Lenovo Thinkpad E14 Laptop
BEST CHEAP LAPTOP FOR BUSINESS
We think the Lenovo E14 is impressive for a few reasons: At 3.51 pounds and 0.7 inches, its among the lightest and thinnest when it comes to the best cheap Windows laptops. While this 14-inch laptop packs a decent 11th-generation Core i3 CPU, 4 GB of RAM and a 1080p display, what makes this a great laptop for professionals is the fact that it received mil-spec ratings to withstand extreme temperature, dust, spills and drops. And finally, it comes with two USB-C ports, which offer a ton of versatility in how you want to charge the laptop, connect accessories or connect an external monitor. While the ThinkPad line has always been made with the business crowd in mind, the Lenovo E14 has features that anyone can appreciate.
Q: Is Amd Better For Budget Laptops
AMD can be better in some budget laptops. It depends on the laptop’s other specs, like the GPU used and the CPU power rating. Intel and AMD go back and forth on whos processors offer the best speed, so keep an eye on the processor model and year to determine if youll get more speed with the equivalent Intel processor or an AMD model.
Related: Set up your system with one of the best HDMI cables.
The Best Cheap Laptop For Surface Fans
The $399 Surface Go 2 is a 10.5-inch tablet thats about the size of a regular iPad. Youll have to buy the keyboard cover separately, but the overall package is still quite affordable if youre buying a lower-priced model.
You can configure the Surface Go 2 with a Pentium Gold or Core m3 processor. Those arent the fanciest or most powerful processors, but the system should still be adequate for your streaming and browsing needs, especially if you only need it to do one task at a time. It can run any Windows app, its easy to carry around, and it makes a solid secondary computer.
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Do Budget Laptops Have Good Battery Life
Some do, some dont. The models that prioritize portability tend to offer a little more, and youll want to skip a dedicated graphics chip if you want the most battery life.
However, you can find plenty of budget systems that offer a full workday and beyond on a single charge. In some cases, an option like the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 offers better battery life than many laptops that cost a few hundred dollars more. Many Chromebooks also offer impressive battery life thanks to how lightweight the software is.
Best Cheap Gaming Laptops In 2022
The best cheap gaming laptops can provide good performance while staying on budget, but finding them can be a daunting task. However, daunting doesn’t mean impossible.There are a bunch of viable choices to consider. And despite their prices, these cheap laptops can do just about everything their more powerful brethren can, including supporting VR headsets and playing AAA titles at solid frame rates.
And while the newest laptops with the more powerful components may be out of your budget that doesn’t mean you can’t get a gaming laptop with last-gen’s specs, which are still plenty powerful, for a reasonable price.
We’ve compiled a list of the best cheap gaming laptops because we know gaming is an expensive hobby. With all the games and peripherals, it can get pricey really fast.
Over the course of a year, we review over 100 laptops covering every price point and use case. When it comes to cheap gaming laptops, we evaluate a number of criteria including gaming and overall performance, display, battery life and of course, value.
Whether you’re looking for a gift for the gamer in your life or want an affordable way to frag on the go, here are the best cheap gaming laptops under $1,000.
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Hey Where Are The Macbooks
The Apple laptop lines are excellent. And for nearly everything except gaming, they truly shine. However, the fact remains that we cannot, in good conscience, consider anything that Apple makes as cheap. Apple chose long ago to present and price itself as a premium brand, and its quality represents that choice, but so does its cost. The lowest-spec MacBook Air M1 only slips under the $999 dividing line between cheap and not cheap during sales or when an educational discount is applied, and thats not an option available to everyone. So while theres nothing in this list saying that a MacBook isnt a good value or a quality product , MacBooks arent cheap and arent on this list.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
BEST CHEAP LAPTOP FOR DRAWING
Similar to the Acer Spin 713, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 combines an Intel Core i3 CPU with 4 GB of RAM and a 1080p display which results in a 14-inch laptop that can do double duty as a tablet thanks to its two-in-one design. While this Chromebook is a little less powerful than the Spin, it still has more than enough power to run Chrome OS and its a little cheaper to boot. And if you happen to have the optional Lenovo Pen, you can also use this laptop as a digital notebook or canvas.
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Cons Of Cheap Laptops
- Speed: While laptops costing around £500 will be fast enough for almost everyone, if you cut the budget much more than this, speed will suffer. The very latest models are fine when web browsing, but they will slow down significantly if you try to have several programs running at once. Most very cheap laptops have lower-end Intel Celeron and Atom processors. Read more about processor brands in our guide to Intel, AMD and Nvidia.
- Screen quality: Some cheaper laptops have screens that are significantly duller, with lower resolutions than their more expensive counterparts. This isnt a universal truth, however, and some ultra-cheap laptops have impressive screens. Our laptop reviews reveal all.
