UPDATE: May. 20, 2022, 2:50 p.m. EDT This list has been updated to reflect pricing and availability as of May 20.
BEST SAMSUNG DEAL: Samsung Galaxy Book Pro, a nice alternative to the similarly priced MacBook Pro — $909.99
BEST GAMING DEAL: Razer Blade 15, a powerful gaming laptop that’ll keep you playing on the go — $1,616.99
BEST 2-IN-1 DEAL: Asus Chromebook Flip C434, an affordable 2-in-1 for those who want the basics of a laptop and a tablet at once — $418
What’s better than a great laptop? A great laptop that’s cheap. Nowadays, even budget machines can pack the punch to carry you through whatever’s on your to-do list, whether it’s work, watching Netflix, or endlessly browsing social media. If you’re looking to pick up a new laptop but don’t necessarily want to drop your life savings in one go, we’ll be compiling a list of the best deals on cheap laptops right here, each and every week.
The best laptops to net you a great gaming experience
Best Samsung deal
Why we like it
We love Apple, but MacBooks aren’t the only laptops out there. The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is a nice alternative to the similarly priced MacBook Pro, with a stunning display, a speedy 11th-gen Intel Core processor, a 20-hour battery life, WiFi 6E support, and a sleek, ultra-thin design.
Best gaming deal
Why we like it
The Razer Blade 15 Advanced model is packed with solid internals that’ll work well for PC gaming newbies and seasoned players alike. Under the hood, you’ll get a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H processor with up to 5.0 GHz max turbo and 8 cores, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card that has the power to run some pretty visually intense games. The 300Hz screen provides buttery-smooth frame rate performance and offers full HD visuals within a bezel-less display. It’s all housed within a thin, compact body that you can take anywhere.
Best 2-in-1 deal
Why we like it
Having your laptop and your tablet in one place is a convenience you need in your life. The Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is a fantastic budget 2-in-1 device, with speedy performance, a full HD touchscreen, and components that should be able to handle all of your daily tasks.
More great laptop deals
Dell Vostro 7510 — $949
Dell Inspiron 3510 — $485
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio — $1,599.99
Asus Vivobook — $399.99
Lenovo Flex 5 — $599.99
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 — $164.99
Lenovo IdeaPad S340 — $649
Acer Swift 3 — $606
Acer Predator Triton 500 SE Gaming Laptop — $1,349.99
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE Gaming Laptop — $999.99
HP 14 Laptop — $229.99
HP Pavilion 15-inch gaming laptop — $828.87
HP 15-inch Laptop — $501
HP Chromebook 11 — $139
How to shop for a new laptop:
Choosing a laptop is entirely dependent on what you’ll be using it for. Beginner laptop owners need something user-friendly and straightforward, frequent travelers need something light with a long battery life, designers and gamers need top-notch 4K graphics and quick central processors, and everyone needs something that will last.
The first thing you should do is ask yourself a simple question: PC or Mac? This is an important question, as it’s going to make a world of difference in what you can and can’t do with your computer. Are you a gamer? A video editor? A business professional? An Apple device owner? The answer to any of these will probably point you towards your final answer. If you’re constantly buying the new iPhone every year, editing YouTube videos, recording a podcast, or other creative endeavors of the sort, your best bet may be a Mac laptop. Apple obsessives will be happy with their Mac’s compatibility with their other Apple products, and everyone can benefit from Macs’ propensity to have better virus protection than that of a PC.
That brings us to the perks of picking up a PC. You can still complete a number of creative projects on a personal computer, but where PCs really shine are their options for customization. PCs are much easier to upgrade part-by-part, as they aren’t constrained to Apple-manufactured products (like Macs). And because there is a seemingly endless supply of PC manufacturers, there are a lot more options from what brand you chose, to the software you buy, to the type of graphics card you pick out for your gaming rig. Yes, gamers should always go the PC route — they are far more powerful than what a Mac laptop can handle, and also give you the option to connect VR headsets, if you’re into that sort of thing.
What size laptop should you get?
This really comes down to two things: Personal preference and lifestyle. Personal preference is self-explanatory, really — do you like having a huge display, or do you prefer something more compact? Lifestyle is where practicality comes into play. If you’re traveling often and usually have your computer on your back in some way, you’re going to want to go with something more light and compact (thin, 11-inch models will most likely be the best). But if you’re a huge movie buff who doesn’t normally take their laptop on the road with them, spring for a 15-inch (and higher) screen with a bulky construction so you can have epic Netflix sessions. If you’re getting a gaming laptop, you should probably “go big or go home,” as well.
How much should you spend on a new laptop?
This is much more subjective, and at the end of the day, it’s really going to come down to your budget. But, if money isn’t the number one concern for you, you should really think hard about what you’re going to use your laptop for. Need a device with lots of power under the hood and bountiful storage space? Aim for something in the $800 and beyond range. Only using your laptop to edit the occasional Google Doc? Then you can probably get away with spending way below the $500 mark. In other words, don’t blow your savings if you don’t need to. And if you’re looking to go all out, meaning buying a laptop with every bell and whistle imaginable, you can get a monster of a machine for somewhere closer to $2,000.
Are cheap laptops worth it?
You know the old saying: You get what you pay for. But thanks to the technology boom of the last few decades, a cheap laptop can actually take you pretty far and won’t break down immediately. It’s all about knowing which one to select. Depending on what you use your laptop for the most, staying stingy might be your best option. Check out our roundups for the ones that we think are worth it — here are our favorite cheap laptop models under $500, and the best under $300.
What does it mean when a laptop is certified refurbished?
Don’t let the words “refurbished” or “renewed” scare you away — these types of devices are usually perfectly viable options and can end up saving you a lot of money without sacrificing much of anything.
A refurbished device, in its simplest terms, is a product that has been bought, but then returned for some reason. Notice that we didn’t necessarily say that it was returned due to some sort of fault on the device’s part. While that can certainly be true in some cases, it isn’t always. Oftentimes, a certified refurbished laptop never even left its original packaging.
While yes, saving money is a huge benefit of buying a “refurb,” it’s far from the only reason to consider getting one. What’s great about refurbished devices is that they undergo rigorous performance tests to ensure that they are still in good condition (sometimes more strictly than the stuff coming right off the production line). There’s also a chance that any refurbished laptop you buy may have been so lightly used, that it could almost be considered brand-new (just way cheaper).
We’re big fans of buying refurbished gear for kids, especially when it comes to electronics. If you’re shopping for a laptop for a kid who is under the age of 15, then refurbished is really the way to go. For kids of high school age and beyond who are a bit more careful with their digital gear, then a new laptop isn’t as risky. Of course, it depends on the kid.
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