Looking For A Budget Laptop That Doesn’t Cost The Earth These Are The Best Cheap Laptops On The Market Today
Believe it or not, the best cheap laptop can hold its own against far more expensive competition. There’s no reason to spend a fortune on a new portable PC: many of the best budget laptops now offer impressive specifications without the wallet-busting price tag.
As a result, you no longer need to limit your search for a budget workstation to the realm of and and better yet, there’s no need to trawl second-hand resellers to find a Windows 10 laptop within your price range. Not that there’s anything wrong with purchasing a second-hand laptop: if that’s your bag, you may want to check out our detailed guide to buying refurbished.
This article, however, will help you avoid that unnecessary hassle. After all, buying the best cheap laptop has never been simpler, provided you know where to look and what to avoid.
Below, you’ll find our definitive list of the best cheap laptops you can buy. Each entry on the list has been put through its paces by one of our experts, with tests designed to assess its CPU, GPU and display performance in addition to battery life and other key metrics. You can find detailed results of those tests in the full reviews of the specific products.
Before we jump into the list of the, we’ve included a quick breakdown of the entries and a comprehensive guide to buying the best cheap laptop for you. If you can’t tell an Intel Core i5 from a Ryzen 3, or you’d like to know the difference between a Chromebook and a laptop, read on.
Limitations You Can Live With
Naturally, a budget laptop is one thats more affordable than cutting-edge machines, and in the majority of cases, a lower price means less-powerful internal hardware. Thats not a bad thing. For example, if you spend most of your computer time browsing the web or watching movies, chances are you dont need the latest-generation processor or an ultra-powerful video card. You can save a lot of money by finding a budget laptop that makes reasonable compromises.
As youre shopping for budget laptops, consider the most common hardware compromises youll encounter.
- Video hardware: Most budget laptops either use underpowered graphics processing units , or they power their video by sharing resources with the main processor . In these cases, video on the laptop will be adequate, but thats about it. Watching Netflix will be fine, but your laptop will struggle with more intense video tasks such as playing video games and editing videos.
“If youre thinking about buying a budget laptop with an 11-inch screen, make sure the diminutive size isnt too small for your hands. Some users complain that there isnt enough room to comfortably type on the corresponding keyboard. “
Best Cheap Laptop Deals And Sales For September 2021
All the latest cheap laptop deals
You’ll find a range of cheap laptop deals available this week whether you’re looking for a new everyday browsing machine or something with the specs to take on far more demanding programs, From big savings on premium ultrabooks to some excellent budget laptop prices there’s something for every wallet up for grabs right now.
Cheaper Chromebooks are offering some excellent extra features that we don’t tend to see in the more affordable price ranges in this week’s laptop deals. You’ll also find spacious SSDs, speedy 11th generation Intel processors and Apple MacBooks all discounted as well.
All the best cheap laptop deals available this week can be found just below. We’re rounding them up here so you can save some serious cash on everything from budget laptops to powerful machines running the latest specs.
If you’re shopping for cheap laptops, it can be difficult to know whether you’re actually getting a good deal or just paying a low price for underperforming tech. It can be the difference between buying an excellent machine and saving some cash in the process and wasting money on an old computer that can barely run its own operating system. We’ve weeded out all the offers that won’t be worth your time, so you can be sure you’re picking up the best laptop deals out there this week.
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Best Laptop Under $500 For 2021
Here are some recommendations and buying advice so you can find the best budget-friendly laptop from Lenovo, Acer and others.
Parts-supply shortages and high demand for cheap Windows and Chrome OS laptops spurred on by the pandemic have made it a bit more challenging to find the best laptop under $500. There are a lot of cheap laptops that are just not worth it, so we urge you to consult our picks to help you sort through the competition and not make rash decisions when you’re shopping. You’ll also find some straightforward buying advice based on our years of testing and review experience to help you understand just what to expect from a laptop priced under $500, as well as what to look for if you want to continue your budget laptop hunt on your own.
The Best Cheap Laptop With A Stylus
If you like the Duets size and detachable form factor but are willing to spend on something a bit more upscale, you may find the Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 to be a better choice. Like the Duet, the CM3 is a 10.5-inch 16:10 Chrome OS tablet with a fabric cover, kickstand, and detachable screen. But the CM3s kickstand folds multiple ways: you can crease it lengthwise to stand the tablet up like a laptop or fold it the short way and stand the tablet up horizontally. Plus, it comes with a built-in USI stylus and roomy keys with a surprising amount of travel. Battery life was also quite impressive: we averaged close to 13 hours of continuous work.
