Rtx 3050 Graphics For $798
Acer’s Nitro 5 has long been a popular pick for gamers on tight budgets. This model is discounted on Amazon and features GeForce RTX 3050 graphics alongside midrange components: Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The 15.6-inch display features a full HD resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate. This is about as inexpensive as you’ll find for a gaming laptop with a GPU from Nvidia’s current RTX 30 series. For $100 more, you can get a better equipped Nitro 5 config on sale at Best Buy.
How Much Storage And Memory Do I Need
Most laptops above entry-level come with solid-state drives , which use memory cells instead of a spinning platter to store data. Since information stored in cells is much faster to access, SSDs are the best and most common drive configuration. Theyre also immune to jolts and bumps that might crash a spinning platters heads.
Some laptops especially larger-chassis ones designed for gaming, come with both kinds of drive: a small SSD to hold the operating system, essential apps, and a few games, and a larger spinning one to store the bulk of your game files or other space-consuming media. Thats a perfectly fine option if youre looking to save some money or simply need the maximum possible local storage amount, but you should stick with an SSD-only setup whenever possible.
Note that not all laptop SSDs are created equal. SSDs that use the more modern, generally faster PCI Express NVMe standard, as opposed to the older, slightly slower SATA interface, are preferable. Either of these, however, are far better than a third type, which is a not-quite-SSD: the much slower eMMC, a kind of flash storage drive found in budget machines. All of them are better than a traditional spinning hard drive unless you simply need sheer capacity for the least money.
How To Shop For A Cheap Laptop
For laptops under $500, inconsistent pricing, disappearing inventory, and retailer-exclusive deals make shopping difficult. But even if you arent familiar with computer specifications, you can still find a decent Windows laptop by looking for these features:
- Processor: We recommend a 10th or 11th-generation Intel Core i5 or i3 processor or a 4000-series or 5000-series AMD Ryzen 3 or 5 processor . Avoid AMD processors such as the dual-core A9, as well as Intel Pentium or Celeron processors.
- Storage: Choose a 128 GB or larger solid-state drive and avoid hard drives .
- Memory: Get 8 GB of memory . In a pinch, 4 GB will do, but with that smaller amount you wont be able to run many programs at the same time.
- Screen: Look for a display with 1080p resolution, listed as 1920×1080 or FHD by many sellers. A computer that hits the other requirements but has a standard HD display will do for basic tasks.
When shopping for a cheap laptop, stick to major retailers with good return policies, such as Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, or the manufacturer itself. Avoid sites with deals too good to be true, like BuyDig. Buying a refurbished model is another excellent way to save money. When youre shopping for a refurbished laptop, buy from the original manufacturer or an authorized dealer and avoid seller-refurbished models from places like Amazon.
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How We Test Laptops
When we bring a laptop into our laboratory, our goal is to see how it would work if you brought it into your home or office. While we use a number of industry-standard benchmarks such as Geekbench and 3DMark, we focus heavily on real-world tests that we have developed in-house.
To test endurance, the Laptop Mag Battery test surfs the web at 150 nits of brightness until the system runs out of juice. To judge pure processing power, we use a giant spreadsheet macro that matches 65,000 names with their addresses, a video transcoder that converts a 4K video to 1080p and the Geekbench 4 synthetic test. We measure graphics prowess with both 3DMark Ice Storm / Fire Strike and a series of actual game titles.
We use a colorimeter to measure screen brightness and color gamut while other instruments help us determine a laptop’s key travel and ambient heat. See how we test laptops for more details on our benchmarking procedures.
Cheap Laptop Deal Of The Week
HP 15.6-inch laptop: $749.99 $599.99 at HPSave $150 – With $150 off the MSRP, you’ll find an excellent $599.99 price tag on this powerful 11th generation i7 HP laptop deal this week. While the 256GB SSD is a little mid-range for this price tag, you’re picking up a pricey CPU here and the sacrifice in storage is well worth it if you’re after a zippy experience. Plus, there’s 16GB RAM inside as well. We were previously excited to see this configuration at $649 , so an extra $50 off is even better value than normal.
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Best Business Laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme
Imagine taking the power of a high-end gaming laptop and cramming it into a compact package that you can just as well use in an office environment. Actually, you dont have to imagine it, because thats pretty much what Lenovo has done with the ThinkPad X1 Extreme.
At least in terms of performance, youd be forgiven for thinking this is a gaming laptop. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme comes with up to an Intel Core i9-11950H processor, an 8 core, 16 thread CPU that can boost up to 5GHz and features Intels vPro technology. Not only that, but you can also get it with dedicated NVIDIA graphics, up to a GeForce RTX 3080, making this the kind of business laptop you might want to have if you work in 3D design or other kinds of content creation. You can also add up to a massive 64GB of RAM and 4TB of SSD storage . This is truly a laptop that can do almost anything you ask of it.
What makes this all the more impressive is the ThinkPad X1 Extreme still feels like part of the ThinkPad family. It has the same classic look, the pointing stick, a Full HD webcam with privacy shutter , and it meets the same durability standards as other ThinkPads. On top of that, these specs fit in a chassis thats just 17.7mm thin, but its weight does start at just under 4lbs.
