Best Budget Laptops 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews
Are you looking for a brand new set of high tech equipment? Do you want something tailored to your web browsing needs, that suits your price range too? Well, luckily we’ve got you covered – this article is going to take you through our picks for the best laptop at low costs. Cheap laptops are hard to come by, because you feel like you’re not getting everything you need. Thankfully, with our list of the best buys on laptops you’ll easily find something for you.
From a 12 inch laptop to a 15 inch laptop, from an Acer Aspire to a Chrome OS Acer Chromebook. We’ll help you find one of the best buys laptops for you, at a low cost and at high efficiency. Whether you want premium build quality, hours of battery life, or the most comfortable keyboard, there’s something for you so you can buy laptops best for your budget.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s our table of contents for the best buys in laptops of this year. These laptops, best buys and so affordable, are bound to blow your mind!
Best Budget Laptops 2020
1. Lenovo Yoga C640
Best Features: 512GB SSD is both large and impressively fast. 10th Generation CPU provides this laptop with some insane power.
First on our list of best cheap laptops we have the incredibly impressive Lenovo Yoga C640 offering some of the best performance you will find. Utilizing WIndows 10, this 2-in-1 laptop offers an exceptional array of modern functionality. Control your device with the built in touchscreen or type away on the comfortable membrane keyboard. Accessibility in a powerful package is the name of the game when it comes to this hybrid laptop.
Witness rapid loading times on all your favourite applications, as this laptop features a 512GB SSD which is more than enough room for all your essentials. A 10th generation Intel processor adorns the inside of this machine, offering exceptional performance. This is complimented by an impressive 16 GB’s of RAM which is more common to find on a dedicated gaming desktop as opposed to a laptop. The display is also impressive as Lenovo have included a 13.3 Inch anti glare 1080p display so you will never have to strain your eyes again trying to find the best viewing angles.
If you are wanting to branch out into the world of 2-in-1 laptops, then the Lenovo Yoga C640 should be at the top of your list as it is an exceptional piece of hardware.
Ram: 16 GB | Processor Speed: 1.8 GHz | Display Size: 13.3″ FHD | Max Screen Resolution: 1080p Full HD Pixels | Operating System: Windows 10 | Hard Drive Size: 512 GB
2. Dell Inspiron 15
Best Features: 4 K touchscreen display provides unsurpassed HD quality. 10th generation processor provides the power you crave.
One of the few 2-in-1 laptops on this list to provide a 4k display, the Dell Inspiron 15 is an exceptional premium choice for those who want the highest quality. The 15.6 inch Ultra-HD screen is a beautiful to witness, videos look crisp which makes this an excellent choice for video editing users. Which is only reinforced by Dells inclusion of a 10th generation Intel processor and a whopping 16GB of RAM. Making this an excellent contender for one of the best cheap gaming laptops there is. Dell seem to focus on 10’s when it comes to this laptop as it also comes with Windows 10 built in.
Unlike other items featured today, the Dell Inspiron 15 comes with an integrated NVIDIA Geoforce MX250 graphics card. This means you can even run some of your favourite games or software on this 2-in-1 laptop without worrying about performance. A 360 degree flip display gives you the means to find the perfect viewing angles for your editing. Security has also been considered with this laptop as it features a unique fingerprint reader, meaning only you can log into this laptop giving you an additional method to lock this away from your kids.
An exceptionally powerful 2-in-1 laptop with a crisp 15.6 inch 4K display, the Dell Inspiron 15 is a perfect choice for video editors who crave versatility and a crisp screen calibre or a alternative gaming set up.
Ram: 8 GB | Processor Speed: 4.1 GHz | Display Size: 14″ | Max Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Operating System: Windows 10 | Hard Drive Size: 256 GB
3. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
Best Features: Incredible roster of features at such a low price range. Great battery life, take this Lenovo Chromebook with you wherever you go.
