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When it comes to buying laptops, don’t think a cheaper option automatically means a sacrifice in quality. There are tons of inexpensive models to choose from even when you don’t have a lot to spend. To help you out, we dug into the best cheap laptops and where to get them. And we learned some tips along the way.
To make sure you’re getting the most value for your money, first think about what you really need in a laptop. Consider things like screen size, storage, display quality, speed, and battery life. Trust us, it’s worth taking the time to do the research before a big purchase.
If you check Walmart and Best Buy, you can easily find a laptop that’s got all the features you need for under $500. You’ll usually find the best savings on Amazon Prime Day (check our tips on how to save this Prime Day). Or you can even find a great laptop deal on Black Friday. To stay up-to-date on these deals, download The Krazy Coupon Lady app so you never miss out on the best tips and discounts.
The Best Cheap Laptops Under $500:
- Best Cheap Laptop for Teachers and Students: ASUS VIVO 15
- Best Cheap Laptop for Everyday Use: HP 14 ED001
- Best Cheap Laptop with Ports for Everything: Acer Aspire 5
- Best Cheap Laptop with a Touchscreen: Lenovo Ideapad 3
- Best Cheap 2-in-1 Laptop: Microsoft Surface Go 2
- Best Cheap Gaming Laptop: HP 14-FQ1025NR
- Best Cheap Laptop Under $300: ASUS E410
- Best Cheap Chromebook: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go
Best Cheap Laptop for Teachers and Students
Before shopping at Walmart, definitely check out Walmart Restored for a refurbished laptop instead of a brand-new one. If you’re lucky, you might find a used version of the ASUS Vivo 15 ($309, Walmart). It’s nice and slim, and it has an extra-roomy keyboard with backlit keys.
With an Intel Core i3 processor and 8 GB of RAM, this laptop gives plenty of bang for your buck. We like that you can unlock the laptop with the neat fingerprint sensor. I don’t know about you, but anything that makes my life easier is well worth a deal.
Related: Here are Best Buy hacks that’ll save you hundreds of dollars on electronics.
Best Cheap Laptop for Everyday Use
At 16.9 mm, the ultrathin HP 14 ($389.99, Microsoft.com) is a steal of a deal. It’s got 8 GB RAM and a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Processor Gen 2. That just means you can send emails, do assignments, and watch Netflix without issue. It also features an incredibly long battery life and can go up to 11.5 hours without recharging.
Besides the usual USB Type-A and Type-C ports, you get an extra sleep-and-charge port to charge your cell phone. Here’s what to know: if you’re a gamer, you’re going to want a computer that’s got more power. We’ve read a few reviews that complained about this. But other than that, this HP is still a decent choice for work, school, and home.
Best Cheap Laptop with Lots of Ports
If you’re looking for a basic laptop for your kids or need something simple to get work done, consider the 15.6-inch Acer Aspire 5 ($299, Amazon). This Acer has got everything you need when it comes to internet access, processing speed, and display quality.
We especially love that you never have to worry about having enough ports with this laptop. It features one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, Kensington Lock Connector plus ports for HDMI, ethernet, and headphones.
The one caveat: the memory capacity is way less than more expensive laptops. But at a price tag of less than $350, you can’t really ask for more.
Tip: You can also pay less by checking out Amazon Warehouse, which is a section on Amazon’s site that sells discounted items that are like-new, maybe slightly used, or had damaged packaging. Also, students and teachers get special discounts on laptops when they show their ID or have an official academic email address.
Best Cheap Laptop with a Touchscreen
When you shop at Best Buy, you can save hundreds when you scroll through their open-box and clearance items online. Or visit one of their outlet stores. It’s likely you can find a good option like this one. The Lenovo Ideapad 3 ($349, Best Buy) comes with a speedy Intel Core i3 processor and 256 GB SSD, which is enough to handle multiple tasks without freezing. Plus, you get lots of storage space for large files.
Compared to other models, it’s nothing fancy appearance-wise. But you’ll see it has other features that make it popular. For example, the touchscreen is nice if you’re doing creative work or don’t feel like using your mouse or keyboard. It also has strong battery life, so you can safely use it for seven hours plug-free. While it won’t be the best laptop for graphic-heavy applications, it does feature an integrated graphics card. This means it’s fine for light photo and video editing and casual gaming. Overall it’s a great option for work, school, or family use.
Best Cheap 2-in-1 Laptop
With its fancier look and feel, you might not believe that you can score the Microsoft Surface Go 2 ($399.99, Best Buy) at an insanely cheap price. It’s a 2-in-1 device that has a detachable keyboard that conveniently pops on and off. This comes in handy when you want to switch from laptop to tablet mode. It also comes with a built-in hinge so you can position the laptop at an angle that’s comfortable for you.
The touchscreen measures 12.4 inches, making it smaller than many other laptops. It also carries an Intel Core i5 processor, which is the fastest processor on this list. If you’re on Zoom meetings a lot or work on lots of documents, this one’s a good buy. And thanks to nice speakers under the keyboard — Dolby Audio and Omnisonic speakers — you get a good sound experience for movies and music. You’ll also get some great battery life, which lets you use it for 13 hours continually.
Best Cheap Gaming Laptop
If you’re a casual gamer, new to gaming, strapped for cash, or all of the above, it’s perfectly ok to go for less. The HP 14-FQ1025NR ($432.98, Amazon) could be just what you need.
This 14-inch laptop features three USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, and an audio jack. It also has an AMD Ryzen 5 processor and 8 GB of RAM, which may not be a lot for gaming, but you can always spring for an upgrade later. And while it has a lower capacity SSD, it’ll still be fast. Just so long as you aren’t overloading your storage with huge files.
And that’s not all: the laptop comes with a 1080p full HD display. That means nice imagery and rich colors. Plus, you get around nine hours of battery life, and you can charge 50% of your laptop in 45 minutes.
Best Cheap Laptop Under $300
If you need a budget machine for under $300, the ASUS E410 ($249.99, Best Buy) makes a great option. You just need to know that this isn’t a gamer’s laptop, and it’s not something to get if you stream videos a lot. It has an Intel Pentium Processor, which means it’s okay for everyday use or work.
This laptop is also light and portable, featuring a 14-inch screen. Storage is only 4GB, which is about half the amount of other cheap laptops in its price range. But overall, if you are on a super-tight budget and need something for everyday word processing and email, it could be a reliable option.
Best Cheap Chromebook
For Chromebooks, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go ($269, Walmart) is a winner. It’s cheaper, has a fairly large 14-inch screen, plus a pretty powerful processor (Intel Celeron Processor N4500). It has enough juice for most daily tasks and casual browsing. The laptop comes with two USB Type-C ports and a microSD card reader but no HDMI port.
Running at 12 hours, the battery life is ridiculously good. It’s the perfect laptop to work outside your home or office. Equipped with Wi-Fi 6, you’ll have increased bandwidth and three times faster internet speed.