These days, you can buy some fantastic laptops with top-tier specs and premium features in some stunning designs that are still light and portable. But all of those high-end pieces of hardware are usually pretty expensive, and if you’re on a smaller budget, it can be easy to look at those laptops with envy. Don’t fret, though. There are some great laptops out there with much more affordable prices, and we’ve rounded up some of the best, so you can get a really good experience without breaking the bank.
Let’s start with some ground rules. We’re setting our budget at around $700, though if you want to go lower, we also have an article focused on the best laptops under $600. We’re also relying on sales for many of these because in this price range, it can truly be worth it to look out for a sale. Many laptops that might normally cost almost $1,000 can often be found discounted to prices in this range. The biggest highlight right now is the Lenovo Yoga 6, powered by AMD Ryzen processors and featuring a strong overall design.
Our favorite cheap laptops in 2023
Lenovo Yoga 6 Gen 7
Versatile and capable for most people
The Lenovo Yoga 6 is powered by capable AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors that give it great performance for day-to-day use. The convertible form factor and 16:10 display help it stand out among other budget-oriented laptops, and it even has a 1080p webcam.
- Touchscreen with 16:10 aspect ratio and Full HD resolution
- Convertible form factor makes it more versatile
- Solid selection of ports
- AMD Ryzen 5000 is starting to age
The Lenovo Yoga 6 is a fantastic convertible aimed at the more mainstream market. It’s usually more expensive than our budget here, but thanks to ongoing deals, you can often find it for under $700. We reviewed the Lenovo Yoga 6 and found it to be a great choice for its regular price, so with this discount, it’s a no-brainer.
For that price, you’re getting a lot of goods. The 13.3-inch display is excellent for something this affordable, featuring a tall 16:10 aspect ratio and sharp Full HD (1920 x 1200) resolution. On top of that, this is a convertible, so you get the added versatility of using the laptop as a tablet when you need to, and the screen naturally supports touch and pen input (sold separately). There’s also a 1080p webcam with Windows Hello facial recognition, which is very rare at this price.
The laptop also includes a solid supply of ports to connect all your peripherals without needing adapters, with ports including two USB-C ports, USB Type-A, and HDMI. The design as a whole feels quite nice, using a mix of plastic and aluminum, with an optional fabric-covered lid that helps it stand out even more. The laptop has nice curved edges all around that make it easy to hold, too.
As for performance, the AMD Ryzen 5000 processors inside are still very capable, even if they’re starting to show their age now that Ryzen 7000 models are becoming available. You can go up to an AMD RYzen 7 5700U with 8 cores and 16 threads, so day-to-day performance is still good, and you also get up to 16GB of RAM to help with that. There is a newer model of the Yoga 6 already available with newer processors, but it’s also more expensive and not quite suitable for a budget-oriented list.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2
Best for students
A sleek design that’s great for portability
$644 $700 Save $56
The Surface Laptop Go 2 features a compact 12.4-inch display with a tall 3:2 aspect ratio, balancing portability and usability better than most budget laptops. It also has a premium-feeling design and it’s powered by 11th-generation Intel Core processors.
- Tall 3:2 display makes the best of the compact size
- Sleek design mixes plastic and aluminum
- Great keyboard
- Display resolution is lower than you’d expect
- 11th-generation Intel processors are starting to age a bit
The Surface Laptop Go 2 is another fantastic choice for users looking for something compact and easy to carry without spending too much. It doesn’t have the versatility of the Lenovo Yoga 6, but the 12.4-inch display is just the right size to make this laptop really easy to carry, and because it has a taller 3:2 aspect ratio, it still gives you some space for the apps you need to run. It does have a lower resolution than we’d like, but for a younger student, this is still a great laptop to work on.
Helping with that is the Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, which we found in our Surface Laptop Go 2 review gives you very solid performance for all kinds of tasks. It’s true that the processor is starting to age a bit now that 13th-generation models are starting to become available, but you’ll still be able to work on this laptop with no problems, and this is a huge upgrade over the first Surface Laptop Go. It doesn’t have a ton of ports, but it does have a compact and premium design, and you still get the basics like USB-C and USB Type-A. Another highlight is the great keyboard, which isn’t something you’ll always get in a laptop at this price.
The relatively small screen makes this a fantastic laptop for portability, and the combination of plastic and aluminum results in a laptop that weighs under 2.48 pounds. The laptop also comes in four colors to choose from, so you can get something that matches your style better.
