Budget Laptops Buyers Guide

Shopping for a general purpose notebook can be one of the easiest or the most stressful activities for a family or a student. “General purpose” laptops make up the overwhelming majority of budget notebook and netbook sales worldwide. These systems range from $250 netbooks with 10-inch displays to 17-inch desktop replacement notebooks with budget configurations in the $600 price range.

A general purpose notebook usually doesn’t have a high-performance processor, discrete graphics or entertainment-oriented features like 1080p displays, Blu-ray drives or high-quality stereo speakers. These budget-priced laptops are intended for basic tasks like browsing the web, sending email, using Microsoft Office or similar productivity software, watching web-based videos, balancing your checkbook or playing light games. Although some of these affordable laptops are durable enough to handle years of family or student use, build quality generally isn’t a priority for a general purpose laptop. These systems are priced to essentially be “impulse purchases” for consumers who need a new family PC or laptop for their young student.

You can usually expect the weight of a general purpose notebook to vary greatly in proportion to the size of the display. A typical 10-inch netbook weighs three pounds or less while a budget desktop-replacement notebook with a 17-inch screen will tip the scales at seven pounds or more. Of course, these systems always come with standard 802.11a/b/g or n Wi-Fi and sometimes are even available with a cellular modem or Bluetooth.

Recent Budget Laptops Reviews

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ASUS Transformer Book T100 User Review: A Few Months Later

Like many holiday shoppers last year our own Sarah White purchased the ASUS Transformer Book T100 as a replacement laptop. Read the full story to see if this value-priced 2-in-1[...] Read full article

Asus Review

Asus Transformer Book T100 Review

The Asus TransformerBook T100 offers users an affordable convertible notebook option. Equipped with Windows 8.1 the device is capable of handling basic tasks and programs without the steep price point[...] Read full article

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Asus Transformer Book T100

The Asus Transformer Book T100 has a 10.1-inch 1.366 x 768-pixel IPS display, an Intel 1.3 GHz quad-core “Bay Trail” Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, which[...] Read full article

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Sony VAIO Fit 15

The Sony VAIO Fit is a new line of stylish notebooks with solid spec and vibrant touch-enabled displays. The Sony VAIO Fit is certainly capable of taking on most tasks,[...] Read full article

Sony Review

Sony VAIO Fit 15 Review

The Sony VAIO Fit is a new line of stylish notebooks with solid spec and vibrant touch-enabled displays. Here we take a closer look at the 15.6-inch model. Read full article

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Toshiba Satellite P875

The Toshiba Satellite P875 is a desktop replacement mid-tier notebook with strong visuals and performance. Weighing in at over 6.5lbs. the notebook is clearly not built for portability. This notebook[...] Read full article

Toshiba Review

Toshiba Satellite P875-S7102 Review

The Toshiba Satellite P875 is a desktop replacement mid-tier notebook with strong visuals and performance. Read full article

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Lenovo G580

In an area where most budget machine’s cut back, the Lenovo G580 offers good build quality and an acceptable level of performance. Equipped with a 2.5GHz Intel i5-3210m processor and[...] Read full article

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Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition

The Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition laptop straddles the line between the company’s budget friendly Inspiron line and their more premium but higher priced XPS series. The most recent Special[...] Read full article

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HP Pavilion Sleekbook 15z-b000

The HP Pavilion Sleekbook 15z-b000 is a configure-to-order notebook with cost conscious consumers in mind. With the base price sitting below $500, consumers won’t find many notebooks for less. However,[...] Read full article

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