Welcome to our weekly updated series on the best cheap laptops based on consumer feedback, hardware power, design and raw value for money.
Laptops are becoming faster and faster year in and year out -luckily fierce competition from manufacturers and retailers drives prices own and allow us as consumers to take advantage of major discounts and get more computing power for less. To help narrow your search down we’ve created weekly updated guides covering laptops in various price brackets from laptops under $400, through to laptops under $300, laptops under $200 and all the way down to laptops under $100 and everything in-between. If you’re looking for a laptop with a bit more power also checkout our guide on the best laptops under $500 for some more pricier options. Our best 2-in-1 laptops guide also some great budget options for those who are looking for a laptop-tablet convertible.
Our guides on affordable laptops are updated regularly with new deals on cheap laptops on sale for the budget conscious and are focused strictly on laptops that stand out the crowd and deserve a spot in the limelight in the battle for the best budget laptop, either through hardware power, outstanding design, or a mixture of both. Unfortunately most major tech blogs and competitors rarely cover laptops within these price ranges which means for now our research is limited mainly to user reviews and direct consumer feedback. Needless to say in many cases this can be even more valuable. Mobile gamers will also want to checkout our popular guide to cheap gaming laptops which offer some additional deals aimed at budget gaming connoisseurs.
How We Decide
We pool reviews and data from hundreds of cheap laptops for sale to come up with our regularly updated budget laptop buying guides designed to fit any budget and ensure budget conscious users get the most bang for their buck without skimping on the features that are most important to them. Our team are dedicated to finding the best deals possible and our unique ranking score for each laptop takes into account user reviews across a host of leading retailers as well as leading publishers. Whether you are looking for an all-purpose home computer or an on-the-go portable netbook, we’ve collected the best cheap laptop deals from across the web right here.
The Best Laptop Under $400
- High quality IPS display with good contrast
- Lightweight design with aluminium top cover
- Backlit keyboard
- Graphics only suitable for older games
- Flimsy touchpad
- Limited storage space out the box
- 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
- Windows 10 Home
- 7.5 hours battery life
- 3.97 lbs
Summary & Score
The Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-43-R19L provides enough graphics to run for older games on low settings and snappy Windows performance at a bargain price.
The Best Laptop Under $300
- Attractive design
- Lightweight build
- Excellent battery life
- Easy to use Chrome OS operating system
- Low price
- Very limited hard drive space (SD card recommended)
- Not suitable for advanced applications or any Windows applications
- Can only use apps from Chrome store
- MediaTek MT8183 2Ghz [View Benchmarks]
- ARM Mali-G72
- 4GB SDRAM RAM
- 32GB SSD
- 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
- Chrome OS
- 15.5 hours battery life
- 2.36 lbs
Summary & Score
If you are looking for a mobile laptop on a budget this 2020 Chromebook makes for an attractive package, merging a slick design with excellent battery life for a stylish portable laptop on the go, though advanced users who want to use Windows apps or advanced applications should look elsewhere.
The Best Laptop Under $200
- Impressive screen quality
- Highly competitive price
- Great connectivity options
- Vanilla Android Operating System
- Free MS Office Suite
- Limited performance for advanced apps
- No Windows apps
- Mixed reviews on audio quality
- 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixels (IPS)
- Android 9 Pie
- 5 hours battery life
- 1.1 lbs
Summary & Score
If you are looking for a highly portable and functional 2-in-1 laptop that can handle basic office applications and browsing from anywhere on the go, the Simbans TangoTab is one of your top options at its price.
The Best Gaming Laptop Under $300
- Modern hardware for cheap
- Long battery life
- Snappy day to day performance
- Only 4GB of RAM for limited multitasking
- Limited 128GB storage space
- Not suitable for resource heavy apps
- 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
- Windows 10 S
- 8 hours battery life
- 3.2 lbs
Summary & Score
The HP 7MP80UA provides fast performance for day to day tasks at a budget price with great portability and battery life. Although performance will struggle for demanding apps or games, it’s hard to argue with the 7MP80UA’s attractive price tag.
The Best Gaming Laptop Under $500
- Powerful value for money AMD hardware
- Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics
- Professional design
- Lightweight and portable
- Flimsy touchpad
- Poor viewing angles
- AMD Ryzen 5 3500U 2.1 GHz
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 [View Framerates]
- 8GB DDR4 RAM
- 256GB SSD
- 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Windows 10 Home
- 3.3 lbs
Summary & Score
The Lenovo Ideapad 3 81W0003QUS provides very powerful hardware for the price and only a few compromises, making it an affordable all-round laptop capable of light gaming and handling day to day tasks with ease.
Choosing the Right Laptop for Your Budget
Let’s face it, not everyone needs the most expensive, ultra powerful laptop. In fact, these types of laptops are designed for a certain group of users that prefer to play games or perform tasks that require the fastest processors and the most memory. For most users, there is simply no need for that kind of power.
