I don’t know what’s harder than trying to toggle the best laptops of the year, or what would be my personal faves, heck, the year isn’t even over. But you know what happens to be easier to discuss, the most budget-friendly of the laptops released this year. I mean, cost and comparison come down to discussing how good the specs are, all while not breaking that bank of yours. Some of these are obvious choices as fantastically-featured laptops others are going to be your choice, more than anyone’s, of their worthiness to this list. Moreover, making a list like this doesn’t mean it’s the facts or the one and only, especially since buying a budget laptop is most certainly a compromise at best. However, more money doesn’t equal the best device on the market, just like being a smart shopper or avid couponer, all you have to do is compare and decide what’s best for you.
When other laptops can remain inexpensive but act like something you’d be using at a desk in a fancy office, they’re worthy of this list. For example, take the HP Stream 11, an 11.6-inch notebook perfect for an always on-the-go worker or student because its battery life is on point. Plus, as the specs go on, you’ll smile because this computer starts at a mere $197. The small screen is a bit less than average, but anyone basic can deal with a standard resolution,, Its internal storage and RAM both leave something to be desired, but like most device’s you’d find this affordable, it’s happily noted HP touted the machine of having a whopping 10.5 hours of battery life. That, and it's one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 service, this rather low-powered computer would be plentifully functional traveling along with its mate.
I think it’s only fair to consider Chromebooks because of their affordable nature. Difficult to narrow to down to just a single Chromebook, it’s safe to say (besides the infamous Chromebook Pixel running for at least a grand) these are some of the best and cheapest little notebooks you can find. A very well-received, well-rounded Chromebook right now is from Asus. The Asus Chromebook Flip, announced back at Google I/O in May (right when Android apps were being integrated into Chromebook devices), is cheap cheap cheap. It’s sub-$300, and still reiterated as “the world’s first 10-inch convertible Chromebook”. The Flip, dubbed as such thanks to its 360 degrees of rotation, features a stylish metal chassis, a standard 1280 x 800 IPS multi-touchscreen display, a Rockflip 1.8GHz CPU, 2 to 4GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC flash storage, and nearly 9 hours of battery life (amazing). For an amazing price tag that starts at just $249, Asus also gives you a free 100GB of Google Drive space, which is of course nearly necessary for a Chromebook for backing up files, sharing photos, and editing documents.
Lenovo is definitely part of this list. Because building a device with students in mind ultimately mean we're gathering up the ideals of a functional laptop, but in a small portable and valued package, the Lenovo Ideapad 710S is something special, with a .55-inch thick magnesium-aluminum chassis, somehow weighing just to 2.6 pounds. Its 13.3-inch, 1080p display features internal hardware that propose the idea of one of Lenovo’s higher-end Ideapad devices, but rather seeks the advantage of delivering just the right amount of everything. The advantage being this- although there is no touchscreen, or full hinge turning it into a hybrid, It does instead feature a 180 degree hinge allowing the device to be folded out flat. As far as internal hardware goes, the Ideapad 710 has a base storage of 128GB of SSD, with the option to upgrade to 512GB. It’s Intel Core i5 processor, paired with 8GB of RAM, plus (an apparent) 7+ hours of battery life, are all lovely specs. Add in a price tag of just $750, and you’ve got yourself an attractive and functional design with that hinge, a display you cannot complain about and an overall lovely looking laptop for anyone, really. Plus, it’s really, really, affordable.
Let’s add in a gaming laptop because it’s only fair. When gaming workstations are in the mix, we mostly expect a plus-$1,000 device. The thing about gaming laptops is that they are “charming”, they’re dedicated, and they’re generally badasses. Even so, Dell ended up giving away one of its best gaming desktops for just under $800. The Inspiron 15 7000 has been “arguably the best budget-friendly gaming laptop” to date. Powered with an Intel Core i5 processor, paired with a 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M GPU, which is one of the best, 8GB of memory, and a 256SSD, and 1TB HDD, I think I have to repeat myself, “Yes, this device starts at a mere $800”.
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