The Best Laptops of 2016 / 2017

Last Edited: October 20, 2017 by

The-Best-Laptops-of-2016-and-2017

Welcome to our current guide to the finest deals on laptops for 2016 and 2017 based on critic reviews, consumer feedback and hardware power.

Your old pals here at Laptopninja have conveniently rounded up all the best deals of 2016 and 2017 into one place just for you. Here we will be breaking it down into categories to suite every budget and even the most fastidious of users based on price, performance, reviews, specs and aesthetics. If you are looking for a great deal this spring or just in the market for an upgrade, we’re sure you will find what you are looking for right here.

Best All-Purpose >> Best Gaming >> Best Budget >> Best Chromebooks >>

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best-all-purpose-laptopsBest All-Purpose Laptops of 2016 and 2017

Whether it be at home or in the office an all-purpose laptop needs to keep up with the demanding tasks and day-to-day computing needs of even the most discerning users. A good all-purpose machine should run applications like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, Skype and most other demanding software with ease while offering some casual gaming support however this is not always a necessity. An all-purpose laptop also needs to be priced competitively. So without further ado here are the best all-purpose laptops of 2016 and 2017.

Best All-Purpose Laptop Under $500

ASUS P2540UA-AB51 15.6-inchASUS P2540UA-AB51 15.6-inch

The ASUS P2540UA-AB51 has been designed to be a business laptop, however it can just as easily find its way into your home or college dorm. Its added security features are an attractive selling point in our current day and age and while the fingerprint reader is not a must, it surely is a great feature to have for everyday use. While many laptops in this price category offer average battery life, it has been reported that the ASUS P2540UA-AB51 will easily achieve the advertised 9-hours off of a single charge, and this can even be extended if you switch the settings over to Battery Saver mode. ASUS have fitted the ASUS P2540UA-AB51 with a seventh generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB storage drive. Thought the slower 5400rpm storage drive will mean that the ASUS P2540UA-AB51 will take longer to start up and launching your applications will take noticeably longer than laptops with an SSD fitted. Luckily both the RAM and the storage drive can be upgraded and you can even replace the optical drive with a hard drive caddy if you want to keep the 1TB drive for storage. Due to the fact that it has been designed for business, ASUS have put in little thought about the laptop’s audio quality. Some users have reported that it offers weak audio due to the downward facing speakers. Though the audio is not the only thing to have taken a backseat, the display has been reported to be lacklustre and the viewing angles, while not terrible, are not great either.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 5.2 lbs

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Latest generation Intel CPU
  • Fingerprint reader and TPM chip
  • Great selection of ports
  • Easy to upgrade

Cons

  • Slower 5400rpm storage drive
  • Weak audio
  • Lackluster display

Summary

The ASUS P2540UA-AB51 offers great business and security features at an affordable small business price. However the slower storage drive might put some off who are looking for an SSD.

ASUS P2540UA-AB51 15.6-inch
$599.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 18-11-2017 16:34 UTC) Details

Laptops Under $500 – Full Guide >>

Best All-Purpose Laptop Under $1000

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 12.3-inchMicrosoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 12.3-inch

The ultra thin aluminum design of the Microsoft Pro 4 sees it weighing in at an impressive 1.73 pounds without the keyboard, making it perfect for users after a powerful and compact 2-in-1 laptop. But Microsoft still does not offer the Surface Pro with a keyboard as a default accessory and you will have to purchase it separately. While there are cheaper third party options, we recommend two of the Genuine Microsoft keyboards, the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover or the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID. While the keyboard is not included, you do get a stylus to navigate around Windows 10 and for basic drawing and design tasks. The onscreen keyboard can be used and is quite responsive, but it does take up valuable space on your display, which might annoy some users. The Surface Pro is powered by an Intel Skylake Core i5-6300U processor and 4GB of RAM, which allows for snappy performance when it comes to basic tasks. While the i5 processor will handle more intensive multitasking, the 4GB of RAM does limit its overall performance and cannot be upgraded at all. The battery life offers between 7-9 hours off of a single charge and this will allow you to use it comfortably throughout a normal workday or while on a long haul flight. The 128GB solid state drive allows the Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 to boot in seconds and offers fast performance. You can extend the 128GB of storage space with a microSD card, giving you up to an additional 256GB of storage. The display offers crisp colors and great viewing angles. The responsiveness of the 10-finger multi-touch screen is among the best on the market and will not leave you disappointed.