A unique cross between a Chromebook and a 2-in-1 hybrid laptop, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet caters to all forms of laptop user. The detachable keyboard provides a intuitive typing experience offering you an easy way to to access the superb tablet mode. Web browsing has never been as easy as this, it is quite literally available at the tip of your fingers.
As expected from a Chromebook, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet runs on the Chrome OS but has rarely ran as smooth as this. Accessing cloud storage is very straight forward, simply enter your Google login details once this 2-in-1 has booted and you will immediately have access to all your important Google docs. This laptop also features an impressive 10 hours battery life, providing superb mobility to an already extremely portable package.
This 10.1 inch laptop is one of the best cheap laptops for both accessibility and mobility that you will find in today’s laptops, make sure you consider the Lenovo Chromebook Duet if a 2-in-1 in is what you are looking for.
Ram: 4 GB | Display Size: 10.1″ | Max Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1200 Pixels | Operating System:Chrome O
4. Acer Aspire 5
Best Features: Compartmental build quality offers users an easy upgrade method. Large amount of ports from USB 3.0 to USB C.
If you are looking for a reliable but powerful laptop, then look no further as the Acer Aspire 5 could very well be the cheap laptop for you. The widescreen 15.6 inch laptop screen offers exceptionally high clarity and prevents long term eye strain. The 8th generation Intel core i5 laptop CPU provides this windows laptop with exceptional power and means you are never left waiting for your laptop to respond.
8GB ram and a 265GB SSD work in tandem to ensure you have all the system memory you need and adding to the overall computing power of this windows laptop. Windows 10 has been pre-installed on the Acer Aspire 5 so you don’t have to faff around installing your OS and get straight into high productivity work. Acer have also considered potential upgrade capabilities as the compartmental design allows you to switch in new components with ease.
The Acer Aspire 5 is without a doubt one of the best deals you will find amongst a competitive array of cheap windows laptops. If you want high performance included in a robust laptop deal, then the Acer Aspire 5 could be the laptop for you!
Ram: 8 GB | Processor Speed: 1.6 GHz | Display Size: 15.6″ | Max Screen Resolution: 1080p Full HD Pixels | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Hard Drive Size: 512 GB
5. HP Stream 11
Best Features: Free year long subscription to Office 365 is a great addition. Average 10 hours battery life is fairly large.
When it comes to the working away from the office, fewer laptops featured today offer the benefits that the HP Stream 11 comes with. This exceptional business laptop comes with an Office 365 year long subscription offering all the industry choice programs you need to get you work done, if you aren’t a fan however you may unsubscribe at any time. HP have also included an 1TB cloud storage space, running out of memory will never become an issue again.
The 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 resolution screen features anti-glare technology making this a great choice for long train journeys where you just need to get a bit more work done. This laptop features an Intel Celeron dual core laptop processor, which is perfect for both word processing and spreadsheet tasks. No need to splash out on high-end hard ware when this cheap laptop offers decent performance at such a low price point.
If you are looking for a cheap laptop that features all the power you need for your work, the HP Stream 11 is an ideal pick for you.
Ram: 4 GB | Processor Speed: 2.6 GHz | Display Size: 11.6 Inches | Max Screen Resolution: 1080p Full HD Pixels | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Hard Drive Size: 32 GB
6. Acer Swift 3
Best Features: SD card slot provides a method for upgrade. Back-lit keyboard is a nighttime bonus.
With touchpad integration and a 14 inch 1080p resolution display panel, the Acer Swift 3 is an excellent choice of cheap laptop. A built in web camera allows you to take video calls on the fly meaning you will never miss a zoom meeting again. Superb mobility is one of the distinguishing features when it comes to this cheap laptop as the 10 hours of battery is more than enough.
Dedicated 8GB RAM lets you open as many browser tabs as you like on the browser type of your chosen, there’s no need to compromise. 256GB of SSD storage gives you enough room to download what you need, with room for upgrades thanks to the microSD card slot on the side. That’s not all however as this has a bright back-lit keyboard that is rare to find amongst other budget machines, type away in the dark on those late night shifts. There are plenty of things to love about this product.
