Best Laptops for Kids · Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 review · MSI Modern 14 Review For more detailed breakdowns of our budget choices, take a look at our roundup of the best laptops for students, the best laptops for kids, and the best Chromebooks. An affordable 2-in-1 laptop to take with you With its sleek lines and slim silhouette, the Acer Chromebook 14 makes for a subtle, smart laptop. Although the display isn’t the most attractive we’ve ever seen, it’s still acceptable for Full HD. In addition, the keyboard and trackpad follow the principle of “it just works”.
Similarly, many laptops have incredibly low prices as they are labeled “FreeDOS”. That means they don’t have an operating system yet. So you need to buy Windows 10 to set it up. See our full Acer Aspire 5 review. In addition, the Chromebook x2 offers a comfortable keyboard and battery that lasts almost 9 hours on a single charge.
But the icing on the cake is that it’s included in HP’s Active Pen, which keeps up with even our fastest drawings. The HP Chromebook x2 is one of the best Chromebooks for this price. The Acer Aspire 5 15-inch clamshell continues to be one of the best laptop deals available. This Windows laptop under 4 pounds includes an AMD Ryzen 3 3350U processor, 4GB of storage, and a fast 128GB SSD.
This budget laptop also features a USB 3.2 Gen 1 USB-C port, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, Ethernet, and an HDMI port. The Windows version of the Flex Two-in-One has the improved specs (at least it has a Chromebook) required to run Windows, though probably not very fast — the Intel Core i3 dual-core processor and 4GB of RAM are the reasons why the price is low. However, it has a larger Full HD screen than the Chromebook model. If you suspect you’ll be keeping your new laptop for a while, see if you can expand your budget to buy a slightly more expensive laptop with more than 8GB of RAM, or a processor with more cores than you would otherwise have considered.
If you haven’t thought about it, check out AMD Ryzen processors as alternatives to Intel Core for Windows laptops or alternatives to Intel Celeron and Pentium for Chromebooks. You can always add one or two external drives (or five if you’re me) at some point down the road. However, if your internal storage is a slow-spinning hard drive that is included in many cheap laptop models, fast external storage is unlikely to speed up Windows or application loading.. You can often set a system to boot from an external solid-state drive when needed.
And finally, if you’re replacing an old Windows laptop that can no longer run Windows, consider turning it into a Chromebook. You’ll see a lot of cheap laptops that come with Windows 10 S, a stripped-down and locked-down version of the operating system intended for schools. You can only install applications from the Windows Store, you must use Microsoft’s Edge browser, and includes a subset of the administration tools in Windows 10 Pro. However, you can upgrade to the full version for free. There doesn’t seem to be much to make the new Windows 11 an essential upgrade, but if for some reason it’s going to matter to you, carefully check if the laptop meets the requirements.
With these inexpensive models, there is a particular risk that the cut will not be carried out.. The flip side, however, is that Chrome and Google apps are more of a memory hog than expected. If you get too low performance with the processor or save memory, the system still feels slow.. Chrome OS is also a very different experience than Windows. Make sure the applications you need have a Chrome app, Android app, or Linux app before you take the plunge. Read our in-depth Acer Swift 3 (AMD) review Read our in-depth Microsoft Surface Laptop Go Review Chromebooks have become popular budget options in recent years, and many have convinced us too (see our list of the best Chromebooks).
One style that hasn’t worked as well as some others is the removable Chrome OS tablet. That has changed with the introduction of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, which is not only a very usable tablet but also adds tremendous value thanks to the included stand cover and removable keyboard. You’ll also need to get used to Chrome OS. It’s not as functional as Windows and works best when you have an active internet connection, but it’s worked out better today than it was in the past.
If you use a lot of Google web services and watch streaming services like Netflix, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a great way to save a lot of money on your next upgrade. Read our in-depth Lenovo Chromebook Duet review. The editorial team of ZDNet writes on behalf of YOU, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice so you can make smarter purchasing decisions for technical equipment and a wide range of products and services.
Our editors thoroughly review and carefully review each article to ensure that our content is up to the highest standards. If we made a mistake or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you notice any inaccuracies in our content, please report the error via this form. Prices may have risen slowly, and most of this is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the pressure it has put on supply chains. Not only did we see disruptions in manufacturing, but the shift to working and learning from home resulted in hardware flying off shelves as quickly as possible.
And for all the zoom sessions you’re doing, there’s a very powerful 720p webcam. Some of these systems run Windows 10S, a version of Windows 10 that can only run apps from the Windows App Store. This has both advantages and disadvantages (increased safety and reliability) and disadvantages (fewer choices). So keep that in mind if you want to go down that road. If you buy something through links in our stories, we may earn a commission.
Please also consider subscribing to WIRED. MacBooks and premium Windows 10 laptops have over 9 hours of running time as a good result, while gaming laptops and workstations that can be powered for more than 5 hours deserve praise. The battery life of a cheap laptop should be at least seven or eight hours, and these days many last a little longer. Some come with removable keyboards, but most of them are far less comfortable for typing on your lap than a traditional laptop.
The sleek black deck of the laptop is made of thick plastic, but a brushed metal structure gives it a deceptively high-quality appearance. You can sit him at his desk surrounded by a hoarder’s dream of laptops, and when he rushes into civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing a painfully difficult game. While it’s certainly possible to find a powerful laptop with a 15-inch screen, you might have to settle for a weak keyboard and touchpad. Externally, the Swift 3 isn’t the thinnest or prettiest laptop you can buy, but it’s a solid performance in most areas.
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. As buyers, we have grown accustomed to comparing prices and models based on the number of gigabytes next to the model name. The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is similar in many ways to the more expensive Envy x360 13 and is a high-quality budget laptop that is both incredibly light and powerful. Virtually all devices below this price have a maximum of 64GB, so you get double the capacity here at a great price.
It’s ideal if you think you need to store a lot of files or applications on the laptop for work or school.