Best Budget Notebooks to Buy in 2021
Whether it’s for studying or working, a laptop is much more comfortable. If you are looking for one, but you don’t want to spend a fortune, then take a look at the models that I show you below. These are the best budget notebooks of 2021 which, with a price even below $500, can easily carry out the most common daily operations such as surfing the internet, watching movies, creating and editing documents, or the like.
Today, having a computer at home is practically essential, but a considerable expense. Tablets and smartphones are increasingly advanced and are often sufficient for most but not all daily operations.
To do this you don’t need someone who knows what hardware or the latest top-of-the-range released, which costs a fortune. Indeed, it would be a waste of money. So, if you don’t need very high performance, a cheap but good laptop will be more than enough
You don’t really know about computers and are you afraid of making the wrong purchase? Don’t worry, below you will find the most recommended notebooks and with the highest quality/price ratio.
10 best budget notebooks in comparison
As versatile and powerful as the new phones and tablets are, studying or working, editing documents, or watching movies online is easier and more comfortable on a computer and you don’t even need a new or powerful model.
Daily operations such as reading mail, news, consulting websites, watching multimedia elements (photos, videos, or films), listening to music, writing, creating, and editing documents, in fact, do not require powerful hardware, so a basic PC is enough.
So, if you do not have professional level needs, you can spend much less than a top of the range by buying a low-cost but valid laptop, able to satisfy all your work or study needs. If you don’t know which one to choose, take a look at the list of PCs below that we made after comparing many models.
These 10 are the best Budget Notebooks of 2021:
- Chuwi CoreBook Pro – a budget notebook with i3 and Windows 10
The most surprising laptop of all is this brand new Chuwi CoreBook which on paper is definitely the best in this range. For those who want to spend little but don’t want to give up anything or almost nothing when it comes to performance and visual experience, this is the right choice.
Despite costing less than $500, it has amazing technical features including the 2K display and the Intel Core i3 processors. To these are added a good 8GB RAM and 256 GB of SSD memory that allows an incredible start-up speed.
With technical specs like these, it’s common to top the list of the best budget notebooks to buy in 2021 for everyday use. Let’s see it, however, in detail.
Let’s start with the 13 ”screen which is a panel with IPS technology and a fantastic resolution of 2160 x 1440 pixels! The colors are very good, the brightness is also not bad, but the resolution this high is spectacular and the only model we will see with a 2K monitor.
The performance is also very good and the speed is excellent both because there is a 256GB SSD but above all thanks to the I3-6157U processor which, even if older, is still relatively fast. To all, we add 8GB of RAM that makes applications more fluid.
But the surprises don’t stop there: the CoreBook also has a USB Type-C, a USB 3, and even a memory card slot.
The icing on the cake is the backlit keyboard which makes it much more comfortable to use in the dark and beautiful to look at – keep in mind that backlighting is rarely found even on higher-end laptops.
Beautiful and powerful is the choice that I most recommend to everyone. The only reason to choose other laptops is the doubt about the manufacturer because we know that a Chinese notebook is not very reliable. However, Chuwi is a brand that has been in the industry for several years and has accustomed us to truly valid products, in terms of reliability at significantly lower costs than the most famous ones.
2. Lenovo Essential V145 – among the best, with high performance at a low cost
We are talking about a laptop for around $400. This is the best of the budget notebook models in terms of value for money.
Despite the very low price, this pc boasts quite good, quality components that you wouldn’t expect to find in a cheap computer. Among these, the elements that stand out are the 8Gb of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
Obviously, to spend so little, some sacrifices must be made. In this case, we are talking about the monitor which is only in HD quality with a resolution of 1366 × 768 pixels, definitely dated. The other slow component is the processor, which is an AMD A4 with speeds up to 2.3GHz.
However, it is excellent that this laptop comes with Windows 10 pre-installed and ready to use and at no additional cost. Surely this notebook is a great buy, perhaps one of the best for those looking for cheap models, to surf the internet, watch movies, and edit documents.
3. Acer Chromebook 314 – laptop for those who always have a stable connection
As good as they are, the first two models are also a bit high in price. Those who want to save even more can opt for a Chromebook. In doing so, however, he must have clear in mind the limits of this operating system, that is, that it needs a stable connection to the internet and does not have Windows, the OS that many have always been used to.
Among all the best low-end budget notebooks, the one I recommend you buy is the Acer 314. The strong point of this model is its design and build quality: thin and light – it weighs only 1.5kg – it is very easy to carry always with you and even in small bags, because thanks to the thin edges it is even smaller than an A4 sheet.
