It is in the nature of man to wish for the stars. But sometimes all you get is the moon and believe it or not, sometimes, getting to that “measly” moon is a better feeling than just having to keep dreaming about the stars.
The same is the case with laptops. A laptop makes all the difference in your life, considering that more than 50% of your day goes on it. You work, entertain yourself with movies, play games, shop, and do countless other things on it. And it is perfectly understandable to wish for the highest performing laptop out there, which saves you time and gives you a better experience every time you use it.
Though unfortunately, oftentimes in life, you’re restricted by your budget in almost every decision you make. But as it turns out, with the market and competition expanding beyond levels that were ever imagined, you don’ have to splurge your pocket out to get a good laptop anymore.
In the words of the legendary Mick Jagger himself,
“You can’t always get you what you want, But you GET WHAT YOU NEED!”
In light of that very thought, we went ahead and researched if there were any good laptops available on a budget, and boys were we surprised. It turns out there are many options out there that compete with some of the most expensive laptops in terms of performance, specs, resolution, and even memory. You can get a computer that makes you more than happy for a much less price than what you would have thought.
Here is the list of best budget laptops 2020 (Mostly are under budget):
But since it took us a lot of time to find out the good ones out of hundreds of mediocre options, we thought it best to compile this list of the best budget laptops 2020 for you, so you don’t have to waste your time. Here are the laptops that made the cut for the best under budget laptops 2020:
Reasons to Buy: Extremely long-lasting battery life, 1080p Display, Affordable.
Who is it for: For people looking to get a great looking laptop with fabulous specs but who can compromise just a tad bit on the speed.
Our Review: With a Full HD (1080p) IPS resolution, the Chromebook 514 is no less than a statement from Acer that laptops in the medium-priced range can also be good enough to compete with the laptops that sit right at the top of the pricing table. It has a battery life long enough to last a whole day without the plug, which makes it one of the most portable laptops in this list.
If you are a person who’s on the road all day, this is probably the best option for you. Though the price does limit this laptop’s capabilities a little bit, it is nothing that should hold you back while deciding to buy this beast. For instance, the Pentium N4200 processor is not slow, so to speak, but once you start using the laptop, you realize that it could use a bit of a push.
Although, the 8 GBs worth of RAM in this Chromebook more than makes up for the shortcomings of its processor. We faced no lags whatsoever while testing this laptop, neither while gaming nor while browsing on the internet. Its keyboard has a backlight for your convenience if you’re working in the dark. Also, with a full metallic, aluminum body, and a sleek, dashing look, you’re not only buying a good laptop but a statement of your own.
Reasons to Buy: Suitable for Gaming, Graphic Card Included, Good Battery Life.
Who is it for: For people who want to buy a laptop for their work but who also enjoy gaming.
Our Review: The Dell Inspiron 13 7000 is your everyday work cum gaming laptop, on a budget no less. You work, you work, and you work all day and for what?
For some people winding up after a hard day of work might mean good music and a tasty dinner, but for some, it is killing and destroying everything that comes in your way on their favorite game.
But if your laptop cannot handle the games that are heavy on the memory, you’re shit out of luck, aren’t you? You can’t buy two laptops, of course. That’s where the 7000 comes in. A laptop with perfectly balanced specifications to handle your work as well as your gaming.
With a battery that can last the whole day, you can rely on it to work with you until your very last spreadsheet and then some. When it comes to the processor, you can choose from the i5, i7, and the i9 processors with just a little difference in price. But whichever one you choose, you don’t have to worry about the speed at all.
The Nvidia GTX 1050 3 GB card that comes included in the entry-level model will more than take care of your laptops speed while working and while gaming. You can also have it upgraded to the new-gen 1650. The only thing you compromise on this deal is the look and the weight.
A little bulky, this laptop’s weight comes to just under four pounds. But other than that, it’s the spill-resistant keyboard, and a 720p webcam is certain features to look out for.
Reasons to Buy: Affordable option for a 2-in-1, Extremely Portable, Lightweight.
Who is it for: Anyone looking for a mobile 2-in-1 laptop. It is a great option for you if you travel all day.
