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What Is A Good Reasonably Priced Laptop

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How To Choose The Best Computer For You

HP Envy Notebook 13 (Kaby Lake) Review: Reasonably Priced Laptop to use with Windows or Linux

Finding the right computer is mostly about form and function: What do you want it to look like, and what do you want it to do? In our roundup of the best desktop computers, we look at a free different styles of computer, each offering unique designs and tailored to specific use cases.

Standard PC towers are often the most affordable desktop option, as well as the most basic. With simple designs and plenty of configuration options, a basic desktop tower is still the best option for cost-effective computing power. And thanks to the flexibility of the design you can outfit these standard computers for everything from basic web browsing and media streaming to incredibly demanding uses such as gaming and animation.

All-in-one desktops, as the name suggests, provide a combination of PC and monitor in the same device. These all-in-one designs give you a powerful desktop without the bulk of a tower or the tangle of cables that come with a separate monitor. The best all-in-one computers range from budget-friendly systems to high-powered workstations, so check out our in-depth reviews of the best all-in-one computers.

Once you know what type of computer you want to get, it’s a question of what you want to do with it. While any of the systems on the list above can be used for web browsing and basic productivity uses like typing up documents or putting together a PowerPoint presentation, different use cases have slightly different demands.

What To Look For In Laptops Under $500

While Chromebooks can run Chrome OS-specific and Android apps, some people need the full Windows OS to run heftier applications, such as video-editing suites. With that comes a need for a faster processor with more cores, more memory — 8GB is the bare minimum — and more storage for applications and the operating system itself. A lot of these have 4GB or 6GB, which in conjunction with a spinning hard disk can make for a frustratingly slow Windows laptop experience. But demands on Chromebooks are growing, so if your Chrome needs to run beyond the basics you should think about paying more for more memory and a faster processor.

Considering all specs and options — battery life, storage space, screen resolution, screen size, core processor performance, general machine and battery performance — these are a few of our top picks for 2021’s best Windows laptops and Chromebooks under the $500 budget, along with their pros and cons.

Best Cheap Everday Gaming Laptop

Display: 15.6 FHD IPS 240Hz CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 RAM: 16GB DDR4 Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD Weight: 4.60 lbs Size: 14.2″ x 9.9″ x 0.8″

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is an amazing laptop for just about everything, and that goes doubly for gaming. This laptop packs a quality, IPS display that will work well for general use, meanwhile 16GB of RAM will give you plenty of memory for multitasking if you need to use this laptop for work as well.

Inside, the ROG Zephyrus G15 is running on the potent combination of an AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. That’s an eight-core processor paired with a GPU that will easily chew through games at 1080p, which means you’ll actually get to take more advantage of the display’s 240Hz refresh rate. You heard that right this laptop display hits 240Hz for ultra-smooth gaming. All that for $1,699 is a deal.

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Getting A Good Deal On A Cheap Laptop

Laptop deals are a dime a dozen if retailers’ special offers are to be believed, but just because a deal exists, doesnt mean its special. Indeed, sometimes the ‘sale’ price is simply the usual price but with a big red label on it.

We’ve put together a full guide on laptop deals, including five top picks updated monthly, and a full suite of advice on how to get the best out of the UK’s biggest retailers.

Head over to our best laptop deals to find out more.

Best Budget Laptops To Buy At A Glance

Acer Swift 5 SF514
  • Great all-round affordable touchscreen laptop: HP Pavilion 14, £549
  • Best shoestring Windows 10 buy: Asus E410, £200
  • Best budget convertible laptop: Microsoft Surface Go 2, £399
  • Best budget performance buy: Lenovo IdeaPad 5i 14, £450
  • Best low-cost ultraportable: Acer Swift 1, £399
  • A top cheap 15.6-inch screen option: Dell Inspiron 15 3000, £500
  • Best for high-end performance: Dell Inspiron 14, £550
  • Best Chromebook deal: Asus Chromebook C523, £230

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Internal Upgrades: Budget Towers Have You Covered

If you’re remotely interested in upgrading your desktop down the line, traditional tower desktops will do the job, even at this price point. The niche small-form-factor desktops are less friendly to maintenance, but your go-to standard tower will welcome additions easily. In a traditional case, you should expect to be able to remove the side panel and add more storage and more memory.

Towers can also give you the option to add a discrete graphics card, but be mindful of several factors affecting that future prospect. For one thing, limitations might be posed by the chassis size or the wattage of the internal power supply. Some budget tower models without video cards have power supplies with less than 200-watt output ratings, and others use proprietary power supply solutions that can’t be easily swapped for a higher-wattage unit. You may be able to open up a case, and it may have the PCI Express x16 slot for a video card, but the power supply might not have the wattage oomph to push it, or the chassis might be cramped and allow for the installation only of half-height cards or short-length cards, which would severely limit your upgrade options. It’s easy to assume you’ll be able to throw a better graphics card in a system after you buy, but you’ll often find these limitations, especially in the least expensive models. Be sure to look at those factors closely first. Your most likely upgrade options for these systems will come in the form of additional storage or memory.