  • 12.3 inch, 2736 x 1824 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 1.73 lbs

Pros

  • Intel Skylake processor
  • Good battery life
  • Crisp and responsive touchscreen
  • Windows 10 Pro

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • No physical keyboard included
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Underpowered for designers

Summary

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 offers a great performance for its compact size, but you will have to purchase the keyboard separately and the 4GB of RAM hurt its overall performance with heavy multitasking.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 12.3-inch
$759.92
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 18-11-2017 15:55 UTC) Details

Laptops Under $1000 – Full Guide >>

Best All-Purpose High-End Laptop

Microsoft Surface Book SX3-00001 13.5-inchMicrosoft Surface Book SX3-00001 13.5-inch

With its modern stylish design, high performance specs, crystal clear and incredibly responsive multi-touchscreen display, the Surface Book is perfect for the working professional, hence it making its way into our top spot for best all-purpose laptops. With an Intel Core i5-6300U processor and 8GB of DDR3 RAM, the Surface Book SX3-00001 has the power to tackle any office task that can be thrown at it. The Surface Book SX3-00001 also features an NVIDIA Maxwell graphics card that has been specifically designed for the Surface Book, and it will allow for some casual gaming, but more importantly it will allow for far better raw rendering power when it comes to design and architecture apps. The display offers a maximum resolution of 3000 x 2000, which gives it a ratio of 3:2. While this is an odd aspect ratio, it does mean that an A4 document will look more realistic than on most other laptops. The crystal clear display offers great viewing angles and rich colors for Full-HD videos and full frame photos. The superfast SSD allows you to boot into Windows in seconds and will allow your apps to launch with lightning fast speeds. You get 256GB of storage space, which will allow you to store a healthy amount of work documents. However it will fill up very quickly if you have a large multimedia library. Microsoft has successfully combined the raw power of a laptop-grade CPU and an NVIDIA GPU with the portability of a tablet into a hybrid that incorporates the best of both worlds. Able to handle anything from spreadsheets to 3D architectural design the Surface Book is the perfect business partner for the user who needs the power of a laptop with the versatility of a tablet.

  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 3.34 lbs

Pros

  • Exceptional battery life
  • Powerful hardware
  • Thin and light
  • Pin point accurate touchscreen
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • NVIDIA graphics

Cons

  • No Ethernet
  • No USB Type-C
  • 3:2 aspect ratio
  • No HDMI
  • Price

Summary

The Surface Book SX3-00001 is a purpose built business laptop that offers great performance, an NVIDIA GPU and excellent battery life that will get you through the day.

Microsoft Surface Book SX3-00001 13.5-inch
$963.95
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 18-11-2017 15:58 UTC) Details

High-end Laptops – Full Guide >>

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best-gaming-laptopsBest Gaming Laptops of 2016 and 2017

Gaming laptops are the ultimate display of raw power and good looks. A good gaming laptop should at very least have a sharp responsive display, immersive sound, stylish design, a powerful processor, ample RAM and most importantly a graphics card that can handle games. Of course things like budget and practicality often mean some sacrifices need to be made hence our article dividing up the best gaming laptops of 2016 and 2017 by price and performance. We have selected the cream of the crop in all price points so that anyone looking to get into gaming can jump right in.

