware, which offer Windows 7 in a similar price band. This model has variants which offer Windows, but their price starts at Rs 45,000, going upto Rs 50,600 (Core i5 CPU with dual graphics). The rest of the hardware is the same.

HP EliteBook 2540p (Entry-level, mainstream and high-end)

  • Weight: 1.53 kg
  • Screen Size / resolution: 12.1-inch / 1280 x 800
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-520M, 2.40 GHz
  • RAM: upto 8 GB DDR3
  • Hard drive: 250 GB to 500 GB (SSD variants are also available)
  • Graphics: Intel HD
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional/Home Premium/Home Basic/Vista/DOS
  • Price: Rs 45,000 approx. (Awaiting confirmation from HP)

The approximate price mentioned above is for the mainstream model which features a Core i5 CPU, and other variants should be similarly priced. You’ll also find Core i7 variants at higher prices of course, which will put this machine into the high-end segment.

The status and prices for the HP laptops have been updated (at the end of this post)

Dell Vostro 3300 (Entry-level and mainstream)
Weight: 1.90 kg
Screen Size / resolution: 13.3-inch / 1366 x 768
Processor: Intel Core i3-330M, 2.13 GHz
RAM: 2 GB DDR3
Hard drive: 250 GB (7200 rpm also available)
Graphics: Intel GMA HD
Operating system: Windows 7 Home Basic
Price: Rs 35,900

Apart from this Rs 35,900 model, you can choose three other configurations with some upgrades in the hardware, specifically RAM and hard drive, rest, the other three models feature Core i5 CPUs. Similar is the case with the Vostro 3400, 3500 and 3700, where the screens are larger (14 / 15.3 and 17.3) and, the CPU variants are different (with slightly higher clock speed). Since the hardware specs are quite similar, there will be little difference across variants of the same CPU (in a real-world scenario), but yes, a Core i5 evidently performs much better than Core i3. We’d say that this laptop is a good pick, mainly for its form factor and weight, at this price.
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HP ProBook 5320m

  • Starting Weight: 1.72 kg
  • Screen Size / resolution: 13.3-inch / 1366 x 768
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-350M, 2.26 GHz
  • RAM: upto 4 GB DDR3
  • Hard drive: 250 GB upto 500 GB (7200 rpm) (SSD variants will also be available)
  • Graphics: Intel HD
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional
  • Price: Rs 36,500 approx. (Awaiting confirmation from HP)

The price mentioned above is for the entry-level (Intel Core i3) variant. The other hardware choices also include Core i3-370, Core i5-450 and Celeron U3400. While the Core i3 variants might stay in the entry-level segment, the Core i5 variants will mostly spill over into the mainstream category. Also, there are different OS options, Windows 7 Professional, Home Premium and Home Basic.

Asus A52F-SX087D

  • Weight: 2.5 kg
  • Screen Size / resolution: 15.6-inch / 1366 x 768
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-350M, 2.26 GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3
  • Hard drive: 320 GB
  • Graphics: Intel HD
  • Operating System: DOS
  • Price: Rs 34,020

A similar 15-inch option is the Asus K52F, which has the exact same hardware, except that it has 3 GB RAM as opposed to 4 GB. It’s a rather older model, but a good machine to use as an entry-level desktop replacement.

Lenovo ThinkPad T410
Weight: 2.13 kg
Screen Size / resolution: 14.1-inch / 1280 x 800
Processor: Intel Core i3-330M, 2.13 GHz
RAM: upto 2 GB DDR3
Hard drive: 320 GB
Graphics: Intel GMA 4500 MHD
Operating System: Free DOS
Price: Rs 57,550

In this model, there are four variants available with DOS, out of which two are powered by Core i3 CPUs and the other two have Core i5 (Rs 63,000). Then, there are two Core i3 variants with Windows 7 Professional priced at Rs 64,600 each, and one Core i5 variant with Windows at Rs 81,947. You’ll even find both variants featuring SSDs, and obviously, they are exorbitantly priced.
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Lenovo ThinkPad T510

  • Weight: 2.63 kg
  • Screen Size / resolution: 15.6-inch / 1366 x 768
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-520M, 2.40 GHz
  • RAM: 3 GB DDR3
  • Hard drive: 320 GB
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 4500 MHD
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional
  • Price: Rs 86,150

The second variant of the T510 is powered by a Core i7 CPU and is priced at around Rs 1,00,800, and, that too comes pre-loaded with Windows 7 Professional. Now, this machine is the most powerful in the T400 and T500 series. If you compare this machine to the Core i7 variant of Sony’s Vaio Z, this one offers more value for money. It is an expensive machine, nonetheless.

You might also want to consider the Lenovo L412 series of laptops that feature a standard form factor, powered by mainstream Core i5 processors, and weigh about 2.5 kg. On a side not, if you want something lighter, and, as powerful as the T400 or T500 series, go with the X201s, which is powered by Core i7, weighs about 1.45 kg and costs approximately Rs 93,000. The Core i3 version costs about Rs 63,000 and weighs the same.
Remember, the lesser the power, the better the battery backup, unless you use an optional battery pack to make up for it. However, if sheer power is what you want, and if budget is no constraint, then, the W series (most expensive) rocks. Laptops in this series feature quad-core Core i7 CPUs, most powerful processors yet.

Dell Latitude E4310

  • Weight: 1.54 kg
  • Screen Size / resolution: 13.3-inch / 1366 x 768
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-520M, 2.40 GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB DDR3
  • Hard drive: 250 GB (7200 rpm)
  • Graphics: Intel HD
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional
  • Price: Rs 1,14,041

This is the latest entrant in the Latitude series and one of the most expensive too. For a cheaper version, you can opt for the Latitude E6410, which costs almost half the price and still features a Core i5 CPU.

In this list we have paid very little attention to the weight of the laptops, though most of them are light-enough to carry around. We recently made a list of ‘laptops for people on the go ’, which are actually very good for people into business, who want to travel light and who need very good battery backup. So if you’d like something lighter in weight and easy to carry, there are many other options to choose from.

Update: We've just received a word from HP stating that the 5320m laptop has still not launched in India, but the HP Elitebook 2540p has, and here's the common configuration:

HP Elitebook 2540p

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-640LM (2.13 GHz, 4 MB L3 cache)
  • Chipset: Mobile Intel QM57 Express Chipset
  • Graphics: Intel HD
  • Screen / Resolution: 12.1-inch / 1280 x 800
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Hard drive: 250 GB (7200 rpm)
  • Operating system Windows 7 Professional
  • Webcam: 2 Megapixel
  • Win 7 Pro
  • Integrated DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL Drive
  • Integrated HP Fingerprint Sensor
  • 6-cell Li-Ion battery
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Wi-Fi N
  • Bluetooth Specification v2.1
  • HP Standard 3 year Onsite warranty
  • HP Standard Carry Case
  • Price: 96,600

This is a high-end configuration, hence the higher price. However there shouldn't be so much of a price difference between a Core i5 model and this one. Considering that, the Core i5 model could be priced higher than Rs 45,000 (the listed approx. price in this article).


Published Date: Jul 28, 2010 08:31 am | Updated Date: Jul 28, 2010 08:31 am