Luckily, there are many different types of laptops designed for all types of users and many of these are much more affordable compared to the premium, overpowered laptops designed for the heaviest of tasks. If you are shopping on a tight budget, you may think that it will be almost impossible to find a laptop that will meet your needs without it costing a fortune. However, today’s laptop world is much different from the early days, with many different laptop choices available that are designed with budget users in mind.
What Are Mainstream Laptops?
Before we can take a look at exactly what you should be looking for in a laptop, we first need to address exactly what a mainstream laptop is. Today, there are many different types of laptops including Windows laptops, Apple Mac laptops, Netbooks, Convertible Laptops/Tablets, Chromebooks, and the list goes on. While all of these different types of devices have their place and can serve you well, it is hard to escape the need for a mainstream laptop.
A mainstream laptop is one that runs a more traditional operating system such as Microsoft Windows or Apple’s Mac OS X. All of the other types of devices often run different operating systems such as Android or ChromeOS, and these systems, while powerful, simply do not provide the traditional desktop or laptop experience that you often need to accomplish your goals.
For the purpose of this article, we will be assuming you are in search of a budget laptop that provides you with a traditional computing experiencing and we will be looking at specs you should consider from a mainstream budget laptop, as these laptops will provide you with the traditional and familiar experience that users expect from their laptops.
What Are the Limitations of Budget Laptops?
While you may be able to pick these laptops up for a price that is considerably lower than many laptops you see on the market, that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to fulfill your needs. In fact, most users will find that these budget priced laptops are more than they will ever actually need from their laptop.
These laptops are ideal for:
- Web browsing
- Office work
- Music listening
- Watching movies or television
All of these types of use require only minimal processing power and they just don’t need the amount of memory to run efficiently compared to high end applications or games. So, if this is how you mainly use your laptop, you should consider one of the budget laptops so you don’t spend too much for something you just won’t use.
Who Will They Work For?
You may be wondering if a budget laptop is right for you. In all honesty, gamers or high end users do not make up most of the laptop market. In fact, normal everyday or basic users are the main bread and butter for laptop manufacturers. In most cases, a budget laptop is perfect for:
- Students who need to research, write papers and take notes
- Family members who only perform basic tasks
- Schools that need computers for the classroom
What Tasks Are Budget Computers Not Suited For?
While a budget computer will be more than enough for most tasks and users, there are situations where they are simply not powerful enough to satisfy the needs of users.
- Gaming – While some lighter games may run on budget laptop, serious high end video gaming requires a dedicated video card, a faster processor and more memory in order to play games at reasonable settings and some won’t even run without them.
- Professional Workstations – Professionals that need a portable workstation that is fast and reliable or need a machine that will handle more heavy duty apps won’t find the best experience with budget laptops. These users will need the power to run their heavy applications that only a higher end machine will provide.
- Ultra Portability – Budget laptops are not designed to be extra light or thin and are often not made of the sturdiest materials. This means that they will be heavier and more fragile than their higher end big brothers. While you can take them with you wherever you go, you will find them more difficult to carry and more easily damaged than more expensive laptops.
Budget Intel Core-sereis CPU’s – Fastest to Slowest
- Intel Core i5-6200U [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Core i3-7100U [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Core i3-6100H [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Core i3-6100U [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Core i5-5200U [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Core i3-5015U [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Core i3-5010U [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
Budget AMD A-series, FX-series and E-series CPU’s – Fastest to Slowest
- AMD A10-7400P [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- AMD A8-8600P [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- AMD FX-7500 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- AMD A10-7300 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- AMD A8-7100 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- AMD A6-7310 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- AMD A8-6410 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- AMD A6-6310 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- AMD E2-7110 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- AMD E1-2100 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
Intel Pentium-series, Celeron-series and Atom-series CPU’s – Fastest to Slowest
- Intel Pentium N3540 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Celeron 3955U [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Pentium N3700 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Celeron N2940 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Celeron 3855U [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Atom x5-Z8500 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Celeron 2957U [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Celeron N2840 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Atom Z3735F [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Celeron N3050 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
- Intel Celeron N3060 [ VIEW BENCHMARKS ]
Budget GPU’s – Fastest to Slowest
- Intel HD Graphics 530 [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- Intel HD Graphics 620 [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- AMD R6 Graphics (Carrizo) [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- AMD R6 Graphics (Keveri) [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 820M 2GB [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- AMD Radeon HD 8650G [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- Intel HD Graphics 520 [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- AMD R5 Graphics M240 [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- AMD R5 Graphics M320 [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- AMD R5 Graphics M230 [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- Intel HD Graphics 5500 [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- Intel HD Graphics 515 [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- Intel HD Graphics 510 [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- AMD R4 Graphics (Kaveri) [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
- AMD R4 Graphics (Beema) [ VIEW FRAMERATES ]
Our Budget Gaming Laptop Guides
Now that you are well equipped, feel free to browse the guides below for our top picks. You can use this page as a reference when comparing specs and other features or drop us a line if you have any specific questions.
The LaptopNinja editorial team