If portability is your main focus, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is a great choice if you don’t want to spend a lot of money.
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 4
Best business laptop
The best for professional users
The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 is an affordable business laptop that has all the essentials, like great connectivity and an optional Windows 11 Pro license. It’s highly configurable if you have a higher budget, and it has everything you love about ThinkPads, including the subdued design and the iconic red TrackPoint.
- Lots of ports for all your peripherals
- Highly configurable with different specs based on your needs and budget
- 1080p webcam helps with remote meetings
- You’ll need to pay extra for Windows 11 Pro
- A taller display would be better
- AMD model lacks fast USB ports
If you’re someone who needs a laptop for more professional use, the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 is probably for you. This business laptop has everything you’d expect from a ThinkPad, like the iconic TrackPoint, and a lot of ports, including USB-C (with Thunderbolt on the Intel models), two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and RJ45 Ethernet, so you have everything you need to connect to an office setup. It also has the classic ThinkPad design, which is still loved by many business users.
Another benefit is that this laptop is packing more recent processors, including 12th-generation Intel Core processors or AMD Ryzen 5025U series models, depending on the version you’re looking at. The AMD model is cheaper, so it may be a bit more appealing, but it does lack Thunderbolt support, as we’ve mentioned. Performance-wise, though, both models will be great for all kinds of day-to-day use, with options for up to a 10-core, 12-thread Intel Core i7 or an 8-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen 7.
The laptop includes a 14-inch display with a more compact 16:9 aspect ratio, but it does come in Full HD resolution, so it’s at least plenty sharp for business use. A major downside is that it’s using a TN panel, but again, for office use, that should be fine. Additionally, it has a 1080p webcam, which is very nice to see in any laptop at this price point. It’s going to make a big difference for workers that need to participate in virtual meetings.
Of course, being a business laptop, you do have the option to include a Windows 11 Pro license as well, though you have to pay extra for it. It would have been nice to see that by default, but if you don’t need advanced management capabilities, then the base configuration will serve you just fine.
Acer Aspire Vero 15-inch
Best 15-inch laptop
For users who prefer bigger screens
$500 $630 Save $130
The Acer Aspire Vero is a capable 15-inch laptop with modern specs and an environmentally-friendly design. Made from recycled materials but using fast 12th-generation Intel processors, it’s a solid laptop for general day-to-day tasks.
- 12th-generation Intel processors deliver great day-to-day performance
- Sustainable design with recycled materials and an unpainted chassis
- Lots of ports, including Thunderbolt
- 16:9 display is starting to feel antiquated
- The keyboard isn’t the most pleasant
The laptops we’ve looked at so far mostly have 14-inch or smaller displays, but the 15.6-inch size is one of the most popular for a reason. A larger screen means more space to work, and the Acer Aspire Vero delivers that with a Full HD panel that’s still sharp enough for most users. It does have a 16:9 aspect ratio, and we prefer taller screens, but this is still a common format at this price point.
Aside from the display, the Acer Aspire Vero is great. It’s powered by 12th-generation Intel Core processors, so it has very modern specs, and it even includes a large 512GB SSD, so you have plenty of space for your files right out of the box. Starting with an Intel Core i5-1235U for just over $600 is fantastic when you consider everything else about this laptop is also solid. Plus, the 8GB of RAM ensures a solid experience.
The exterior is also interesting, as Acer is focusing on a more environmentally-friendly design, using recycled materials for most of the chassis, which is also unpainted to reduce further emissions. In addition to being eco-friendly, this design choice also makes for a unique look with speckles all throughout the chassis, and while you may love it or hate it, we’d say it stands out in a good way. This laptop also includes a surprising amount of ports, so you can connect a lot of peripherals without needing any adapters or docking stations.
We reviewed the 14-inch version of the Acer Aspire Vero, and one notable downside is the keyboard, which isn’t the most comfortable to type on, but it’s something you can get used to. Aside from that, this is a really great machine for the price, and at writing time, the base model is discounted even further to just $500, which makes it an absolute no-brainer.
HP Victus 15z
Best gaming laptop
Gaming performance without breaking the bank
$660 $860 Save $200
The HP Victus 15z-fb000 isn’t the newest model around, but for the price, it offers really solid performance for gaming. You can run most modern titles as long as you’re willing to turn down some settings. With an AMD CPU and GPU, plus 16GB of RAM, you’ll be set for some time to come.