How To Buy A Budget Laptop

There are a variety of factors you should consider when purchasing a laptop, particularly how much you want to spend and what types of tasks you intend to use it for. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make your decision.

Operating system: There are a few major computer operating systems out there. You’re probably most familiar with Windows, as it’s by far the most-used operating system, but there’s also Apple’s macOS, which is found on the company’s Mac computers . And, the newest, there’s Google’s Chrome OS, which is targeted to those with basic computer needs revolves around Google’s web-based apps .

Specs and features: Some computers are more powerful than others. Things like the processor and amount of memory will dictate how quickly your computer runs, while the amount of storage indicates how many files you can keep on your computer at once. There are also other factors, like the graphics chipset being employed. The type of software you run could also dictate how well a laptop’s components perform for example, Google’s Chrome browser is notorious for being a memory hog.

The features have also improved. Premium components like a touchscreen and high-speed ports, like USB 3.0 and USB-C, have trickled down from high-end laptops to budget models. As you research, look for these or if the laptop is still utilizing older tech.

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How To Find A Good Laptop

If your budget is tight and you want the most bang for your buck, or you just want to keep something out of the landfill, the used or refurbished laptop market is worth considering. I’ve had great luck buying used laptops on eBay from all sorts of sellers .

To score the best deal, make sure you know the market. Do some research to figure out a machine that suits your needs. The easiest to come by, and therefore the best deals, tend to be on more boring, business-oriented models. I happen to like ThinkPads, which are used by and then dumped all at once by large corporations, which means there are lots to choose from, and they’re cheap.

Aim for these specs: Try to get a laptop with at least an 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage , and at least a 13-inch display that’s close to HD.

Finding used laptops on eBay: Once you know what you want, search for it on eBay. Scroll down and check the option to show only “Sold Listings.” Now take the 10 most recent sales, add up the prices, and divide by 10. That’s the average price don’t pay more than that. Keep the lowest price in mindthat’s the great deal price. Now, uncheck the Sold Listing option. See what’s between the lowest price and that average price. Those are the deals you can consider. I suggest watching a few. Don’t bid or participate at all. Just watch them until the end and see how high the auctions end up going.

Budget Laptop Operating Systems

DELL 6430u A reasonably priced USED ultrabook in 2021

Each of the major operating systems Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS is available on a budget laptop, but there are a few nuances and pitfalls to be aware of.

  • If youre looking for a budget Mac OS X laptop, investigate the MacBook Air. Apples MacBook Air is consistently their most affordable portable machine and is usually the only one sold for less than $1,000. If macOS is a must but the MacBook Air isnt the right machine for you, consider other MacBooks. Usually, the next models up are only slightly more expensive.

  • If you live your life in the cloud, consider a Chrome-OS-based laptop. Chrome OS is a relatively new operating system from Google based on their popular web browser, Google Chrome. For laptops running Chrome OS, the browser is the entire interface, and instead of running local software, everything is in the cloud. Surprisingly, there isnt much of a learning curve for Chrome OS if youre migrating from Windows or Mac especially for those who spend most of their computer time in a browser anyway.

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It Is Possible To Game On The Cheap

The best gaming laptops keep improving with more advanced features, better designs, stronger internals, and even improved battery lives. And, right alongside those premium gaming laptops, cheap gaming laptops are reaping the benefits. You can now find budget gaming laptops that easily handle the latest PC games thanks to Nvidia’s GTX 16-Series graphics and AMD’s Ryzen 4000-series mobile CPUs. Even some higher-end Nvidia RTX GPUs have made their way into cheap gaming laptops for a portable ray tracing experience.

So, whether you’re just looking for an affordable machine to help you PC game on the go, we’ve picked out the best machines for you and . If you want even more discount options, check out these certified refurbished laptops on eBay.

How Much Are The Best Laptop Deals

Shopping for the best budget laptop deals between $50 and $200 will usually have you looking at the excellent range of Chromebooks on sale right now. Running Chrome OS, these budget laptop deals will see you through everyday web browsing, emails, and some light streaming for eye wateringly low prices. You’ll be picking up anything from a 16GB SSD to a 64GB hard drive, but you’ll also be looking to utilize the cloud for more storage.

If you’re punting a bit higher than $200, you’ll be opening yourself up to more RAM, moving from 4GB to 8GB in most models, meaning your cheap laptop will be able to open programs faster, generally retrieving information and multi-task in a more streamlined manner. You’ll also be picking up far more storage for your cash, with prices this week including either a 128GB or 256GB SSD. This SSD further streamlines your storage, acting as a lightning-fast drive to keep everything you need instantly attainable.