The technical characteristics are much lower than the previous models, but so is the cost: this is a really low-cost notebook. Although the processor, the Intel Celeron N4000, is in line with the others, here we only have 4GB of RAM and only 64GB of storage.
In Chromebooks, PC performance is not everything, because there is a lot of focus online and the programs often work directly on internet servers, allowing you to have speed and fluidity even with old and slow computers. This allows you to save a lot on the price of components.
The screen, on the other hand, is not bad at all, as the Acer 314 is equipped with a 14 ”display with an LCD panel and FullHD resolution. The colors, brightness, and contrast are not bad. Finally, the autonomy that reaches up to 12 hours is excellent.
- IdeaPad Flex 5 – Convertible Chromebook with touchscreen and USI Pen
An ideal choice for the little ones, as well as for university students, is the convertible notebooks that allow, in addition to studying, to give vent to the imagination, drawing or taking notes with the stylus directly on the computer screen.
Among all, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is one of the best choices. With a hinge that allows it to rotate the screen 360 °, you can use it both as a PC and as a tablet.
In fact, children can have fun by drawing to learn how to use the computer better, while students can easily add graphs and notes to their notes, to make them easier to understand and review.
The display of this IdeaPad is really good, with a Full HD resolution, great brightness, and really vibrant colors. The details are crystals, the contrast is high and you can use it safely even when there is a lot of light.
The only sore point of this convertible notebook is the hardware which is old and not particularly performing, even if, having Chrome OS, you don’t really need who knows what power.
The processor, in fact, is an Intel Celeron 5205U a very old dual-core but with a frequency of 1.9 GHz. To this must be added the 4GB of RAM and 64GB of flash memory that allow it to switch on and start applications very quickly. As you can see, the memory is not much and you will probably need to have an external hard drive to save files, photos, and movies.
Interestingly, there is also a USB Type-C which allows not only to transfer data much faster and better streaming but also to charge the battery at high speed.
- HP 255 G7 – an old but still powerful laptop
Despite being a fairly dated model, this laptop still offers respectable performance, especially since it allows professionals to easily install the components they want and adapt them to different needs. The HP 255 G7 is, in fact, one of the best-selling budget notebooks on ePrice in this range.
It is a fairly large model, which is not ideal for carrying, but perfect for home use. It has a generous 15.6 ″ anti-glare LED display with HD resolution (1366 x 768 px). Resolution is the only real big drawback of this laptop because it is really low.
From the hardware point of view on this low-cost laptop, we find a dual AMD A4-9125 processor which has a base frequency of 2.3 GHz and an integrated AMD Radeon R3 graphics card. The performance it provides is excellent for a two-core in the budget range and, at the same time, it has a low power consumption for better battery life.
Flanked by 8GB of RAM and with a 240GB M.2 SSD, the firing and application speed is quite fast. With this size, it is not a problem to insert a DVD player and DVD burner that few now use, but it is always nice to have.
The autonomy is not high: it should reach up to 9 hours, but the average settles around 5 with slightly more intensive use. As mentioned at the beginning, I recommend this PC for home use, and autonomy, in this case, is not such an important value.
This model that we have reviewed comes ready to use and is among the best budget notebooks in 2021 for those who do not want to waste time installing programs, or do not understand much. It has already installed Windows 10 Professional, the Openoffice office suite, photo editing software, and many other useful programs.
Read More: Best Gaming Laptops of 2021
6. Teclast F5 – a convertible, but the inexpensive notebook
It seems incredible, but among the budget laptops, there is also a convertible PC with a 360 ° design. I’m talking about the Teclast F5, a surprising model, solid, but light and performing enough to be just fine for everyday use.
Although this is a brand probably unknown to many, it has recently been selling a lot on Amazon, because its models are cheap and have excellent features, which makes the quality/price ratio very high.
The design is not bad: really slim at only 13mm thick and with a metal body. The display, although very small (only 11.6 ”) is really good with a FullHD resolution and is, of course, touchscreen. It also supports 10-point multi-touch and you can use the T6 stylus (purchased separately) to write and draw, thanks to a pressure sensitivity of 1024 levels.
The hardware is also good The memory is the strong point, with its 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD, among other things expandable with TF card. The processor, on the other hand, is quite slow, but I remind you that you can’t get much at this price: Celeron N4100 with 1.1GHz and 2.4GHz in turbo boost.
Surprisingly, there is also a USB Type-C and it comes with Windows 10. All in all this convertible is really nice and useful, especially if given to kids who can have fun drawing, or for students who want to take notes at university.
