The best budget laptops for 2024

Yes, that you can per chance also secure an even notebook computer without spending thousands of bucks. Now not all and sundry desires (or wants) to spend a boatload on their next notebook, and reckoning on the vogue you suggest on the lisp of it, that you can per chance also very smartly be at an advantage with an economical notebook computer anyway. As with most affordable tech, the important thing in getting the honest machine for you is figuring out what that you would be capable of like your notebook computer to enact and the sacrifices that you can per chance make to put a dinky of money. Best of all, that you can per chance also uncover that you don’t must sacrifice as great as you thought to secure an even notebook computer at a huge tag. We’ve tested a bunch of budget-friendly laptops to uncover our high picks and receive procuring advice that can manual you to the honest machine for you.

Hasty Overview

  • Apple 13-lag MacBook Air (M2)

    Best budget notebook computer total

  • HP Pavilion Aero 13

    Best budget Windows notebook computer

    $880 at HP

  • Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N Slim Notebook computer

    Best notebook computer below $500

What to envision out for in a budget notebook computer

First, we at Engadget rob into consideration the leisure below $1,000 to be “budget” within the notebook computer space. The reason for right here is twofold: even essentially the most affordable flagship laptops mainly start at $1,000 or extra, and whenever you happen to head dramatically lower than that (inform, $500 or less), that’s where you’ll in truth start to envision out compromises in performance. You’ll mainly uncover the best steadiness of vitality and tag within the $500 to $1,000 vary. However on this manual, we’ll cowl high picks at a huge vary of prices — there are a sequence of glorious alternatives on the excessive and low terminate of the budget spectrum.

Arguably the best element to envision out for in an economical notebook computer is an even spec sheet. You could even very smartly be in a space to uncover configuration alternatives with the latest generation CPU chipsets, or that you can per chance even maintain to head for one that has a somewhat older processor. We counsel making an try for a notebook with essentially the most modern internals as that that you can per chance imagine, but know that whenever you happen to elect a machine with a CPU that’s one generation within the support of, it potentially just isn’t very going to tremendously maintain an set up on performance.

Alongside with processors, you ought to moreover rob into consideration the amount of memory and storage that you would be capable of like in a every single day driver. For the former, we counsel laptops with not lower than 8GB of RAM; the leisure with lower than that can maintain a exhausting time multitasking and managing all these browser tabs. The latter is a dinky extra private: how great onboard storage that you would be capable of like in truth is dependent on how many apps, recordsdata, photos, paperwork and additional you will put within the community. As a general rule of thumb, strive to head for a notebook computer that has not lower than a 256GB SSD (this most efficient goes for macOS and Windows machines, as Chromebooks are a dinky different). That ought to present you ample room for applications and recordsdata, plus room for future running machine updates.

After figuring out the best performance that you can per chance also secure whereas sticking to your budget, it’s moreover price inspecting about a different make sides. We counsel selecting a machine with a largely steel physique, a mask that has not lower than a 1080p resolution and a keyboard and trackpad home that’s slightly expansive. Any affordable notebook computer price procuring will maintain a built-in webcam, but most of them high out at 720p. A couple of of the latest devices maintain 1080p webcams, but that you can must rob into consideration a standalone peripheral whenever you happen to spend a ton of time on Zoom conferences.

Be obvious to envision out the port wretchedness as smartly. Many laptops nearer to $1,000 will maintain fewer ports than their extra affordable counterparts (as counterintuitive as that can seem). You’ll uncover not lower than one or two USB-C ports on the most fresh machines, meaning that you can per chance even maintain a separate dongle whenever you happen to steadily maintain to connect with SD playing cards.

Some degree to about refurbished laptops

Refurbished laptops are one other chance to rob into consideration whenever you happen to’d fancy a brand novel machine and don’t must spend a ton of money. Buying for refurbished tech could per chance even be tricky whenever you happen to’re unheard of with a mark’s or service provider’s insurance policies surrounding what they classify as “refurbished.” On the opposite hand it’s not very not going — for laptops, we counsel going straight to the producer for refurbished devices. Apple, Dell and Microsoft all maintain official refurbishment processes that their devices fight through before they’re effect support within the marketplace that verifies the machines work properly and are in honest condition. Third-event outlets fancy Amazon and Walmart moreover maintain their very maintain refurbishment applications for laptops and other objects as smartly.

The best cheap laptops of 2024

Portray by Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

Veil size: 13.6-lag | Touchscreen: No | Processor: Apple M2 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Weight: 2.7 pounds | Battery lifestyles: Up to 17 hours

Read our fleshy evaluate of the Apple MacBook Air M2

The start of the M3 MacBook Air saw the retirement of the important thing Air with an M-sequence chipset. Apple’s no longer formally promoting the M1 MacBook Air (even supposing that you can per chance quiet uncover it at other outlets honest now), nonetheless it knocked down the starting tag of the M2 Air to $999. The M3 MacBook Air is the best thin and gentle-weight notebook computer for most of us, however the M2 is an unmatched tag for these on a budget. In our checking out, we didn’t peep a huge enchancment in proper-world lisp between the M2 and the novel M3 Air, and battery lifestyles is similar for both of them. The best variations between them are that the M3 devices reinforce Wi-Fi 6E and riding to up to 2 exterior displays when the lid is closed.