Where the CM3 lags a bit behind the Duet is the power. Its MediaTek processor can be a bit sluggish compared to more pricier offerings. But the CM3 still offers a surprising number of perks for its sub-$400 price and makes a great student driver or secondary device.
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Choosing A Cheap Chromebook Vs A Cheap Windows Laptop
Our picks are for anyone who doesnt want to or cant spend more than $500 on a laptop. These models are good for anyone who just wants to browse the web, students who dont need special software, and people who work at home only occasionally. If you need a more powerful laptop, take a look at our guide to the best laptops.
Holiday Laptop Deal Buying Tips
If youve shopped online before for laptop deals around the holidays, youre probably aware that theres a vast range of laptop configurations available.
A good place to start is with the processor. Buy laptops with Intel 10-series Core chips or higher, such as the Core i5-10510U, or the Core i7-11800H or go with an AMD Ryzen processor . Avoid laptops with Pentium or Celeron processors unless its a Chromebook . Youre going to need to pay attention with gaming laptops, too, as some GPUs, like the RTX 3050 Ti, dont offer much boost over their RTX 2xxx-series cousins, and Nvidia has dropped the Max-Q designation on certain low-power options. Our laptop CPU and GPU cheat sheet can help you shop smart.
Display resolution is a gotcha. If you see a laptop labeled as HD resolution that means 1366-by-768 and often isnt worth your time for a laptop under 13 inches unless the deal is absolutely standout. What you want is Full HD or FHD, which means 1080p.
Dont buy laptops with under 4GB of RAM or 128GB of SSD storagethough on a Chromebook, this configuration is acceptable. We have more explanation in our laptops versus Chromebooks buying guide, as well as in our primer on how to buy a budget laptop without getting screwed. Also watch out for eMMC storage, which is something we dont recommend for a Windows laptop but works fine for a Chromebook.
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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.
How Much Battery Life Is Enough
Many laptops can last an entire day away from the power outlet, even when youre using them for demanding but common activities like streaming internet video. There are exceptions a laptop with a 4K display and a powerful CPU probably will not last for more than 8 hours or so before its battery dies, and most gaming laptops die far sooner. When youre playing demanding games that tax the GPU, gaming laptops tend to run out of juice even more quickly off the plug than they normally do. Youll find more than a few exceptions, though, and even powerful laptops have become adept at sensing when their maximum power isnt required and reducing various components consumption.
This is where PC Labs battery testing comes in. We evaluate battery life by playing a locally stored video file nonstop with no wireless connections active and 50 percent screen brightness. An excellent result on our test suggests that the laptop is good at adapting its power use to the task at hand, and you can use the results to compare the potential of machines you are considering.
Measuring battery life is notoriously tricky, though, since its entirely dependent on how you use your laptop. Your usage profile probably doesnt match our testor anyone elsesto a T. So youll want to look at tested battery life in a relative, rather than absolute, sense.
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The Best Cheap Laptop Deals In September 2021
All the best cheap laptop deals in the US for any budget
We’re bringing you all the best cheap laptop deals currently on the shelves, including machines with excellent specs for some great prices. Not only are we seeing powerful budget laptops on sale right now but there are plenty of 2-in-1 laptop deals offering discounts on flexible machines with great functionality.
From Best Buy to Walmart, MSI to HP you’ll find all the best cheap laptop deals right here. That means we’ve weeded out all the discounts that aren’t worth your time to bring you only the highest quality budget laptop deals on the digital shelves. You’ll find all the key specs and features listed out for each model as well, so you can find the perfect machine for you.
There’s a wide range of cheap laptop deals on offer here, from traditional laptops under $500 and the best Chromebooks made for browsing, to powerful working from home machines. So, whether you’re after a budget laptop for web surfing or a more capable rig with the latest processors and speedy SSDs, you’re sure to find the model for you in the laptop deals below.
If you’re a gamer, you’d be better suited to check out our selection of gaming laptop deals, as the models on this page are not usually built with gaming in mind. If you’re after a cheaper web-based machine, check out the latest Chromebook prices and deals and definitely keep an eye on the upcoming Labor Day laptop sales.
Where To Go From Here
Shopping for a laptop is an exercise in patience. An ultra-competitive market means that even if youve got specific requirements, you can almost certainly find a handful of excellent models that will meet them, and another handful of perfectly serviceable but ho-hum models that will, too. Now that you know which specifications to look for, we hope that parsing the good from the bad will be much easier. We update our top picks frequently, and you can find our current favorite laptops below.
