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

Review

Samsung Chromebook 2 Review

The 13-inch Samsung Chromebook 2 delivers long-lasting battery life and a strong build. The device is capable of providing a basic computing experience on-the-go, but experienced users will be disappointed[...] Read full article

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Asus C200M Chromebook Review

With its sleek build and low-power processor, can the Asus C200M still stand out from the crowd of similarly-specced Chromebooks? We believe so. Read on to learn more. Read full article

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Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Series Review

The Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Series is a well-rounded, middle-of-the-road Ultrabook that does fairly well in multiple categories. Read our full review to find out more. Read full article

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Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Review

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 series is a jack-of-all-trades with an i7 processor, NVIDIA graphics, loads of RAM and a large hard drive space. Is this the right choice for[...] Read full article

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Dell Chromebook 11 Review

Featuring more RAM than most other Chromebooks in its price range of $300 or less, does the Dell Chromebook 11 muscle its way to the top of our ChromeOS ratings?[...] Read full article

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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

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

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

Lenovo Review

Lenovo G580 Review

This Lenovo budget notebook offers some impressive specs in a deceptively unimpressive wrapper. Keep reading to find out why we like this laptop. Read full article

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