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One of the best price range laptops for 2024

Sure, you may get an excellent laptop computer with out spending hundreds of {dollars}. Not everybody needs (or wants) to spend a boatload on their subsequent pocket book, and relying on how you propose on utilizing it, you may be higher off with an affordable laptop computer anyway. As with most reasonably priced tech, the important thing in getting the fitting machine for you is knowing what you want your laptop computer to do and the sacrifices you can also make to avoid wasting a bit of money. Better of all, you could discover that you simply don’t must sacrifice as a lot as you thought to get an excellent laptop computer at an awesome worth. We’ve examined a bunch of budget-friendly laptops to seek out our high picks and collect shopping for recommendation that may information you to the fitting machine for you.

What to search for in a price range laptop computer

First, we at Engadget take into account something underneath $1,000 to be “price range” within the laptop computer area. The explanation for that is twofold: even probably the most reasonably priced flagship laptops sometimes begin at $1,000 or extra, and when you go dramatically decrease than that (say, $500 or much less), that’s the place you’ll actually begin to see compromises in efficiency. You’ll sometimes discover the most effective stability of energy and worth within the $500 to $1,000 vary. However on this information, we’ll cowl high picks at a variety of costs — there are a selection of fantastic choices on the high and low finish of the price range spectrum.

Arguably the largest factor to search for in an affordable laptop computer is an honest spec sheet. You would possibly have the ability to discover configuration choices with the newest technology CPU chipsets, or you will have to go for one which has a barely older processor. We advocate looking for a pocket book with probably the most up-to-date internals as doable, however know that when you decide a machine with a CPU that’s one technology behind, it most likely won’t considerably have an effect on efficiency.

Together with processors, you also needs to take into account the quantity of reminiscence and storage you want in a day by day driver. For the previous, we advocate laptops with no less than 8GB of RAM; something with lower than that may have a tough time multitasking and managing all these browser tabs. The latter is a little more private: how a lot onboard storage you want actually relies on what number of apps, information, pictures, paperwork and extra you’ll save regionally. As a common rule of thumb, attempt to go for a laptop computer that has no less than a 256GB SSD (this solely goes for macOS and Windows machines, as Chromebooks are a bit totally different). That ought to provide you with sufficient area for packages and information, plus room for future working system updates.

After figuring out the most effective efficiency you may get whereas sticking to your price range, it’s additionally value inspecting just a few totally different design elements. We advocate selecting a machine with a largely steel physique, a display screen that has no less than a 1080p decision and a keyboard and trackpad space that’s comparatively spacious. Any reasonably priced laptop computer value buying could have a built-in webcam, however most of them high out at 720p. Just a few of the newest fashions have 1080p webcams, however you could need to take into account a standalone peripheral when you spend a ton of time on Zoom conferences.

You should definitely try the port state of affairs as nicely. Many laptops nearer to $1,000 could have fewer ports than their extra reasonably priced counterparts (as counterintuitive as that will appear). You’ll discover no less than one or two USB-C ports on the most recent machines, which suggests you could want a separate dongle when you incessantly have to hook up with SD playing cards.

A notice about refurbished laptops

Refurbished laptops are an alternative choice to think about when you want a brand new machine and don’t need to spend a ton of cash. Shopping for refurbished tech might be tough when you’re unfamiliar with a model’s or service provider’s insurance policies surrounding what they classify as “refurbished.” Nevertheless it’s not not possible — for laptops, we advocate going on to the producer for refurbished gadgets. Apple, Dell and Microsoft all have official refurbishment processes that their gadgets undergo earlier than they’re put again available on the market that verifies the machines work correctly and are in good situation. Third-party retailers like Amazon and Walmart even have their very own refurbishment packages for laptops and different devices as nicely.

One of the best low-cost laptops of 2024

Photograph by Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

Display screen measurement: 13.6-inch | Touchscreen: No | Processor: Apple M2 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Weight: 2.7 kilos | Battery life: As much as 17 hours

Read our full review of the Apple MacBook Air M2

The launch of the M3 MacBook Air noticed the retirement of the primary Air with an M-series chipset. Apple’s not formally promoting the M1 MacBook Air (though you possibly can nonetheless discover it at other retailers proper now), but it surely knocked down the beginning worth of the M2 Air to $999. The M3 MacBook Air is the most effective skinny and light-weight laptop computer for most individuals, however the M2 is an unmatched worth for these on a price range. In our testing, we didn’t discover an enormous enchancment in real-world use between the M2 and the brand new M3 Air, and battery life is comparable for each of them. The largest variations between them are that the M3 fashions assist Wi-Fi 6E and driving to as much as two exterior shows when the lid is closed.