7. HeroBook Pro by Chuwi – the budget par excellence
One of the most recommended purchases, among the truly low-cost notebooks, is this HeroBook Pro which presents a more than surprising configuration for what little you pay for it.
First, we have a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, which computers even with a double price cannot boast. Then there is windows 10 Home pre-installed, which makes the laptop ready to use and the license is included in the price. among other things, the memory is also expandable up to 1TB of SSD.
The computer is really compact and super portable, almost an ultrabook with a fairly large 14.1 ”display. It also runs 8K videos (on external monitors) without problems and has a very long autonomy that can reach 9 hours!
That said, let’s see the drawbacks Chuwi has spared to make this laptop so cheap. The first is the processor: a very old Pentium N4000 which, be careful not to get confused, has a speed of 1.1GHz, which rises to 2.6GHz in TurboBoost mode. Immediately after we find the low resolution of the screen, only HD, but quite normal for laptops of this range.
Finally, the plastic with which it is made, which is not of the best quality and the keyboard which is in the English version: you cannot read the accented letters and some symbols are in different positions and you have to remember by heart or stick a sticker on them.
For those on a tight budget and who want to spend very little on a netbook, this is the best super-cheap model to buy.
8. HP PC 15s – old-fashioned, low-cost, but powerful laptop
We find again a laptop from Hewlett-Packard. This budget model is really great and is one of the most recommended purchases on Amazon, because it is cheap, but offers a lot of quality and enough power.
It is a fairly large computer, with a 15-inch screen with Full HD resolution and is anti-glare. The design is not bad, but dated and nothing out of the ordinary. Obviously, you cannot expect beautiful models in this price range.
Among the models seen, this is one of the fastest, thanks to the AMD Ryzen 3 processor which has a 2.6GHz base speed and 8GB of RAM. There is also the excellent 256GB SSD which makes everything even faster.
It comes with Windows 10 S, which although it is very limited as an operating system, is quite fast and well protected since it only allows you to install apps from the official Microsoft store, keep that in mind if you choose this model.
There are many other features and features to have, really great: among these, there is the HP Fast Charge, the many ports to connect to external monitors, memory card reader, and the very thin bezels.
9. Acer Swift SF114 – light and portable, almost an ultrabook
In fifth place, we see an Acer again. This time light and handy laptop, almost an ultrabook but sacrifices a lot in performance to offer portability. While it is not at the bottom of our ranking of the best budget and recommended notebooks of 2021, it deserves to be considered.
What we like most is the autonomy of 10 hours, followed by the screen and the weight: a nice large 15.6-inch display with Full HD IPS resolution (1920 × 1080) and a weight of only about 1kg.
What we don’t like is that there’s only 4GB of Ram, 64GB of storage, and the processor, an Intel Pentium Silver N5000, which isn’t a splinter. It should also be noted that Windows 10 is in the Sedition which is very limited for geeks, but in ordinary use, you do not feel the difference so much, indeed it is even safer for those who do not understand it, because it allows you to install apps and programs from official sources only.
From a practical point of view, it is ideal for those who will use it above all to surf the net. If you don’t need a lot of memory, which among other things you can easily expand using the now super cheap SD sticks and cards, it’s a great product. But if you need more responsiveness and performance, and still want a lightweight solution, you should probably opt for the Chuwi.
- Lenovo S345 Chromebook – the alternative with Chrome OS
An alternative to the Acer is this new Chromebook S345 from Lenovo which offers decent performance, a pretty good screen, and high manufacturing and component quality, at a relatively low price, typical of laptops with this OS.
I remind you that if you take this model you will have Chrome OS and not Windows, so you don’t have the classic programs, but you have to download the apps from the Google Play Store, almost like a smartphone. In the past I would have told you not to even consider PCs like these but, today, as you can see in the ranking there are 2 of them.
Being a fast OS, it only takes a few seconds to boot the PC. It must be said that it is also thanks to its seventh-generation AMD A6-9220C processor, very performing for its category. Despite the good performance, the battery lasts up to 10 hours.
The operating system created by Google, in fact, has improved a lot, in all respects: from the fast start to the increasing versatility and ability to work even offline, overcoming one of the great limits it had before.
Aesthetics is the strong point of this computer: it looks sturdy but thin and light, and the screen can rotate up to 180 °. The display is 14 ”and has a FullHD resolution with really beautiful colors and good brightness. It’s a shame it’s not a touchscreen.
Lenovo’s Chromebook S345 has 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM which is little for Windows, but quite typical for ChromeOS. Excellent Trackpad which is large and comfortable to use, also good connectivity with 2 USB type C and one type A 3.1.
