Many of the best budget laptops now offer impressive specifications without wallet-busting price tags, meaning you don't need to limit your search for a budget workstation to the realm of tablets, Chromebooks or refurbished laptops.
If you're the type who plugs in external storage, you might also want to check that it supports USB 3 (for faster file transfers) and has an SD or microSD card slot. It's also worth noting the type of USB ports a cheap laptop houses. Some use USB-A ports, others USB-C and some a mix of both. Pick a cheap laptop that offers ports that support whatever accessories you intend to use your laptop with.
A laptop's internal components will determine what it can do, and how fast it can do it. As a general rule, even the best cheap laptop will be slower than an expensive one, and won't be able to multitask as effectively or play demanding AAA games.
CPU: Unless you're a bit of a tech-head, you won't need to worry too much about the complexities of the Central Processing Unit (CPU). Ultimately, cheap laptops aren't famed for their processing power, and you certainly won't be given much choice over what kind of CPU your laptop ships with.
Most cheap laptops will have 4GB of RAM, which is enough for work but too little for demanding photo/video-editing tasks or gaming. If you can afford it, we recommend hunting for a laptop with 8GB of RAM.
We recommend that you buy a cheap laptop with as much storage as you can afford: you're probably not going to want to spend time clearing out your meagre 32GB storage drive every time it fills up with documents, images, videos or apps. 64GB of onboard storage should be a bare minimum; most smartphones offer at least that much storage nowadays.
Due to their dependence upon the cloud/internet, Chromebooks break the rules we've laid out above. They tend to have dual-core processors, under 4GB of RAM and under 64GB of onboard storage. There's nothing wrong with Chromebooks - in fact, they're a great choice for those after a cheap laptop - but just be careful you don't mistake a Chromebook for a full-blooded Windows laptop if it's the latter you're after.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 offers a budget-friendly middle ground between Microsoft's premium tablets and larger laptops, with an affordable compact notebook design. From the color options and aluminum lid to the 11th Generation Intel Core i5 processor inside, the Surface Laptop Go 2 delivers a near-premium experience despite its low price.
The hardware inside delivers performance that's more than capable, and pairs it with an updated webcam, a taller 3:2 aspect ratio display, and even some room to grow with SSDs that can be replaced or upgraded. With more style and a better build quality than most affordable laptops, it's a budget laptop win.
With a sub-$500 starting price, excellent performance, and a better-than-average keyboard, the IdeaPad Flex 5i is a big win for budget shoppers who want a great 2-in-1 laptop without any major compromises.
This large laptop from HP is designed for folks that fit in the Venn-diagram crossover between (1) desiring a large display with acceptable sharpness and color, and (2) getting it for as little money as possible without making too many compromises. Anyone who wants an affordable, big-screen laptop for working and watching movies will be well-served by the 2022 HP Laptop 17.
Lenovo's Legion 5i Gen 7 is a budget-friendly gaming laptop that stands out for its impressive gaming performance and high native screen resolution. It features a 12th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, a 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, and a 15.6-inch display with a 1440p resolution. Despite its lower price point, this laptop can hold its own against some high-end models, delivering fast and attractive performance that exceeds expectations. The screen is bright and colorful, and the laptop has ample connectivity options. The only real downsides are its bulk, lack of biometrics, and low-rent webcam and speakers.
This laptop is ideal for anyone looking for a powerful gaming laptop that won't break the bank. It's the best choice for gamers who want to play the latest games at high settings without sacrificing performance or visual quality. Despite its lack of biometrics, this laptop is also suitable for anyone who needs to balance both gaming and productivity, making it a versatile choice for students and professionals alike.
Convertible laptops are the show-offs of the notebook world, flipping and folding between laptop, tablet, and presentation easel modes with versatility that makes fixed-form-factor systems jealous. Finding a nifty convertible for $429 complete with stylus pen is enough to raise an eyebrow, but Asus' Chromebook Flip CM3 delivers with little compromise. This 12-inch Chrome OS laptop weighs just 2.5 pounds and packs impressive performance, as well as a 3:2 screen aspect ratio that makes tablet operations feel more like holding a pad of paper than wielding an ungainly 16:9 widescreen 2-in-1.