This all rounder is one of the best budget systems out there, why spend more when you can get the same performance for less and with zero trade offs?
Ram: 8 GB | Processor Speed: 1.6 GHz | Display Size: 14″ | Max Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Operating System: Windows 10 | Hard Drive Size 256 GB
7. Lenovo Flex 5
Best Features: HD 14 inch touch screen is incredibly responsive. Flexibility offers a whole new dimension of use.
When you think of laptops you rarely think of flexibility, well think otherwise as the Lenovo Flex 5 is one of the most flexible pieces of hard ware on the market. The 14 inch laptop screen can be rotated in front of the keyboard, or positioned into a tent mode, giving you a tablet esque method of use. Lenovo have built this laptop with a touch display that also features active pen support, if you are an artist this can also function as a drawing tablet!
Log in instantly by using the inbuilt fingerprint reader, no longer worry about remembering a unique password when your desktop is but a touch away. Audio of this product is also no slouch as the built in Harman Audio speakers provide a clarity that you will struggle to find amongst most cheap laptops. Installing an OS is also fuss free as this amazing package comes with Windows 10 pre-installed saving you time and money.
Static laptops are a relic of the past, so why waste time on a clamshell laptop when you can have a 2-in-1 flexible touchscreen laptop!
Ram: 4 GB | Processor Speed: 1.2 GHz | Display Size: 15.6 Inches | Operating System: Windows 10 S | Hard Drive Size: 128 GB
8. Acer Chromebook 714
Best Features: Pre-installed Chrome OS saves you a lot of hassle. 12 hours battery life is one of the best featured today.
The build quality on some Chromebooks can be worrying, but worry no more as the Acer Chromebook 714 is one of the best laptops on this list. The pre-installed Chrome OS comes with virus protection that automatically hides your IP address and removes tracking technologies from your machine. This can go a long way in offering you the safety and security you crave. The pre-installed Chrome OS also comes with all the important programs you will ever need making this one of the best laptops for straight up accessibility there is.
The 14 inch laptop screen provides some of the best laptop screen clarity you will find at such a cheap cost. The Intel core i3 processor supports an impressive 8GB RAM providing an excellent low cost laptop deal for a whole host of potential users.
With 12 hours battery life and a stylish yet tough design mean that this 14 inch Chromebook is an incredible but cheap choice.
Ram: 8 GB | Display Size: 14″ | Max Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Operating System: Chrome OS | Hard Drive Size: 64 GB
9. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series
Best Features: Facial recognition log on systems are extremely handy. Relatively quiet fan.
When it comes to Windows Laptops, you expect to pay a premium price, however this Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series begs to differ. A 13.3 inch display makes this an ideal 2-in-1 portable companion wherever your journeys may take you. Dell have gone above and beyond to ensure that this laptop is as reliable as some the best cheap laptops out there by putting it through a rigorous testing procedure.
The core i5 processor provides remarkable windows performance that can run any number of tasks at once. High performance is reinforced by 8GB ram offering double the speeds of 4GB RAM setups. Forget manually logging in by entering your customary login details as the Dell Inspiron 7000 offers a facial recognition log in, passwords and usernames have been left in the past!
An incredible array of features and high performance make this cheap machine one of the best laptops you can find on Amazon today! If you’re wanting to look at more cheap laptops for a specific price range, why not look at the best cheap laptops under $400?
Ram: 8 GB | Processor Speed: 2.2 GHz | Display Size: 13.3″ | Max Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Operating System: Windows 8 | Hard Drive Size: 500 GB
10. Samsung Chromebook 4
Best Features: Military grade durability. Extremely smooth keyboard experience.
Samsung are without a doubt one of the biggest names when it comes to electronics, so you can expect not to be let down by the Samsung Chromebook 4. This ultra-fast Chromebook is one of the best laptops when it comes to durability. Samsung have stepped up the game with their military grade design, this best laptop can sustain a whole host of bumps and bashes without you needing to worry!