Best Gaming Laptop Under $300

ASUS VivoBook X540SA BPD0602V 15.6-inchASUS VivoBook X540SA BPD0602V 15.6-inch

The ASUS VivoBook X540SA lightweight 4.41 pound budget laptop that is suitable for gaming. Its sturdy plastic construction is quite rugged and will easily withstand being carried around on a daily basis. The battery life is also a lot better than some of its competitors and some users have reported run times of over 7 hours off of a full charge. Realistically you can look at 5-6 hours of web browsing or word processing and 3-4 hours while streaming videos. Powered by an Intel Quad Core Pentium N3700 processor and 4GB of RAM, the ASUS VivoBook X540SSA will easily cope with basic tasks at home or at the office. But the installed 4GB of RAM is soldered to the mainboard and you will only be able to install another 4GB RAM module. But 8GB of RAM is more than sufficient for the needs of most basic apps and for the limitations of the Pentium processor. While the processor ranks slightly lower than the one in the HP-15 F222WM, the GPU is slightly better. However this still won’t be powerful enough to run newer games, as even some 2009 releases only run at 6-8 frames per second. If all you are after are some classics such as the original Red Alert, Warcraft 3 and Age of Empires 2, then the HD Graphics Braswell GPU will cope just fine. If browser based games are more your thing, then you will easily be able to enjoy these in your favorite web browser. The display offers impressive image quality for video playback or you can comfortably stream videos at 720p. The superfast USB 3.1 Type-C port allows you to connect to a host of next generation devices and peripherals, which helps in future proofing the ASUS VivoBook X540SA.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 4.41 lbs

Pros

  • Price
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Decent battery life
  • Light

Cons

  • 4GB of onboard RAM can’t be removed
  • Slightly underpowered processor
  • Slight keyboard and display flex
  • Only two full size USB ports

Summary

The ASUS VivoBook X540SA offers great value for money and even features a USB 3.1 Type-C port. But the Intel Pentium processor is slightly underpowered for more intensive multitasking and you only receive two full size USB ports.

ASUS VivoBook X540SA BPD0602V 15.6-inch
$272.00$268.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 29-07-2017 16:35 UTC) Details

Gaming Laptops Under $1000 – Full Guide >>&gt

Best Gaming Laptop Under $500

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch

Although priced slightly higher than $500, the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 has earned our top pick in the budget gaming category thanks to its dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card which offers more than twice the performance of competing laptops with only integrated graphics units. The Aspire E 15  will run titles such as Overwatch, Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 on low to medium settings with graphics performance more than double than competing integrated graphics based laptops below. The E 15 offers a max resolution of  1920×1080, although this will need to be set to 1366 x 768 to retain a frame rate of over 30fps when playing more demanding games. The NVIDIA GeForce 940MX offers slightly better performance than a 940M card and, unlike some of its competitors, the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 features faster GDDR5 video memory instead of GDDR3. Acer have also fitted the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 with the latest generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, which is powerful enough to handle more hardware intensive apps and games. While it features a superfast solid state drive, storage space is slightly too small for modern games which can take up over 40GB of storage space once installed. You might want to consider upgrading the size of your SSD or purchasing a 7200rpm external hard drive for more storage space. We are also impressed with the Full-HD display which offers good image quality and vivid colors for gaming or streaming your favorite series. Acer claims that the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 will give you 12 hours of battery life off of a single charge, however this would be under ideal conditions and not while gaming or while using hardware intensive applications. Despite this fact, we are still very impressed with the battery life that it offers as most laptops in this price range will barely offer you 4 hours of run time.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Pros

  • Dedicated NVIDIA graphics
  • Seventh generation CPU
  • Superfast SSD
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Full-HD display
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Small SSD
  • Average keyboard
  • Not the easiest to upgrade
  • Acer bloatware

Summary

The Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 is a budget friendly multimedia laptop that offers a fast SSD and dedicated NVIDIA graphics.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch
$579.99$549.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-11-2017 15:52 UTC) Details

Gaming Laptops Under $500 – Full Guide >>&gt

Top Gaming Laptop Under $1000

Lenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS 15.6-inchLenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS 15.6-inch

