Technology has significantly changed how we work and entertain ourselves. A few years ago, computing was only possible through desktops at homes or offices. When laptops hit the market, they transformed all that. These portable devices have brought a lot of conveniences. Nowadays, you don’t have to be confined in an office to perform your computing tasks. You can carry your workstation with you wherever you go. The 5 best laptops under $850 list comprehensively reviews various laptop models for every need.
The good thing with these laptops is that they pack a lot of features and capabilities for lightweight tasks such as casual gaming, video editing, and other computing tasks like browsing and word processing. With the demand for budget laptops, top brands like Lenovo, Dell, and HP are now releasing mid-range laptops with decent performance. Although laptops in this price range may lack some high-end performance capabilities, they still offer sufficient RAM, speed, and battery life for your day-to-day tasks.
Here are the five best laptops under $850 in 2023.
- Best Overall: HP Pavilion 15.6″ FHD
- Best Portability: Lenovo New ThinkBook 15 G3
- Best for Gaming: ASUS TUF F15
- Best for Creatives: Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6
- Best 2-in-1: Lenovo Yoga 7i
Best Overall: HP Pavilion 15.6″ FHD
- 15.6" HD touchscreen
- Quad-core Intel i5-1135G7 (up to 4.1GHz)
- Iris Xe graphics
- 32GB RAM
- 1TB SSD
- HD Webcam
- Wi-Fi 6
- Long hour battery
HP is popular for its high-end laptops, and the HP Pavilion 15.6″ FHD is no exception.
This top-in-line laptop comes with AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor with eight cores and 16 threads for an impressive fast performance. It also has AMD Radeon Graphics which delivers superior graphics processing for a high-quality viewing experience and performs other demanding applications like gaming and video editing.
The 15.6-inch full HD IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels provides sharp and vivid visuals with excellent color accuracy and viewing angles. It has a brightness of 220 nits and an anti-glare screen that is easy on the eye for a comfortable viewing experience, helping you focus on work or studies without hurting your eyes even when you spend long sessions on your computer.
With an upgraded 24GB RAM, you will have sufficient space to run your applications without slowing down your machine. The laptop also provides a larger SSD of up to 1TB, allowing you to save and transfer files, no matter the size, easily. The laptop also features a backlit keyboard, which makes it easy to type in low-light conditions, and a built-in fingerprint reader for secure and convenient login.
Check out the HP Pavilion 15.6″ FHD on Amazon.
Best Portability: Lenovo New ThinkBook 15 G3
- 15.6" FHD IPS anti-glare display
- AMD Ryzen 5 5500U
- 12GB RAM
- 512GB PCIe SSD
- Wi-Fi 6
- Backlit KB
- Fingerprint reader
- Windows 11 Pro
(As of July 18th, 2023, the Lenovo ThinkBook 15 G3 Business Laptop is currently unavailable on Amazon. Please check back later.)
Lenovo New ThinkBook 15 G3 is a slim, lightweight, and highly portable laptop. It weighs only 3.75 lbs making it easy to use on the go, especially for students and professionals requiring portable workstations.
The laptop also features a sleek and appealing design. Powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 8-core processor, this laptop provides solid performance for all your computing needs. With a 1920 x 1080p resolution, you can play games, watch movies, and stream content at high clarity.
The 15.6″ anti-glare Screen display provides large screen real estate for every task. Storage-wise, this laptop offers a whooping 16GB DDR4 Memory and 512GB PCIE SSD. With a battery life of up to 7.5 hours on a single charge, you can do more with this laptop without running out of juice. It also provides a range of connectivity options and ports, including HDMI, Bluetooth, and 802.11ax Wi-Fi connectivity standards.
Check out the Lenovo New ThinkBook 15 G3 on Amazon.
Best for Gaming: ASUS TUF F15
- 15.6" FHD IPS display
- 144Hz refresh rate
- Intel Core i5-10300H Processor
- GeForce GTX 1650
- 8GB DDR4 RAM
- 512GB PCIe SSD
- Wi-Fi 6
- Windows 11 Home
The ASUS TUF F15 gaming laptop is a powerful machine that is ready for anything.
This gaming laptop features a supercharged NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR6 graphics card, ensuring smooth gameplay graphics. The 144Hz 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080p) IPS Type Display adds to the swift visuals and immerses you in the game.
The laptop has a 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, providing ample storage for all your games. This also ensures fast loading times, which is crucial to take advantage of the full RTX gaming experience. The ASUS gaming laptop is built to last with MIL-STD-810H military standard durability. It has been successfully put under rigorous testing against vibration, extreme temperatures, drops, and humidity to ensure reliability.
More importantly, the laptop features an easy upgrade design that allows users to add or replace memory and storage with a pop-open screw. This futureproofs the device and ensures it remains a reliable gaming machine for years. The ASUS gaming laptop is an excellent choice for gamers looking for a powerful, reliable, and durable machine that can easily handle the most demanding tasks.
Check out the ASUS TUF F15 on Amazon.
Best for Creatives: Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6
The Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6 is ideal for anyone looking for performance and long battery life.
