Laptops – Mainstream

December 18, 2015 — by Digit

True all-rounders of the laptop world that don’t cost a bomb

Priced under 1 lakh, as a category mainstream laptops sits just a cut below the mind numbing performance capabilities of gaming laptops. They’re laptops capable of doing everything – work, game and play – and they’re extremely good in all three facets of their intended usage. Think of them as all-rounders of the laptop world and you wouldn’t be far away from the mark. We didn’t see any truly path-breaking trend emerging specific to mainstream laptops this year. Just the same shift to a newer hardware platform, adoption of SSD storage, better wireless connectivity, etc.

Zero1 Winner: Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70

It looks like Lenovo didn’t want to change the essence of its winning formula, as the Y50-70 continues to be a worthy successor to the 2014 edition of IdeaPad Y50-70, which was also the Zero1 Award winner in this very category last year. The 2015 edition of Lenovo’s IdeaPad Y50-70 comes with a power-packed hardware arsenal – 15-inch Full HD screen, quad-core Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor clocked at 2.5 GHz (with room to go up to 3.5 GHz), 8GB DDR3 RAM and 1TB HDD + 8GB SSD hybrid storage. What’s changed from last year is the addition of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics with 4GB GDDR5 memory as opposed to GTX 860M as seen in 2014. And that makes a big difference in the machine’s overall performance, elevating its 3D gaming prowess in the same league as the HP Omen 15 and Acer Aspire V15 Nitro – a noteworthy achievement. Not only can you game on the IdeaPad Y50-70, watching movies and videos is a treat thanks to its audio-visual experience which is enhanced by built-in JBL audio speakers that offer best in class sound. As always, typing on the Lenovo Y50-70’s keyboard is a pleasure. Battery life of 134 minutes is quite good, too, given its hardware firepower. Overall, this is a worthy winner.
Price: Rs. 89,489

Second: HP Envy 14-j008TX

Following closely on the heels of the IdeaPad Y50-70, the HP Envy is a deserving 14-inch runner up in the Zero1 Awards race. It has a Full HD display, is lighter than the IdeaPad and sports very good audio playback (thanks to its B&O speakers), sports 12GB DDR3 RAM in comparison. However, it has a low-powered Intel Core i7-5500U chip and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M graphics with 3GB GDDR5 memory, all of which is a notch below the Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70’s performance prowess. Where the Lenovo scores 76 out of 100, the HP Envy gets 60 on the same scale. That number may seem low for comparison’s sake, but make no mistakes: the HP Envy 14 is very good for moderate gaming, general music and entertainment.
Price: Rs. 86,990

Third: Acer Aspire E15

The Acer Aspire E15 E5-574G-77RN actually trumps the HP Envy 14 in terms of CPU performance, as it sports a newer Intel 6th gen Core i7-6500U processor. However, it marginally trails the HP Envy 14 in terms of graphics and battery performance. Where the HP scores 60, the Acer gets 58 out of 100. Not too far behind, we know, and still a very good overall performer.
Price: Rs. 68,499

Best Buy: HP Pavillion 15-ab125AX

Scoring just below the Acer laptop in terms of performance (53/100), this particular HP Pavilion laptop sports 1.8 GHz AMD A10-8700P chip, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, and AMD Radeon R7 Series M360 graphics with 2GB DDR3 memory. All this under 50k is a real steal!
Price: Rs. 46,990