At under $1000, the Lenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS is able to handle the latest games pretty well. It features a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, which offers an almost 10% performance increase over the standard GTX 1050. While you won’t be playing games with 4K resolution and over 100fps, it will allow you to comfortably play the latest titles on high settings with decent frame rates and in 1080p. To cut costs, Lenovo have gone with an Intel i5 processor instead of the widely used i7’s for gaming laptops. However, the seventh generation Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor will easily keep up with current games and will also allow you to easily run more demanding applications. Backing up the processor is 8GB or DDR4 2400MHz RAM, which will allow for lag free gaming under most circumstances. However, if you intend on running Google Chrome and other memory hungry applications, then you might want to consider upgrading to 16GB for peace of mind. The IPS display offers average colors, however for its price it is not a deal breaker. It also offers a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels which is great for gaming and watching your favorite HD movies and series. To further enjoy your media, the Lenovo Legion Y520 features legendary Harman certified speakers which offer impressive sound. Because of the size of many games, the small 256GB M.2 SSD is not suitable for those with larger Steam and Origin game collections. Luckily, you can upgrade the Lenovo Legion Y520 with a second SATA based SSD or you can look at a more cost effective 7200rpm mechanical storage drive.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 3 hours battery life

Pros

  • Price
  • Dedicated NVIDIA
  • USB Type-C
  • Good audio
  • Kaby Lake CPU
  • Great keyboard

Cons

  • Small SSD
  • Lenovo bloatware
  • Red color is not for everyone
  • Trackpad is a bit awkward and tacky

Summary

The Lenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS offers a decent gaming experience for its attractive price. However the small solid state drive will fill up very quickly and we recommend adding a second storage drive for all of your storage needs.

Lenovo Legion Y520 80WK00FHUS 15.6-inch
$929.99$879.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-11-2017 16:30 UTC) Details

Gaming Laptops Under $1000 – Full Guide >>&gt

Top High-end Gaming Laptop

Razer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 14-inchRazer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 14-inch

The Razer Blade has been CNC milled out of high-grade aluminum to offer you a thin and light laptop that has been filled with some great gaming hardware. Razer have done away with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M from their last generation Razer Blade and have gone for the newer and more powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 laptop edition GPU. The newer GTX 1060 is based off of NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture and with 6GB of GDDR5, it offers far better graphics performance than the older GTX 970M. While VR gaming is still in a development phase for most of us, the GTX 1060 has been designed to perform far better than the GTX 900-series cards, giving it an advantage for future gaming experiences. However, if you really want to push the performance, then you can connect the Razer Core external GPU enclosure via the superfast USB 3.1 Type-C port. However the Razer Core and a faster desktop grade GPU will push up the price dramatically. Being a premium gaming laptop, it features the latest 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, which will make light work of most games or intensive apps. The newer i7-7700HQ boasts a performance increase of 9% over its predecessor, giving it the edge when it comes to more demanding applications. Backing up the Core i7-6700HQ processor is 16GB of DDR4 2133MHz RAM, which combined will allow for lag free gaming or intensive multitasking. While all this hardware is quite powerful, the thin design means that it can heat up quickly, causing the fans to run most of the time. This might put off some users who are looking for a quieter machine for everyday use. While there is a 1TB version of the Razer Blade, the Razer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 features a decently sized 512GB SSD, which helps bring down the cost by a few hundred dollars. This will give you enough space to install some of your favorite AAA gaming titles, however some recent titles require over 50GB and will fill up your SSD quite quickly. Like the previous range, you get Razer Chroma which is Razer’s individually lit backlit keyboard. This will allow you to set three different color zones so that you can truly customize your Razer Blade. The brilliant 14-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel multi-touch display offers rich colors, wide viewing angles and is great for gaming or for media editing on the go. However, the display is a bit small for hardcore gamers, we recommend connecting the Razer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 to a decent size monitor for the best gaming experience.

