The Best Cheap Laptops of 2018

Gone are the days when a decent laptops would cost you north of $1,000. In this market, manufacturers are inventing new ways to outsell each other, including aggressive price cutting. Now we’re seeing full-size and ultraportable Windows 10 notebooks with processors powerful enough for use at home, school, or work, as well as full-featured chromebooks and hybrid systems that give you both laptop and tablet functionality in one device.

would cost you north of $1,000. In this market, manufacturers are inventing new ways to outsell each other, including aggressive price cutting. Now we’re seeing full-size and ultraportable

notebooks with processors powerful enough for use at home, school, or work, as well as full-featured chromebooks and hybrid systems that give you both laptop and tablet functionality in one device.

And you’ll have to accept fewer compromises with the budget laptops of today than you did in the past. Intel’s Atom and Celeron processors have evolved to the point that they can support most of your Web browsing and basic productivity needs without being overly slow. The newest integrated GPUs can hold their own in browser-based Flash games and even some online games like World of Warcraft, but meeting the higher demands of AAA titles still requires a discrete GPU, which you won’t find in this price range. If money is no object, check out our top-rated gaming laptops .

And you’ll have to accept fewer compromises with the budget laptops of today than you did in the past. Intel’s Atom and Celeron processors have evolved to the point that they can support most of your Web browsing and basic productivity needs without being overly slow. The newest integrated GPUs can hold their own in browser-based Flash games and even some online games like World of Warcraft, but meeting the higher demands of AAA titles still requires a discrete GPU, which you won’t find in this price range. If money is no object, check out our top-rated

Memory (or RAM) is relatively inexpensive now, so you’ll find that many budget laptops will come with 4GB of DDR3 memory (though you may be able to make do with less). In terms of batteries, an ideal budget laptop has one with six cells or more. The battery life for a cheap laptop is at least five hours, and these days many can last quite a bit longer.

When it comes to storage, many inexpensive systems offer up to 500GB of hard drive space. Others, particularly chromebooks and Windows-based chromebook competitors like the Lenovo IdeaPad 100S , will only have a small allotment (16 or 32GB) of flash storage, but compensate for it with generous offers of additional free cloud storage. But, as with anything cloud-based, you’ll need to be online to access it.

When it comes to storage, many inexpensive systems offer up to 500GB of hard drive space. Others, particularly chromebooks and Windows-based chromebook competitors like the

, will only have a small allotment (16 or 32GB) of flash storage, but compensate for it with generous offers of additional free cloud storage. But, as with anything cloud-based, you’ll need to be online to access it.

In terms of features, budget laptops will come with USB 2.0 ports, and possibly USB 3.0. There may also be an SD slot and 802.11n wireless connectivity, and an HDMI port or a USB-C port are a definite plus. You shouldn’t always expect a touch-screen display, however.

Chromebooks used to be glorified netbooks running Google’s Chrome OS. While these Chrome OS-based laptops are still Web-centric, they now have a relatively full feature set. If you spend most of your working hours in the cloud, a chromebook will offer you just as much functionality as a regular laptop, and have longer battery life. It will also likely cost you a lot less than other types of notebooks, as many chromebooks cost less than $300. Just be sure you have easy, constant Wi-Fi access, as there is scant local storage on these systems.

used to be glorified netbooks running Google’s Chrome OS. While these Chrome OS-based laptops are still Web-centric, they now have a relatively full feature set. If you spend most of your working hours in the cloud, a chromebook will offer you just as much functionality as a regular laptop, and have longer battery life. It will also likely cost you a lot less than other types of notebooks, as many chromebooks cost less than $300. Just be sure you have easy, constant Wi-Fi access, as there is scant local storage on these systems.

In recent years, tablets have exploded in popularity, and though we have plenty of reviews of those–take a look at our overall roundup of the best tablets , as well as our favorites running the Windows and Android operating systems–those are sufficiently different enough from traditional clamshell-style laptops that we’re not covering them here.

In recent years, tablets have exploded in popularity, and though we have plenty of reviews of those–take a look at our overall roundup of the

operating systems–those are sufficiently different enough from traditional clamshell-style laptops that we’re not covering them here.

They are, however, an important part of a new category that has also emerged: the laptop/tablet hybrid. These machines let you flip between a laptop and a tablet, either by folding the keyboard out of the way or docking a tablet on a keyboard accessory to get laptop-like functionality. You should consider a hybrid system if you want both the typing capability of a laptop and the convenience of a tablet. Read our story The Best 2-in-1 Convertible and Hybrid Laptops for more information about this burgeoning sector of the laptop market.

They are, however, an important part of a new category that has also emerged: the laptop/tablet hybrid. These machines let you flip between a laptop and a tablet, either by folding the keyboard out of the way or docking a tablet on a keyboard accessory to get laptop-like functionality. You should consider a hybrid system if you want both the typing capability of a laptop and the convenience of a tablet. Read our story

If you’re on a strict budget, don’t lose heart. There are PCs that will offer you enough performance to tackle your day-to-day tasks without a stutter, and without breaking the bank. We update this list frequently, so you’re always seeing our top recommendations for the highest-performing affordable laptops.