Surprisingly the laptop itself only weighs three pounds, pair that up with the excellent 12 hours of battery and you have got yourself one extremely mobile machine. As this features Chrome OS the Google Assitant is there whenever you need, providing you an added method of control. You can also expect top tier WiFi connection as Samsung have built this with an internal Gigabit WiFi receiver. This is all supported by the Intel Celeron N4000 processor making sure everything flow as well as it should.
If you are looking for an ultra-fast and reliable Chromebook then you have come to the right place, as Samsung have just the one for you!
Ram: 4 GB | Display Size: 11.6″ | Max Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768 | Operating System: Chrome OS | Hard Drive Size: 64 GB
Buyer’s Guide to Choosing Budget Laptops
Deciding on which laptop is best suited for you can come with a whole plethora of considerations before making your final decision. Not only can some of these considerations be tricky to find, they can also be hard to understand due to the use of tech jargon. We have come up with this buyers guide for you to refer back to offering you tips and ways to save cash when it comes to finding the best cheap laptop for you. We have also broke down some of the more technical terms which will hopefully make your purchasing experience a pleasure.
Ease of Use
Finding a cheap laptop that is easy to use can be a massive bonus for some people. A wide array of accessibility features can vastly improve an overall deal, with thing’s such as touchscreens and finger print readers populating the market, the laptops of today are more accessible than ever. Large 15.6 inch screens have help improve the best laptops as larger screens make it easier to see what is happening. Other features to look out for, especially amongst Windows laptops that come installed with windows 10, is a voice control mode of operation. This allows you to search service providers and save settings by through your voice.
Some of these features however will add a large cost to your laptop, ensuring you find the best laptops for you with the features you need for accessibility can help you a lot!
Buying a cheap laptop is a lot like buying a new car, sometimes it’s worth sacrificing a funky paint job or an array of color options if the performance makes up for it. Choosing between a 8GB ram machine and a 4GB ram one can be painstaking but as long as you keep within your budget, the 8GB ram will not let you down. When finding a laptop that suits you it’s best to stay within a set budget, ignore the premium builds on social media services and focus on what you really need.
If you tend to type frequently or simply play games on your laptop then a high end keyboard is an essential part of your purchase. Keyboards tend to come in two forms, membrane and mechanical, with the latter being exceptionally rare in terms of laptop keyboards. If you use your laptop a constantly it is also worthwhile to find a comfortable keyboard that offers some form of ergonomic design such as a wrist rest to prevent any long term injury.
As competitive as the laptop market currently is, you will still be expected to pay slightly more for a higher quality keyboard. If you wish to save yourself some cash then opting for a slightly worse keyboard might be a potential option if you also plan on using an external USB keyboard. However, this won’t apply to most users so finding a cheap laptop with high keyboard build will help prevent pain and hassle in the future.
How long your laptop will last before it requires charging is a really important factor to take into consideration when it comes to both portability and accessibility of your laptop. Nobody wants to have to charge their laptop after a measly 30 minutes of use so ensuring you find one with a large battery life can massively alter you experience. Laptops that specifically target mobility tend to have a longer battery life than one that focus more on performance such as gaming laptops. This is especially true for things such as chromebooks that target long battery life and accessibility over outright mobility.
Finding a laptop with a long battery life shouldn’t alter the price much as most laptops, including budget ones, tend to offer several hours of battery life at once. You should never have to sacrifice battery life to save yourself some money.
Most laptops nowadays will tend to use Microsoft’s Windows operating system, however there are some that opt for Linux or iOS. Windows comes in many forms as it has been a stable in the computing world for years, but we would personally suggest finding a laptop that offers Windows 7 on wards. If you already have a license key or just wish to save money you can try to find a laptop that doesn’t come supplied with it’s own operating system. Windows does offer a free version, however this has the caveat of a watermark constantly being displayed in the bottom right of the screen. You could also choose to use Linux, which is a free android based OS that is fast becoming a lot of peoples first choice.
Choosing the right operating system for you is a difficult task, if you are wanting to save yourself some money you can find a package that doesn’t include an operating system. If you don’t mind paying slightly more then purchasing a laptop that comes with an OS installed can be a wise hassle free choice.