  • 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.5 hours battery life
  • 4.10 lbs

Pros

  • Kaby Lake i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Thin and light
  • USB Type-C
  • 512GB M.2 SSD

Cons

  • Heats up under load
  • Expensive
  • No Ethernet
  • No optical drive

Summary

The Razer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 is a new an improved version of the Razer Blade which offers a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card and a 512GB SSD.

Razer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 14-inch
$2099.99
Order Now
from Razerzone.com
(as of 05-06-2017 03:57 UTC) Details

High-end Gaming Laptops – Full Guide >>

 

Top Gaming Laptop Under $300

Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW 15.6-inchAcer Aspire ES1-572-31KW 15.6-inch

The cut throat budget laptop market has seen many great laptops being offered by most of the big name brands. Acer is no stranger to the budget market and has been releasing laptops for the budget conscious buyer for a number of years. What you won’t get with the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW is a high performance gaming laptop, but you will be able to play some of your favorite classics. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 graphics chip will even allow you to play Diablo III and CS: GO on medium graphics settings. With almost a quarter of all Overwatch players using integrated graphics, it comes as no surprise that you will be able to play this fun and fast paced shooter. However, don’t expect to play more demanding titles such as Battlefield 1 or Fallout 4 on this machine, as it’s more suited to the casual gamer. The Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW is powered by a Skylake-based Intel Core i3-6100U processor and 4GB of RAM, which will cope with basic tasks with ease. But the 4GB of RAM is slightly underpowered with Windows 10 and it will struggle with certain games. Luckily Acer has made it quite easy to access the internal hardware to upgrade the RAM, we recommend at least 8GB of RAM for smoothest performance. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for installing games, saving photos and even your favorite videos. To cut costs Acer has used a 5400rpm drive, which for day-to-day use is more than acceptable. However, users who are after faster Windows boot and application loading times can easily upgrade the hard drive to either a hybrid or a SATA based solid state drive.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.29 lbs

Pros

  • Skylake-based i3 processor
  • Easy to upgrade
  • Ample storage space
  • Price

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • Integrated graphics
  • 1366 x 768 pixel display
  • Only one USB 3.0 port

Summary

The Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW is a budget friendly laptop that can be used by the casual gamer thanks to its Intel i3 processor and its HD Graphics 520 GPU. However, the hardware will not run current AAA gaming titles smoothly and is not suited for hardcore gamers.

Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW 15.6-inch
$319.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 18-11-2017 15:49 UTC) Details

Gaming Laptops Under $300 – Full Guide >>

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best-budget-laptopsBest Budget Laptops of 2016 and 2017

In today’s tough economy many users find themselves in a financial dilemma when looking for a personal computer. We know times are tough and that every dollar counts. Luckily we have a great team of frugal technophiles scouring the Internet for a bargain and have put together a list of the best affordable budget conscious laptops available this year. A good low cost laptop should handle basic tasks like emails, Skype calls, multimedia and Internet browsing while not costing a small fortune. Should you be stuck in deciding which machine would best suit you or just looking for a great deal look no further, this guide is certain to help you find the perfect laptop for your budget.

Best Laptop Under $400

These are our top picks curated through hours of research each week to provide a one stop guide to the best budget  sub-$400 laptops on the market. This guide is updated regularly with new specials and laptops as they become available so you can be sure you’re not missing out on any great deals.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-inch

