Best Cheap Laptops In Singapore Under $1,300 to Consider (2020)
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Best Cheap Laptops In Singapore Under $1,300 to Consider (2020)

Joel Koh
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Here’s a quick history lesson for you.

World's First Laptop Grid Compass 1101
Source: Old Computers

 

One of the world’s first laptops and arguably, the ancestor of the modern laptops we see today is the GRiD Compass 1101.

This laptop was built way made by British designer Bill Moggridge way back in 1979 but was only released in 1982.

This laptop was ahead of its time with its powerful processor, magnesium alloy exterior, large flat surface, high resolution (for that time) 6-inch electroluminescent display (ELD).

Although the laptop was designed for business people, it was often used in U.S. military operations and was even sent to space as Nasa put the GRiD Compass on space shuttles in the 1980s and ’90s. It’s even been said that the US President’s “nuclear football” at one time included a GRiD computer.

Of course, all of these great features raised the price significantly. At US$8150 (S$11,103), the GRiD Compass 1101 was the most expensive personal computer you could buy. Adjusted for inflation, the laptop would cost about US$21,951 (S$29,900) today!

Thankfully, today’s laptops are nowhere as expensive as you can even get a decent one for less than S$500 in Singapore.

Although large-screen smartphones and tablets are very commonplace now; most of us still rely on a laptop to get work done!

Stuff like video and photo editing, email writing, spreadsheet making, document generating are just easier to do on a laptop.

Not to mention that laptops are great for connecting with friends, video streaming, or playing games.

But, there are a thousand and one laptops for you to consider.

Thus, we are here to help you find the best affordable Windows laptops and Chromebook for the job and your personal needs.

If you are looking for an Apple Macbook, we have also written a guide on how to get it for less!

Here we go!

Which Laptop is Best (For You)?

Before we begin, it would be good for you to think about what kind of laptops are best for you.

Chromebooks:

This is an interesting new category of device that was launched back at Google I/O 2011.

These laptops run Chrome OS, a Gentoo Linux–based operating system developed by Google which uses the Chrome web browser as its principal user interface.

With Google’s productivity apps, you can do most of what you do on macOS and windows on a Chromebook. Unlike more traditional laptops, Chromebooks rely heavily on cloud storage rather than hard drive-based local storage.

More recently, Google has added Android app support for touchscreen Chromebooks. You can also get quite a decent one for under S$500 in Singapore.

Do note that Chromebooks are not great for gaming, are not powerful enough to handle graphics-intensive stuff like video and photo editing and other creative pursuits.

They are also not as powerful as traditional laptops which means a Chromebook generally can’t handle 1000 open browser tabs and other intensive tasks,

But, if the majority of your computer usage revolves around stuff like social media browsing, video streaming or some light work — get a Chromebook! You’ll find that it gets the job done and is a lot more affordable than Windows, Mac, and Linux laptops.

1. Acer Chromebook 314 (CB314-1HT-C0FU): From $468

For just S$468, you can consider the Asus Chromebook 314 CB314-1HT-C0FU; the touchscreen version of this Chromebook.

This gets a little confusing as there is also the non-touchscreen version.

Acer Chromebook 314
Source: Acer Singapore

To help you get an idea of what the laptop is like, here are its key specs:

Acer Chromebook 314: CB314-1HT-C0FU Specs

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020 Processor (Dual-core processor with a speed of 1.1 GHz and a turbo speed of 2.6 GHz and 4MB cache)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • Display: 14″ HD Touch Display (1366×768 pixels resolution)
  • Ram: 4GB Ram (DDR4)
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC storage
  • Battery: 50.29Wh unit rated for 12.5 hours of use by Acer
  • OS: Chrome OS
  • Warranty: 1-year carry-in local Singapore warranty
  • Weight: 1.70 kg

Connectivity

  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560 802.11ac Gigabit WiFi & Bluetooth 5.0
  • Two Built-in Stereo Speakers and Built-in Microphone
  • 1x 3.5 mm headphone/speaker jack (Supports headsets with built-in microphone)
  • 2x USB Type-C ports including:
    • 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port (up to 5 Gbps) supporting DisplayPort over USB Type-C & USB Charging 
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports
  • MicroSD Card Reader
  • 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port (up to 5 Gbps) supporting DisplayPort over USB Type-C & USB Charging
  • MicroSD Card Reader
  • HD Webcam (1280 x 720) 

For this budget price, you will have to forgo a bit of the build quality as the laptop is made of plastic. However, reviews have remarked that it is still a well built and sturdy laptop.

Also, another important thing to note is that you cannot use this Chromebook as a tablet or a 2-in-1, as the screen is not detachable or a 360-degree rotating hinge.

For day to day to day tasks mentioned above, the Acer Chrome 314 can handle them without breaking a sweat.