Our Review: The Surface Go is an affordable and versatile variant in the Microsoft Surface series. It can go from being a laptop to a tablet in no time, which gives you the freedom of carrying it in your hand and using it and also the convenience of working on the keyboard anytime you want.
To find a good, reliable 2-in-1 at this price range is a miracle in its own right. And this device just might be that miracle for you. Now it will obviously not be all sunshine and rainbows with this laptop considering the kind of functionality it offers and the kind of cost it carries. The performance takes a big hit, among other features.
Though it cannot be called slow, you will definitely feel a big difference in smoothness comparing it to different notebooks and iPads. Also, the battery might be a bit of an issue, so buy it only if you can charge it all along the way.
But everything said and done, with a strikingly beautiful design and the powerful Windows 10, the Surface Pro is one of our top picks in the affordable range because if you need to look classy on a budget looking classy on a budget is also one hell of a task.
Reasons to Buy: Comes with a Stylus Included, Suitable for Students, Multiple USB Ports.
Who is it for: This is for you if you are a student looking to buy the perfect laptop to help you with your projects and assignments.
Our Review: When you’re in school or in college, there’s just no telling when a stupid or an over-enthusiastic friend will come and knock your laptop off the table or spill something on it.
The only solution you can use?
Well, buy your laptop accordingly because there will always be that ONE guy. And here is where the ACER Chromebook Spin 11 comes in. With a solid, metallic body and a rugged finish, it can handle most of the knocks and kicks it receives. Now it won’t hold up if you throw it under a bus or something, but it is still much effective.
Also, it is a convertible laptop that can take inputs through touch AND a Wacom Stylus, which is perfect for you when you need to draw your diagrams and make presentations. It comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB Type C ports which gives you a lot of connectivity options.
It will run Chrome OS and will also let you work on Android Apps. With a sporty look, rugged body, versatility, and connectivity, we will just go ahead and say that it is the best budget laptop for students.
Reasons to Buy: 15.6 inches Big Screen at a Bargain Price, 1080p Resolution, Sleek Look.
Who is it for: This is perfect for you if you want your laptop to be your entertainment hub and watch movies and TV shows on it. It will also do you good if you require a big screen for the software you use for your work.
Our Review: When it comes to screen size as big as around 15 inches, you really seem to run out of good options available in the market at a budget. But the ASUS Chromebook C523 makes for an exception. With a screen size of 15.6 inches, and a stunning aluminum look, this laptop more than makes up for the money you spend buying it.
Your movies and favorite shows will seem life-size and even more so, life LIKE, because of the Full HD 1080p display it comes with. Not only entertainment, but this laptop also offers a great platform to work on.
With its uniquely designed keyboard, you will experience more comfortable typing. Though the Pentium N4200 processor might not be able to give you as smooth an experience as you would have liked, the 4 GB of RAM will definitely take care of the lagging.
With a storage capacity more than most other notebooks at 64 GBs, it offers you to store all your documents and presentations without any worries at all. With a balanced entertainment and productivity usage, the ASUS Chromebook C523 is one of the best budget laptops for students.
Reasons to Buy: Google Assistant included, Great Look, High Performance.
Who is it for: This is for those business professionals who are looking for high-performance laptops with all the features that come in an expensive laptop and are ready to kick up their budget just a little bit further.
Our Review: ACER has really outdone themselves with the Chromebook 714. It is one of the highest-selling notebooks out there solely due to its high performance and next to perfect looks. Though it might be one of the more expensive options in this list, but it is still an option worth considering even if you’re on a budget.
With a medium-range like a price tag, this Chromebook still is one of the best budget laptops in 2020. Running on an Intel i3 Core Processor, which is almost unheard of for a notebook, this is one of the fastest budget laptops you will find.
With its 8 GB worth of RAM and 64 GBs worth of storage capacity, it has absolutely no memory problems. It has a large enough, 14-inch screen for you to work on and an average of 5-hour battery life, which must be sufficient for you if you work for a desk and can charge it once or twice a day. Though, the only thing that you might want to consider before putting this notebook on a pedestal and buying it is its display.
