Laptops are essential devices for everyday use. Whether you’re a student or a professional, you need a laptop to carry out your tasks effectively. Owning a laptop is almost necessary for this age of remote working and online learning. Like other electronic devices, laptops come in different sizes, features, and prices.
While renowned laptop brands like HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Apple may have high-priced devices with more features and performance, they also provide fairly priced laptops for budget users. Better still, many other laptop brands in the market provide high-quality laptops at affordable prices without sacrificing performance. In this guide, we will explore the five best under $200 laptops you can buy in 2023. These laptops may not have all the bells and whistles of high-end models, but they offer great value for their price and can still get the job done.
- Best Overall: HP Chromebook 11
- Best Portable: ASUS Vivobook Laptop L210
- Best for Students: Lenovo Chromebook 100e
- Best Travel Choice: Acer Chromebook 311 Laptop
- Best Rugged: Asus Chromebook C203XA
Best Overall: HP Chromebook 11
- Anti-glare screen to enable working in bright lights or outdoors if needed.
- Slim LED screen at 1366 x 768px resolution
- Intel HD integrated graphics inside (400)
- 4GB of DDR3L-1600 SDRAM included
HP is a popular laptop company with high-quality, high-performance laptops for all budgets. The HP Chromebook 11 is one of the exceptional budget laptops. It is a glossy and lightweight laptop that runs on Google’s Chrome OS. It has an 11.6-inch HD display, an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, 4GB of RAM, and respectable specs for primary tasks like internet browsing, email, and phrase processing. The battery life is impressive, lasting up to 12 hours on a single charge.
However, the HP Chromebook 11 has some limitations. Because it runs on Chrome OS, it’s now not well-matched with some Windows or Mac applications, which should be a deal breaker for some users. It also has constrained storage space, so rather rely on cloud or external hard drives for storing files.
Overall, the HP Chromebook 11 is a stable alternative for anybody searching for a budget-friendly laptop computer for basic tasks. While it may no longer have the same degree of performance or versatility as higher-end models, it is an outstanding price for its standard and can achieve the job for those on a tight budget.
Check out the HP Chromebook 11 on Amazon.
Best Portable: ASUS Vivobook Laptop L210
- 2.8GHz Intel Celeron CPU (N420) with 4M cache
- 11.6-inch HD screen (1366 x 768 pixels)
- 4GB DDR4 RAM with 64GB eMMC storage
- Includes Windows 10 (S mode)
Portability is a crucial factor when purchasing a laptop. ASUS Vivobook Laptop L210 is a sleek, ultra-thin laptop with fantastic features. At only 2.2lbs and a thickness of 0.7 inches, this laptop is lightweight and easy to carry.
One superb function of the ASUS Vivobook Laptop L210 is its larger storage capacity. This laptop is powered by the latest Intel processor and comes with 4GB DDR4 RAM and 64GB eMMC storage, allowing you to run tasks smoothly.
The laptop comes preloaded with Windows 10 in S mode, giving you tons of Microsoft productivity tools, including a one-year Microsoft 365 personal plan. The ASUS Vivobook Laptop L210 is a slim, portable laptop with many outstanding functions, including a larger storage capacity, wide LCD display, and ultra-fast connection through twin-band Wi-Fi. Whether working on the move or streaming your favorite content material, the ASUS Vivobook Laptop L210 has everything you need.
Check out the ASUS Vivobook Laptop L210 on Amazon.
Best for Students: Lenovo Chromebook 100e
- 11.6-inch anti-glare screen
- Battery life: up to 10 hours
- Google chromebook with ChromeOS and access to G Suite
- Weighs only 2.7 pounds
Students require affordable and portable laptops they can easily carry in between classes. Lenovo has light portable, rugged, and productive laptops to meet these needs. The Lenovo Chromebook 100e has a strong build that is made to withstand daily usage and drops. The keyboard is also water resistant to protect it from any accidental spills.
The screen features innovative antiglare technology for long hours of use without hurting the eyes. At 2.7lbs, students can move between classes without being weighed down. The 10 hours battery life is also impressive, allowing an uninterrupted full day of learning on one charge. Additionally, it has a range of productivity tools and apps for convenient learning, sharing, and discussions.