Storage Type and Capacity
Storage space and type is something that we personally find to be one of the largest considerations when it comes to purchasing a new laptop or desktop. With the popularity in solid state drives increasing their price is rapidly dropping. A solid state drive (SSD) provides faster operations on your machine such as loading your favourite application instantly and is without a doubt one of the best improvements regarding computers in recent times. They are also not much more expensive than the average hard drive. However, a hard drive does tend to have more capacity so if you plan on saving a ton of data such as videos and images, then a hard drive is still a really good option. A majority of computers typically use an SSD for the operating system only and use a hard drive alongside it for applications and general storage. This however is pretty rare when it comes to laptops, it’s usually picking one over the other.
This is also where capacity of your storage comes into play, as you can expect to pay an increasing price based on how much storage you require. It isn’t too difficult to find low price 1TB hard drives, but finding a 1TB SSD storage device will be a far pricier venture.
If you require more space over performance then a hard drive would be the better option here. If you are willing to sacrifice some space however, you would be hard pressed to find a better upgrade to your laptop than an solid state drive.
The design of your laptop can be extremely important to some people, especially considering the varying forms that are currently available for purchase today. Below we have listed a few types of laptop you may come across, hopefully helping you find the one that best suits you:
- Chromebook: Chromebooks are thinner/smaller style laptops that run on the Linux based Chrome OS. As opposed to having local applications stored on the machine itself, they tend to only function online through Google Chrome. Tasks such as word processing and spreadsheets are done through a cloud style program using Google Drive and other Google Cloud systems. One negative of this however is that they tend to require an internet connection to get the most out of them, so if you are travelling where there is no WiFi access they might not be suited for you. They are mainly suited for people such as college students who wish to take notes in lectures or researchers who like to work from cafe’s etc.
- Notebook: These are perhaps the most common form as notebook and laptop tends to be interchangeable. They are basically portable computers that offer similar functionality to their static PC counterparts. They do tend to be slightly weaker than high end desktops, but if portability is what you are after then a notebook is just what you need.
- Netbook: Although these are no where near as popular as they once were, they are still quite a common choice amongst a multitude of workers who frequently travel. They are designed mainly for internet based computing, much like a Chromebook, however the main difference is they run using Intel as a base as opposed to Google. Most people tend to veer more towards Chromebooks, but if Google isn’t your company of choice then a netbook could be more suited to you.
- Macbook: Perhaps not a cheap choice, a Macbook is Apple’s take on a laptop that runs on the MacOS . They tend to come in two forms, the ultra-thin MacBook Air and the slightly larger but more powerful MacBook Pro. If you are willing to pay a premium price then a MacBook is a powerful machine especially when it comes to video editing and image design.
- 2-in-1 (Hybrids): Rapidly becoming an extremely common option for graphic designers and video editing, 2-in-1 laptops utilize a touchscreen mode as well as the traditional keyboard based method. Some supply touchscreens that can be removed from the keyboard, essentially becoming a tablet, whilst others use a fold-back method, where you can tuck the keyboard behind the screen. If you can’t decide between a tablet and a laptop, then perhaps consider a 2-in-1.
- Tablets: Whilst tablets aren’t necessarily laptops, more expensive models do tend to share similar functionality to laptops. It isn’t uncommon for a number of mobile computer users to opt for a tablet to accompany their desktop, allowing them to bring their work with them wherever they go. Both iPads and Microsoft’s Surface GO are exceptionally popular choices as they offer some of the best performance. Just be warned however that a decent tablet can cost a really high price.
They are a multitude of different laptop designs and forms available on the market today, which can make finding the correct one a hassle. Hopefully this break down of some of the more popular types can help point you in the right direction.