The display is 1080p alright, but it is surprisingly dim. You will continuously think about needing more brightness, and that might just distract you from your work a few times too. But other than that, it is a good option and in my opinion, one of the top ones in this list.
Reasons to Buy: Reasonable Price, Includes Touch Screen, Great Design.
Who is it for?: For someone who’s looking for a midsize laptop with a great design and smooth experience on a budget.
Our Review: The HP Pavillion 15z is one of the laptops that look more expensive than they actually are, and this is definitely a good thing when you’re trying to buy a smart looking laptop to take into your office but don’t have the money for it. It’s no ultrabook, but this laptop is fast enough to run circles around most of the other laptops on this list.
It runs on AMD Radeon 7600G processors, which, while does not help the battery life as well as Intel Core processors, but can be really good at giving you a relatively smooth experience. With a touch screen included, the functionality of this laptop is beyond what you would expect in an under the budget laptop.
You can make presentations with more features than you could ever get with a normal laptop. On a different note, the slim metallic look it sports is exactly what you want on your laptop when you take it with you to an important meeting with your boss. But obviously, there’s the other shoe.
The battery life in this device is sorely disappointing, with reviews claiming it to be at just 3.5 hours on average. That being said, if you work from a desk all day, this laptop should definitely be in your top 5 choices for laptops.
Reasons to Buy: Reasonably Priced, Unique Color, Extreme Battery Life.
Who is it for: This is for you if you are not afraid to go out with a pink laptop in your hand and are looking for good battery life and connectivity on a budget.
Our Review: Chromebook C340-11 from Lenovo is a fashion statement that you can carry in your hand. With a unique pink hue colored body, it stands out among all the rest when you’re at the table with your peers.
If looks are what you’re going for, we definitely recommend you to visit a store nearby and have a look at the beauty of a laptop that is the Chromebook C340-11.
But looks cannot solely satisfy your needs for a good laptop. After all, you buy a laptop to use it, not show it off, right? The performance of this laptop has been under heavy criticism, and the display is a little less bright than you want them to be when you’re working in bright daylight.
Though it has its drawbacks, this laptop is not only good for its looks. Stunning battery life is one of our main reasons to include this option on this list. It can hold its own on a single charge, which makes it more portable than most others on the list. With that said, this is one of the best budget laptops under 300.
Reasons to Buy: Extremely Affordable, Sleek Design, Fingerprint Reader Included.
Who is it for: This is best suited for programmers and coders who want good battery life, high performance, and who don’t need a touch display.
Our Review: The Acer Aspire 5 is one of the most value-for-money laptops on this list. A budget laptop is a different thing, and value for money laptop is an entirely separate issue altogether. Finding a fingerprint reader on a laptop priced under $400 is just unheard of in today’s market. And when you hear that you get this price and such luxury features in a big 15-inch screen, you just want to pounce on the offer. And if you are thinking of pouncing, its performance and battery life may also just back your decision.
The sole option on this list that includes an Intel Core i5 processor, this laptop is bound to give you a smoother experience you could ever ask for. With an average battery life that lasts 15 hours, you cannot keep this option out of your shortlisted laptops after researching. Put against every other laptop in this list, this one is the best budget laptop for programming if you are a coder and want a high performing laptop at a song.
Powered by Windows 10, the design and the sleek, aluminum body of this laptop is bound to turn heads towards you when you are seen with it. Though, the only drawbacks that come to mind are lack of a touch display and a bit unresponsive touchpad. That being said, it still is one of the top options for best budget laptops under 500.
Reasons to Buy: Various Variants Offered in Processors, Full HD Display.
Who is it for: This laptop is best for you if you are a college student looking to use it for your projects as well as entertainment.
Our Review: The Dell Inspiron 15 3580 is one of the most sturdy options available in the 15.6-inch screen category. Its unique design body fends off any damage to the screen from knocks and falls and looks stunningly good in your hand. Its rigidity and rightly balanced performance make it one of the best budget laptops for college students.
With a battery life of 42wH, it gives out an average of 7 hours of battery life, which holds up extremely good even in media playback. It lasts up to 6.5 hours while playing video and even longer when it comes to audio. Considering it has a 1080p display, it is the perfect media hub when you want to wind up after a tiresome day at college.