Usually, with budget Chromebooks, you have to settle for some compromises like a bad display. But with this Chromebook has quite a decent display for the price.

Do remember to check out the Chromebook in-store and test out the keyboard and see if the display is right for you.

Overall, The Acer 314 Chromebook is arguably one of the most value for money Chromebook you can buy right now. It’s available in Singapore at quite a decent price and is perfect for everyday tasks.

2-in-1 Laptops

Next up we have something a bit more high end with 2-in-1 laptops.

These are laptops that double up as tablets. Some of these laptops have detachable screen and/or 360-degree rotating hinges that let you use the laptop like a tablet.

These hybrid devices are a flexible way for you to experience Windows 10 (or Chrome OS) on a touchscreen.

2. Microsoft Surface Go 2: From S$648

For a starting price of S$648.00, you can consider the Microsoft Surface GO 2.

Microsoft Surface Go 2
Source: Microsoft

To help you get an idea of what the laptop is like, here are its key specs:

Microsoft Surface GO 2 Specs

  • Processor: Intel® Pentium® Gold Processor 4425 or 8th Gen Intel® Core m3 Processor
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
  • Display: 10.5” PixelSense™ Display (1920 x 1280 pixels resolution)
  • Ram: 4GB or 8GB RAM
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC storage or 128GB SSD
  • Battery: 51Wh unit rated for 10 hours of use by Microsoft
  • OS: Windows 10 Home in S mode (Can be switched to full windows)
  • Warranty: 1-year Singapore limited hardware warranty
  • Weight: 544g (Screen only, keyboard not included)

Microsoft Surface GO 2 Connectivity

  • WiFi and LTE models
  • WiFi: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 1 x USB-C®
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 1 x Surface Connect port
  • Surface Type Cover Port
  • MicroSDXC Card Reader
  • Compatible with Surface Dial*
  • 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p Skype HD video
  • 8.0MP rear-facing auto-focus camera with 1080p HD video

The second-generation Microsoft Go brings about improved power with everyday tasks, video streaming, music and programmes, shopping, browsing, emails and homework.

The Surface GO 2 is a strong competitor to more traditional laptops and the Apple iPad due to its more functional Windows 10 software.

Key improvements include better battery life, a slightly larger display and more processing power.

Although is not super affordable, the Surface Go 2 can do more than the iPad and is more flexible compared to a traditional laptop.

Do note that the additional accessories like the keyboard are sold separately. For example, the Surface Pro type cover retails for S$198.

The cool thing about Microsoft is that they have an educator discount where students, parents and teachers will get a 5 per cent discount on the new Surface Go 2.

General All-Rounder Laptops

Speaking of more traditional laptops, the next category of the laptop is the workhorse laptop, your general all-rounder device.

This type of laptop has an added focus on functionality over power, portability and even style.

This does not mean that these laptops are slow per se. But, you can typically find a decent non-Ultrabook laptop with a full HD screen and even a Solid State Drive for about S$1,100.

3. Acer Swift 3 (SF314-42-R5NF) From S$1,098

For a starting price of S$1,098, you can consider the Acer Swift 3 SF314-42-R5NF.

Acer Swift 3 laptop Singapore
Source: Notebook Check

Acer Swift 3 SF314-42-R5NF Specs

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor
  • Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon™ Graphics 512MB
  • Display: 14” FHD IPS LED-backlit TFT LCD Display (1920 x 1280 pixels resolution)
  • Ram: 8GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Battery: 48 Wh unit rated for 12 – 13 hours of use by Acer
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Warranty: 2 years carry-in local Singapore warranty
  • Weight: 1.2kg

Acer Swift 3 Connectivity

  • Intel AX WLAN
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 1x HDMI port
  • 2x USB 2.0 A port
  • 1x DC-in jack for AC adapter
  • 1x 3.5 mm headphone/speaker jack, supporting headsets with a built-in microphone
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port featuring power-off USB charging
  • 1x USB Type-C port, supporting:
    • USB 3.2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
    • DisplayPort over USB-C
    • USB charging 5 V; 3 A
    • DC-in port 19 V; 65 W

This laptop makes for great value due to its powerful Ryzen 5 4500U chip, a mid-tier six-core processor and rather powerful integrated AMD Radeon™ Graphics.

If you are not caught up with Intel’s Central Processing Units (CPU), AMD have been generally making more powerful CPUs that cost less.

The laptop also runs well and is not too noisy.

However, some of the drawbacks of this laptop include its weak speakers and screen which could be hard to view outdoors as it is not too bright.

Gaming Laptops

If you are looking to play games at decent frame rates with performance falling just short of desktop PCs, gaming laptops are what you want.

These laptops are rather expensive typically costing more than S$1,000 and can quickly get into the S$4 – 5,000 range for the highest end ones.

