7 Best Budget Laptops in 2021

By Robin Owens 5 days ago, Hardware

The best budget laptops for gaming and everyday use.

best budget laptops

If you decide to get a cheap laptop, be ready to make compromises. Of course, you will be satisfied with the price and the fact you have saved some money, but you’ll have to sacrifice some premium options.

Modern budget devices feature full-HD displays and high-quality batteries. You can also expect decent performance and availability of all necessary ports.

Top 7 Best Budget Laptops

  1. HP 15 FHD - Our Choice
  2. Lenovo Chromebook S330 - Cheap
  3. Dell Inspiron 15 - Backlit keyboard
  4. ASUS VivoBook 15 - Stylish
  5. Samsung Galaxy Chromebook - Durable
  6. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 - Comfortable keyboard
  7. Acer Aspire 5 Slim - Solid performance

Compiling the list of the best budget laptop solutions, I considered such characteristics as the price, performance, design and battery life. This post describes HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, Acer and Samsung laptops suitable for various purposes. Below, you’ll find devices for home and office use. Read on and don’t miss the opportunity to find a laptop to satisfy your needs.

1. HP 15 FHD

Our Choice
budget laptop hp 15-dy1036nr

CPU: Intel Core i5-1035G1 | GPU: Intel UHD | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 3.75 pound

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⊕ Exquisite construction
⊕ All necessary ports
⊕ Powerful performance
⊕ Well-built
⊖ No keyboard backlighting
⊖ Weak screen brightness

Although the HP 15 FHD belongs to budget laptops, it impresses users with its powerful performance achieved thanks to the Intel Core i5-1035G1 quad-core processor with Turbo Boost to 3.6GHz. This processor makes it stand out among other laptops on this list.

A 1920 x 1080 resolution micro-edge screen also contributes to its success. The images are sharp and vivid, just as it should be on a full-HD display. Thanks to the IPS display technology, users enjoy the best viewing angles.

Apart from the impressive functionality, the HP 15-dy1036nr allows you to work for long hours thanks to its 41 Wh Li-ion battery. Manufacturers claim that you can work up to 10 hours and 15 minutes without recharging the device. If you watch videos, this time is reduced to 8 hours and 30 minutes. The convenient thing is that it features the HP fast-charge technology that allows charging it up to 50% in 45 minutes.

2. Lenovo Chromebook

Cheap
budget laptop lenovo chromebook s330

CPU: AMD A4-9120C | GPU: AMD Integrated | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Display: 14-inch | Weight: 3.28 pound

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⊕ User-friendly
⊕ Synchronized with Android
⊕ Long battery life
⊕ In-built Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
⊖ Mediocre graphics
⊖ Poor-quality webcam

The Lenovo Chromebook S345 proves that even on a tight budget you can get really decent performance. This laptop allows for the synchronization of all your Google apps. It features a 14" TN screen with Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio, AMD A6 APU with Radeon 5 graphics, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. In general, it is a basic laptop suitable for various purposes; however, mind that if you are a hardcore gamer, this model is not the best choice since heavy applications and games might cause a delay.

It boasts a backlit keyboard for the most comfortable typing experience. The laptop is also spill-resistant. What I like most about this inexpensive laptop is that it offers 10 hours of uninterrupted work. In-built Wi-Fi and Bluetooth guarantee a stable connection and quick data transfer.

3. Dell Inspiron 15

Backlit keyboard
budget laptop dell inspiron 15

CPU: Intel Core i5-1035G1 | GPU: Intel UHD | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 6 pound

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⊕ FHD IPS anti-reflection coating
⊕ Keyboard backlighting
⊕ Decent configuration
⊕ Long-lasting battery
⊖ Plastic construction
⊖ Slow hard drive

The Dell Inspiron 5593 features an IPS screen with a Full HD resolution, decent contrast ratio and convenient viewing angles. Thanks to the 10th Generation Intel processor, this cheap PC laptop offers extreme responsiveness and powerful performance. Users might like its additional power button that also serves as a fingerprint reader making it possible to log in with one finger touch.