Once you search for laptop deals above $400, you may well start to find 16GB of RAM on offer as well as a few models with a 512GB SSD. Along with improved processors, that means exceedingly fast storage potential, keeping your cheap laptop zippy however many programs you have open. Laptops above this price range are also better suited to media editing than cheaper models.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Maybe our other laptop articles will have what you need:

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Plenty Of Connectivity In A Soft

The Flex 5s chassis may be on the chunky side, but it’s not unattractive. Lenovo uses a unique soft-touch plastic coating on the sides and the keyboard deck, which makes the laptop pleasing to hold. The Graphite Gray color scheme of our review unit is also intriguing, making the laptop darker and moodier-looking than the mostly silver schemes of other Lenovo ultraportables. If you’d rather stick with a lighter color, the Flex 5 is also available in Platinum Gray.

On the Flex 5’s left edge, you’ll find a power port, an HDMI 1.4b output, a USB Type-C port, and an audio combo jack. The USB-C port can be used to charge the laptop, and Lenovo includes an AC adapter with a USB-C plug, rendering the dedicated power port an anachronism. Since theres only one USB-C port on the entire laptop, its worth asking if your retailer can substitute a barrel-style AC adapter instead. That way, youll be able to charge the laptop and use the USB-C port at the same time.

On the right edge, there are two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a rarity on ultraportable laptops these days, and handy for connecting one of the vast number of devices that haven’t yet moved to USB-C. The right edge also hosts a full-size SD card reader and the Flex 5’s power button. Side-mounted power buttons are easier to use when the laptop is propped up like an easel, but be careful not to accidentally press the button when you grasp the Flex 5 on its sides.

Acer Aspire E 15 Keyboard And Touchpad

M1 Apple MacBook Pro 13in (2020) review: This laptop will ...

The Acer Aspire E 15’s keyboard is comfortable to type on, but the keys should have more travel. At 1.1 millimeters, it falls short of our recommended 1.5mm minimum. The good news is that, even with a number pad, the full-size keys are well-spaced. The keys are also pleasantly springy, and an actuation force of 72 grams gives them a weighty feel .

In the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I reached 111 words per minute with an accuracy of 95 percent. That is slightly below my average speed of 119 wpm, but matches my 5 percent error rate.

The 4.1 x 3-inch touchpad on the Aspire E 15 is large and responsive. It quickly reacted to a series of Windows 10 gestures, including pinch-to-zoom, a three-finger swipe upward to see all open tabs, and a four-finger tap to open the Action Center.

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The Best Cheap Laptops Of 2020

The best budget laptops are usually the ones offering decent entry level specs at a reduced price. However, you’ll sometimes find mid-range specs offering a step up at similar prices on cheaper machines. Below you’ll find our top picks of cheap laptops that do exactly that during busy sales periods.

Dell G5 Se Gaming Laptop

Why you should buy this: Its the best budget gaming laptop.

Who its for: Gamers, and only gamers.

Why we picked the Dell G5 SE:

Although the best gaming laptops are typically expensive, the Dell G5 SE is a great example of why they dont need to be. Starting at just under $900, you get an AMD Ryzen 5 4500H CPU, an AMD Radeon RX 5600M graphics chip, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, with options for faster CPUs, more powerful graphics, extra and faster storage, and memory if you dont mind spending a little more. Every model comes with a 15.6-inch, 1080p IPS display. For $1,049, youll get a fantastic machine with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and the faster Ryzen 7 4800H.

With a decent build quality and surprisingly good gaming performance that rivals laptops with Nvidias GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, the G5 SE offers an all-around solid gaming package at an impressively competitive price. It does have its weak points, most notably a less than stunning display its dull, but it offers a fast 144Hz refresh rate thats great for gaming.

The keyboard is surprisingly good and offers RGB lighting for $30 more, and overall there are fewer sacrifices than expected to keep the price down on such a capable gaming machine.

There are far better gaming laptops out there, but wed struggle to find one thats as powerful as Dells G5 SE at this price point. Its a fantastic, budget gaming machine.

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Acer Chromebook Spin 713

The best Chromebook with long battery life

Specifications
Reasons to avoid

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 are among the best Chromebooks on the market due to its 11-hour battery life. We prefer that laptops last at least 8 hours to endure an entire day at school or work, but the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 exceeds our 8-hour minimum.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 won a spot on the best Chromebooks list for its colorful and bright display, speedy performance and versatile form factor. And, get this, it won’t cost you more than $700 to snag this Chromebook.

For high school and college students seeking an inexpensive, portable and durable laptop, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is certainly one of the best Chromebooks they could choose for their everyday device.

Reasons to avoid

The Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 will fool others into thinking you’re carrying a tweed-bound journal, but in reality, you’ve got a spectacular 2-in-1 laptop in your hands. As a cherry on top, the Chromebook Detachable CM3 actually comes with a built-in stylus, so you could definitely get some journaling in with some high-tech handwriting.

Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is one of the best Chromebooks because it is a low-priced 2-in-1 that is a tablet, but can also transform into a laptop with an accompanying twill-like kickstand cover and detachable keyboard.

Read our full review of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet.

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