Best Budget Ultrabooks 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews
Autumn is just around the corner, so back to school season is looming. Are you thinking of perusing the best laptops, small and easily portable? Do you want an ultra thin laptop to do all of your essays on? Are you a working professional – do you need the best laptop to work from home with ease? Well, look no further – today we’re taking you through our top tips so you can buy ultrabook online, including giving you a guide to the best smallest laptops that give you hours of battery life without compromising size – we’ll give you the best budget ultrabook deals to help you find the right model for your $$$ range.
Before we do any of that, we’ll need to give you the lowdown on everything about these inexpensive ultrabook laptops, including telling you what ultrabooks are, how much they typically cost, and therefore where you can find the best ultrabook for the money.
11 Best Budget Ultrabooks (Under $500) in 2020
Here are our top 11 picks – because we just couldn’t settle on 10 – for the best ultrabooks in 2020. We’ve linked each pick to its Amazon page so you’ll find it easily. If you purchase a pick from the links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission – so have a look and see if we’ve got the high quality laptop you’re looking for.
1. Acer Aspire 5
Best Features: Battery Life. Display Features.
Our first model comes from Acer, and is the 15.6 inch laptop with a Full HD display and an 128 GB SSD (just short of 256 GB). This laptop comes with an AMD Ryzen 3 processor, which is brilliant compared to current generation intel processors.
This model comes with easy to use Wi-Fi technology, and gives you up to 7.5 hours of battery life; this long battery life is well worth it. There’s also the addition of a backlit, comfortable keyboard – this may be one of the best ultrabooks we have on offer for its bargain price.
The 15.6 inches full HD screen comes with 1080p and an LED backlit display, as well as AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics – seriously impressive!
Screen Size: 15.6 Inches | RAM: 4GB | Operating System: Windows 10 | Storage: 128GB | Memory Clock Speed: 3.5 GHz
2. ASUS VivoBook
Best Features: Build Design. Processing Speed.
Our second pick is the 15.6 inch, Full HD VivoBook from ASUS. It comes complete with AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics and Windows 10 Home, as well as a 256 GB SSD. It offers oodles of benefits that make it one of the best ultrabooks compared to competitors like the Dell XPS models, or the HP Spectre X360.
This model comes with an array of handy features, such as an impressive 37WHrs battery life. More than this, the ergonomic backlit chiclet provides ultimate comfort with maximum efficiency. The AMD Quadcore R5-3500u Processor is highly effective – some say more than your average Intel UHD Core i5 or Core i7.
The ultra slim 5.7 mm bezel boasts an effective display which gives an incredible 88% screen-to-body ratio, for immersive visuals.
Screen Size: 15.6 Inches | RAM: 8GB | Operating System: Windows 10 | Memory Clock Speed: 2400 MHz
3. Dell Latitude Professional Renewed Laptop
Best Features: Screen Definition. Storage and Processor.
Our third pick shows you an example of the best used ultrabook around – it’s the Dell Latitude Business UltraBook (14 in.) which has been refurbished and renewed by Amazon, so it works like new. The brilliant storage features, webcam, and array of perks make this a brilliant choice at a bargain price.
This wonderful laptop comes equipped with a 14″ high definition screen with Intel HD Graphics 520 integrated, as well as an easy to use webcam. The Intel Core i5- 6300 U processor comes equipped with a 3 MB smart cache, and to top it off, the 256 GB solid state drive and 8GB SD RAM is truly impressive.
The average battery life is 1.5 hours, which is not as extensive as some other models, but you’ll need to weigh this up against all the other benefits of this Intel Core i5 supermodel, such as the 2133 GHz memory speed.
Screen Size: 14″ | RAM: 8GB | Operating System: Windows 10 Pro | Storage: 256GB | Memory Clock Speed: 2133 GHz
4. ASUS VivoBook Thin and Light Laptop
Best Features: Battery Life. Build Design and Usability.
This ultrabook is a little similar to pick 2, with some different features and a nice, cheaper price. It’s the VivoBook Thin and Light Laptop with 15.6″ FHD display, and an i3 10th Generation Intel Core Processor. The 128 GB of solid state drive space is impressive, and makes this one of our best ultrabooks listed.
Aside from the obvious benefits of the laptop display, backlit keyboard, and sleek slate gray design, this laptop has benefits to boot. The processing speed and storage space are the two main benefits, whilst the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and voice command features massively enhance the user experience.
The high quality lithium polymer battery gives you an extended battery life, which includes speedy fast charging; you can get up to 60% in just 49 minutes! Better than a lot of laptops we’ve seen, such as the HP Spectre X360 or Dell XPS models.
