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Best budget laptops in 2024 – our top cheap laptop picks

Here are some of the best affordable laptops

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on January 16, 2024
best budget laptops

If you’re looking for the best budget laptops, then we have you covered right here.

Getting a new laptop does not always mean that you have to spend a lot. Most manufacturers have a few lineups of budget picks – for instance, MSI Cyborg and Apple Macbook Air. Usually, brands equip budget laptops with a good processor and cut costs in other departments, like storage or display, which does not affect performance.

If you browse through affordable laptops today, you will find several great options that offer the most features at a reasonable price. Further, regardless of your use case (that is, business, gaming, etc.) you’re bound to find a laptop that checks all the boxes for you.

With that being said, there are a lot of laptops that would be suitable for your requirements. To help you search for the right laptop, we have rounded up what we think are the best budget laptops.

Products at a Glance

How we picked

For this guide, we have looked at several budget laptops from different brands, compared them, and picked the ones we thought were the best. These laptops have been selected based on specs like CPU, display features, portability, and more. Plus, we’re always looking out for new products to add to our guides and keep them updated – so check back here again for newer updates.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

  • Powerful M1 chip
  • 18-hour battery life
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comparatively expensive

If you want the best laptop for general use, then you should consider getting the 2020 Macbook Air.

The laptop sports a 13.3-inch Retina display with 2560 x 1600 resolution, which promises to deliver realistic-looking visuals. As is the case with all Macbooks, this one, too, is cased in an aluminum shell, which should look premium.

On the inside, the Macbook packs the M1 chip, which is 3.5x more powerful than its predecessor. The chip includes an 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, and the Neural Engine – all of which combined should give you a smooth performance for all your tasks.

The model we have chosen comes with 8GB of unified memory along with 256GB SSD, which should be sufficient for users. However, if you require more storage, you can choose to upgrade it.

Another notable feature of this laptop is the battery life. The Macbook Air promises 18 hours of battery life, which should last you all day and even more.

  • Intel i5-12450H processor
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • Mediocre battery life

If you want a budget gaming laptop, then you should check out this MSI Cyborg model, which we think deserves to be a budget pick in the best MSI laptop guide.

The laptop runs on the 12th-gen Intel i5-12450H processor, which promises to run demanding games and handle multitasking efficiently. Plus, for graphics, you have the RTX 4050 GPU, which should deliver great performance with its AI-powered features.

This variant comes with 8GB DDR5 RAM along with 512GB SSD, which should be sufficient to run video games. However, if you plan on playing more demanding games, then we suggest you up the RAM.

On the outside, you have a 15.6-inch display with FHD resolution, which should give you clear and vivid visuals. Plus, you get a 144Hz refresh rate, so you should be able to get a stutter-free experience with most games. Further, this is an IPS display, so you should be able to get wider viewing angles.

  • Intel Core i7-1355U processor
  • 1920x1200 resolution
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Mediocre battery life

If you want an ultrabook within budget, then we’d say that the Acer Swift Go 14 is a solid option.

The laptop runs on one of the latest CPUs – a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1355U processor, which promises to juggle multiple tasks without slowing down. Plus, the processor comes with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, which should take care of your graphic-intensive tasks.

The model we have chosen comes with 16GB RAM, which should be sufficient to run multiple applications and cut down on loading times. Plus, you get 512GB SSD, which may not look like a lot of storage – so if you require more, you can upgrade this spec for extra cost.

As far as cooling is concerned, the laptop has TwinAir cooling system that has dual copper heat pipes and an air inlet keyboard, which helps to maintain optimal temperatures.

On the outside, the laptop sports a 14-inch touch screen display with a 1920×1200 resolution, so you can expect good visual performance. Plus, the display has a 100% sRGB color gamut, which should give you good color accuracy.

Another notable perk here is that this laptop is quite lightweight. Much like some of the best lightweight laptops, this one, too, weighs only 2.7 pounds and has a 0.59-inch thick profile, which should make it portable for most people.

  • 2-in-1 display
  • WUXGA resolution
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Base model has only 8GB RAM

If you are in the market for a budget 2-in-1 laptop, then the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i is a great option, and we think it deserves to be a budget pick in our best touchscreen laptop guide.