It is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor with Zen 3 Core Architecture, allowing you to perform your creative tasks faster. This laptop has the incredible NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU, boasting 4GB GDDR6 VRAM and advanced features for superior performance.
The Acer Swift has a 14″ Full HD (1920 x 1080p) IPS Widescreen LED-backlit display with 300 nits brightness and 16:9 aspect ratio, offering an accurate and vivid representation of your content. It also supports a 100% sRGB color gamut. It also has 16GB LPDDR4X memory and 512GB NVMe SSD for faster and smoother performance.
The Acer Swift X offers excellent connectivity with its 802.11ax wifi 6 Dual-Band technology, which operates on both 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies, featuring 2×2 MU-MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technologies for maximum speed and performance. It also features Bluetooth 5.2 for seamless wireless connections to other compatible devices. In addition, it has a wide range of ports, including USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, HDMI 2.0, and a headphone/microphone-in jack, allowing you to easily connect various peripherals such as external monitors or speakers to your laptop.
At just 3.06 lbs, the Acer Swift X laptop is easy to carry, and its metal design is thin and lightweight. It also has fast charging capability for its battery, which provides uncompromised battery life. The laptop also features DTS Audio in the dual front-facing speakers for an optimized bass response and distortion prevention.
Check out the Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6 on Amazon.
Best 2-in-1: Lenovo Yoga 7i
If you are looking for a laptop that can work as a tablet and a laptop, look no further than the Lenovo Yoga 7i.
Its sleek and flexible design makes it a suitable pick for those who work on the go, as they can quickly convert it into a tablet and get the work done even in waiting bays, trains, or dining tables. This laptop features a 16-inch 2.5K multitouch touch screen, allowing it to be used in different modes.
This laptop has many features that make it an ideal choice for multitasking and completing tasks quickly. It also has a fingerprint reader to ensure data security and support for Wi-Fi 6, which provides fast wireless internet connections. The backlight makes the keyboard visible, allowing you to work in dim environments.
The Lenovo Yoga 7i runs on the latest Intel Core i5-1240P Processor and Intel Iris Xe graphics offers fast and responsive performance. With 8GB LPDDR5 4800Mhz Memory and a 1TB PCIe SSD, you will get plenty of storage space and fast boot-up times. The laptop also includes a stylus pen and runs on Windows 11 Home, which provides access to a wide range of productivity tools and apps. The laptop also features wifi 802.11ax, HDMI, Bluetooth, and an impressive battery life of up to 15 hours.
Check out the Lenovo Yoga 7i on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Laptop Under $850: Step-by-Step
Choosing the best laptop under $850 can be challenging, considering there’s many laptops that offer various features from different brands. These factors will help you make the right choice depending on your needs.
- Battery Life
Performance is a top factor that should inform your decision. Most laptops at this price point offer a standard performance for day-to-day computing tasks at this price point. If you want to perform highly demanding tasks like gaming, video editing, or heavy streaming, ensure you get a laptop with a fast and responsive processor, enough RAM to handle multiple tasks, and a decent graphics card.
Different laptops come with different aspect ratios, brightness, and resolution. If you want a working or gaming laptop, ensure it has a larger display to avoid straining your eyes. The display should also be clear and bright, with a high resolution that provides sharp and detailed images. 4K laptops will give you clear visuals for an immersive gaming experience.
Most laptops in this category have 8 to 10 hours of battery life. However, the battery life can be shorter or longer depending on the use. Gaming laptops consume a lot of energy, lasting only a few hours. If you are a student or constantly on the go, look for laptops with long battery life to ensure you can use them for extended periods without needing a power outlet.
Storage is crucial in your laptop selection. The amount of storage you need will depend on how much data you need to store. A solid-state drive (SSD) is faster and more reliable than a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) and is recommended for faster boot times and application loading.
Portable laptops are convenient to carry around, especially when traveling. They are easy to carry and use on the go without weighing you down. Besides portability, a 2-in-1 laptop with a flip-and-fold design will provide more flexibility. So, ensure you choose a lightweight laptop if portability is crucial to you.
What to Know Before Buying Laptops Under $850
First and foremost, you need to know that although these laptops are fairly priced, they may lack some modern and advanced features of current models. Their processors and graphic cards may not match the speed of high-end laptops. Nonetheless, some still provide good performance to match your computing needs. It is important to be keen on your chosen processor to avoid ending up with something outdated with low power and performance.
Devices with an Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processor are ideal, as these CPUs can easily handle basic computing tasks. Look out for the connectivity options. Some models feature the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards, allowing fast wireless connections and file transfers. You will also need to check for extra features that the laptops offer. For instance, some models provide OLED displays, touch screen function, stylus, and 2 in 1 designs for easy use.
Using Laptops Under $850: What It’s Like
Laptops under $850 are ideal for budget users who need a decent performance at an affordable price. While their processors and GPUs may be slower than their high-end counterparts, they can still perform tasks like video editing, casual gaming, streaming movies and music, word processing, and web browsing.
The best part is that they do everything at a cost-friendly price that an average user who doesn’t require high-end performance can afford. Depending on the brand, you can also get valuable additions to enhance your experience. Ultimately, your experience will depend on the model you choose and the budget.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©GaudiLab/Shutterstock.com.