When commercial laptops came out in the mid 2000’s, many people were glad for the mobility. Then the iPad came out some 7 years ago, and with it, the advent of the tablet era, and analysts were calling this the beginning of the demise of the laptop. However, now in 2016, laptops are still going strong and still making brisk business as ever. This improved with the advent of Windows 10 as well as new AMD and Nvidia graphics cards and Intel’s new processors.
The performance improvements of laptops coupled with thin, light, and stylish designs instead, has seen the rise of laptops dominating office space in place of the desktop. However, for a more personal use, finding a good laptop that truly suits your needs is not an easy consideration. There are countless choices between the ‘fast and the furious’ types to ‘handy and durable’ ones. Whatever the case may be, here are four of the best affordable laptops that don’t compromise on performance.
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Toshiba Chromebook 2
CPU: Intel Celeron – Core i3-5015U; Graphics: Intel HD Graphics – HD Graphics 5500; RAM: 4GB; Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,090; Storage: 16GB; Around $200.
The Toshiba Chromebook 2 is the best choice if you’re looking for a sharp screen and fast laptop. Since it doesn’t use Windows, you’re greeted by the new browsing experience of Chrome OS packaged inside a sleek full HD display. Powered by an outrageously powerful Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM, you’re in for a treat as the 13-inch Toshiba Chromebook 2 is one of the most enticing Chrome OS machines available today and one of the most affordable laptops around.
HP Chromebook 14
CPU: 1.83GHz Intel Celeron N2940 processor; Graphics: Intel HD Graphics; RAM: 4GB DDR3; Screen: 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 display; Storage: 16GB; Around $279.
With a 14-inch screen, this HP Chromebook isn’t the smallest or lightest Chrome OS device out there. However, it strikes a good balance between ample screen space and portability. With an awesome keyboard, track pad, and a great screen, this makes the Chromebook 14 a joy to write and browse the web on for very little money at all.
HP Stream 11.6-Inch Notebook
If you’re in the market for an ultra-portable machine, you have to understand that you’re buying portability with some compromises in size. The screen is small and has a pretty low resolution. It doesn’t have a lot of internal storage space or RAM, so you won’t be able to do any high-end photo or video editing. But despite all that, ultra-portable laptops are perfect for traveling, writing, and streaming music or video. This one is ideal for traveling since this laptop can go up to 10.5 hours of battery life. This one also comes with a one-year subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 service, which costs $57 on its own. Factoring that in, this laptop is a very good value. If you’re looking for a low-power computer for traveling and for basic tasks, this is a good buy.
Acer Chromebook 14
It’s well constructed, has reasonable specs for a Chromebook, and most importantly, it’s getting an update that lets it run Android apps. That last part is the most important. This laptop largely relies on the internet to be useful. That means this computer is built for people who keep their video, music, photos, and other data in the cloud. Google bundles 100GB of cloud storage with their computer to help ease your transition but note that this one is a no-go for people with large media libraries. Having Android apps opens it to more offline utilities, but even then, this is a computer for someone who’s always connected.
There are other reviews for the more high-end performers, but then we decided to come out with this one since usually people first consider looking at affordable laptops before anything else.