Screen Size: 15.6 Inches | RAM: 8GB | Operating System: Windows 10 S | Storage: 128GB | Memory Clock Speed: 3.4 GHz
5. Dell Latitude 14″ Laptop with Windows 10 Pro (Renewed)
Best Features: UHD Screen Display. Storage Space.
This next pick is another refurbished Dell Latitude, courtesy of Amazon Renewed. With an excellent build quality that is controlled and tested by suppliers, this laptop comes with an excellent 14 inch screen and is dubbed the “portable powerhouse”.
This brilliant ultrabook earns its name as a ‘portable powerhouse’ by combining high performing technology, like the Intel 2-in-1 Dual-Core i5 Processor and long lasting battery life. The smooth visuals of this ultrabook gives you an LED backlit HD 16:9 anti-glare screen, with integrated Intel UHD graphics (rated highly amongst other graphics processors such as Nvidia GeForce) – which you can use for video conferencing and streaming!
The Ethernet LAN and Wi-Fi capabilities of this Intel UHD laptop are also a serious bonus, and the 256 GB storage drive gives you all the room you’ll need to run the apps and games of choice.
Screen Size: 14″ | RAM: 8GB | Operating System: Windows 10 | Storage: 128GB | Memory Clock Speed: 2133 MHz
6. Lenovo IdeaPad 3
Best Features: Additional Features, i.e. Webcam. 14 Inch UHD Screen with Narrow Bezels.
Our sixth pick comes from one of the most popular ultrabooks around, the Lenovo IdeaPad. Its key features include some impressive graphics, a Windows 10 OS, a narrow bezel, and impressive processing speed… read on to find out more.
This 14 inch screen model comes complete with FHD display, an AMD Ryzen 5 3500 Processor, and 256 gigabytes of SSD space. The Windows 10 operating system and Dolby Audio gives you crystal clear function at crystal clear sound. What’s more, the narrow side bezels give you a larger viewing area and less clutter.
You can also quickly and quietly use Q Control to swap between fast, powerful performance and battery saving mode. The webcam also comes complete with a physical shutter – privacy at your fingertips.
Screen Size: 14″ | RAM: 8GB | Operating System: Windows 10 | Storage: 256GB | Memory Clock Speed: 3.6 GHz
7. ASUS VivoBook 11.6″ Display Ultra Book
Best Features: Complementary Year of Microsoft 365. Intel Celeron 2-in-1 Dual Core CPU.
Our seventh pick comes from ASUS and is another VivoBook, this time with a 11.6 inch screen, compared to the larger 13 inch models. This wonderful laptop offers cinematic visuals with the impressive HD screen display, as well as lots of added bonuses.
The main positive points of this model include its 2-in-1 dual processor, the 64 GB of flash storage, and specifically the complementary year of Microsoft Office 365 that comes with this model. You’ll be hard pressed to find a laptop that offers so many bonuses at such a slim and portable format. With next generation Intel core processing, you’ve got your pick of benefits.
Screen Size: 11.6″ | RAM: 4GB | Operating System: Windows 10 | Storage: 64GB | Memory Clock Speed: 2.6 GHz
8. Lenovo 2-in-1 Convertible Chromebook
Best Features: Ease of Use with 2-in-1 Function. Customer Satisfaction.
Our eighth pick comes from Lenovo, with the 2-in-1 convertible chromebook. This model comes with an array of handy features, such as the MediaTek Processor (which is on par with even the most effective next generation intel core i7 processors).
These laptops come with an array of positive reviews, making them one of the best ultrabooks/ portable laptop models you can buy. The 2-in-1 convertible feature means that you can use on the go, anywhere. Definitely a laptop for movers – its IPS display boasts HD clarity at a low-end price, and the connectivity options mean that this laptop is adaptable to all different functions.
Just read the reviews- the customer satisfaction is evident, users provide glowing recommendations left, right, and centre – value and quality matches or exceeds pricier models such as the HP Spectre X360, or Dell XPS.
Screen Size: 11.6″ | RAM: 4GB | Operating System: Chrome OS | Storage: 64GB | Memory Clock Speed: 2.1 GHz
9. Dell Latitude HD Business Laptop with Intel Core Processing (Renewed)
Best Features: Ergonomic Features, i.e. Keyboard. Anti-Glare Screen.
Our ninth option is a renewed Fast Dell Latitude, courtesy of Amazon Renewed. This notebook laptop is one of the more expensive laptops, but with sleek display features and a comfy to use keyboard, it may just be worth the price, comparable to high-end models such as the Spectre X360 or Dell XPS models.