- Low storage: Small and cheap laptops, especially Chromebooks, have little storage. These laptops are best for working on documents stored in cloud services such as Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. If you have a large collection of photos and videos, you might need to keep them on an external USB hard drive. If youre buying a Windows laptop with 32GB of storage or less, you’ll need to also buy a micro-SD card to increase storage to prevent Windows 10 updates from causing problems.
Which Brand Is Best For A Budget Laptop
At one time, the answer to this question may have been more straightforward, but today, a number of computer manufacturers have gotten into the affordable laptop arena.
What you will want to consider is how you plan to use your laptop to help you determine what brand might be best for you. Consider what operating system works best with your needs. For example, if you want to run certain programmes and content suites, like Microsoft Office, a Chromebook wonât work well for you. However, if youâre just looking for a laptop thatâs trusty and does basic tasks, you may not need a more expensive computer.
To feel more confident in making the right choice, read our guide of what to look for when buying your next laptop.
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Best Budget Laptops To Buy Right Now
If your laptop is on its way out, itâs always better to be proactive in your search for its replacement.
If you arenât a gamer or designer, you simply need a trusty laptop for day-to-day life, youâre probably wondering, âwhatâs the cheapest good laptop?â
The answer isnât one-size-fits-all, but there is a great range of good, inexpensive laptops on the market today. Thatâs why weâve brought together 11 laptops that fall into the good, yet affordable range of computers.
To fit this bill, weâve selected laptops that are mostly under Â£500, although a few we couldnât leave off the list are in the Â£500 to Â£600 range. Weâve also broken down our list by price point to help you pinpoint laptops that fit your budget and explained why those laptops have made our list. And if you’re looking for the perfect accessory, we can help with that, too check out our ultimate guide to the top laptop accessories.
Which Stores Have Decent Cheap Laptop Sales
- : retail giant is often the cheapest in the UK.
- John Lewis: models come with at least two-year guarantee.
- Very: Often surprises with cheap prices on electronics.
- Laptops Direct: specialist UK store has a huge selection of laptop deals.
- Box: another specialist store with some of the best discounts we’ve seen
- eBuyer: the UK computing specialists have some great promotions.
- Currys: the retailer that’s seemingly always having a laptop sale.
- AO: lots of cheap laptops at this growing electronics specialist.
- Argos: home delivery or pick up a cheap laptop locally today.
- Dell: get a great laptop deal direct from Dell.
- Apple: MacBooks aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re excellent workstations
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How Much Ram Does My Laptop Need
For the majority of people, 8GB RAM is the sweet spot. Four to six years ago, you could probably get away with 4GB RAM for a productivity laptop, but browsers have become increasingly power-hungry requiring more RAM to run without a hitch. Even if you dont take full advantage of the 8GB, it offers some room to manoeuvre futureproofing your device.
Some cases do warrant a different amount of RAM, though. 4GB RAM remains capable for light use think running one program at a time or three to six tabs in a browser. While many gamers will baulk at the thought of just 8GB RAM. For the majority of laptop gaming, 16GB RAM is closer to the sweet spot. But, if youre looking for a larger, more powerful gaming laptop for high-end gaming rather than something to carry around then 32GB RAM isnt out of the question.
The Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Right Now
TheDell G5 15 SE is currently our top overall pick for the best cheap gaming laptop in 2022. Looking for solid endurance? The G3 15’s got you covered lasting over 7 hours on our battery test. The all-AMD system also delivers solid performance across the board.
The HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr is a great combination of style, power, and endurance. Plus, it comes in well below $1,000. We were particularly impressed with its agile SSD and it stays cool while gaming and lasts almost 6 hours on a charge.
The MSI Alpha 15 and Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i are our honorable mentions. The first features both an AMD processor and graphics card, it marks the chipmaker’s return to gaming laptops. While the other is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. Both are great entries but don’t hold up to the systems on this list.
See our picks for the best cheap gaming laptops of 2022 below.
The Dell G5 15 SE is a great mainstream gaming laptop thanks to its wild CPU performance, awesome battery life and bright 15.6-inch display. With its AMD processor, the system continuously blew out the competition. The notebook also impressed with its battery life, lasting over 7 hours. Throw in an AMD graphics card that can hold its own on even the most demanding AAA titles and you’ve got a certified winner.
See our full HP Gaming Pavillion 15-dk0046nr review.
See our full Asus TUF Gaming FX705 review.
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Best Cheap Laptop Under $: Acer Aspire 5
Why it made the cut: The Acer Aspire 5 is the standard value model that Acer has been updating for years, and they always manage to stuff just enough higher-level features into it to make you surprised its the best cheap laptop under $500. This years version has a really nice display, just enough RAM and hard drive space to do some light gaming, and fun extra features like a fingerprint reader for security.
- Jack-of-all-trades but master of none
- Not enough hard drive space to do production work or store a lot of games or media files
I can personally attest that the Acer Aspire is a solid budget computer because Im typing on one right now. I purchased mine nearly three years ago and it still manages to get everything done that I need it to do. While I dont demand any processor-pushing power from it, it manages to run zippily, has a solid, comfortable construction, and never seems to run too hot. The battery has managed to maintain a lot of integritythough I do tend to use mine plugged in more often than not.
