These are the Best Cheap Laptops to buy in July 2021: Surface Laptop Go, ThinkPad L13 and more
The PC market has been flourishing ever since last year as most of us moved to a work-from-home or study-from-home environment, forcing many to invest in a new work machine. If you still haven’t got your hands on a decent notebook for your everyday work, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re checking out some of the best cheap laptops you can buy on a tight budget.
We’ve restricted the budget to within the $350-$600 range, which should be good for decent machines that can handle most of your daily tasks like making presentations, attending video calls, writing notes, or just a casual movie when you want to take a break.
As you’d expect, all of the Windows laptops will be eligible for a free Windows 11 upgrade this holiday season.
Navigate this guide:
- Best overall: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
- Best 15-inch laptop: ASUS VivoBook 15
- Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad L13
- Best tablet: Microsoft Surface Go 2
- Best 17-inch laptop: HP 17
- Best Chromebook: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
Best overall: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
The Surface Laptop Go is the best laptop if you’re looking for the most premium experience on a budget. The Surface lineup is known for its high-quality construction and design, and this one comes with an aluminum and polycarbonate finish available in three different colors. It also comes with a great display measuring 12.4-inches with a 1536×1024 resolution and up to 400-nits brightness.
It’s limited in the ports department though as it only comes with a USB-C port, a standard USB-A port, a headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port. The laptop is powered by a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor with up to 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM and a 256GB SSD.
Best 15-inch laptop: ASUS VivoBook 15
The VivoBook 15 by ASUS is now available with AMD’s latest Ryzen 5500U six-core processor with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. According to the company, it also comes with a dual-storage design which means you can install an additional SSD or HDD for more storage. Apart from its sleek design, the laptop features a 15.6-inch full-HD display and the company’s Ergo Lift design that lifts the keyboard deck when you open the lid.
The laptop also comes with a fingerprint scanner placed on the top right corner of the touchpad that allows you to set up Windows Hello for secure authentication.
Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad L13
The ThinkPad L13 is one of the best affordable laptops for customers searching for a solid business laptop. Since it’s a ThinkPad, you can expect a rock-solid design that’s tested against 12 military-grade requirements and over 200 quality checks. The laptop is available with the latest Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors with the base model offering a Core i3-1115G4 processor, 4GB of DDR4 3200MHz memory, and a 256GB PCIe SSD.
For security, the laptop comes with the discrete Trusted Platform Module (dTPM) that can encrypt data while optional biometrics include a fingerprint scanner and an IR camera for face recognition.
Best tablet: Microsoft Surface Go 2
The Surface Go 2 is the smallest tablet hybrid device from Microsoft that’s great for someone who needs a compact device for light workloads. It comes with its own Surface Type Cover keyboard and is powered by the Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y processor with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage. There’s a slightly more powerful option with an Intel Core m3-8100Y processor if you can stretch your budget.
Other notable features include a 10.5-inch full-HD display, Windows Hello face recognition, and a 10-hour battery life.
Best 17-inch laptop: HP 17
A 17-inch notebook on a budget, the HP Laptop 17 is recommended if you want a large laptop. It offers a full-HD (1920 x 1080-pixels) resolution display and the 11th-gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor powers the machine paired with 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. Other features include up to 7.5 hours of battery life, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB 3.0 Type-C port, HDMI, a 3.5mm audio jack, and standard 45W charging.
It also runs on Windows 10 in S mode that only allows apps from the Microsoft Store. You can turn off S mode in the settings and the laptop will convert to Windows 10 Home at no charge.
Best Chromebook: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
An affordable tablet running on Chrome OS, Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet comes with a detachable keyboard and back cover with a kickstand that offers the same form factor as a Surface Pro. While it isn’t as premium as a Surface device, it’s pretty solid for the asking price. It features a 10.1-inch Full HD display and a single USB Type-C port, and the best part is the back cover and keyboard come pre-bundled, so you don’t need to pay extra.
It’s powered by the MediaTek Helio P60T processor with 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage (expandable using microSD) and Lenovo promises eight years of software support.
These are some of the best cheap laptops currently on the market. We recommend going for the Surface Laptop Go as it’s the most premium device in the budget category. The performance is modest, which should be great for your everyday tasks and basic office assignments, especially if you opt for the 8GB RAM option.
If you have a wider budget, you can check out the best laptops that we recommend. Also, check out some of the best and highly recommended Chromebooks you can buy today as they are usually better-value options on lower budgets.