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Laptop Deals Under $299
Acer Chromebook 311: If you want a laptop for a cheap price, this Acer Chromebook 311 is one of the least expensive we’ve so far this year. On sale for just $129, it features a 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 LCD, 1.1GHz Celeron N4020 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB eMMC. It’s been as low as $150 in the past though. View Deal
Lenovo 14 S330 Chromebook : This Lenovo Chromebook features a 14-inch HD display, a MediaTek quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of EMMc storage. It’s great for in-home learning, and currently under $180 at Walmart. View Deal
Lenovo Chromebook C340: This Lenovo Chromebook features an 11.6-inch display that can be completely flipped in on itself, to create a laptop that can be used as a tablet-style device as well. It also sports an Intel Celeron N4000 Dual-Core CPU, 4GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC SSD, and Intel UHD Graphics 600. View Deal
The Best Laptop Deals Over $600
MacBook Air M1 : $999 $849 at AmazonSave $150 – The 256GB M1 MacBook Air is back down to its lowest ever price this week at Amazon. This listed price drops by another $100 at the checkout, making it a great price for Apple’s powerful M1 chip and premium chassis.
$999.99 $899.99 at Best BuySave $100 – If you’re after a premium laptop, you’ll find an excellent $100 saving on this 2-in-1 Dell Inspiron packing some exciting specs. An AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD will make for a speedy experience perfect for more demanding software.
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Should I Get A Longer Laptop Warranty
Most laptop makers offer one-year warranties on parts and labor. These standard plans are limited, so they won’t cover accidents that stem from spilling a drink on the keyboard or dropping the system on the sidewalk. Fortunately, your credit-card issuer likely covers such mishaps for a short period of time after you buy a new product, and it also may extend the manufacturer’s warranty. Check your account benefits guide for details.
If your credit-card issuer doesnt cover you, some laptop makers will happily sell you extended warranties. Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all offer wide ranges of extended warranties and coverage for accidental damage. Expect to spend $100 to $300 for these options. Our rule of thumb is that if a warranty costs more than 15 percent of the laptop’s purchase price, you’re better off spending the money on backup drives or services that minimize downtime.
Of course, you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind. There are instances when the logic board or the displaythe most expensive parts of a laptopfail, and while rare, such a catastrophe can cost you half of what the laptop is worth in repair costs.
Best Laptop : The 14 Laptops We Recommend
There are so many to choose from, so let CNET help you choose the right laptop for you.
It doesn’t need to be an expensive struggle to make an upgrade to the best laptop for your needs. Scrolling through endless lists of identical-looking laptops to find the important information about how they actually work can be tough without any guidance, but our editors have tested dozens of different models — considering everything from SSD storage to graphics card to battery life — to help you boil it down to a single choice.
We’ve tested dozens of different models in order to help you narrow your search for the best laptop, which doesn’t need to be an expensive, confusing process. A lot of laptops get reviewed at CNET and we are very familiar with the laptop brand options available for those in the market for a new laptop. We also have more specialized lists you can check out while you’re shopping, including the best gaming laptops, 15-inch laptops, two-in-ones and Chromebooks, as well as the best laptops for college students, the best laptop for creatives and the best MacBook Pro alternatives for the Windows set. And if you need to stay as low as possible on the price of a new laptop computer, check out our picks for budget laptops and budget gaming laptops. This list is periodically updated.
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Which Operating System To Get In My Laptop
Most laptops youll run across in-store or at your favorite online seller will run Windows 10 , but Microsofts best-known product isnt necessarily the best operating system for everyone. Thanks to the ascendance in recent years of up the ranks of budget laptops, theres now an alternative to Windows at every price level. The tipping point for non-Windows laptops is around $1,000 above a grand, your main alternative to a Windows 10 machine is a MacBook below it, its a Chromebook.
Today, laptops based on Chrome OS are the primary alternatives to budget-priced Windows 10 laptops. A Chromebook could be a fine, value-minded choice for someone who needs a laptop just to watch movies, create text documents, write emails, and putter around in basic spreadsheets. With a Chromebook, the main features you will really need from your laptop are a decent screen and a comfortable keyboard, since cloud services like Google Drive can handle most of your storage and processing needs. And, if you still insist on key creature comforts, you can find midrange Chromebooks with full-HD displays and comfortable keyboards just as easily as you can find bargain-basement ones these days.
Higher-end MacBook Pros also suit content creators, with the option for a 16-inch Retina display and for CPUs up to Intels Core i9. One of the most significant Mac-laptop drawbacks is a total lack of touch-screen support, which is an option in various Chrome OS and Windows 10 machines.