If you are looking for a budget friendly laptop that ticks all the boxes, then the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM is well worth a closer look. It not only features the latest Intel Kaby Lake processor, it also features next generation connectivity such as USB 3.1 Type-C and Bluetooth 4.1. Powered by a 7th generation Intel Core i3-7100U processor and 4GB of DDR4 RAM, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM will easily cope with basic tasks such as video streaming, web browsing and word processing. But the 4GB of RAM will struggle with more hardware intensive apps. Luckily, Acer has fitted the laptop with an access panel that makes upgrading the RAM a whole lot easier. If you are on a tight budget then we recommend installing a second 4GB RAM module, but if your budget is slightly larger, we recommend installing two 8GB RAM modules for a total of 16GB of RAM. While many sub $500 laptops are still being offered with entry-level 1366 x 768 display panels, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM comes with a Full-HD display. The 1920 x 1080 display offers great image quality and with Acer’s ColorBlast technology, you get more than twice the as many colors as with other budget laptops. If you spend long hours working on your laptop, then Acer’s Bluelight Shield feature will help to reduce eye strain by reducing the amount of blue light that is emitted from the display. The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM features a standard 1TB hard drive, which offers ample storage space for all of your files, your music collection and years of photos. However, these budget storage drives are quite slow in comparison to modern solid state drives. You can replace it with an affordable solid state drive, however this will mean sacrificing storage space for speed as a similar size SSD will cost as much as the laptop. Overall the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM is packed for of great features that you would expect from more expensive laptops, giving it a great price to performance ratio.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Pros

  • Full-HD display
  • 7th Gen Intel processor
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Battery life
  • Price to performance ratio

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • Slower 5400rpm HDD

Summary

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM offers a lot of great hardware for its sub $400 price tag. But you only get 4GB of RAM and we recommend upgrading to increase the laptop’s day-to-day performance.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-inch
$349.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 18-11-2017 15:51 UTC) Details

Laptops Under $400 – Full Guide >>

Best Laptop Under $300

Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK 15.6-inchDell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK 15.6-inch

Dell have been on the market for a number of years and they have always managed to release great laptops for the budget conscious consumer. At first glance the Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK looks great, though to cut costs Dell has used a slightly less expensive plastic for the body. Sadly there is no all-metal body here but for its price it would be unreasonable to expect one. This cheaper plastic body also means that there is a noticeable amount of keyboard flex while typing and this might deter some users, but this is common among the budget friendly laptops of today. Dell has instead invested in offering the Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK with a relatively good entry-level Quad-Core Intel Pentium N3700 processor, though it only features 4GB of DDR3L memory. While this will be fine for browsing the web in Microsoft Edge, sending emails and using Skype, it will leave the system feeling sluggish with more intensive applications. Even Google Chrome will feel sluggish due to its memory hungry nature. Luckily, you will be able to upgrade the memory to 8GB for a snappier experience. You get a 500GB 5400rpm storage drive which offers much more space than competing laptops fitted with SSDs, but it will mean waiting longer for it to start up and for your applications to launch. While it does not offer a Full-HD display, the Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK does offer great image quality and the viewing angles are what we would expect for its price. There is sadly no optical drive, which has become a trend as they are slowly becoming obsolete in this day and age. You can purchase an external optical drive if need be.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.75 hours battery life
  • 4.8 lbs

Pros

  • Great price
  • Good amount of storage space
  • Decent battery life
  • Good image quality

Cons

  • Plastic chassis
  • Average amount of RAM
  • Slower storage drive
  • Some keyboard flex

Summary

The Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK offers great value for money for the bargain hunter or student after a new laptop. However, there is a noticeable amount of flex due to the plastic chassis.

Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK 15.6-inch
$259.00
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from Walmart.com
(as of 04-06-2017 23:28 UTC) Details