4. Lenovo Legion 5 15 (AMD): From S$1,299

For a starting price of S$1,299, you can consider the Lenovo Legion 5 15 AMD version.

lenovo-laptop-legion-5-15-amd-subseries-hero
Source: Lenovo

Lenovo Legion 5 15 (AMD) Specs

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H Processor (3.00GHz, Max Boost up to 4.00GHz, 6 Cores, 8MB Cache)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR6 128bit
  • Display: 15.6″ FHD(1920×1080) IPS Anti-Glare 250nits 120Hz Narrow 45%CG Non-Touch
  • Ram: 8GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 128GB Solid State Drive, M.2 2242, PCIe-NVMe
  • Battery: 60 Wh unit rated for about 7 hours of use by Lenovo
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Warranty: 1-year carry-in local Singapore warranty
  • Weight: 2.5kg

Lenovo Legion 5 15 (AMD) Connectivity

  • USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 (always on)
  • 3 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1
  • USB-C 3.1 (DisplayPort™)
  • HDMI 2.0
  • RJ45 ethernet
  • Mic/headphone combo
  • Kensington lock slot
  • 3.5mm Audio jack

If you are looking for an affordable gaming laptop, look no further.

This particular Legion 5 on sale packs a 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) 120Hz display, a 3-GHz AMD Ryzen 5-4600H Hexa-core CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, and GTX 1650 Ti graphics with 4GB of dedicated memory.

We would recommend that you upgrade the storage as 128GB is a bit limiting.

Reviewers have noted that the ports are well positioned and the speakers are quite decent as well. Not to mention the Lenovo Legion TrueStrike keyboard’s 1.5mm key travel makes it comfortable and quick to type on. The keyboard also has a white backlight, but sadly no RGB option.

Also, the design is understated and does not scream, which makes it acceptable for work or school

However, the laptop is pretty heavy at 2.5kg and users have noted the rubbery interior dents easily.

Otherwise, this is a pretty decent choice for gamers to consider.

Like Microsoft, Lenovo also has an educator store discount which for students, teachers, staff you can check out on their website.

Ultrabooks

Last but not least we have the ultrabook category, where you get slim and light notebooks with sharp displays exceeding full HD and SSD storage options.

These types of laptops are known for their great battery life and slightly underpowered mobile specifications.

But be prepared to fork out a bit more as the Ultrabooks will generally cost more than $1,000.

5. HP ENVY 13 (2020) (13-ba0005tu): From $1,299

For a starting price of S$1,299, you can consider the HP ENVY 13 Laptop – 13-ba0005tu.

HP ENVY Laptop 13
Souce: HP Singapore

HP ENVY 13 (2020) – 13-ba0005tu Specs

  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-1035G4 (1.1 GHz base frequency, up to 3.7 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 6 MB L3 cache, 4 cores)
  • Graphics: Intel® Iris® Plus Graphics
  • Display: 13.3″ diagonal FHD, IPS, 400 nits, 100% sRGB (1920 x 1080 pixels resolution)
  • Ram: 8GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
  • Battery: 51 Wh unit rated for about 11 hours of use by HP.
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Warranty: 2 years HP Onsite warranty
  • Weight: 1.3kg

HP ENVY 13 (2020) Connectivity

  • Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2×2)
  • Bluetooth® 5 Combo (Supporting Gigabit file transfer speeds)
  • Thunderbolt™ 3 (40Gbps signalling rate) with SuperSpeed USB Type-C® 10Gbps signalling rate (USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort™ 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge)
  • 2 USB Type-A 5Gbps signalling rate (HP Sleep and Charge)
  • 1 AC smart pin
  • 1 headphone/microphone combo
  • 1 microSD media card reader

If you are looking to get an ultrabook, the HP Envy 13 (2020) provides great value as it shares many great features with its more expensive competitors.

This laptop performs well, has a sleek and stylish design, a decent keyboard which makes it great for students, office workers and causal users.

Although it may not look as nice as its rivals like the Dell XPS 13 or Surface Laptop 3, it still is quite the looker.

However, reviewers have raised concerns about its loud fans and reflective screens.

Nonetheless, this laptop still provides great value.

10.10 Sales

Before you go out and buy a laptop, I would recommend you to wait for the 10.10 Sales in Singapore. 041020 - Ultimate 10.10 Guide for Singapore 2020Almost forgot.

You can use credit cards to get further discounts on your purchase.

Whether you are Team Cashback or Team Miles, you can find the best credit card in Singapore for you on our comprehensive credit card comparison tool.Seedly credit cards

About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. My time as a history student has equipped me with the skills to evaluate the impact societal development has on financial and nonfinancial events.
You can contribute your thoughts like Joel Koh here.

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