It is hard to think of portability without thinking about wireless connections, which is what makes this an important item to think about before making a laptop purchase. In the world of laptops there tends to be two forms of wireless connection, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Wi-Fi is used to connect your portable laptop to the internet allowing you to access your chosen browser and general web surfing. This is a vital part to forms such as Chromebooks and Netbooks as they lack a multitude of their true functionality when they aren’t connected to the internet. Wi-Fi connection range is also important, as you don’t want to have to worry about losing your connection due to travelling slightly too far away from your home router. Don’t worry about the price of your laptop increasing due to this feature as it is an almost universal feature in modern laptops, it would be harder to find one without it than one that includes it.
Bluetooth is now usually used to connect peripherals to your laptop such as a wireless keyboard or a wireless mouse. This is a slightly less common method of connection than Wi-Fi as a wide array of Bluetooth peripherals tend to come with their own Bluetooth receiver that you plug into a USB slot on your laptop. It is still found on most modern laptops, however it is no longer as essential as it once was. The price of a laptop shouldn’t really increase if it features Bluetooth connectivity so you shouldn’t need to sacrifice this feature if it is something that you want.
A laptop that features several different types of input ports can be a useful thing to own. Most laptops feature at least a USB port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack, however USB can come in a few different forms. USB 3.0 and micro USB are perhaps the more common types, however more contemporary models will feature a USB C port allowing you to plug in your iPhone or other USB C type device. If you are planning on connecting your phone to your laptop then making sure that the laptop that has caught your eye has the correct USB type is fairly important. The price of a laptop will alter depending on number of input ports so this isn’t too much of a budget consideration, more so a functional one.
This commonly refers back to portability of a specific laptop, as the larger the display size the less portable the laptop tends to be. Most laptops display size tends to fall somewhere between 14 and 16 inches, however smaller models such as Chromebooks will tend to be even smaller than that. With the average Chromebook featuring an 11.6 inch display. If you are planning on mainly using your laptop at home then choosing a laptop with a large 15 inch display size shouldn’t be an issue, however do expect to pay slightly more as this tends to be one of the larger cost factors. Price of a laptop almost always tends to correlate with both screen size and internal components. Therefore, if you don’t mind sacrificing an inch or two on the display then perhaps considering a smaller display size might be the best way to save the most money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are budget laptops any good?
This depends entirely on what you plan on using your laptop for, the best laptops for image and video editing will tend to cost a little more than those suited for everyday tasks such as browsing the web or word processing. If you are planning on just using a laptop for everyday tasks then, yes, budget laptops are an exceptionally good choice. You may find that more performance draining tasks will require a slightly more expensive laptop, it all comes down to what task you want to accomplish when using your device.
Overall however, budget laptops are more than worth the low price you tend to pay for them.
Do budget laptops have good battery life?
This is one thing that is fairly similar amongst all laptops regardless of the chosen price range. More expensive laptops tend to use more powerful components so the battery will be drained relatively fast. This means that some budget laptops tend to have better battery life than more expensive models, simply due to the fact that they use less powerful hard ware. If you browse the market enough it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a budget laptop with good battery life.
Are the displays good on a budget laptop?
Due to the recent innovations in 4 K HD technology it has become much more common for most laptops to feature an impressive 1080p full HD display. Even budget laptops now tend to have powerful HD screen so we would say that the displays found on budget laptops tend to be pretty impressive. There are a few that may have poor screens so always check out the user reviews before making a purchase. But it would be fairly difficult to find a budget laptop nowadays that doesn’t feature a HD display.
AMD Vs Intel, whats better on a budget?
When it comes to budget options AMD have been outperforming Intel for years as they tend to offer slightly weaker hard ware at a much cheaper cost. However, in recent times, it isn’t uncommon to find a much cheaper AMD component that is more powerful than it’s Intel counterparts at a lower price. This has been especially true when it comes to AMD’s Ryzen hard ware, with models such as the Ryzen 5 outperforming a lot of Intel core i5 CPU’s. If you want performance at a low price then the AMD Ryzen 5 is the way to go. Keep in mind however that Intel still offer some of the most powerful hard ware to date, so if you are willing to pay slightly more then you may find that Intel is still a great option.