Laptops Under $300 – Full Guide >>

Best Laptop Under $200

HP Stream 11-y010nr 11.6-inchHP Stream 11-y010nr 11.6-inch

The Stream range of laptops have been extremely popular with users who are after a reliable laptop that won’t break the bank. Designed for the everyday user, the HP Stream 11-y010nr will easily cope with tasks such as web browsing, emails and Skype, but its entry level processor will struggle with more intensive tasks. Designed for streaming and working online, the HP Stream 11-y010nr only features a tiny 32GB of storage space. However with Windows 10 installed you are only left with around 20GB of usable storage space. While the SSD will allow you to start up Windows in seconds, it is far too small to store any larger media collections or large amounts of photos. Luckily HP have fitted the HP Stream 11-y010nr with a microSD card slot and you can use a large 128GB microSD card to increase the internal storage of the laptop. Don’t forget to format the card to NTFS to allow Windows to copy larger files. You can also look at an external hard drive or a cloud based storage option if you would prefer even more space. An Intel Celeron N3060 processor and 4GB of RAM power the HP Stream 11-y010nr, but neither the RAM nor the storage drive can be removed or upgraded, so you will have to make do with the 4GB of RAM. You get an 11.6-inch display that offers impressive colors and image quality for its attractive price. However, to keep costs down, HP have used an entry level TN display that offers far narrower viewing angles than laptops with an IPS displays. You also get a fairly large bezel around the display which is noticeable and makes the overall display area look a lot smaller than it really is. Overall if you are looking for a cheap entry level laptop for basic tasks, then the HP Stream 11-y010nr is well worth considering. Alternatively you can also look at the slightly larger HP Stream 14-ax010nr if you would prefer a 14-inch laptop.

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 10.75 hours battery life
  • 2.57 lbs

Pros

  • Light and compact
  • Great battery life
  • Good display
  • Fast boot speeds
  • Attractive price
  • 12 month of Office 365

Cons

  • Tiny amount of storage space
  • No optical drive
  • Limited ports
  • Slightly underpowered hardware

Summary

The HP Stream 11-y010nr offers great value for money, but the underpowered hardware is more suited to basic tasks and the internal storage space is fairly small for a modern laptop.

HP Stream 11-y010nr 11.6-inch
$199.99$198.96
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 18-11-2017 15:52 UTC) Details

Laptops Under $200 – Full Guide >>

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best-chromebooksBest Chromebooks of 2016 and 2017

ChromeOS has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2009 as an open-source project called the Chromium OS project. While still not a 100% replacement for a PC or Mac, a Chromebook is a fantastic tool especially if most of your computing needs lie in the web. Chromebooks are perfect for email, browsing and streaming media. Another plus is that Chromebooks are usually priced extremely well and have incredible battery life. If the thought of ChromeOS intrigues you, read on. We have listed this years best Chromebooks in one easy place.

Best Chromebook under $200

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-inchASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-inch

If you are looking for a strong and sturdy Chromebook that can handle the abuses of the classroom, then the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is well worth considering. It has been specially designed with nano-molding technology to ensure that it is tough as nails and the rubber bumpers help to protect this Chromebook from impact in unforeseen accidents. It has even been tested by ASAS to endure a 3.9 foot drop. ASUS have also given the Chromebook C202SA-YS02 a spill-resistant keyboard to ensure that this Chromebook will still function in the event of an unforeseen spillage while it is being used. The 180-degree hinged display allows for easier viewing while in group discussions and gives the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 a bit more flexibility when relaxing with your feet up on the sofa. Powering the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is an Intel Celeron N3060 processor and 4GB of RAM, which combined are more than powerful enough for most Chrome OS tasks. While the standard Microsoft Office cannot be installed on Chrome OS, you will be able to use Google Docs, QuickOffice and Microsoft Office Online for all of your word processing needs. The 16GB of storage will allow for a handful of applications and documents to be stored on the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02, however, it has been designed to be used in conjunction with Google’s Drive cloud storage. You get 100GB of cloud storage space for 2 years from Google, thereafter it will cost $1.99 a month to keep the same amount of storage. If you would prefer an offline solution, then we recommend purchasing a 128GB MicroSD card and installing it into the MicroSD slot for a more permanent storage solution.

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.2 lbs

Pros

  • Rugged design
  • MicroSD slot
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Price
  • 4GB of RAM

Cons

  • Limited storage space
  • No optical drive
  • Non-upgradable
  • Limited amount of apps
  • Linux not supported

Summary

The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is a rugged Chromebook that has been designed for the classroom and features double the RAM as many of its competitors.