The Best Laptop Deals This Week*
*Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains
Increasing your budget to around $1,000 will unlock access to nearly all of the cutting-edge features modern laptops offer. These include slim, sturdy aluminum chassis, brilliant touch-enabled 4K displays, powerful processors and graphics chips, and batteries that will last all day and well into the night. The major caveat in this price range is that youll have to pick and choose which features are most important. You might be able to land a laptop with a beautiful 4K display or a cavernous terabyte of solid-state storage at this price, but probably not one with both.
If your piggybank has $2,000 or more, you can choose almost any combination of features you want. Even the most powerful laptop that money can buy, though, must still obey the laws of physics. Powerful hardware generates heat, and the cooling mechanisms that such components require take up space. Hardcore gamers who want a 17-inch display and a screaming-fast graphics processor that requires bulky cooling pipes and fans cant expect to find it in a thin, light laptop.
IT-manageable, security-conscious business laptopsmodels made primarily by Dell, HP, and Lenovohave their own pricing dynamic, and they tend to cost a bit more, all else being equal. Thats because of their premium warranty or support plans, enterprise-specific silicon focused on manageability or security, fingerprint or face-recognition login features, and more rugged build quality.
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Testing The Gen 9 Carbon: Clash Of The Core I7s
For our benchmark charts, I compared the ThinkPad X1 Carbon to two abovementioned 14-inch business laptops , plus two 13.4-inch ultraportables, the Dell XPS 13 and the Razer Blade 13. All except the Asus are Editors’ Choice award winners, and all have Intel’s freshest “Tiger Lake” Core i7 CPUs. You can see their basic specs in the table below.
Should You Opt For A 15
If you are more of a desk-bound user, a 15-inch clamshell is expected to make more sense. Mostly, a clamshell notebook is better off when memory upgradeability and gaming performances are concerned as the static hardware permits better thermal management and slot accommodation. Then again, if you are always on the move, a nifty convertible like the Spectre x360 or a detachable like the Surface Book 3 is expected to serve you well.
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Best 15 Inch Laptop With A : 2 Display: Surface Laptop 4
Weve seen some 16:10 displays on this list already, but if you enjoy taller screens, then the 3:2 form factor of the Surface Laptop 4 is certainly appealing. Surface devices have used this aspect ratio for a few years now, and this is a very premium-feeling laptop.
Performance-wise, the Surface Laptop 4 is essentially what youd expect from a modern ultrabook. Its powered by either an Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor or an AMD Ryzen 7 4980U Surface Edition. These are two fantastic processors, and while the former is a bit more recent, you might get better multi-core performance from the AMD version. Both models also have integrated graphics, so this wont really be a gaming PC, but it can handle most day-to-day tasks gracefully. You can also get it with up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD .
The display is definitely one of the highlights of this laptop, as it tends to be with many Surface devices. Its a 15 inch display with a very sharp 2496 x 1664 resolution. Thats going to look fantastic no matter what youre using it for, and that tall aspect ratio makes it fantastic for productivity. Having a tall screen means you can fit a lot more text, web content, or UI elements in complex apps like Photoshop on the screen. Plus, you get touch and Surface Pen support across the board, which is a nice bonus.
If youre looking for a premium-feeling 15 inch laptop with a fantastic display and solid day-to-day performance, this is one of your best options.
Dual Displays: Asus Zenbook Pro Duo
Professional creators who want to shake things up by adding a second display to this 15-inch laptop should check out the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo. It’s quite expensive, but it’s unlike just about any other laptop out there. The main 15.6-inch OLED touch display has a 3840×2160 resolution and full DCI-P3 color gamut coverage that is stunning in its own right, but just below it, where the keyboard on most laptops is placed, is a secondary 14-inch touch display with 3840×1100 resolution. It’s known as a ScreenPad Plus, and it gives users a whole new way to use the device, especially with the included active pen.
Below the two displays is a physical keyboard with a touchpad off to the right, giving you the full laptop experience. The touchpad can even turn into a number pad thanks to embedded LED illumination. Don’t worry â¦ an attachable palm rest is included to keep your hands comfortable during long typing periods. It’s all built on an attractive chassis that includes Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, USB-A 3.1, and 3.5mm audio. Unfortunately, there’s no SD card reader.
Up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU is available, alongside an NVIDIA RTX 2060 dedicated GPU, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD. You’ll get the performance needed for specialized work, and it even has Wi-Fi 6 for breakneck wireless speeds. An IR camera for Windows Hello adds security. These are expensive devices, but they’re also unique and offer a glimpse at the future of high-performance laptops.
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Acer Chromebook R 13 Convertible
Specs: 13.3 , 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, MediaTek MT8173C
- Chrome OS, not full Windows 10
- Small disk space
Unlike many standard Chromebooks, you get an ARM processor in the Acer R 13. Why does it matter? The ARM processor works better with Android programs, it means that you get much better functionality from Google Play applications than with similar computers. For users who bought this model, the main advantages are extremely high battery life, fast loading, and an excellent screen.