For more budget picks, take a look at our roundups of the best laptops for college students and the best chromebooks . For more general factors to consider when choosing a laptop, take a look at our buying guide with top laptop picks overall .

Bottom Line: How much laptop can you get for $329? Acer’s Swift 1 is a surprisingly strong answer, a little short on storage but with a slim build and a 1080p IPS display.

How much laptop can you get for $329? Acer’s Swift 1 is a surprisingly strong answer, a little short on storage but with a slim build and a 1080p IPS display.

Bottom Line: The Asus Chromebook Flip (C302CA-DHM4) might be more expensive than the average chromebook, but its rich selection of features makes it well worth the extra money.

The Asus Chromebook Flip (C302CA-DHM4) might be more expensive than the average chromebook, but its rich selection of features makes it well worth the extra money.

Bottom Line: The Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM) is a fully featured laptop for a low price, with a large HD screen, solid performance, and best-in-class battery life.

The Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM) is a fully featured laptop for a low price, with a large HD screen, solid performance, and best-in-class battery life.

Bottom Line: The second generation of the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is stylish, durable, and lasts more than 12 hours on a full charge. It’s the laptop to get for your small business or home office.

The second generation of the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is stylish, durable, and lasts more than 12 hours on a full charge. It’s the laptop to get for your small business or home office.

Bottom Line: Students or parents looking for a laptop that will survive an intense day at school will like the Chromebook Flip C213SA’s all-day battery life, sturdy build, and multiple viewing modes.

Students or parents looking for a laptop that will survive an intense day at school will like the Chromebook Flip C213SA’s all-day battery life, sturdy build, and multiple viewing modes.

Bottom Line: The Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook is a well-equipped and semi-rugged convertible-hybrid laptop that offers just enough features to make it a strong bargain over other budget laptops.

The Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook is a well-equipped and semi-rugged convertible-hybrid laptop that offers just enough features to make it a strong bargain over other budget laptops.

Bottom Line: The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 is a convertible-hybrid laptop that has a better processor and subsequently higher performance than rivals, but makes a few compromises to meet its re…

The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 is a convertible-hybrid laptop that has a better processor and subsequently higher performance than rivals, but makes a few compromises to meet its re…

Bottom Line: Dell’s Latitude 3189 2-in-1 is a Windows 10 Pro convertible laptop with long battery life and a durable build, but its middling performance and lackluster screen keep it from standing out.

Dell’s Latitude 3189 2-in-1 is a Windows 10 Pro convertible laptop with long battery life and a durable build, but its middling performance and lackluster screen keep it from standing out.

Bottom Line: The HP Stream 11-y010nr’s rockcbottom price and cute design make it a good choice for a kid’s first notebook.

The HP Stream 11-y010nr’s rockcbottom price and cute design make it a good choice for a kid’s first notebook.

Bottom Line: Lenovo’s petite IdeaPad 120S is a budget ultraportable that offers good-for-the-cost performance, but you can find better screens and keyboards by stepping up to the next highest class.

Lenovo’s petite IdeaPad 120S is a budget ultraportable that offers good-for-the-cost performance, but you can find better screens and keyboards by stepping up to the next highest class.

See Also : Cheap laptops 2018: the 10 best budget laptops that (very …

For less than half a grand, you could buy a smartwatch or a gaming console – or even an additional TV for the bedroom. But, those are all extraneous amenities – things you want, but don’t necessarily need, to get through your day. A laptop, on the other hand, is essential in today’s climate. Especially if you plan on applying for jobs, studying for college or even expediting food into your mouth, a budget laptop is worth considering for 2018.

Stew on this: you aren’t being slighted if you don’t buy the latest and greatest MacBook Pro or Ultrabook computer. In fact, we’d argue you’re coming out stronger than someone who does. That’s because, unlike those with more lavish tastes, you have the privilege of being able to save your money for whatever else you’d like. Honestly, that’s nothing to take lightly. You might not get the fastest processor, but you can expect a better value from the budget laptops below.

computer. In fact, we’d argue you’re coming out stronger than someone who does. That’s because, unlike those with more lavish tastes, you have the privilege of being able to save your money for whatever else you’d like. Honestly, that’s nothing to take lightly. You might not get the fastest processor, but you can expect a better value from the budget laptops below.

On our list specifically, we’ve denoted the best budget laptops in no particular order. In doing so, of course, this means we’ve had to go hands-on with every clamshell notebook we could find for under half a grand. So, if you’re looking to save money this year into the next, you can take solace knowing that what we’ve arranged below is more than just another uninformed top 10 list – this one comes from a place of experience and calculated research.

CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD

Here we have one of the few budget laptops with a processor nearly equivalent to the MacBook Pro, that is, if you opt for the Intel Core i5 configuration. The best part? It’s roughly half the cost of its Apple-branded rival. Now given that it sells at a range of different prices, the Acer Swift 3 can be an obtuse purchase, but lucky for you, the midrange model will get you by just fine.