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-inch
$229.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-11-2017 15:48 UTC) Details

Best Chromebook under $300

Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inchAcer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inch

The Acer Chromebook 14’s all-aluminum chassis make it look and feel like it costs much more than its modest price tag. This makes it stand out amongst competitors, and despite the metal design, it remains light enough to carry around easily. Sporting a 1920 x 1080p resolution, its display is sharp and reproduces colors accurately. However, it is not bright enough for comfortable outdoor use, and its color palette is middling at best, but understandable at this price point. Moving on to input devices, the keyboard offers nice feedback and is well spaced out, but we would have liked deeper travel. It is by no means bad, but it tires you out faster than other keyboards. The touchpad, however, is smooth, accurate, and correctly registers multi-touch gestures. Acer fit an Intel Celeron N3160 processor and backed it up with 4GB of low power RAM. Office apps run like a breeze, and there is no visible lag during multitasking. Intel Celeron processors are also designed to be as efficient as possible, and this allows the Chromebook a long 10-hour battery life that will last any school day. Unfortunately, the integrated graphics will not tolerate anything except light gaming. This might actually be a good thing, seeing as how you should be studying rather than playing computer games.

  • 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 3.42 lbs

Pros

  • Premium metal design
  • Sturdy build
  • Full-HD screen
  • Long battery life
  • Great speakers
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Shallow keyboard
  • Dim light
  • Underpowered processor
  • No SD card slot

Summary

The Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM offers much more than its modest price tag suggests, and with its long battery life and compact design, it makes for a great carry-on device.

Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inch
$299.99$277.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-11-2017 16:00 UTC) Details

Best Chromebook under $500

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inchSamsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inchHP Chromebook 13 G1 W0S99UT 13.3-inch

The Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US is well worth considering if you are looking for thin and lightweight chromebooks. Its weight of 2.38-pounds and thickness of 0.51-inches, makes it is among the thinnest of the Chromebooks on the market. While other ChromeBooks are generally inexpensive, the Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US commands a higher price due to the fact that its features are more in line with that of mid-range Windows laptops. The Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US sports a Rockchip Hexa-Core OP1 processor with 4GB of DDR3L RAM, which give it the edge over some of its slightly cheaper counterparts. While you might not get an Intel processor, the Rockchip OP1 has been optimized in conjunction with Google for Chrome OS. You also get double the storage space of most Chromebooks, however the 32GB will fill up quickly if you intend on storing larger documents or multimedia files. You can purchase a large MicroSD card to extend the laptop’s storage space and we recommend a good 128GB MicroSD card. If you are permanently connected to the Internet, then you can make use of Google Drive as they offer great packages for under $10 a month. With a good battery life, the Samsung ChromeBook Plus will easily make it through all of your classes at college. The high resolution QHD display can be folded 360-degrees and with the included pen you will be able to take notes with ease. While it does run the more limited Chrome OS, you will still be able to use Microsoft Office thanks to Microsoft Office Online. The only major downside is that it only features two USB 3.1 Type-C ports that require adapters in order to use a standard USB port. Luckily Samsung have included an adapter in the box, which is more than what you get with Apple’s MacBook.

  • 13.3 inch, 3200 x 1800 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 8.25 hours battery life
  • 2.86 lbs

Pros

  • Quad-HD display
  • USB 3.1 Type-C ports
  • Thin and light
  • Good keyboard
  • Backlit keyboard

Cons

  • Lower battery life
  • Limited applications
  • Only one full USB port
  • No HDMI port
  • Higher price

Summary

The HP Chromebook 13 G1 W0S99UT is a premium Chromebook which offers a Quad-HD display and more powerful hardware. However, the brilliant display will drain the battery quicker and there is no HDMI port anywhere to be seen.

HP Chromebook 13 G1 W0S99UT 13.3-inch
$499.00
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from BHPhotoVideo.com
(as of 04-06-2017 23:48 UTC) Details

Chromebooks – Full Guide >>

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