Our featured model is a middle-of-the-line Aspire 5. You can go about $140 cheaper with a downgrade to RAM and hard drive size, or go bigger with a dedicated graphics card, double the RAM, and a 1TB SSD for $140 the other way.
The one quirky feature is the fingerprint sensor, which allows you to unlock your computer in much the same way that many phones allow, adding an extra layer of security.
Built For Backpacks: Assessing Ruggedness
Unique features like these are what transforms an ordinary cheap laptop into a school-friendly machine that kids won’t outgrow or destroy in a few months. Arguably the most important is how rugged the case is.
A few Chromebooks and inexpensive Windows laptops have spill-resistant keyboards, which means that they should survive splashing with an ounce or so of water unscathed. It’s much rarer to find entire laptops that are waterproof the rugged ones that are typically cost several thousand dollars and aren’t geared toward kids at all, but rather workers in outdoors or shop-floor professions. Likewise, it’s relatively easy to find reinforced lids or cases made of rubber to help absorb drops from a few feet, but you just won’t find fully ruggedized machines anywhere close to this price range.
Portability is another key concern, especially for middle- and high-schoolers who walk to school with backpacks laden with heavy textbooks. Most laptops in this category with screen sizes from 11 inches to 13 inches weigh about 2.5 pounds. Go above 3 pounds, and you’re putting a real burden on your child’s shoulders.
Battery life is important, too, but it’s no longer the limiting factor that rendered the laptops of a decade ago useless if they spent more than a few hours away from a power outlet. Even some of the cheapest laptops now boast times of about 10 hours on PCMag’s battery rundown test, thanks mostly to their power-sipping Intel processors.
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Screen Your Options And Speculate On Your Usage
Theres nothing worse than acquiring a laptop and later realizing it is lacking in an area that cant be easily improved. This is likely most important in the display. Based on reviews, the perceived quality of the display is the second-most important thing to buyers of laptops, after the reliability of the laptop as a whole. In short, you want your laptop to not break, and you want what you are doing to look good. Unfortunately, truly awe-inspiring displays are also where laptops can get very, very expensive, so remember that when it comes to cheap laptops, good-for-the-price is the goal.
Additionally, knowing what you want your laptop to do will give you an idea of what different specs are important to you. If you use a laptop mainly for streaming, or for doing office or university work that mainly consists of the Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace productivity software alongside the internet, you dont need to worry about having the strongest processor or the biggest hard drive. However, if you want to use your laptop for gaming or for media production , suddenly the central processor unit, hard drive, and, in the case of gaming, GPU become extremely important.
What To Look For In A Cheap Laptop
Here are the minimum specs to look for if youre buying for a younger child and have a budget of less than £200.
- Operating system: Windows 10 S or Windows 11 S or ChromeOS
- Processor: Intel Celeron or Pentium
- Memory: 4GB Ram
- Storage: 64GB of storage or 32GB of storage
We’d recommend a smaller, 11-inch screen . Avoid big, heavy laptops that a child will struggle to carry.
You should also check it’s going to be compatible with Windows 11 – use our free Windows 11 requirements checker tool. If it’s not compatible, don’t necessarily rule it out as it gives you the opportunity to haggle with the seller. After all, Microsoft will still support Windows 10 until October 2025, which may well suit your needs.
Steer clear of:
- Processor: Intel Atom and older Intel Celeron processors .
- Memory: 2GB Ram .
- Storage: 16GB storage .
If you opt for Windows 10 S, your computer will only be able to install apps from the Microsoft Store. This means there’s much less chance of your child accidentally downloading an app thats actually a virus or full of spam. You can also set up their Microsoft account to be a ‘child’ account linked to your own account, so you can limit what they’re allowed to do with the laptop.
Chromebooks are also worth a look. In fact, your child might already use one at school, as these are popular among educational institutions. Read our guide to Chromebooks for more.
Cut Your Office Costs With Used Laptops
A used laptop can be a great way to stretch your budget and afford a bit more in the way of features and specifications. To get everything you need for your personal and professional activities, consider one of the many models offered on eBay.
Why should you choose a refurbished model?
A used laptop is often sold as seen a refurbished model should operate exactly as if it was new, albeit with a little aesthetic wear and tear. Refurbished laptops will have been fully checked and all necessary parts replaced, letting you benefit from the best of both worlds a more affordable price, with the safety net of a fully tested, as if it was new machine.
What should you look out for when choosing used laptops?
Used laptops come with a range of different features and specifications. Before choosing used laptops for your office, consider the following:
What about battery life?
A new battery should run for up to 8 hours, but a used battery might only hold charge for a fraction of that time. To make sure you can still work when on the go, consider buying a new battery for your used laptop.