These laptops come equipped for your every need, from the easy to use keyboard, the Intel Core i5 processor, to the 256 gigabyte SSD, Wifi and camera features. You’re spoilt for choice with this handy notebook, of which the screen is just over 13 inch (at 14.6″).
The Intel Dual Band wireless also makes these laptops worth the price, while the intel UHD anti-glare screen complete with Intel HD 520 graphics (which some believe to be better than competitors such as Nvidia GeForce) means the display of this laptop is stunning.
Screen Size: 14″ | RAM: 8GB | Operating System: Windows 10 Pro | Storage: 256GB | Memory Clock Speed: 2.4 GHz
10. HP 14″ Touchscreen Home and Business Laptop
Best Features: Finger Touch Navigation – Less Reliance on Keyboard!. Vega 3 Graphics.
Our penultimate pick is also on the pricier end, but its array of features make it a bargain considering everything you get! It’s the HP 14″ Touchscreen laptop.
This laptop comes complete with a comfy to use keyboard, a Dual-Core processor with a speed of up to 3.5 GHz, and a 4K Output HDMI system. The natural finger touch navigation means that you’ll need the keyboard even less, and the energy efficient LED backlight screen provides clarity like you won’t believe.
What’s more, the Vega 3 Graphics provide efficiency unmatched – not even seen in graphics processors like the Nvidia GeForce. This laptop is a clear winner for an array of use.
Screen Size: 14″ | RAM: 8GB | Operating System: Windows 10 | Storage: 256GB | Memory Clock Speed: 3.5 GHz
11. Fusion5 Full HD Windows Laptop with Intel Quad-Core
Best Features: Quick Speed, Lag Free. Lightweight, Easy Portability.
Our final pick comes from Fusion5, and is the Full HD Windows Laptop PC, equipped with an array of handy features for a bargain cost! Perfect for those longer commutes, tap away at your keyboard and look softly on the anti-glare, clear resolution screen.
This laptop provides terrific upload and download speeds, with a 5 GHz average speed, 2 times faster than traditional laptops.
The storage includes a 4 GB RAM which is expandable up to 256 gigabytes with a Micro SD card. There’s so much choice with this super light and flexible laptop, and the QuadCore Processor launches all your Windows programs, lag-free.
Screen Size: 14.1″ | RAM: 4GB | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Storage: 256GB | Memory Clock Speed: 1.92 GHz
Best Budget Ultrabook
No need to splash the cash on a flashy new Ultra Book that costs a ton, like the Dell XPS models, we have our best budget pick for you right here, and it’s pick 5, the Dell Latitude. This laptop comes with an array of positive features that enhance user experience- it’s perfect for professionals on commute, or college students, or those looking for a gaming laptop. The price point of these ultraportable laptops is a definite bonus, giving you ease of use for all of your possible work projects.
Cheapest Ultrabook Available
Our cheapest model available is pick 7, the VivoBook, with a 11.6 inch screen. For the cost, this laptop is one of the best, because not only is it our cheaper laptop on offer, it comes with a free year of Office 365, as well as benefits such as UHD display and Intel Core Processing, making it fast and efficient.
- 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
- Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google Classroom on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11
- Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
- 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- Ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello
Ultrabooks Buyer’s Guide
Considerations for Choosing Ultrabooks On a Budget
Before you have your pick of the top budget ultrabooks, there’s a range of considerations you need to keep in mind before you click to purchase. Here are our top 5 considerations:
One of the key pluses about ultrabooks is their portability, so it makes sense that you’re going to use your best value ultrabook to work constantly away from home, maybe in long commutes, maybe at university. So, you’ll need an optimal long battery life to make sure you don’t forget to hit save before the screen fades to black. If the ultrabook has a larger battery, an efficient screen, or a powerful processor, long battery life is attainable.
Another key aspect to getting one of the best ultrabooks for you is storage space. If an ultrabook has good storage space, an efficient battery, and a good processor, it may earn its place on your work desk. Some laptops, like the Acer Inspire, offer impressive amounts of storage space with the hybrid 20 GB SSD (solid state drive)/ 320 GB HDD set up.
Storage comes in either hybrid or single SSD storage. Hybrids give plenty of storage space, but single SSD gives a super quick, silent, and less power consuming quality – so it’s important to weigh your storage needs against battery life.