CPU: Intel Pentium Quad Core N4200 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.2-inch (1920 x 1200) IPS LCD | Storage: 64GB

Hear ye, the Acer Switch 3 is a feat to behold. This cheap laptop uses a low-power, albeit astoundingly efficient, Intel Pentium processor. However, internal specs are the least of its appeal. No, that honor goes to the Acer Switch 3’s novel ability to detach its screen from its keyboard. That only scratches the ‘surface’ of the inspiration it’s taken from Microsoft’s hardware too.

CPU: Intel Atom x5-Z8350 | Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 10.1-inch HD (1,280 x 800) LED touch display | Storage: 64GB

Its name is alphabet soup to the average reader, but then again this convertible laptop has always been about function over form. For one minuscule transaction, you’re getting a tablet equipped with an included keyboard and even a fingerprint scanner for more secure logins. Along with reliable performance and a magnesium-alloy chassis, it’s built to last.

CPU: 0.99Ghz Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, QHD (2,400 x 1,600) touchscreen | Storage: 32GB eMMC

With Android apps now supported on every new Chromebook released, it only makes sense to craft a Chromebook with a 12.3-inch QHD touch display, with a 360-degree hinge and pen support to boot. The Samsung Chromebook Pro may have a keyboard that’s a bit too compact for comfort, but it more than makes up for it, going as far as to master pen input on the first try.

This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the

CPU: 1.44GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8550 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 10.1-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,200 resolution), IPS touchscreen | Storage: 64GB flash storage (plus 128GB with microSD)

If you thought the Android edition of the Yoga Book was impressive, imagine using Windows on a laptop sporting inputs that double as a Wacom digitizer. The Windows 10 version of the Lenovo Yoga Book is exactly that, and while its on-paper specs leave something to be desired, the purely touch-based keyboard is so revolutionary we can’t believe nobody has copied it yet.

CPU: Intel Celeron N3160 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) display | Storage: 32GB SSD

With its slick lines and a slim silhouette, the Acer Chromebook 14 makes for a subtle, snazzy laptop. Although its display isn’t the most attractive we’ve seen, it’s still acceptable for full HD. On top of that, the keyboard and trackpad adhere to the principle of ‘it just works.’ The battery life is satisfactory as well despite falling a bit south of Acer’s 12-hour claim in real-world use.

This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the

CPU: AMD dual-core A9 APU – Intel Core i7 | Graphics: AMD Radeon R5 – Nvidia GTX 1050 | RAM: 6GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) – FHD (1,920 x 1,080); touch optional | Storage: 512GB SSD – 1TB HDD

Frankly, this is a broke college student’s laptop , so as long as you go in with that in mind, you won’t be disappointed with the HP Pavilion 15. Possessing all the power you’ll need to get you through the semester, this laptop bears all of the essentials for an affordable price, so that you can save the rest of your cash for the crushing financial aid debt yet to come.

, so as long as you go in with that in mind, you won’t be disappointed with the HP Pavilion 15. Possessing all the power you’ll need to get you through the semester, this laptop bears all of the essentials for an affordable price, so that you can save the rest of your cash for the crushing financial aid debt yet to come.

CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB | Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) anti-glare LED-backlit display | Storage: 32GB eMMC

For those who like their laptops as colorful as they are affordable, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 is a no-brainer. Although some users might find that it’s 11.6-inch display is too small, we would argue that this budget laptop is the perfect fit for your portable workspace. Plus, its bright and vibrant color scheme is loud enough that no one on your flight will confuse it for their own.

CPU: Intel Celeron N3160 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 2GB | Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) anti-glare | Storage: 32GB

You could argue that, with the IdeaPad 110s, Lenovo has one-upped the Dell Inspiron 11, at least as far as 11.6-inchers go. You’re still getting an HD screen and a Celeron processor, but you’re also getting the added bonus of a full-size SD card reader and a 7-hour battery life – that’s more than you can say for most Ultrabooks . It costs a little more, but it’s worth it.

You could argue that, with the IdeaPad 110s, Lenovo has one-upped the Dell Inspiron 11, at least as far as 11.6-inchers go. You’re still getting an HD screen and a Celeron processor, but you’re also getting the added bonus of a full-size SD card reader and a 7-hour battery life – that’s more than you can say for most

CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 14-inch HD (1,366 x 768) SVA BrightView WLED-backlit | Storage: 32GB eMMC

With a starting price of just above 200 large, the HP Stream 14 is a fine value for those seeking a strong if basic web browsing machine. It’s cheaper than even some Chromebooks while offering a bigger screen and the fullness of Windows 10. Other 15-inchers lack the ergonomics and aesthetics of HP’s cheapest Windows laptop yet.

CPU: Intel Core i3-6100U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 4GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) display | Storage: 1TB hard drive

Available in a variety of colors, this number from Acer brings things into practically a whole new class, with a 15.6-inch HD display powered by an Intel Core i3 processor. The metallic frame should make using this device feel more like a luxury without the sticker shock. Plus, with up to 12.5 hours of claimed battery life, this should last at least once forgetting to charge it.