The only shortcoming of this laptop, you ask? Its all-plastic build. Even after being among the top laptops in the medium range, it does not look all that expensive.
Reasons to Buy: Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, included 10th Generation Core Processor.
Who is it for: A regular office worker who is looking to buy a high-performance laptop but can compromise on the looks.
Our Review: The Inspiron series from Dell has been an incredibly successful line that has curated the market’s needs for years now. The brand that is Inspiron has now developed a loyal customer base that buys Dell with its eyes closed.
Now you don’t get here with bad quality laptops. With maybe the only drawback of this laptop being its average looks and the all-plastic body that seems to be a little prone to breaking, this laptop is a winner nevertheless among other under budget laptops.
With features like a fingerprint reader and backlit keyboards, this variant in the Inspiron series stands out in your hand and looks more expensive than it is. Now that’s exactly what you want to form your laptop, right? Also, a modern 10th Gen Intel Core processor inside is sure to give a smooth experience and is perfect for office work where you absolutely do not want your PC to be lagging.
12. Onn i3
Reasons to Buy: Core i3 Processor, Windows 10 included, Affordable.
Who is it for: This laptop caters to the needs of people who want a laptop for their general, everyday home use.
Our Review: The ONN 13 may not be a famed brand name in the laptop market, but in the past few years, it has been successful in building its own little customer base. Without compromising on the quality, ONN has recently focused on building trust among its customers by giving them the best experience as users.
So much so that now their laptops have even started entering the top 10 lists. With the Core i3 processor included form Intel and a 2.1 GHz of speed, this laptop makes sure that you don’t have to slow yourself down for the laptop to catch up. A sufficient memory of 128 GBs can hold all of your important data without any hassle.
The pricing of this laptop with all these features is what we particularly like, considering the specifications it offers though it does make you compromise on the HDMI port and the speakers.
Reasons to Buy: Pretty Color Variants Available, Affordable.
Who is it for: For a person looking to get a laptop for home use and can compromise speed for looks.
Our Review: The HP Chromebook 11 is a laptop that is marketed more based on its looks rather than its speed and performance. And rightly so. While the device does look good in every way it can, whether it be just the perfect shades of colors or the sleek, sly look, it still lacks majorly on the performance side of things.
Its specifications are more that of a tablet rather than a laptop’s. Its processor is the Exynos ARM, and you can’t expect a REALLY smooth experience from it. The RAM is also at a disappointing 2 GBs. Though if you are a person who just wants a laptop to use once or twice a week and would prefer looks over performance, then you can still consider buying this laptop from HP.
Reasons to Buy: Good Battery Life, Sleek Design.
Who is it for: This is for the people who need a laptop to use for their regular office work.
Our Review: The Chromebook 14A G5 may not offer sturdiness all that much, but it still is one of the highest performing Chromebooks from HP after the Intel upgrade it got over the previous AMD line. This little change has been a high selling point for the model and rightly so.
The performance of the newer version wins by a mile when both of them are compared. But that being said, its performance still does not stand out among the rest of the options available in the market, even at this price. Though the model has a sleek design and its overall appearance is good enough for you to carry it to any place you want.
The keyboard on this model will give you a comfortable typing experience, and this model is exactly what we recommend if you’re looking for something for your office. Also, not to forget, it is one of the least expensive laptops on this list.
Reasons to Buy: Ultra-Affordable, Lightweight.
Who is it for: For a person who can compromise on performance for mobility and convenience.
Our Review: The Ideapad 1 from Lenovo is the cheapest option on this list and is perfect for you if you want a lightweight, mobile laptop, but the budget has restricted your hand from buying one. But not anymore. If you be smart and do your research well, you can find this laptop going for as low as $159 on some of the Black Friday sales.
Now isn’t that a treat and a shock at the same? It runs on the AMD A6-9225 and thus does not make any promises on the performance front. Though its 4 GB RAM is quite impressive at this price point and even more so, it comes included with a graphics card included.
That is something unheard of for a laptop at this price. The AMD Radeon R4 is enough to give you some beginner level gaming chops if you’re into gaming. It comes with a 1-year warranty and ultra-lightweight and thus quite sturdy. So if you need a laptop badly and are ready to compromise on performance and look altogether for a lower price, THIS is the option for you.