Why buy a low-cost notebook?
As mentioned at the beginning, when you need a computer for daily operations like watching movies, listening to music, surfing the internet, or creating/editing documents with packages like an office, buying an expensive laptop is a bit of a waste of money. For normal home use, the decision to buy an inexpensive notebook is more than justified.
The laptops on our list are also ideal to buy for school and educational purposes. To teach a boy to use computers or use programs that are used for study, research on the internet, again you don’t need expensive computers.
Buying a powerful PC should only be done when you need to install software that requires a lot of resources and other performance. A professional computer involves a considerable expense and is often useless for home use.
How to choose the right Notebook?
The laptops we have chosen for our ranking are all excellent PCs for the price you pay them. As you can see, despite costing between 300 and 600 euros they all have decent features and above all SSD memories that are necessary to have speed both in starting and initial loading and in daily operations.
If you are looking for a laptop to keep primarily at home, the IdeaPad and the HP 255G6 are the best choices. In fact, they have a generous 15.6-inch screen and excellent performance, but they are very large and heavy, not very comfortable to carry.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for portability and intend to carry your computer around, then the two best and cheapest solutions are the Chuwi Aerobook, which is very thin and very light, or the Acer Swift 1, which is also much more comfortable to use. to carry.
We hope we have been helpful with our ranking and have helped you in your choice. Let us know how you think and give us some advice if you prefer other models.
On what not to save
When you want to spend little on the computer, indeed, you cannot expect much either on quality or on technical specifications. However, there are some things you shouldn’t compromise with, and surprisingly, the processor isn’t one of them.
At these levels, the fundamental thing is to have an SSD: I absolutely do not recommend very old HDDs and the purchase of a notebook, however cheap, that still uses them. The difference in speed is so great that you can have all the RAM and fast processor you want, but your PC will be slow.
Secondly, unless you want to use Linux on top or are a fairly experienced user, always opt for a model that has the OS installed, preferably Windows 10, in any of its variants.
Operating system: Windows vs Chrome OS
If you are on a tight budget and looking for a cheap laptop you have to choose between 3 operating systems: Windows, Chrome OS, and Linux. There would also be MacOS on the market, but Apple’s PCs, even the cheapest models, cost too much to be in this ranking.
The first is the one with which we are all used to working on a computer but PCs with Windows are also the most expensive because the license is paid. If you don’t have a lot of experience and don’t like messing around, but you are looking for a computer ready to use, then I recommend that you only choose Windows, possibly 10.
But those who juggle or want to learn can afford to save a little bit and opt for a Chromebook, a type of PC that is gaining ground. Their limit is the lack of memory and power, but there are more and more apps that allow you to study without problems and also work very well.
Finally, if you really want to cut costs, you can look for a notebook without an OS on which you will then have to go and install Linux. I have to say it’s fun and some builds work very well, but it’s geekier and not really suitable for anyone who just wants to watch movies, work on documents, or study.
Cheap and low-cost laptops not to buy
Taking a look at the products present on many eCommerce stores, you will find low-cost Chinese laptops or even netbooks ( who remembers them yet ?) Even cheaper than those we have included in the list above. We are talking about laptops with prices below 300 euros, but are they worth buying?
For me, the answer is no and I strongly advise against buying such a product. They are almost useless: they have very little memory, very slow processors, and almost always very low build quality. Any one of the best budget notebooks of 2021 that we have just seen can do all these operations in a much better way.
They indeed have the convenience of being able to insert the Sim card and browse anywhere, but often, even in some of the daily operations they go jerkily and are very slow in general. More than surfing the internet and reading articles, there is very little you can do about it
Conclusions and final advice
As you can see, there are plenty of low-cost or relatively low-priced laptops and the performance isn’t bad. The biggest doubt of those on a limited budget is whether to focus on a large and reliable brand, or those new unknown but cheap. One piece of advice they can give you is to wait and consult the various offers: often there are also excellent notebooks, better than these just seen, in offers below cost on different sites.
When you go for the HP or Acer of the past, you know you are going to get a brick that has only the name of a laptop, while if you opt for those like Chuwi or Teclast, you have almost an ultra-thin and comfortable laptop. Indeed, they may never have heard of them, but they are certainly quite reliable and offer excellent products with rather high performance and not bad quality for the price: in short .. they are not classic Chinese.
The CoreBook Pro or the HeroBook are the best budget notebooks of 2021 in terms of performance and portability, but let’s be clear: with notebooks of this low range, it always goes to luck!