Budget laptops are specifically made to cater basic needs of a laptop user so that these machines stay affordable and functional at the same time.
Laptop manufacturers try to avoid any sort of extra cost while producing cheap laptops to maximise profit and this cost-cutting tendency has some certain caveats.
That is why most budget laptops lack some important features that usually stay under the radar, like good displays and decent audio output. But including these features in a laptop make all the difference in the world.
The good thing is that the budget laptop segment is getting better in the international market. Laptop manufacturers have realised, including one or two additional features that enhance a user’s media experience makes a budget laptop stand out from the competition and as a result, some value-for-money devices have come out in recent years.
A good example would be the HP Pavilion Aero 13. This USD 650 laptop pack features that used to be available only in expensive laptops a couple of years ago, such as a good screen, a 6-core processor and good build quality.
But the Bangladeshi budget laptop segment remains static and dull in this regard. The Tk 50-65 thousand is considered as the range for budget laptops and there seem to be very limited choices for customers to choose from.
Budget laptops in our country share some common drawbacks such as underwhelming specs, poor battery life and build quality, but the most important one is ‘bad display.’
A good Screen or monitor is the most important feature in any device because this is where a user interacts with his/her device and gets feedback.
A laptop with 72 per cent NTSC would be considered as a good and colour accurate display, whereas our budget laptops lack exactly that, with most of them featuring colour inaccurate displays with 45 per cent NTSC, even many laptops in the Tk 70-75 thousand ballpark suffer from the same problem.
Colour accurate screens are not that expensive anymore in 2021, and we could learn from our neighbour India as to how they have introduced some amazing value for money laptops in the budget segment.
Manufacturers like Xiaomi, Realme and Infinix have entered the laptop market and they are offering laptops with decent processors, excellent screens and reliable after-sale services while keeping the price surprisingly affordable.
For example, the Xiaomi Notebook Pro packs Intel 11th gen core-i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD and an excellent 1440p super retina display, all within 56 thousand INR, which is roughly 65000 Tk after conversion.
The ‘Ultra’ version of this laptop even packs a 90hz screen with the same super retina display, costing roughly Tk 70 thousand after conversion.
In contrast, one would have to spend more than Tk 1 lakh to get the same features in a laptop in Bangladesh. Most importantly, other manufacturers are also offering almost similar specs, so the competition is also there.
The only exception in the entire budget laptop segment in Bangladesh seems to be the Realmebook 14. This Tk 65 thousand laptop has an excellent screen and good specs and builds quality.
But it has a long way to go to gain public confidence because other manufacturers like Xiaomi and Infinix still haven’t introduced their laptop offerings in the Bangladeshi market and the lack of competition and choice have held back public approval.
In this time and age of laptop technology, where good features have become affordable, there is no way a market worth more than USD 200 million should lag behind in giving customers their money’s worth.