So in relation to shopping for a brand new laptop computer and spending solely $1,000 or much less, the MacBook Air M2 is the pocket book we’d advocate to most individuals. Not solely do you get the up to date Air design that’s thinner and extra squared-off than earlier than, however you additionally get a beautiful 13.6-inch show, a strong quad-speaker array and, most significantly, stellar efficiency due to the M2 chip. For duties private {and professional}, this MacBook Air ought to have greater than sufficient energy and velocity for most individuals (we’d even advocate it over the 13-inch MacBook Professional for a lot of). The truth that it’s now $200 lower than earlier than just because it’s modified locations in Apple’s lineup presents an awesome alternative for these in want of a brand new day by day driver to get our earlier high decide for best laptop at its new low worth.


  • Skinny and light-weight design
  • Beautiful 13.6-inch display screen
  • Nice quad-speaker setup
  • Wonderful M2 efficiency

  • No ProMotion
  • Some velocity throttling for prolonged duties

$980 at Amazon

Photograph by Daniel Cooper / Engadget

Display screen measurement: 13-inch | Touchscreen: No | Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB | Weight: 2.2 kilos | Battery life: As much as 12 hours

Read our full review of the HP Pavilion Aero 13

In the event you like the final aesthetics of machines like Dell’s XPS 13 however don’t need to pay $1,000 or extra, the HP Pavilion Aero is your greatest wager. We gave it a score of 87 in our overview and in contrast it to Dell’s flagship laptop computer. It’s actually not as modern as that machine, but it surely comes fairly shut with its angled profile, 2.2-pound weight and its anti-glare 13.3-inch show. Regardless of its keyboard being just a little cramped, it’s a strong typing machine and we recognize all of its connectivity choices: one USB-C port, two USB-A ports, an HDMI connector and a headphone jack. You’ll be able to at the moment decide an Aero 13 up for as little as $900, however they’ve gone on sale for even much less. All the prebuilt base fashions accessible from HP straight include Ryzen 5 processors, and you’ll customise the laptop computer to have as much as a Ryzen 7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.


  • Engaging design
  • Many ports
  • Strong efficiency for the worth

$880 at HP

Photograph by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Show: 14 inches FHD | CPU: Thirteenth-generation Intel Core i3 | RAM: As much as 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Weight: 3.52 lb (1.6 kg)

Our favorite Chromebook is Lenovo’s Flex 5 Chromebook, which Engadget’s resident Chrome OS aficionado Nathan Ingraham described as an incredible worth. This laptop computer nails the fundamentals, with a 14-inch Full HD touchscreen, an awesome backlit keyboard and a Thirteenth-gen Core i3 processor. The most recent mannequin has an upgraded 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which when paired with the Core i3 CPU, make for a speedy, succesful machine. It’s additionally good to see one USB-A and two USB-C ports, six hours of battery life and a 360-degree hinge that makes it simple to make use of the Flex 5 as a pill. This might be the perfect laptop computer for Chrome OS followers, and it’ll hit the candy spot for lots of different consumers on the market, offering a stage of high quality and efficiency that’s fairly uncommon to seek out at this worth level.


  • Nice total efficiency for the worth
  • Good show
  • Strong keyboard and trackpad

  • Mediocre battery life
  • A bit heavy and chunky

$499 at Amazon


Display screen measurement: 15-inch | Touchscreen: No | Processor: Eleventh-gen Intel Core i3 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Weight: 3.64 kilos | Battery life: As much as 10 hours

Acer’s Aspire 5 household is a strong Windows option if in case you have lower than $500 to spend on a brand new laptop computer. The latest fashions hit an excellent center floor for most individuals, operating on Intel Eleventh-gen CPUs and supporting as much as 16GB of RAM and as much as 512GB of storage. After all, the upper specs you get, the costlier the machine shall be — not all Aspire 5 laptops are available in at underneath $500. However you possibly can at the moment decide up a model with a 15.6-inch 1080p show, Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for about $380 (or much less if it’s on sale). Design is fairly fundamental right here, however you do get a helpful quantity pad and quite a lot of ports, together with one USB-C connector, three USB-A ports and an Ethernet port. We additionally recognize that the newest Aspire 5s assist WiFi 6, and Acer upped the estimated battery life to 10 hours.


  • Extremely reasonably priced
  • Good efficiency for the worth
  • Keyboard contains quantity pad
  • Good number of ports

$350 at Amazon

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