Yes, it's only $299 list price (and maybe less than that if you hunt around resellers). No, it's not a Chromebook. The Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 is a 14-inch Windows laptop with full HD (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) screen resolution (not an unsatisfactory 1,366 by 768), a snappy keyboard (not a patch on Lenovo's famed ThinkPads, but a lot nicer than you'd expect), and a bona fide (albeit small-capacity) solid-state drive (SSD) instead of the puny, poky eMMC flash storage of some super-economy notebooks. Its AMD Athlon Silver processor is slow compared to AMD's Ryzen or Intel's Core CPUs, and its screen brightness peaks at 220 nits instead of the 300 or higher we prefer, but check that bottom line again: $299. 'Nuff said.
Ready to dive into the details around budget laptops Today's good news is that you'll have to accept fewer compromises with budget laptops than you did in the past. Intel's Celeron and Pentium processors (which power most of the under-$400 laptop set) have evolved to the point that they can support most of your web browsing and basic productivity needs without feeling sluggish. (That's especially true with Chromebooks; more on them later.) That said, the $400-to-$700 Windows laptop market is mostly populated by systems based on the much peppier Intel Core i3 and Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 families of processors. Opt for these CPU lines if you need more than just the basics. (See more about how to choose a laptop CPU.)
In years past, many of the barest-budget Windows laptops would come with just 2GB or 4GB of main system memory, but nowadays, at least in the Windows sphere, most come with 8GB. (A 4GB RAM count remains more common in Chromebooks and under-$300 Windows laptops.) In terms of batteries, an ideal budget laptop has one with six cells or more. The battery life for a cheap laptop should come in at a minimum of seven or eight hours, and these days, many will last quite a bit longer. (A lower-resolution screen, which is a feature of some of these machines, can consume less power, all else being equal, and end up being a benefit of sorts.)
Other budget systems, particularly Chromebooks and some under-$400 Windows laptops, will have only a small allotment (32GB or 64GB) of local storage, but compensate for it with generous offers of additional free cloud storage. Of course, as with anything cloud-based, you'll need to be online to access it. Also, know that budget machines with this little local storage, among them many Chromebooks, are using what is called \"eMMC memory\" as their main storage. This is not the same as the flash memory used in a true solid-state drive (SSD), and it will feel a tad sluggish if you're used to an SSD.
An HDMI output and a USB-C port are definite pluses, and you can find these on even some of the very cheapest models. You shouldn't always expect a touch-screen display, however. (See our picks for the best touch-screen laptops.) Any 2-in-1 convertible machine, though, will by definition have a touch screen, as having one is necessary for using the machine as a tablet or in other orientations where the keyboard is covered up.
See our guide to the best 2-in-1 convertible and hybrid laptops for more information about this popular segment of the market. In part because of their added complexity compared with traditional clamshell designs, you won't find quite as many affordable ones, but there are a few Windows and ChromeOS-based models that cost $500 or below. They come in both permanently attached (generally 360-degree-rotating-hinge) designs, and in detachable-keyboard designs.
The best inexpensive laptops tend to go in and out of stock frequently. We've broken out the specs of our favorites here, and while we update this guide constantly, there's a good chance that at least one of our picks is back-ordered at any given time. But if you're on a strict budget, don't lose heart. You can definitely find PCs that will offer you enough performance to tackle your day-to-day tasks without a hitch.
For further in-depth breakdowns of our budget picks, take a look at our roundups of the best laptops for college students, the best laptops for kids, and the best Chromebooks. And for more general factors to consider when choosing a laptop, take a look at our buying guide with our top laptop picks overall.
\"I have MS Office Professional 2013 running on my laptop. And I have bought a new one and I would like to move the application to the new laptop. Is it possible to transfer Microsoft Office to a new computer How Do I transfer my MS Office 2013 with or without product key to the new computer\"
The Aspire 5 comes with a Ryzen 5 5500U. This is a 6-core CPU, with a base frequency of 3.6GHZ and a max boost frequency of up to 4.0GHz with integrated graphics, which is what makes the laptop fast and capable of performing a lot of tasks. You can get some light photoshop work done here, and mid-range video games will run swiftly. It has a default TDP of 15W, which means great power draw and a balanced battery life. 59ce067264