Can a Windows 10 Laptop Worth Rs 10,000 Become Your Daily Device?
Are affordable laptops ready for the big time in India? 
Are affordable laptops ready for the big time in India? (Photo: The Quint)

Can a Windows 10 Laptop Worth Rs 10,000 Become Your Daily Device?

What’s the first thing people who want to buy a laptop look at? Price.

They look for an affordable, power-packed device that’ll last them a couple of years. Their penchant for a pocket-friendly option takes them weeks, or even months, to come to the best choice.

And every now and then, I am asked, how little can one pay for a laptop? I usually say Rs 30,000, at least, especially if you want a daily workhorse device.

Things might be changing on that front now, with a Windows 10 laptop coming to the market – and it costs Rs 10,000. Yes, for this price, you’re getting an Intel-powered, storage-equipped Windows 10 (original version) notebook. Is that too good to be true? We decided to take one such device for a spin over a week, and here’s what we found.

Windows 10 for Rs 10K — It’s a Steal

Let’s put it this way, getting an original version of the Windows 10 operating system will cost you anywhere between Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000. The fact that you’re getting that, with storage onboard, in a full-fledged notebook, there’s not a lot more you can ask for.

Windows 10 out of the box on a laptop costing Rs 10K is pretty good. 
Windows 10 out of the box on a laptop costing Rs 10K is pretty good. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Unlike the Google Chromebook, whose storage is completely reliant on cloud, these affordable notebooks come with onboard storage. And while Windows does take a lot of space from the system, it’s still the preferred operating system for PCs in countries like India.

How’s the Quality?

The biggest concern for people looking to buy laptops in this price range is whether it’s worth taking a gamble. Our experience in general has been unpleasant. But products now coming through have a feel-good factor.

Don’t expect something attractive or lightweight, but what you’re getting is a compact, rugged device that can handle rough-and-tough use.

Sturdy design and build quality of the laptop. 
Sturdy design and build quality of the laptop. 
(Photo: The Quint)

The keyboard of this laptop offers decent feedback, and doesn’t feel cheap, like something that will pop out any second. Having said that, the trackpad isn’t the most responsive, and the click beneath the trackpad could use some refinement.

Clumsy trackpad needs improvement. 
Clumsy trackpad needs improvement. 
(Photo: The Quint)

The 1366x768 pixels resolution screen on this laptop is on par with the screen of laptops, which cost way above the Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 price bracket. The viewing angles are good enough and the panel turned out to be better than we expected.

12.5-inch HD screen with 1366x768 pixels resolution.  
12.5-inch HD screen with 1366x768 pixels resolution.  
(Photo: The Quint)

What It’s Like to Use

Now, to the most important aspect of the device. Can it sustain the day-to-day needs of a computing device?

The Atom-powered system can handle basic tasks. 
The Atom-powered system can handle basic tasks. 
(Photo: The Quint)

My early days with the device were quite satisfactory. It could handle my daily workload, which usually comprises using Chrome with around five to 10 tabs open.

2GB RAM and latest version of Windows 10 with regular updates. 
2GB RAM and latest version of Windows 10 with regular updates. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Nothing showed up for a day or two, but the inadequacy of the Intel Atom processor with 2GB of RAM started showing up when the machine was put to test with a harder grind.

However, it was good to see that the laptop sports multiple USB ports, HDMI port and even the microSD card slot, for storage expansion. It comes bundled with a non-standard power adapter, which you cannot afford to forget, no matter what happens.

32GB onboard storage is an SSD which results in fast boot up of the system. 
Multiple USB ports, HDMI port and microSD card slot. 
Multiple USB ports, HDMI port and microSD card slot. 
(Photo: The Quint)

The lack of response from the trackpad didn’t help either, and what we also realised was that scrolling on the trackpad was in the opposite direction.

The battery life was quite impressive. We managed to get over 7-8 hours on a single charge. The underpowered processor has a lot to do with its power management.

As long as you know the limitations that a laptop worth Rs 10,000 would carry, you’re making the right choice. If not, then it’s better to bump up your budget and go for something more reliable.

Worth the Money?

When I first heard about the brand, I-Life, and its affordable range of Windows 10 notebooks, I wasn’t sure. After all, we have seen many brands making inroads, but none making it count.

Windows on board takes a lot of space from the storage. 
Windows on board takes a lot of space from the storage. 
(Photo: The Quint)

With the Zed Air Pro, costing Rs 10,999 with original Windows 10 out of the box, storage and multiple connectivity ports, it makes a good case for budget-conscious buyers. For many years, we have heard schools looking at cost-effective, digital solutions inside classrooms.

This could finally open up the gates for that. Yes, it does carry some weaknesses, but nothing that cannot be worked out in the next generation of devices.

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