The best budget laptop of 2021

Here are some questions to ask when buying the best cheap laptop for 2021. What is most important and what are you willing to sacrifice? Even the cheapest laptops aren’t perfect in every way. It has some strengths, but we are working hard to achieve the price tag. You can almost certainly find a cheap laptop with a touchscreen, luxurious chassis, HDMI port, backlit keyboard, or stylus support, but you may want to consider which of these features you want the most and what’s available. without.

Our pick for the best affordable laptop for 2021 is the HP Envy x360 13. We believe Envy has built in quality, performance, and battery life that surpass many premium laptops. However, we’ve tested dozens of systems in the sub-$800 range, and there are plenty of additional models on this list from Lenovo, Acer, Samsung, HP, and more.

Other choices for the best cheap laptops of 2021 are the Lenovo Chromebook Duet and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. Many of these laptops are also included in our list of best laptops, best Chromebooks, and best student laptops.

Many of the top cheap laptops in 2021 are now Chromebooks. We believe Chromebooks are the best value option for shoppers looking for a laptop under $500 in most cases, and tend to offer better specs, features, and build quality than most Windows laptops in that price range. We are keeping an eye on that release, hoping to add more Windows laptops under $500 to this page in the future.

Best Affordable Laptops of 2021: HP Envy x360 13

The HP Envy x360 13 is the best affordable laptop of 2021.
Photo: Monica Chin / The Verge

Best cheap laptops of 2021

Now selling for $699, HP’s Envy x360 13 is the best budget laptop you can get under $800. It looks like a device that doubles the price due to its high quality and sturdy convertible construction. There are plenty of other great features too, including a really good keyboard and a bright, colorful screen. It is also exceptional on the inside. Thanks to the AMD Ryzen processor, the system delivers all-day battery life, ultra-smooth performance, and can handle even light gaming. (Intel options are also available.)

Of course, there are also minor complaints about Envy. The screen is 16:9, which is a cramped aspect ratio for multitasking. Our test rig had rather limited port selection (particularly Thunderbolt and HDMI support missing) and came pre-installed with some bloatware. However, none of these are deal breakers at Envy’s price point. Overall, low-budget shoppers want very little from this machine.

HP Envy x360 13

The HP Envy x360 13 is a beautiful convertible laptop with great processor options.

Best Affordable Laptops of 2021: Lenovo Chromebook Duet

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is one of the best Chromebooks you can buy.
Photo: Monica Chin / The Verge

Best Laptops Under $500

If you’re looking for an outrageously cheap Chromebook that absolutely gets the job done, you should definitely take a look at the $219 Lenovo Chromebook Duet. Duet is a 10-inch aluminum alloy Chrome OS tablet that comes with a kickstand and keyboard cover. It looks sturdy and classy and can be easily used as a tablet or PC. but you don’t compromise ~ degree For the small size of this device, the performance is much better. As long as you don’t run dozens of tabs and apps, that’s fine. It also got over 11 hours of battery life in our tests, making it one of the longest lasting Chromebooks I’ve seen in the past year.

The main thing to know about the Chromebook Duet is that it has a very small screen at 10.1 inches. It’s the perfect size for younger students (especially those with touch capabilities) and adult aids for note-taking, Netflix, and more. A slight frown.

Best Cheap Laptops of 2021: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a clamshell Chromebook you must buy.
Photo: Monica Chin / The Verge

Best Value Laptops with Chrome OS

If you prefer a more traditional Chromebook with a clamshell form factor, the $699 Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is an excellent affordable option in every way. The vivid 3:2 display and rich vertical space deliver bright, vivid colors. The screen alone can make the Chromebook Spin 713 stand out, but it has several other advantages: a great keyboard, all-day battery life, and a comprehensive selection of ports including HDMI in addition to USB-C. , USB-A and microSD slots.

Best Affordable Laptops of 2021: Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3

The Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 is the cheapest laptop with a built-in stylus.
Photo: Monica Chin / The Verge

Best cheap laptops with stylus

If you like the Duet’s size and removable form factor, but are willing to spend on something a little more upscale, you’ll find the Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 is a better choice. Like the Duet, the CM3 is a 10.5-inch 16:10 Chrome OS tablet with a fabric cover, kickstand and detachable screen. However, the CM3’s kickstand can be folded in several ways. You can bend it vertically to stand the tablet like a laptop, or fold it short and put the tablet horizontally. It also has a built-in USI stylus and comes with a generous key that takes a lot of time to travel. The battery life was also quite impressive. We averaged close to 13 hours of continuous work.

One area where the CM3 lags slightly behind the Duet (and other cheap laptops you can try) is performance. MediaTek processors can be a bit slow compared to their more expensive counterparts. However, the CM3 still offers an amazing number of perks for under $400 and is a great student driver or accessory.

