Hello there! I simply adore laptops since I find them way more practical than desktop PCs. Believe it or not, the laptop market has expanded in such a way that robust performance no longer comes with a hefty price tag.
Now, for those who’ve been skeptical about finding a worthy laptop without splurging, I’ve got some good news. I’ve spent countless hours sifting through countless opportunities to buy devices to create a list of the top laptops you can snag for under $250.
Doesn’t matter what your preferences are, we are sure this list is crafted just for you. Let’s embark on this journey of budget-friendly yet powerful computing together!
1. SAMSUNG Chromebook 4Check on Amazon Check on Samsung Check on BestBuy Check on Walmart
Some time ago, I laid my hands on the SAMSUNG Chromebook 4. And, based on my experience, for its price bracket, it’s arguably one of the best options out there.
Now, you might wonder why. Well, without diving into too much technical jargon, it marries simplicity with performance seamlessly. Booting up was a breeze, the built-in virus protection gave me peace of mind, and I found it to be quite a resilient piece of tech, handling multitasking without a hitch.
It’s thin, light, and offers good battery life, making it a wonderful companion for those on-the-go moments. While I’ve explored many in its category, the SAMSUNG Chromebook 4 stands out, considering its price point.
|Intel Celeron Processor N4000
|4 GB LPDDR4
|11.6 inches LED
2. HP Stream 11
I am not talking about just an average device, my experience HP Stream 11 was nothing short than exceptional. Sure, now I do not use it, but I remember how well it used to serve me.
The anti-glare display, a feature I didn’t realize I needed, worked wonders when I found myself working in brightly lit environments. Equipped with Windows 11 and Microsoft 365, my digital tasks were met with efficiency and ease. And can we talk about that striking design?
The visual appeal is undeniably a conversation starter. Owning this particular model was an enriching experience, and even today, I hold it in high regard as a quality option for anyone on a budget. The only issue I’ve faced is limited storage, but this is something you can resolve quickly.
|Windows 11 Home in S Mode
|Intel Celeron N4020
|4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
|64 GB eMMC
3. HP Flagship 14Check on Amazon Check on BestBuy Check on PlanetsHoup
Firing it up, HP Flagship 14 was quite responsive, largely thanks to its 10th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G4 Processor. While the 8GB DDR4 RAM ensured that multitasking was a breeze, the 256GB SSD provided adequate storage, albeit a bit limited if you’re a heavy user.
Working on my daily tasks was generally smooth. The vibrant 14-inch display was a treat to the eyes, rendering sharp visuals. I did, however, wish for a slightly better color accuracy for graphic-heavy tasks. The integration of Windows 10 and the convenience of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth made connectivity seamless.
Yet, if there’s one thing I’d have to nitpick about, it’s the device’s battery life, which occasionally had me seeking the nearest power outlet more often than I’d like.
|10th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G4
|8GB DDR4 RAM
|Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
4. HP EliteBook 840 G3Check on Amazon Check on BestBuy Check on Kiky
I had the pleasure of learning more about HP EliteBook 840 G3. Immediately, its elegant matte finish and sturdy chassis caught my attention, showcasing a refined look often associated with devices priced higher.
The device is powered by an Intel Core i5-6300U processor. In my day-to-day usage, which encompasses web browsing, multimedia consumption, and a multitude of document editing tasks, this device held its ground commendably, ensuring a seamless user experience.
An aspect that I sincerely appreciated was the pre-installed Windows 10 Pro. It’s a small detail, but the convenience of having an OS ready to go, coupled with HP’s suite of productivity tools, elevated my computing experience.
After spending a considerable amount of time with the HP EliteBook 840 G3, my verdict leans heavily towards recommending it. For anyone seeking a reliable and efficient device without breaking the bank, this seems like a well-rounded solution based on my firsthand experience.
|Intel Core i5-6300U
|Full HD (1920 x 1080)
|8 GB DDR4
|256 GB SSD
|Windows 10 Pro
5. Acer 2022 Chromebook 315Check on Amazon Check on BestBuy Check on Acer
The touchscreen is responsive and fluid, providing a seamless browsing experience. With a dual-core processor under the hood, it manages to keep up with most of my everyday tasks, ensuring a smooth operation.
Like any piece of tech, it isn’t without its hiccups. There were moments when I wished the device had a tad more horsepower, especially during multitasking. But it’s essential to remember the price point and manage expectations accordingly.
Overall, based on my hands-on time with it, the Acer 2022 Chromebook 315 is a commendable option for those in search of an affordable, yet reliable device.
|Max Screen Resolution
|1366 x 768 pixels
|2.6 GHz celeron
|4 GB DDR4
|32 GB eMMC
|Intel UHD Graphics 600
6. Lenovo ThinkPad L380Check on Amazon Check on eBay
Lenovo ThinkPad L380 crossed my path. This device boasts an exterior that’s characteristic of the ThinkPad lineage – minimalistic, yet robust. Booting it up, I was immediately impressed by the clarity and vibrancy of its 13.3-inch FHD display.
Multimedia content looked lively and text rendered sharply, making long reading sessions comfortable.
Under the hood, the 8th Generation Intel i5 processor ensures that the device runs smoothly. Basic tasks such as browsing, streaming, and document editing felt fluid, with very few hiccups. The 8GB DDR4 RAM further accentuates this, allowing for decent multitasking without noticeable lag. It’s the kind of dependability I appreciate in any device.