So by procuring a brand novel notebook computer and spending most efficient $1,000 or less, the MacBook Air M2 is the notebook we’d counsel to most of us. Now not most efficient enact you secure the up up to now Air make that’s thinner and additional squared-off than before, but you moreover secure an beautiful 13.6-lag mask, a get quad-speaker array and, most importantly, stellar performance as a result of the M2 chip. For tasks private and expert, this MacBook Air need to maintain greater than ample vitality and race for most of us (we’d even counsel it over the 13-lag MacBook Skilled for many). The truth that it’s now $200 lower than before merely since it’s changed areas in Apple’s lineup items a huge opportunity for these wanting a brand novel every single day driver to secure our old high opt for best notebook computer at its novel low tag.


  • Skinny and gentle-weight make
  • Magnificent 13.6-lag mask
  • Mammoth quad-speaker setup
  • Shapely M2 performance


  • No ProMotion
  • Some race throttling for prolonged tasks

$959 at Amazon

Portray by Daniel Cooper / Engadget

Veil size: 13-lag | Touchscreen: No | Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB | Weight: 2.2 pounds | Battery lifestyles: Up to 12 hours

Read our fleshy evaluate of the HP Pavilion Aero 13

Even as you fancy the overall aesthetics of machines fancy Dell’s XPS 13 but don’t must pay $1,000 or extra, the HP Pavilion Aero is your best wager. We gave it a catch of 87 in our evaluate and in contrast it to Dell’s flagship notebook computer. It’s absolutely not as sleek as that machine, nonetheless it comes somewhat shut with its angled profile, 2.2-pound weight and its anti-glare 13.3-lag mask. Despite its keyboard being somewhat minute, it’s a get typing machine and we admire all of its connectivity alternatives: one USB-C port, two USB-A ports, an HDMI connector and a headphone jack. You could even for the time being opt an Aero 13 up for as dinky as $900, but they’ve long gone on sale for even less. The entire prebuilt substandard devices on hand from HP straight near with Ryzen 5 processors, and besides that you can per chance customize the notebook computer to maintain up to a Ryzen 7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.


  • Magnificent make
  • Many ports
  • Solid performance for the tag

$880 at HP

Portray by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Demonstrate: 14 inches FHD | CPU: thirteenth-generation Intel Core i3 | RAM: Up to 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Weight: 3.52 lb (1.6 kg)

Our licensed Chromebook is Lenovo’s Flex 5 Chromebook, which Engadget’s resident Chrome OS aficionado Nathan Ingraham described as a tall tag. This notebook computer nails the fundamentals, with a 14-lag Full HD touchscreen, a huge backlit keyboard and a thirteenth-gen Core i3 processor. The latest model has an upgraded 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which when paired with the Core i3 CPU, make for a like a flash, capable machine. It’s moreover good to envision out one USB-A and two USB-C ports, six hours of battery lifestyles and a 360-stage hinge that makes it easy to make lisp of the Flex 5 as a tablet. This steadily is the very best notebook computer for Chrome OS followers, and it’ll hit the sweet space for a host of different investors obtainable, providing a stage of quality and performance that’s somewhat rare to uncover at this tag point.


  • Mammoth total performance for the tag
  • Nice mask
  • Solid keyboard and trackpad


  • Mediocre battery lifestyles
  • A bit heavy and full

$499 at Amazon


Veil size: 15-lag | Touchscreen: No | Processor: 11th-gen Intel Core i3 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Weight: 3.64 pounds | Battery lifestyles: Up to 10 hours

Acer’s Aspire 5 family is a get Windows chance whenever you happen to could perhaps even maintain lower than $500 to spend on a brand novel notebook computer. Primarily the most latest devices hit an even heart ground for most of us, working on Intel 11th-gen CPUs and supporting up to 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. Obviously, the upper specs you secure, the extra costly the machine shall be — not all Aspire 5 laptops near in at below $500. However that you can per chance for the time being secure a model with a 15.6-lag 1080p mask, Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for about $380 (or less if it’s on sale). Originate is somewhat general right here, but you enact secure a helpful number pad and a diversity of ports, including one USB-C connector, three USB-A ports and an Ethernet port. We moreover admire that the latest Aspire 5s reinforce WiFi 6, and Acer upped the estimated battery lifestyles to 10 hours.


  • Ultra affordable
  • Staunch performance for the tag
  • Keyboard involves number pad
  • Staunch diversity of ports

$350 at Amazon

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