Your Choice Way

Best Budget Laptop For 2021

Best Budget Laptop For 2021 - Your Choice Way
When it comes to low-cost laptops, quality varies wildly. Lucky for you, we've tested many models to bring you our pick of the best ones you can buy.

What's The Best Budget Laptop You Can Buy?

You can easily spend over a grand on a new laptop, but with phones costing so much now, it's hardly surprising if you can't afford a flagship model. Luckily, budget laptops are better than ever and you can get a lot for not much money and we have a range of choices here from the likes of Acer, Lenovo and HP.

If you just need to do basic tasks like browsing the web, checking email and office work then a budget laptop will be up to the job. Plenty will be fine for streaming video, too, albeit on lower-quality displays and with typically poor sound. Some even have enough power for photo editing without slowing down and casual games.

When looking at budget laptops, we're typically meaning around £500 or lower, but we may include the odd model that goes slightly over if it's really worth it. Often there will be many different models to choose from depending on things like how much storage you need.

You'll find a plethora of cheap laptops available at major outlets such as Currys, Amazon, Argos and John Lewis, as well as online retailers such as Laptops Direct. If you don't know what is a good spec for the money then you will struggle to work out which offers the best value, and also which is going to be capable of doing what you need.

In our chart below we've rounded up a range of options to suit all budgets - and all of them tested, so you can buy with complete peace of mind that you won't be disappointed.

But budget laptops don't hang around for long, simply because they are so sought after and offer little profit margin for manufacturers. They can also be advertised under slightly different model names.

As well as pointing you in the direction of some great cheap laptops, in this article, we also aim to educate you on what makes a good budget laptop spec, so that even if these laptops aren't available you can feel confident in knowing what you want.

1. Lenovo IdeaPad S340

1. Lenovo IdeaPad S340
  • From $369
The S340 is one of the best budget laptops we've tested after going through our lab.

At an extremely affordable starting price, you get a surprisingly stylish laptop with a nice keyboard, a decent set of ports and long battery life. Performance, as you would expect, is limited to basic tasks but you can upgrade to more powerful specs with plenty of still affordable models on offer.

The biggest let down here is the low-quality display, so look for an IPS model if this will bug you.

2. Honor MagicBook 14

2. Honor MagicBook 14
  • £549.99 (around $685)
Honor's first laptop in the UK is a knockout for the price - both looking and performing like a much more expensive device.

Despite the MagicBook 14 being a dainty and lightweight laptop, it still boasts a decent AMD processor and Radeon graphics card, which means that it can easily handle a couple of games or high-performance programmes. In addition, the longevity of the battery life will give you more than 10 hours of work or play time. 

Spec nuts will notice that this laptop is almost identical to Huawei's MateBook D 14. However, the one key difference is that this laptop is less expensive.

if you did find yourself able to spend a little more, there's a late 2020 refreshed model with a new AMD chip and 512GB storage for £669.


3. Asus Chromebook C433TA 

3. Asus Chromebook C433TA
  • $499
Chromebook's don't have to be low-quality devices and Asus has crafted a machine that's a worthy rival to Windows alternatives.

The Chromebook C433TA offers high-quality build quality for starters. The hinges are a little stiff but once the laptop is open they keep the excellent touchscreen in place if you plan to use it a lot. 

Performance is also a highlight, along with long battery life so there's really very little to dislike here if you're looking for a ChromeOS device.


4. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

4. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
  • From $549.99
It's great to see Microsoft offering a traditional laptop at a budget price, even if at £549 it's a little over the £500 mark we're ideally looking for.

Despite the affordable price, the Surface Laptop Go is one of the best looking and well-made cheap laptops you can get. It's also very thin and light so is a great option for portability.

The compact size means a 12.4in screen might be too small for some and small caveats include no keyboard backlight. There's a Core i5 here but the cheapest model is limited to 4GB of RAM and 64GB.


5. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

5. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5
  • From $674.99
If you want a 2-in-1 laptop without breaking the bank then Lenovo's IdeaPad range is a good place to look.

The Flex 5 doesn't have the best trackpad or display but offers good build quality, those iconic 360 degree hinges for various modes, solid battery life and a nice keyboard. It's even got Wi-Fi 6.

There's also a good selection of ports and the Core i3 base model will be suitable for basic day-to-day tasks. 


6. Acer Chromebook 314

6. Acer Chromebook 314
  • $249.99
The 314 is really what Chromebooks were always meant to be. Lots are more expensive but Acer has made a very affordable laptop that's able to handle day-to-day tasks.

There's nothing particularly outstanding here but that's almost the point. A Chromebook is supposed to do the job without breaking the bank and we've even seen the Full HD model with 64GB of storage for the same price as the entry-level model.

It's cheap and cheerful, in the best possible way.


7. Acer Aspire 5

7. Acer Aspire 5
  • $480
Not all budget laptops are stunners, in fact very few are and although the Aspire 5 isn't going to turn any heads it gets the job done.

Still, looks aren't everything and the laptop is not ugly either. More importantly, it has the things you need to get work done with plenty of ports, long battery life and a solid keyboard. Perfect for those needing office software and plugging in various accessories.