Reasons to Buy: Durable, Easy Repairs, Good Battery Life.
Who is it for: This is suitable for students and home users.
Our Review: The Asus C202SA Chromebook does not make any promises when it comes to performance and multitasking, but it does boast of good looking design. If you’re a student or you’re looking to use this for regular home usage, this laptop might be an option for you that comes under your budget.
With its Intel Celeron Processor, the speed is not enough to handle multitasking or hardcore research. Still, it’s just enough to handle regular spreadsheet work or if you only have to use it to run Microsoft Office on your laptop.
If your needs are that basic, we recommend that you not waste your money on high-end laptops and buy a low-cost laptop, which will perform almost as good when it comes to such menial jobs.
Also, what this laptop does offer in abundance is the extreme durability in its body that can withstand a fall from heights up to 4 feet. And even if you somehow manage to break it, the parts and maintenance costs of this model are not all that huge.
Reasons to Buy: Extremely Portable, Long Battery Life.
Who is it for: It is for people who travel all day and have to work on their laptops while traveling.
Our Review: The ASUS Vivobook was specifically built to be extremely mobile and cater to the people who are on the road all day and cannot charge their laptops for whole days at once. But also for those who cannot afford to buy a high-end laptop just for the sake of a suitable enough battery life.
With mobility in mind came to the ultra-slim design that makes it easy to carry around in backpacks and well, pretty much anywhere. In addition to making it portable, the company has also taken care of how you look carrying it around. The looks are to die for, and the variety of color options that this line has is amazing.
You can choose the color that suits your personality best. Also, not compromising on the speed and performance, the company has offered two variants of this model. One carries the Core i3 processor, and the other carries i5.
Now, they both do differ in prices, but we recommend that you get the slightly expensive i5 model because it will really satisfy your needs, whatever they might be. You will get a smoother experience, and you’ll have still only spent within your budget.
18. Asus VivoBook 15
Reasons to Buy: 15 inch HD display, Good Speakers, Affordable.
Who is it for: It is for college students and office workers alike due to high performance and good looks as well.
Our Review: The ASUS Vivobook 15 is an upgrade to the Vivobook 14 that has various in-line variants that let you go all the way up to 12 GBs of RAM, i7 processors and 256 GB SSD. But you would have to spend a heavy $999 on that model though. But the less costly $600 version will still come with Core i5 and 8 GBs of RAM. That is definitely not bad in any way.
Even if you open a hundred tabs in your browser, your laptop is not going to start lagging even for a second. And even above performance, this model from ASUS boasts of a stunning look with a sleek metallic body and just the perfect shades of light colors you can ask for.
Though the only reservations about this model that you need to have are its mediocre battery life when compared against other laptops in the market at this price, and disappointing screen pad 2.0, which has been no greater success than the first one.
But other than that, its 15-inch display is perfect for watching your favorite movies and TV shows, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy this laptop once you buy it.
Reasons to Buy: Good Battery Life, Extremely Mobile.
Who is it for: It is great for school kids and people who are on the road at all times.
Our Review: The sturdy and sleek look of the SAMSUNG Chromebook 3 makes it perfect for students. It has a metallic black look that looks great in your hand. With dimensions of 11.8 x 8.1 x 0.7 and a weight of just 2.5 pounds, it is one of the handiest and mobile laptops on this list.
You can carry it around on your field trips and be assured that it will not bear a load on your shoulders and also that it will not run out of battery. Also, its underpriced tag does not mean that Samsung has compromised on any major feature.
With an HDMI port intact, you can convert your Chromebook into a full-fledged media hub and play your favorite movies or TV shows on its fantastic display. The only drawback that you can point out with this laptop is that it gets heated up pretty quickly. You might want to put a cooling fan underneath it if you’re planning to use it for more extended periods of time.
What is the Best Budget Laptop to Buy? (My Opinion)
After researching hundreds of models of laptops and getting my hands dirty with a dozen of them, the Best Budget Laptop to buy, in my opinion, is the ASUS Vivobook S5. Not only is its battery life more than enough, but its performance competes with some of the most expensive laptops in the market.
