These Are the Best Budget Laptops of 2023 - 6 minutes read
From Chromebooks to MacBooks and every type of Windows laptop in between, there are more than enough portable computer options out there for you to choose from. Even “cheap” laptops are rapidly improving as the technology behind them advances. If you’re looking for something great that doesn’t break the bank, narrowing down your choices can be difficult, especially since more budget-friendly laptops usually sacrifice some of their performance to help keep the price down.
But how do you go about finding a great budget laptop that you can count on for at least a few years to come? I’ve sorted out five of the best laptops you can find for under $1,000, which means you can save some money for apps (or your daily to-go coffee), while also knowing you’ve managed to find a solid laptop that will do exactly what you need it to do.Microsoft Surface Go: the best all-around option CPU: Intel Core i5GPU: Intel Iris XeRAM: 8GBStorage: 128GBDisplay: 12.4-inch 1536 x 1024, touch-enabledDimensions: 8.96 x 11.86 x 2.15 inchesWeight: 2.48 pounds
When you think of laptops, it’s hard not to picture Microsoft in some shape, form, or fashion. After all, this is the company behind one of the biggest operating systems on the planet: Windows itself. And since Microsoft introduced the first Surface laptop several years ago, it has continued to look for ways to trim those devices down, while keeping their performance and price at an even middle ground.
Now, this isn’t the best laptop that money can buy—far from it. But if you’re looking for something basic, that offers touch capabilities, an easily portable shell, and a big enough screen to take notes on, write, browse the web, and other laptop basics, it’s hard to beat the Microsoft Surface Go, especially at its $550 price tag.
This little laptop sports multiple color options, as well as an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor inside, which is more than beefy enough for your daily browser needs. It’s a near-premium experience, despite the lower price. The only downside to this particular laptop, though, is its screen size: It’s under 1080P, making it the lowest resolution item on this list. If your highest priority is a crispy, high-res display, this might not cut it for you.Macbook Air: the workhorse CPU: Apple M1 (8-core processor)GPU: Apple M1 (7 or 8-core GPU)RAM: 8GB, 16GBStorage: 256GBDisplay: 13.3-inch IPS, 2560 x 1600, 60HzDimensions: 11.97 x 0.63 x 8.36 inchesWeight: 2.8 pounds
When you talk about powerhouse laptops, it’s easy to see why Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup makes the list. Not only are the laptops sleek and well-designed, but they’re also made with great hardware designed to work faster and more efficient. When Apple introduced the M1 chip, it brought that same processing power to the MacBook Air, but at a much cheaper price point.
The M1 MacBook Air is often on sale, so you can pick one up for around $750. That doesn’t even include sales on the M2 model, which can run around just $1,000 at times. But you almost assuredly don’t need anything more than the M1 for your daily tasks. It’s a beast, and will likely last you years, even as Apple continues to improve on the M-series chips.
The M1 MacBook Air is available in three different colors, and its 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 display is more than enough for working, browsing the internet, and watching movies. If you want a budget-friendly laptop that doubles as a workhorse, the M1 MacBook Air is an excellent option. Just ensure you don’t need access to apps that won’t work on macOS.HP Envy x360 2-in-1: classic appeal CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7530U/Ryzen 7 7730UGPU: AMD Radeon GraphicsRAM: 8GB, 16GBStorage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TBDisplay: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz IPS, touch-enabledDimensions: 14.13 x 9.02 x 0.73 inchesWeight: 4.04 pounds
There was a time when HP laptops were one of the best money could buy in the Windows world. Thankfully, that time has come again: The HP Envy x360 2-in-1 is an example of just how well HP maneuvers the laptop business. Not only does this laptop offer the classic, premium look of a more expensive machine, but its AMD Ryzen CPU and built-in graphics are more than powerful enough to seize the day: It will keep you responding to emails, browsing the internet, and reading up on your favorite sites all with snappy performance.
The full HD display is also touch-enabled, allowing you to interact directly with your work. It is larger than the Microsoft Surface, so it may not be as portable as some smaller displayed laptops. That being said, if you need a lot of workspace and don’t mind carrying around the weight, the HP Envy x360 2-in-1 is a fantastic option with a great keyboard that’s actually fun to type on.
You can find the Envy at competitive prices. Amazon, for example, has it for $662.83 as of this article.Acer Chromebook Spin 714: the Best Chromebook CPU: Intel Core i5-1235U, Core i7-1260PGPU: Intel Iris XeRAM: 8GBStorage: 256GBDisplay: 14-inch IPS, 1920 x 1200, 60Hz, touch-enabledDimensions: 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.71 inchesWeight: 3.09 pounds
Chromebooks get a lot of flack thanks to their simpler operating system, but the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is the rare Chromebook that looks about as good as a standard laptop. Of course, you’re still stuck on ChromeOS, but when the laptop looks and performs this well, it’s easy to forget that.
If you don’t mind the more closed-off nature of ChromeOS, then the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is an excellent budget laptop. Its 14-inch 1920 x 1200 display is touch-enabled, and the laptop’s ability to spin around and turn into a tablet makes it handy for everyday internet browsing. It’s also relatively light despite its size, and comes with a big enough SSD to download plenty of apps from the Google Play Store.
You also won’t have to worry about the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 losing out on important updates, as it’s set to be supported by ChromeOS updates until 2030, making this an excellent Chromebook to buy if you want to use it for several years to come. You can easily find the 1235U model on Amazon for under $700.Acer Aspire 5 A515: another great alternative CPU: Intel Core i5-1235UGPU: Intel Iris XeRAM: 8GBStorage: 512GBDisplay: 15.6-inch IPS, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz, Dimensions: 14.29 x 9.36 x 0.7 inchesWeight: 3.88 pounds
This Acer laptop might not look like anything special, but it has more than enough power under the hood to keep your daily browsing, work life, and internet streaming running smoothly. The bright 15-inch display is plenty large to watch shows and movies on, and its full 1080P resolution should offer plenty of pixels for those long days in your home office. It’s also equipped with a fairly large SSD, which means you shouldn’t have to sweat storage space.
For a laptop that typically hovers around $550, the Acer Aspire 5 is a fantastic option that any budget buyers should check out if they aren’t wanting to go for one of the top options on our list here.Check out all the laptops we recommend:
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