- Solid gaming performance lets you run most modern games
- 16GB of RAM is rare to find on such a cheap laptop
- Solid port selection and a fairly sleek design
- AMD Ryzen 5000 is getting a little old
- Fairly thick and heavy
- 720p webcam without Windows Hello
Gaming is an expensive hobby, and finding a budget laptop that fits our goal of around $700 is only possible by looking for sales. And at writing time, the best option we could find fitting this budget is the Victus 15z-fb000 from HP. This specific model is starting to be a bit old, but when you want a budget option, you can’t be too picky.
This model is powered by AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors, specifically starting with a Ryzen 5 5600H, with 6 cores and 12 threads. That’s paired with an AMD Radeon RX 6500M graphics card, which is a solid entry-level GPU that should be able to handle the vast majority of modern games as long as you’re willing to turn down some graphics settings. HP does have another model with newer Intel processors, but the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU is not as good, and that’s the most important part for gaming. On top of that, this model already includes 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, so you have a really great setup for the price.
The display is fairly standard, being a 15.6-inch panel with Full HD resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate in the base model, with the option to upgrade to a 144Hz panel if you can afford it. Of course, the webcam isn’t too impressive, either, being a 720p sensor without Windows Hello, but that’s to be expected.
Like most gaming laptops, the HP Victus 15z has a lot of ports, including USB Type-C, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, Ethernet, a headphone jack, and an SD card reader. This lets you connect almost any peripheral you want without needing adapters or dongles. The laptop is fairly thick, at 23.6mm, and it starts at over 5 pounds, so you’re not going to carry it around everywhere you go, at least not comfortably.
Regardless, for any gamer on a budget, this is one of the best laptops you can find right now. If the sale has ended, it may be worth looking for other options, but this is still a great choice.
HP Laptop 17 (2023, Ryzen 7030)
Best 17-inch laptop
If you want a huge screen
The latest iteration of the HP Laptop 17 is packing AMD Ryzen 7030 series processors, delivering great performance for day-to-day tasks and some very light gaming. The extra large screen is great for getting work done, though we definitely recommend a resolution upgrade.
- AMD Ryzen 7030 series processors are the latest available
- Dual-channel memory by default
- The large display can help you be more productive
- But you’ll want to upgrade to Full HD resolution
- Only 128GB of storage by default
- 720p webcam
We’ve already addressed fans of larger screens with the 15-inch Acer Aspire Vero, but some of us may want something even bigger. The HP Laptop 17 is a great choice if you’re looking for a laptop with an extra-large screen, since it has a 17.3-inch display. There’s a downside to that in that it only comes in 1600 x 900 resolution by default, so you’ll definitely want to upgrade to the Full HD (1920 x 1080) panel to have a better experience and make the best of all that space.
This is one of the very first laptops to be available with AMD Ryzen 7030 series processors, so you’re getting the latest specs when it comes to performance, and it should do great in day-to-day use. The base model has 6 cores and 12 threads, and it can boost up to 4.5GHz, which is already great. On top of that, you get 8GB of dual-channel RAM, which is great to see at this price. You do only get 128GB of storage in the base model, however, so you may need some external storage at some point.
The large display makes for a somewhat heavy laptop, starting at 4.58 pounds, but it’s still manageable considering how big it is. It does come in two color options, those being black and silver, so you get some choice in regards to how the laptop looks. You get a decent supply of ports, with USB Type-C, two Type-A ports, HDMI, and a headphone jack, though this supply isn’t as generous as some other models on this list.
Making a bigger laptop naturally costs more money, so to fit under our $700 budget, some sacrifices had to be made, but this is still a great machine if your focus is getting a large screen for a low price.
Microsoft Surface Go 3
An extra affordable option for casual users
$469 $550 Save $81
The Surface Go 3 is a very lightweight Windows tablet with a great display and cameras, making it great for everyday use on the go. It doesn’t have the same performance as other laptops on this list, but it’s perfect for more casual users with a tighter budget.
- Lightweight and easy to carry anywhere
- 5MP Windows Hello webcam plus 8MP rear camera
- High-resolution display considering the size
- Performance isn’t great for more demanding tasks
- You may need to buy a keyboard separately
If you’re looking to spend as little as possible and you just want a device for casual web browsing and keeping up with family, the Surface Go 3 is a fantastic choice. Powered by an Intel Pentium processor, it won’t give you amazing performance for anything beyond writing up some documents and browsing the web, but with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, it does offer a solid experience otherwise.