Check out the Lenovo Chromebook 100e on Amazon.
- Lightweight and affordable laptop
- Comes with an AMD Dual-Core processor
- The 11.6" HD display offers a sharp and vivid picture
- Features 802.11ac WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2
Chromebooks are convenient because of their portability and ease of use. Acer Chromebook 311 Laptop is a splendid choice. It runs on the lightweight Chrome OS with impressive features and performance for its price point. The AMD A-Series Dual-Core Processor A4-9120C 1.6GHz processor is a powerful component that provides dependable and fast performance. This Chromebook provides a smooth consumer experience and lets you complete tasks efficiently.
The Chromebook also boasts an 11.6-inch HD 1366 x 768 resolution screen, providing crisp and clear visuals. This feature makes it perfect for viewing videos or working on designated projects requiring super visuals. The integrated AMD Radeon R4 Graphics makes this Chromebook ideal for light gaming and other computing tasks that require a GPU.
With 64 GB Flash storage, this Chromebook provides sufficient area to store your collection of data and documents, ensuring you can continually get admission to your archives when needed. Additionally, the Flash storage ensures that the device operates easily and quickly without any lag. The Chrome OS running device comes with 2 USB ports, a microphone, and an HDMI port, which affords a range of connectivity options, making it handy to switch data and connect with other devices. With these ports, you can effortlessly connect your Chromebook to other peripherals, such as printers, external hard drives, or projectors.
Although it might not match the performance of the high-end Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook 311 is an excellent choice for budget buyers. It will give you a comfortable performance and durability for your light-duty usage. Its lithium-ion battery provides 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. It also has various connectivity options, making this Chromebook a dependable and efficient device for multiple tasks.
Check out the Acer Chromebook 311 Laptop on Amazon.
Best Rugged: ASUS Chromebook C203XA
- military grade body and anti-spill keyboard
- MediaTek QC CPU supports up to 2.1GHz speed
- Wi-Fi 5 and Dual-band Bluetooth 4.2 supported
- Battery life: 10 hours
Because of their day-to-day use, laptops are subject to falls and spills, which may easily damage their operations. Thankfully, Asus Chromebook C203XA has a robust build fitted with rubber guards, easy grip handles, and a spill-resistant keyboard. This means your laptop will be secure should it accidentally fall or have drinks spill over the keyboard. However, this doesn’t mean it is entirely safe from damage. It is still important to take precautionary measures to avoid such incidences.
The 2.6-pound body is lightweight and can withstand knocks, drops, bumps, and water spills without damage. Its 11.6-inch HD 1366×768 antiglare display allows for comfortable viewing and does not strain the eye. You can also rotate the screen 180 degrees for convenient viewing. With up to 10 hours of battery life, you can use it comfortably throughout the day without running out of juice.
ASUS’ Chromebook C202SA is powered by a MediaTek Quad-Core Processor MT8173C, known for speed and impressive performance for your tasks. Like other Chromebooks, it runs on the lightweight Chrome OS with unique features such as built-in anti-virus software and regular automatic updates, and remains fast and efficient over time. Since Chrome is a Google OS, you can access all productivity tools like Calendar, Docs, and Sheets for easy working. You can also access apps, movies, magazines, and more through the Play Store.
If you are looking for a budget laptop with rugged and spill-resistant construction to ensure it is safe from falls, the ASUS Chromebook C203XA is a perfect pick.
Check out the Asus Chromebook C203XA on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Laptops Under $200: Step-by-Step Guide
A lot of factors come into play when choosing a laptop. The same goes for choosing a budget laptop. You want to ensure you are getting the best without compromising the performance and features you need. Although the best budget laptops may not have the performance of high-end models, there are certain things you shouldn’t overlook. These include:
- Processing Speed
- Battery Life
- Additional Features
Let’s look at each of them in detail.
Everyone prefers a computer with a high processing speed so that it doesn’t slow your work and productivity. Therefore, the processing speed is a crucial feature to consider when picking laptops under $200. Although laptops at this price range cannot offer speed equivalent to their high-end counterparts, they should at least have decent performance for the smooth execution of basic computing tasks like processing documents, surfing the web, downloading content, and transferring files.