Buyers who write their feedback after using the device for several months often criticize several design issues. All of them deal with the usual problems of the laptop that is capable to rotate 360 degrees. First, the power button is in an uncomfortable position. Thats why you can press accidentally. Whether you pack this best value laptop or put it in your backpack, you can turn it on and off by accident. The same problem occurred in the SD card slot. The inserted SD card is also quite easily removed, so be careful when holding R 13 in tablet mode for the first few days.
Lenovo Thinkpad X12 Detachable
Putting the Microsoft Surface Pro on notice
Reasons to avoid
Business laptops are a dime a dozen, but once in a while, you get one thats just a little more special than the others. As far as such portables go, the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is a more versatile option. It boasts a detachable, portfolio-style keyboard that allows its users to seamlessly go from full traditional laptop to that more convenient tablet mode in seconds, minus the bulk. Dont worry, though. As it is still a business laptop, it still boasts a host of excellent business-centric features, like robust security features that matter a lot to business customers and surprisingly long battery life of around 10 hours per full charge .
Of course, theres plenty of power behind all that as well, with 11th-gen Intel Core chips and Intels integrated graphics. Although if youre looking for a business laptop with more robust graphics, you should consider other options as theres no way to configure it with discrete graphics.
Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable
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The Best Multimedia Laptop
Most thin and light laptops share one significant weakness thin, tinny audio. Thats not the case with the Lenovo Yoga 9i. This 14-inch convertible has a rotating soundbar in its hinge, meaning that no matter how its positioned, the speakers face outwards. You can expect clear, booming sound whether youre using the 9i in tablet, tent, or clamshell mode.
Theres a lot more to like as well. You get an excellent 1080p touch display and a built-in stylus for easy artwork and note-taking. The 11th-Gen processors deliver satisfactory performance and all-day battery life. The audio quality, screen, and convertible form factor all add up to an unbeatable machine for multimedia entertainment.
Best Gaming Laptops In 2021
The best gaming laptops manage to squeeze the power of a gaming desktop PC into a machine you can tuck under your arm and take with you. Well slightly less power maybe, but not far off. The benefits of having a portable gaming machine speak for themselves as wellthey can be a better option to bulky desktop PCs in plenty of areas. They’re not as easy to upgrade, but that’s about the only downside to modern laptops.
The newest models pack all the features you’ll find in big desktop gaming rigs too, including powerful multicore CPUs, the latest Nvidia RTX 30-series and AMD Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs, as well as speedy NVMe SSDs, oodles of RAM, and quality, super high-refresh screens. You can even enjoy mechanical keyboards on some models, although we’d still recommend having a proper keyboard and mouse for serious gaming suggestions.
There’s actually some good news for laptops in these silicon-starved times as well, in that they’re often the most immediate way of securing the best gaming hardwarehello GeForce RTX 3080. Stock levels are healthy too. And while high-end gaming laptops can be pricey, there are plenty of more affordable options out there too. If you’re on a tight budget, be sure to check out the best cheap gaming laptop deals.
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We’ll Help You Find The Best Laptop With Reviews And Expert Buying Advice On How To Choose A Model That Will Suit All Your Needs
ByChris Martin, Reviews Editor| 10 Aug 2021
Laptops have thwarted the attempts of tablets to take over and remain a staple of the tech world. There are almost endless amounts to choose from with a complicated range of models and specs so we’ve reviewed and ranked the best right here.
We’ve tested and ranked 15 top laptops you can get right now and we’re adding more on a regular basis. You’ll find a summary along with our expert rating and where you can buy each laptop, but make sure you click through to each review for more details.
If none of the laptops we’ve listed here is quite right for you, let us arm you with the knowledge you need to help you chose what laptop to buy. Following the chart, you’ll find extensive buying advice that covers everything from what processor is suitable to how much storage you’ll need and whether or not you should be looking for a more portable option.
Best 15 Inch Laptop On A Budget: Acer Aspire 5
All of these laptops are great, but the fact of the matter is not everyone is willing to shell out over $1,000 for a new laptop. If youre looking for something affordable that still gets you all the basics and performs great in day-to-day tasks, the Acer Aspire 5 is a fantastic option.
First off, the performance here is great. If you want to save the most money, it starts with an Intel Core i3-1115G4, and its still a decent laptop at that price. However, wed recommend springing for the Intel Core i5 model for a little over $600, or you can go all the way to an Intel Core i7-1165G7, which makes this almost as powerful as some of the flagships on this list. Even that top-tier configuration is just $850, which is fantastic value for what you get. RAM goes all the way up to 16GB, and you also get 512GB of storage, but its naturally lower depending on the processor you choose.
The display is also a highlight here. Sure, its not on par with the other laptops on this list, but seeing a budget laptop with Intel Core processors and a Full HD display at this price is still very rare. Usually, a Full HD display is something you have to pay extra for, but even the models with an Intel Core i3 include it on the Acer Aspire 5. Its an IPS panel too, so you should get pretty great viewing angles from it. Theres no touch support, but that would add a bit to the cost, and this is meant to be an affordable device.
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