Perhaps one of the most important elements when thinking about your ultrabook’s usability, you’ll need a laptop with good build quality. Simply put, your best budget ultraportable laptop needs all the desirable features you’re looking for. This can include a comfortable keyboard and easy to use touchscreen, as well as screen display and graphics – do you want your laptop to come with the best high tech Nvidia GeForce graphics processors?
A final element of build quality is the materials used to make your ultrabook; manufacturers today tend to replace steel elements with plastic, fiber, and aluminum to make your laptop thin and light. Buyers beware, though, thin isn’t always best – there might be creaks and groans which make it less comfortable to use, as well as giving a compromised durability.
The interior and exterior design of your ultrabook is really important. You need to consider all the features your laptop will give you, from the feel of the keyboard to the size of the screen (do you want a 13 inch, maybe 14 inch?), and even what the Wi-Fi capabilities of these best cheap laptops are like. Given that you’ll be using these on the go, an efficient, ergonomic design is of the highest importance.
With exterior design, it’s also an added perk to have a laptop that not only functions efficiently and feels lightweight, but looks this way upon display too. You’ll want a sleek design that you can show off to your friends, a model that’s one of the best for style AND substance.
Ultrabooks come with an array of different processing options, so you’ll need to think about the processors that offer the best processing speeds for everything you’ll be doing. With a smaller, portable model like an ultrabook, you won’t be using it for heavy duty tasks such as gaming or Photoshop, so an extreme processor speed isn’t a must.
That said, you’ll still want a model with a decent Intel Core processor, like a Core i5 or Core i7.
Our Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Ultrabooks
Before we go, we’ll just take you through some of the key features to buying the best cheap models for you. Our top considerations are:
What size screen do you need, and where will you be using this laptop? Are you a work from home type, or a commuting type? The size of the screen, and the general model itself, will definitely factor into which model you want to go for. Make your web surfing as easy as possible, and have a look at touch screens’ screen size, the display options, and more things in order to get the best products for you that the market can offer. There are a bunch of picks, so no need to go round in circles… just read review comments that mention all of your key needs.
You’ll also need to take screen quality into account: what version of the product are you going for? Which number in the series is this laptop – are these versions better or is the predecessor a better fit? Generally, people and computer fans will agree that later models matter most and are designed to be upgraded with details and software suited to a better selection of jobs. So, qualities such as screen brightness and displays will help you to decide between the variety of competition by comparing specs – pick the laptop that’s best for anything, that anyone would love.
Would a Touchscreen Better Suit You?
Another key question when reading articles and comparing the drawbacks and benefits of your search result and its contenders is how usable the model is overall – is the keyboard easy to use, does the model come with a touch screen, is the touch screen a better benefit? By most standards, most guides will recommend touch screen ultra books as their favorites for usability – thousands of reviews confirm this. However, do the research and have a look at the conditions of use for each model, and maybe check YouTube if you get a chance – see which variants suit your preference.
Make sure the laptop you go for ultimately has the memory requirements that you need for your hard drive… but be aware of the trade-off, as a longer battery life can come at the cost of some other features such as less memory. However, there’s no need to break the bank with MacBooks like a MacBook Air, you’ll find a good, cheap alternative right here.
Keyboard and Trackpad
Our final recommendation is the keyboard – how does it feel to use? What will it look like, does it have LED backlighting? Is the keyboard as important if you have touchscreen functions also? Make sure you’ve got yourself clued up on different keyboards’ responses and provisions, to make sure all the settings of the notebooks you view, regardless of brands or company, offers the designs that you need.
What Are Ultrabooks, Exactly?
Wondering what an ultrabook laptop is? Well, you’re not alone. An Ultrabook is an Intel specification and trademark for a range of high-end notebook computers, which feature a new and improved, thin and light shape without compromising a long battery life. In order to meet these criteria, an ultrabook uses a low-power Intel Core processor, a solid-state drive, and a unibody chassis in order to meet the criteria – giving you the best laptop, smallest and most efficient, for your money.
Typical Cost of a Good Cheap Ultrabook
In order to find the best cheapest ultrabook for you, you’ll need to think about what your budget is, what you’re looking for in your best buy ultrabook, and therefore how to find the best ultrabooks for your price range. It helps to know how much ultrabooks cost, so you can find one that works for you.
The best cheap ultrabook can vary in price due to its storage, battery life, processing power, and other elements. Some may contain Intel Core i5 processors, some may contain Intel Core i7 processors. Ultimately, you want an ultrabook that’s portable, easy to use, and gives you hours of battery life.
Our top 11 list gives you a range of the best ultrabooks under $500 – as ultrabooks can generally cost anywhere between $250 and $500, with our average price being about $400.