Where it really shines is the overall usability. It has a 10.5-inch display that comes in a 3:2 aspect ratio, giving you that much more space for content, and the Full HD+ resolution is actually really good for a screen of this size. It’s a great screen for browsing the web, watching online videos, or making video calls. On that note, the 5MP webcam is also one of the best you’ll find in this price range, and there’s even an 8MP camera on the back if you want to take a quick picture or just show off something in front of you. This makes for a perfect device for keeping up with faraway family and friends on video calls.
The fact that this tablet weighs just 1.2 pounds also makes this a great choice if you want something you can easily take anywhere, and with a great display and webcam, it’s really great for anyone just looking for something they can use for their basic day-to-day needs. It does have a limited port selection, with a single USB Type-C port and a headphone jack, though the Surface Connect port can also be used with a docking station.
If you want to use it like a proper laptop, you’ll need to spend extra on the keyboard, but even without it, this is a great budget device. Be sure to read our Surface Go 3 review if you’d like to learn more about it.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE
A powerful Chromebook with some flair
The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a Chromebook with fast 12th-generation Intel processors and a 16-inch display with high resolution and refresh rate for a great experience across the board. It may be positioned as a gaming laptop, but it’s really great for anyone, and surprisingly cheap.
- 12th-generation Intel P-series processor delivers fantastic performance
- High-resolution 16-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate
- RGB keyboard gives it a bit of flair
- If you’re not familiar with ChromeOS, there’s a learning curve
Windows may be the most popular operating system, but Chromebooks are increasingly popular, and they can offer just as good of an experience in many ways. The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a perfect example of that, and while Acer advertises it as a gaming device, it’s actually great for just about anyone. It’s really meant for cloud gaming, so you don’t have the beefy specs of a typical gaming laptop, and at 3.75 pounds, this is still very portable.
What it does have is a high-refresh-rate display, going up to 120Hz, but that’s great for day-to-day use, too. In our hands-on time with the device, animations looked much smoother overall. On top of that, the screen has a super sharp 2560 x 1600 resolution, so this really is one of the best viewing experiences you can get with a laptop in this price range. It has a tall 16:10 aspect ratio and the large 16-inch size means it’s great for getting work done. And on top of that, there’s even a 1080p webcam above the display for the occasional video call.
Another gaming-inspired element of the laptop is the RGB backlit keyboard, which gives you a way to customize the way your laptop looks, to some extent. This is 4-zone RGB, but any way of giving your laptop more personality is welcome. There’s also a solid range of ports, including two USB Type-C ports (no Thunderbolt, unfortunately), USB Type-A, HDMI, and Ethernet, so you’re not missing out on much here. You can easily connect all your peripherals.
This is a really well-rounded laptop, and for just $650 — often under $600 thanks to frequent discounts — it’s a terrific deal. Chrome OS may not do everything Windows does, but for web browsing and writing up documents, it’s just as good.
Best cheap laptops: The bottom line
If you’re looking for a cheap laptop right now, our top recommendation definitely has to go to the Lenovo Yoga 6. It ticks all the right boxes, with a versatile 2-in-1 form factor, solid performance, and a tall 16:10 display that makes productivity that much better. There’s even a 1080p webcam with Windows Hello support so your video calls look that much better, and you can sign in to your PC more conveniently. Plus, with a very solid port selection and a nice overall design, there really isn’t much we can complain about here. It does have older processors, but they’re still going to hold up just fine for most users. Granted, it’s a little over $700 for its MSRP, but it’s worth that price and the frequent discounts bring it much lower if you can’t stomach that.
Lenovo Yoga 6 Gen 7
The Lenovo Yoga 6 ticks all the right boxes to make for a great experience in this price range. It has solid performance, a tall display, lots of ports, and a 1080p webcam. Plus, it’s a convertible, so it’s extra versatile.
Those looking for a cheaper option for more casual use will find a great alternative in the Surface Go 3. It lacks some performance, but it offers a great experience in every other way, with a great screen, one of the best webcams around, and a super portable design.
One thing you might notice is missing from most of these laptops is support for Thunderbolt 4, which is very common for cheap laptops. If that’s a feature you consider essential, check out our roundup of the best Thunderbolt 4 laptops.