Also, with several different variants available with different specifications, it gives you the freedom to choose what matters the most to YOU and pay for only that. And whichever option you choose, the sleek, dashing metallic look will run throughout the series, so it’s a win-win.
If you can compromise on the processor a tad bit, you can get the i5 model of the ASUS Vivobook S5 just under 600 dollars, which is far less than what you’ll get worth for.
How to Choose the Best Laptop for the Lowest Price?
To choose the best laptop for the lowest price, you will first have to figure out what kind of usage are you planning to get out of your laptop.
Do you want your laptop for office use?
Does your office work involve multitasking on the computer and maybe heavy research?
If yes, then you might need to prefer performance overlooks and other functionalities such as fingerprint readers.
But if you only want a laptop for home use or general everyday office work, you can also consider buying a good looking laptop with a longer battery life that may be compromised on the speed just a little bit.
Basically, there are four major factors that you need to look for in a laptop before buying it: The price, battery life, performance, and looks.
You need to find a laptop that has the best combination of those factors as needed by you. Some people may prefer looks over performance, and some might give more weightage to longer battery life over everything else.
Figure out how much you need everyone one of these factors in your laptop and how much you can compromise on.
Why components and connectivity are most important in a laptop?
Components are the most important part of a laptop because it is the quality and specifications of these components that ultimately decide the kind of experience that you are going to have while using your new laptop. Because whatever the reason maybe, if you are not satisfied with your purchase at the end of the day, your money will have gone down the drain. Also, you might need to consider the costs of components while buying a new laptop because in case they give out for some reason, you should not have to pay half as much as the laptop just to get it repaired. Easy accessibility and low cost of components in a laptop are absolutely necessary these days.
Connectivity from your laptop will determine the amount of effort and the number of external devices you will have to use in the future in case you ever need them. For instance, if you buy a laptop without an HDMI port to save maybe $50 off from a higher model, you might have to buy an HDMI extension that will cost you more than that saving. Also, the more the number of ports in your laptop are, the better it is. You should be able to connect with multiple devices when you need to, or you might need to buy a port extension for that too.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions and Answers)
Do budget laptops have good battery life?
Not all budget laptops have good battery life. In fact, most of them do not. But there are some exceptionally good models that come with superb battery life and that are also available on a budget.
Are budget laptops any good?
Buying laptops on a budget is not an easy task. There are a lot of bad options out there that are just waiting for you to be trapped in the pretty paper they come in. But if you trust our list, have faith in our research, and select one of the laptops mentioned above, you will find out that budget laptops CAN be useful.
Can I find a good display on a budget laptop?
Yes, you can find an excellent display on budget laptops too. The only catch is that you might have to compromise on other functionalities like performance or battery life.
Is AMD better for budget laptops?
AMD is not a bad option in the least, but we recommend you to get a laptop with an Intel Core processor because there are many options in the above list that come under the same price tag as the AMD ones but come with an Intel Core Processor. AMD processors are inherently bad at handling the battery life of your device and do not rake up when put next to an Intel Core processor.
Should I buy a refurbished laptop?
There are cases when it does not hurt to buy a refurbished laptop, but we always recommend that it is better to spend a little more once than to pay a bit less twice. A refurbished laptop always comes with a tainted history because of which the last owner had to sell it. And chances are, you might come to face the same problem he did.
We know what a daunting task it can be to select a new laptop for yourself, let alone find it on a budget. There are hundreds of options available in the market, and all seem to be viable options because they are marketed that well, when, in fact, in reality, they may not be all that good.
And this is why doing thorough research before buying a laptop is absolutely necessary. But it can be a highly excruciating and tiresome task to filter out laptops from the millions out there. And this is exactly why we went ahead and did half your job for you.
This list was created, keeping in mind that you should not have to compromise on the quality of your laptops just because you are on a tight budget when we know that there are plenty of options available that perform way better than they cost.
If you still have questions about any of the laptops mentioned here, you can ask us below in the comment section, and we will try to answer at the earliest. We hope you found this list useful and that you will get a laptop that you love.