You can use the laptop in poorly lit rooms since the keyboard is backlit. It features the Dell Mobile Connect technology that allows you to make calls, get messages, send texts and mirror your smartphone onto your PC to use your applications.

4. ASUS VivoBook 15

Stylish
budget laptop asus vivobook 15

CPU: Intel Core i3-1005G1 | GPU: Intel UHD | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 3.75 pound

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⊕ NanoEdge bezel screen
⊕ Unique Ergolift design
⊕ Backlit keyboard
⊕ Comprehensive connections
⊖ Display is not bright enough
⊖ Doesn’t feature a touchscreen

The Asus VivoBook 15 is a successful combination of powerful performance and an affordable price. This basic laptop boasts a stylish design, a big screen and great connectivity. It features a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1005G1 processor guaranteeing effective performance, an 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD storage. These parameters make the Asus VivoBook stand out among other similar budget laptops.

Keyboard backlighting makes typing in poorly lit rooms more convenient. Moreover, the laptop has a full-size keyboard with all the necessary keys. Thanks to the unique ErgoLift technology, your typing experience will be more enjoyable.

5. Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

Durable
budget laptop samsung galaxy chromebook

CPU: Intel Core i5-10210U | GPU: Intel UHD | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 13.3-inch | Weight: 2.3 pound

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⊕ Slim body and durable construction
⊕ Aluminum metal chassis
⊕ High-definition screen
⊕ Comes with an in-built pen
⊖ Weak battery performance
⊖ Cameras are not the best ones

The Galaxy Chromebook is a 9.9-millimeter thick aluminum device that weighs 2.29 lbs. This inexpensive laptop has a 4K OLED screen, which makes it the first Chromebook with such a display. The colors are bright and dazzling. Moreover, this laptop has another unique feature, as the display color temperature is adjusted to the surrounding environment thanks to the Google Ambient Colors Technology.

For your convenience, Chromebook has different ports, UFS and USD card slots. UFS delivers the up to 5 times faster performance than a microSD. The in-built pen smoothly moves across the screen and is very useful for some tasks. The pen is identical to the S-Pen that comes with Galaxy Notes.

6. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Comfortable keyboard
budget laptop lenovo ideapad 3

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U | GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 14-inch | Weight: 3.3 pound

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⊕ Almost bezel-less on two sides
⊕ Q-Control
⊕ Convenient keyboard
⊕ Two speakers with Dolby Audio
⊖ Lacks a USB Type-C port
⊖ No touchscreen

Apart from an impressive 14-inch screen, convenient keyboard and durable chassis, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is equipped with a new AMD Ryzen 5 3500U series mobile processors with Radeon Graphics. Its CPU boasts the multi-core processing power making the device work faster.

This laptop has thin bezels on two sides so users get a clean viewing area. Thanks to its advanced features, this laptop can compete with more expensive premium devices. Therefore, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 can be called the best budget laptop on this list. To guarantee privacy, the laptop has a physical shutter for the webcam. It also supports Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1.

7. Acer Aspire 5 Slim

Solid performance
budget laptop acer aspire 5 slim

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U | GPU: Vega 3 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 3.97 pound

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⊕ Expensive look and portability
⊕ Almost bezel-free display
⊕ Powerful performance
⊕ Keyboard backlighting
⊖ Ordinary touchpad
⊖ No USB-C ports

Although the Acer Aspire 5 Slim belongs to the category of affordable laptops, it has a premium screen and lightweight metal body.

In addition, it has a 15.6-inch full HD 1920x1080 display, features a new standard LED backlight and IPS technology. When the backlighting is adjusted correctly, the display shows clear and bright colors.

The Acer Aspire 5 Slim has a 3.5GHz AMD Ryzen processor which is more than enough for every-day tasks, like searching the net, video streaming, word processing, etc. The laptop offers 7 hours of work with one battery charge.