The 2023 iteration of this IdeaPad comes with an Intel Core i5-1335U processor, which promises to handle your multitasking efficiently.

The budget model that we have chosen for this guide has 8GB RAM, which is needed to run your applications. Plus, you get a 256GB SSD for storing your files, which may not sound like a lot, so you can upgrade this if required.

This laptop comes with different modes that you can switch to, depending on how you want to use it. For everyday work, you can use the ‘laptop’ mode, for viewing photos and videos, you can try the ‘tent’ mode, and the ‘tablet’ flips your laptop 360 degrees and turns it into a tablet.

As far as the display is concerned, the laptop comes with a 14-inch display with WUXGA resolution, which should give you high-quality visuals for media consumption. To add to that, the laptop has 2W speakers, which should give you good audio quality.

  • 15.6-inch FHD display
  • Good battery life
  • Lightweight and portable
  • No dedicated GPU

If you’re a student looking for best value-for-money laptops, then we think that the Asus Vivobook 15 is a solid choice, and we think it deserves to be one of the best laptops under $1000.

The laptop comes equipped with an Intel Core i3-1215U Processor, which should carry out your day-to-day tasks easily. Plus, the CPU also has integrated Intel UHD graphics, which should be sufficient to handle graphic-related tasks.

The Vivobook variant here has 40GB RAM, which should reduce application loading time, speed up boot-ups, and deliver overall faster performance. Plus, for your storage, you get 1TB SSD, which should be sufficient for most students.

Coming to the display, the Vivobook 15 has a 15.6-inch screen with FHD resolution, so you should be able to get clear visuals. Plus, the display has narrow bezels, which should give you more viewing space.

As far as portability goes, this laptop weighs 3.25 pounds, which should be portable for most students. Plus, it is sleek with a 0.7-inch thickness, so you should be able to slide it into your backpack easily.

How to pick the best budget laptops

Naturally, a lot of care and consideration went into deciding which laptops to put forward for this guide. Furthermore, we tried to prioritize certain factors that might be important for the average budget laptop user.


Generally, the newer the processor, the more powerful it is. While looking for a new budget laptop, you can consider getting one with the latest CPUs, so you get the best possible performance.

Further, the choice of processor will also depend on your use case. For instance, if you want to perform simple tasks like emailing, browsing, or typing, then you can consider getting CPUs like the Intel Core i7-1355U. These mobile processors are specially made for business and work purposes. However, if you want to run more resource-intensive tasks like gaming or video editing, then we suggest you look at some of the best Intel 13th-gen laptops or the best Intel 12th-gen laptops.


Most base models of budget laptops come with 8GB RAM, which is required to run your applications and deliver faster multitasking – so we’d suggest you go for at least 8GB RAM. If you need more RAM and have a better budget, you can pick a variant with more RAM.


To start with, you have to decide the display size you want to go for – small, regular, or large. The sizes range from as small as 12 inches to 17.3 inches. Depending on your requirements and preferences, you can pick a size. Further, most budget laptops come with an FHD resolution or WUXGA resolution, which delivers clear and detailed visuals.

Can you get a good laptop on a budget?

It’s still possible to get a laptop which provides solid performance for a lower price. You won’t have the speed or ultra-high-tech features of more pricey models, but there’s still plenty of good options that won’t break the bank.

How much should I spend on a laptop?

You can pick up a great Chromebook or other web-based laptop for less than $400, but don’t expect a great performance. Closer to the $600 mark is a good baseline, with $600-$800 offering great value models in many cases.

Our Verdict

If you want the best laptop for general use, work, or business, then you should consider getting the 2020 Macbook Air, which is one of the best laptops you can get for under $1000. The laptop comes with a 13.3-inch display with a high resolution, so you can expect great visuals. The Macbook runs on an M1 chip, which is powerful enough for demanding tasks like graphic designing. Plus, the Macbook boasts about 18 hours of battery life, which should come in handy if you travel a lot. Overall, this is a great budget laptop for most users who want the best bang for their buck.