While I admire its solid foundational attributes, I felt a certain lack when pushing the device to its limits. For advanced tasks or heavy-duty applications, the ThinkPad L380 doesn’t quite meet the benchmark. I also found its aesthetic to be more on the pragmatic side.
|13.3 inches FHD (1920×1080)
|8th Generation Intel i5
|8GB DDR4 RAM
|256GB PCIe SSD
|Windows 10 Pro
|Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
7. HP 14″ HDCheck on Amazon Check on BestBuy Check on Walmart
After a firsthand experience with HP 14″ HD, I must say it presents itself as a solid solution for those on a tight budget. The sleek design combined with its compact size makes it convenient for day-to-day tasks.
The performance, though not top-notch, can handle most regular tasks with relative ease. That being said, for my specific needs, which involve heavy multitasking and some demanding applications, it showed its limitations.
It’s not that it doesn’t do its job; it’s just that I found myself yearning for a bit more punch. If you’re looking for a basic device for regular computing tasks, it’s certainly worth considering.
|HD (1366 x 768)
|AMD 3020e Dual-Core
|4 GB DDR4
|64 GB eMMC
|Windows 11 Home in S Mode
8. DELL Latitude 3189Check on Amazon Check on Walmart Check on eBay
Recently, I had the chance to test DELL Latitude 3189. Its design is something that attracts attention. The sturdiness of its build made me believe that this is a device meant to endure the usual wear and tear.
As I powered it on, the 11.6″ HD touchscreen came alive, providing a reasonably crisp display suitable for day-to-day tasks. The integrated graphics aren’t built for heavy-duty graphic tasks, but for typical browsing, streaming, and document work, it held its own.
While the DELL Latitude 3189 didn’t particularly stand out among the high-performance devices I’ve tested, it’s essential to understand its target market. For someone looking for a solid temporary solution or perhaps a secondary device to rely on for basic tasks, this could be a worthy contender.
|Intel Pentium N4200
|11.6″ HD Touchscreen
Processor and Performance
At this price point, you won’t be encountering the latest high-end processors, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on performance. Many laptops under $250 are equipped with Intel’s Celeron or Pentium series or AMD’s entry-level APUs.
While these might not be ideal for heavy multitasking or graphic-intensive tasks, they’re perfectly capable of handling everyday tasks like web browsing, document editing, and media playback. Always look for the most recent generation within your budget to ensure longevity and better performance.
When you’re operating on a tight budget, storage can be a tricky area. You’ll often encounter HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) or eMMCs (embedded MultiMediaCards) in this range. While HDDs tend to offer more storage space, eMMCs and SSDs (though rare at this price) offer faster boot-up times and overall snappier performance.
Consider what’s more important for you: storage capacity or speed. Also, note that cloud storage solutions and external drives can always complement your on-device storage.
A comfortable viewing experience is essential, especially if you’ll be spending prolonged hours on your device. Most laptops under $250 will offer HD (1366 x 768) resolution, but some might boast a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display.
Always opt for the latter if you can. Additionally, consider the screen size. A 15.6-inch screen is great for multimedia consumption, while a 14-inch or smaller can be more portable and travel-friendly.
Nothing beats the convenience of a laptop that can last an entire day without tethering to an outlet. While high-end laptops might offer impressive battery lives due to optimized hardware and software, budget laptops can be hit or miss. Always check user reviews and manufacturer claims about battery life. Remember, a device that lasts 6-8 hours on a single charge can be considered decent for this price bracket.
Portability and Build
Finally, consider the build quality and portability of the laptop. At a budget-friendly price, you might encounter plastic builds more often than metal ones. However, some manufacturers do offer a blend of both. A solid hinge, decent keyboard, and trackpad responsiveness can significantly improve user experience. If you’re always on the move, consider a lightweight design and smaller form factor.
Ensure the laptop is durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear, especially if you plan to transport it frequently.
Can I expect a high-performing laptop in the under $250 range?
While laptops in this price range won’t match the performance of high-end devices, many offer decent processing capabilities suitable for everyday tasks like browsing, word processing, and media consumption. It’s all about managing expectations and understanding the laptop’s limitations.
Is it possible to find a laptop with a Full HD display for under $250?
Yes, some laptops in this range do offer Full HD (1920 x 1080) displays. While they might not be as common as HD displays, with diligent research, you can find models boasting a clearer and sharper screen resolution.
How durable are budget laptops?
While the build quality can vary, many laptops under $250 come with sturdy plastic or sometimes even metal chassis. Always check user reviews and product descriptions for insights on durability. Remember, a laptop’s longevity also depends on how you handle and maintain it.
Can I play games on a laptop priced under $250?
Laptops in this segment aren’t designed for heavy gaming, especially the latest titles. However, they can handle older games or less resource-intensive ones. Browser-based games, indie titles, and some older classics should run without much hassle.
Will I get a good battery life with a budget laptop?
Battery life can be a mixed bag in the budget segment. While some models can offer up to 8 hours or more on a single charge, others might last only 4-5 hours. It’s essential to check the manufacturer’s claims and user reviews to get a clear picture.
Drawing from my experience after countless hours sifting through the tech market, I can confidently say that the realm of affordable laptops has grown leaps and bounds. No longer are budget devices merely about compromises; they’ve evolved to offer reliable performance, long-lasting battery life, and even some features found in their pricier counterparts.
For those of you seeking a laptop under $250, it’s an exciting time as manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in this segment.