Image Name Features  
budget laptop hp 15-dy1036nr
HP 15 FHD
Our Choice
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Display: 15.6-inch
  • Weight: 3.75 pound
CHECK PRICE
budget laptop lenovo chromebook s330
Lenovo Chromebook S330
Touchscreen
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Display: 14-inch
  • Weight: 3.28 pound
CHECK PRICE
budget laptop dell inspiron 15
Dell Inspiron 15
for Business
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Display: 15.6-inch
  • Weight: 6 pound
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose the Best Budget Laptop?

best budget laptop

If you are looking for a cheap laptop, you might get confused soon since the choice of options is really wide. However, don’t worry because you will find the right device when you clearly understand what you need it for.

Size

The first parameter I recommend considering is the size. Just think of how often you have to carry your laptop somewhere and you will understand what model you need. Depending on the display size, laptops are divided into the following categories:

11 to 12 inches. 11-inch laptops are the slimmest and lightest models. They feature 11 or 12-inch displays and usually weigh 2.5-3.5 pounds. You can find many laptops under 400 dollars with these dimensions.

13 to 14 inches. To my mind, these laptops are an optimal solution. Weighing less than 4 pounds, they still offer decent performance.

15 to 16 inches. 15-inch laptops are the most frequently chosen devices. Their weight ranges between 4 and 5.5 pounds. If you use your laptop only at home or office and don’t plan to carry it somewhere, it is a perfect option. As for 16-inch laptops, they are not so popular, but Apple decided to take them to the new level and released a 16-inch MacBook Pro.

17 to 18 inches. In case you never move your laptop, a 17- or 18-inch device is a good idea. You will get a powerful gaming performance. Moreover, you can add a 30-inch monitor to your gaming setup to enjoy your gaming sessions to the fullest.

Graphics Card

Although you can’t ignore GPU specs, a graphics card is not so important if you use your laptop for casual purposes. If you enjoy gaming, ordinary budget laptops will not do; you need to buy a more powerful model.

Budget models usually feature integrated graphics which is enough for streaming and lightweight games. If you need more, search for cheap gaming laptops that will successfully cope with multitasking.

Battery Life

Budget laptops should be equipped with a battery that can last up to 4-5 hours without recharging.

However, mind that the real battery life might differ from the estimated one. It happens because laptops are tested in specific conditions. Thus, if manufacturers claim that a laptop works for 5 hours on a single charge, be ready that you will need to recharge it sooner than you expect, for instance, when you stream high-definition content.

Operating System

The most popular operating systems for today are Windows 10 (the latest computers), macOS (MacBooks) and Chrome OS (Chromebooks).

The most frequently used OS is Windows 10; however, people that got used to Apple will probably choose macOS. As for Chrome OS, it is lightweight software developed for budget laptops. It has been improved over years and now it also supports Android applications.

FAQ

  • • Why is Lenovo so cheap?

The thing is that Lenovo acquired IBM. That is why they effortlessly get the hardware components developed by IBM. In addition, they get it in bulk. As a result, Lenovo has to pay only for processors, RAM and graphic cards, which allows it to create budget laptops. Nowadays, you can easily find lots of cool yet budget-friendly Ryzen laptops by Lenovo.

  • • Why are smaller laptops more expensive?

Everything is simple here, if you want to equip a laptop with impressive features and fit them into a smaller body, you have to make more effort; consequently, the price is higher. So, if portability is essential for you, be ready to pay more.

  • • What’s the difference between a laptop and a Chromebook?

The key difference is in the OS here. Chromebooks come with the Google Chrome OS. However, if you look carefully, you will see that it is similar both to the Chrome browser and Windows desktop.

  • • Can a laptop last 10 years?

Of course, it can. If you properly use your device, even lower priced laptops will serve you for more than a decade. As a rule, the first detail that gets broken is the battery; but you may get a new one or work with your laptop plugged in.

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