On the downside, the screen is nothing fancy and performance isn't as fast as some similarly priced rivals. There's also no Thunderbolt 3 if you need those speeds.


8. Avita Liber V

8. Avita Liber V
  • Unavailable
Avita is back with another budget-friendly laptop that ticks a number of boxes including a stylish design and good build quality.

You're getting an AMD Ryzen 3 for under £500 and the Liber V is very portable. Highlights include a decent keyboard and a large trackpad. It's also got a solid selection of ports including USB-C and HDMI.

While it's speedy enough for office work, the display lacks colour for anything on the creative side and the battery life isn't as long as rivals.

Read our full Avita Liber V review

9. Jumper EZBook X3 Air

9. Jumper EZBook X3 Air
  • $369.99
You'd have no idea how cheap the Jumper EZbook X3 Air just by looking at it. This is one of the most stylish budget laptops we've ever tested.

It looks and feels like a premium notebook with its slim metal chassis that's also very lightweight at just over 1kg and has decent ports. It's no mean feat and the display is high quality, which is unusual at this price range.

However, you will be limited to basic tasks due to the basic chip and download speeds are poor. Battery life is also fairly measly at just five hours at 30 minutes so won't get you through a day of work away from the mains.


10. Lhmzniy A9

10. Lhmzniy A9
  • Model reviewed $374.99
Lhmzniy avoids the tendency of many laptops to pair a capable processor with paltry offerings of RAM, and performance on the A9 benefits hugely as a result. Paired with Windows 10 Pro it offers an excellent user experience, while the excellent chocolate keyboard makes typing a joy.

But you won’t be looking at the keyboard much, and the screen above it is a real disappointment. Its Full HD resolution is good on paper, but colours lack vibrancy and visibility is extremely poor in any situation with bright lighting.

The speakers perform well, but unfortunately it’s another sound that dominates the experience - an extremely loud fan. It kicks in as soon as you turn on the A9, and is a constant reminder of the laptop’s aggressive cooling system.

Compromises are inevitable at this affordable price point, but the A9’s drawbacks are hard to ignore.

Read our full Lhmzniy A9 review

What Should I Look For In A Cheap Laptop?

Which specifications are important depends on what you want to do with your laptop. You may want lots of storage or you might need as much power for the money as possible.

Screen

Starting with the screen, you need to decide on a size. Most laptops will be 13- or 15in but you can also go smaller or larger if you want something even more portable or if it rarely needs to move.

Remember that the size of the screen will have an impact on things like the weight of the laptop and other things like the keyboard and even how many ports and connections it can have.

It's typical to find a budget laptop with an unexciting resolution of 1366x768 (HD) but if you can find higher, probably 1920x1080 (or Full HD) then you'll be much better off. Look for a matt finish which is preferable to a glossy screen that reflects like a mirror when it's bright and sunny.

You'll also want to look out for the type of display and this is often an area where costs are cut so viewing angles can be poor as well as brightness and colour. Get an IPS rather than TN screen if you can.

Processor

The processor is the heart of the computer and has a large impact on how fast it runs.  You might well find many with an Intel Celeron, Pentium or similar and these are to be avoided unless you will be simply browsing the web and sending emails.

Look for either an Intel Core processor or AMD Ryzen if you can – and some of the laptops in this chart do offer these. When it comes to Intel, go for a Core i5 processor if you can, but an i3 is a good compromise if everything else in the laptop is to your liking and you're only doing basic tasks.

We run various benchmarks on every laptop so be sure to read the full review to see the results and what they mean for daily use.
Best Budget Laptop For 2021

Storage and memory

Don't confuse storage and memory. The latter - normally called RAM - is for temporarily storing information when you open an app or file, while storage is the space to store files and programs.

In both cases, it's better to have as much as possible. A lot of budget laptops will come with a 500GB or 1TB hard drive but only 4GB of RAM. An SSD (solid state drive) is more common now and helps keep things speedy but don't expect more than 8GB of RAM at these budget prices.

Remember that you can also always use cloud storage if you need additional space.

Do You Need A CD Or DVD drive?

Modern laptops ditch the CD drive to save money and weight. So if you need one, be sure to check your chosen laptop has an optical drive, but it's highly unlikely. You can still buy external DVD drives if you really need it.

Software

These days virtually all laptops come with Windows 10. Don't assume they will have Microsoft Office, though. This is separate software, but you can download free alternatives. 

We've also included some Chromebooks here as laptops running Google's Chrome OS are typically very affordable. The operating system is fairly basic and relies on an internet connection for a lot of tasks but this could be perfect for some users. 

If that sound particularly good, we have a dedicated chart of the best Chromebooks you can browse.

What If I Can't Find The Exact Laptop Reviewed?

We do our best to make sure all the laptops listed here are available to buy in the UK. However, the budget laptop market is extremely volatile, and retailers tend to secure limited stock of any model so there's a chance it can go out of stock without us noticing – we check as often as we can.

Also remember that laptop makers will make many variations of the same laptop, with subtly different specifications such as a different sized hard drive. It's generally safe to buy one of these alternatives if you understand the differences in specification.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Best Budget Laptop For 2021 Best Budget Laptop For 2021 Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, January 28, 2021 Rating: 5

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