Best Affordable Laptops of 2021: HP Pavilion Aero 13

The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is a 13-inch product with very little weight.
Photo: Monica Chin / The Verge

Best thin and light laptop under $1000

If you’re looking for an affordable Windows laptop that’s thinner and lighter than the Envy x360 and offers the best performance in its category, the $669 HP Pavilion Aero 13 is a good choice. It has a powerful 8-core Ryzen processor, one of the fastest processors for thin and light laptops. Not only does it perform well, it’s also incredibly light at just 2.1 pounds and comes with a dazzlingly bright 16:10 screen. It is also excellent in terms of battery life. On average, I worked almost 11 hours of continuous work.

HP has put some effort into getting these benefits at this price point. Our model had poor audio and the device was shipped with cheap bloatware installed. But the Pavilion Aero 13 excels in almost every way and won’t disappoint if you’re looking for a functional and affordable Windows PC.

HP Pavilion Aero 13

The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is lighter, more powerful and lasts longer than expensive Windows laptops.

Best Affordable Laptops of 2021: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the reddest Chromebook you can buy.
Photo credit: Amelia Holwaty Krales / The Verge

Affordable laptops with bold looks

If you’re looking for an affordable Chromebook that will stand out from the crowd, the $549 Galaxy Chromebook 2 should be on your list. Available in a bold “Fiesta Red” color (even plain gray if you prefer a blend). Touchscreen convertible with stylus support (stylus not included).

Aside from the design, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 includes an excellent QLED panel that is one of the best displays I’ve seen on a Chromebook. It also comes with a sturdy keyboard, decent battery life (average 7 hours 21 minutes of continuous operation), and a port selection that includes two USB-C ports, a microSD slot, and a headphone jack. One of the best Chromebooks you can easily buy and one of the cheapest laptops.

Best Affordable Laptops of 2021: Microsoft Surface Go 2

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is one of the best affordable laptops of 2021.
Photo: Dieter Bohn / The Verge

Best Affordable Laptops for Surface Fans

The $399 Surface Go 2 is a 10.5-inch tablet the size of an iPad. The keyboard cover has to be purchased separately, but the overall package is still quite cheap if you get the cheaper model.

You can configure your Surface Go 2 with a Pentium Gold or Core m3 processor. They aren’t the flashiest or most powerful processors, but the system should still suit your streaming and retrieval needs, especially if you only need to do one thing at a time. It can run any Windows app, and makes it a portable, rugged secondary computer.

surface go 2

Microsoft’s Surface Go 2 is a full-featured Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard and compatible stylus. Lightweight and compact, with a sturdy webcam and sturdy base.

Best Affordable Laptops of 2021: Acer Swift 3

The Acer Swift 3 is one of the best college laptops you can buy.
Photo: Monica Chin / The Verge

Best Value Laptops for Students

Many of the cheapest laptops can be great choices for high school and college students, but the Acer Swift 3’s durability makes it an excellent choice if you’re pounding your backpack or spilled in a restaurant. The 14-inch screen offers more room for homework multitasking than the 13-inch machine here.

But the highlight of Swift 3 is the Ryzen 4000 processor. We tested the model with the Ryzen 7 4700U. This model handled everyday multitasking workloads nicely and also provided 7 hours of battery life.

Externally, the Swift 3 isn’t the thinnest or most beautiful laptop you can buy, but it’s solid performance in most areas. It has all kinds of ports including USB-C, USB-A and HDMI. The backlit keyboard is clicky and there is also a reliable integrated fingerprint reader.

acer swift 3

Acer’s Swift 3 laptop features a 14-inch 1080p IPS display, an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. It also features a fingerprint reader and backlit keyboard for easy sign-in for easy typing in low-light conditions.

Best cheap laptop of 2021: Lenovo Yoga C740

The Lenovo Yoga C740 is a rugged aluminum laptop suitable for any use case.
Photo: Avery White for Verge

A cheap and well built laptop

The Yoga C740 is as simple as a laptop. It has a sturdy aluminum construction and a perfectly fine 10th Gen Intel processor. We were very surprised by the device’s audio. The upward speakers on the side of the keyboard provide a great surround sound experience. Both keyboard and touchpad are very comfortable to use. There is nothing to complain about, and not much to praise enthusiastically. If you’re looking for a Windows laptop under $800 with a well-made aluminum chassis and sturdy frame, then you’re looking for Yoga.

The C740 is now over a year old, but that means you can get it at a very affordable price. We are looking forward to reviewing its successor, the Yoga 7i, soon.

Lenovo Yoga C740

The Lenovo Yoga C740 is perfect for anyone looking for a practical and reliable laptop.


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