All the laptops on this list live up to this performance and provide unique capabilities that set them apart from the rest of the market. You can get one that suits your preferences depending on different use cases. Thankfully, most of these laptops are made by brands with a reputation for excellent performance and solid build quality to last through your daily usage without breaking down.
The kind of display you get with these machines is not as good as 4K, but we all agree that the 1080p is worth this price point. Furthermore, these laptops are not designed for high-resolution gaming or movies, so avid gamers and movie enthusiasts will not be demanding such features from an under $200 laptop.
If you use your laptop on the go, ensure the type you choose has a decent view in brightly lit rooms or sunny areas. Features like Antiglare help reduce light reflections on your screen, which protects your eyes and gives you a better viewing angle even in bright light.
Although low-cost laptops are limited in performance, most of them have excellent battery life. However, this is understandable. They do not perform intensive tasks like 3D gaming or video editing, which require a lot of power. Their light tasks warrant an extended battery life, which is ideal for use on the go. Since laptops in this category are mainly used by students for their classes and online collaboration, it is only fitting that their batteries last long enough to sustain them between lessons.
The battery life for these laptops ranges from 6 to 14 hours. So when picking the best, ensure the battery life is sufficient for your daily tasks, be it schoolwork, movies, entertainment, or light gaming. If you spend more time on the move, go for the highest battery life to last through your trip without plugging in every few hours.
Besides performance, battery life, and display, the size of the device’s storage is a crucial factor to consider. Unfortunately, laptops at this price point do not have much storage space, unlike their high-end counterparts. The best you can get is 128GB. Others go as low as 16GB. This storage can be considered sufficient for casual use and storing documents.
However, if you are working on large files which need additional storage, you can use an SD card to enlarge your storage capacity. It will also help ensure you free the internal memory of excess load, which may slow down the machine.
When looking for the best under $200 laptop, it is essential to look beyond the battery life, storage, performance, and display for any other features which may be crucial for you.
Features like RAM are also key in determining the capabilities of these laptops. A 4GM RAM may be sufficient at this price point, but you can get affordable laptops with 8GB of RAM. This is especially important if you run multiple apps simultaneously.
If you work in low light conditions, consider laptops with backlit keyboards for easy use. Other crucial features include convertibility.
A 2-in-1 laptop that can be used as a tablet or a computer is an excellent option for users who need the flexibility of both devices. Most modern laptops come with a touchscreen, which makes navigation and interaction with the laptop more intuitive and convenient. If that is important to you, include that in your must-have features.
The operating system is also another significant feature to consider. Laptops at this price point either run on Windows OS or Chrome OS. The latter is mostly the better choice because it is lightweight, fast, and not power intensive. Because of running apps in the background, Windows OS consumes more power, depleting the battery charge faster than expected. It also typically stresses and slows the machine.
Size and Weight
Also, consider the size and weight. A lightweight and compact laptop is easy to carry, making it perfect for students or frequent travelers. Chromebooks are typically compact and lightweight for easy portability. The screen sizes for laptops in this price range are between 10 and 14 inches. If you will be watching movies or playing games, ensure you get a bigger screen size for a better view. A smaller screen may be more portable, but a larger screen will be easier to read.
What to Know Before Buying a Laptop Under $200
Laptops under $200 are excellent options for executing simple tasks like word processing and browsing the web, all without breaking the bank. When purchasing these laptops, it is important to know they can’t deliver blazing speeds, dedicated graphic cards, extensive memory, and higher RAM.
If you need a better performance, you will have to pay for it. But at this price point, only consider the features that matter to you and go for them. You can also consider the brand. Different brands have unique features, which are their main selling points. With careful consideration of your needs and expectations, you can find a budget laptop that meets your requirements and provides good value.
Using Laptops Under $200: What It’s Like
Using a laptop that sells for under $200 can be a mixed experience, as you will probably need to make some compromises due to these devices’ limited performance and features. While they offer a decent battery life and are lightweight for portability, they have a slower performance, memory, and storage capacity. They are also not as durable as their expensive counterparts. Typically, these machines come in handy if you want to perform simple tasks like word processing, browsing the web, light gaming, and downloading music and movies. However, if you are keen on intensive gaming and professional use like video editing and 3D rendering, you must go for high-end models.
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