Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Best laptop deals: Get a portable workhorse from $158 today

Computers don’t come cheap, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours (or a fortune) to take advantage of the best laptop deals. Whether you’re looking to score a no-frills Chromebook that’s easy on your budget, you need a jack-of-all-trades Windows 11 workhorse, or you’re after a portable battle station for gaming on the go, we’ve got what you need with this curated roundup of the week’s best laptop deals. With prices starting at less than $200, you’re guaranteed to find something to fit your budget.

Looking for a laptop that you can use for playing video games on the go? We’ve rounded up some more of the best gaming laptop deals as well.

Best laptop deals

  • Lenovo Chromebook 3 — $158, was $329
  • Dell Inspiron 15 3000 — $245, was $330
  • Acer Aspire 3 17 — $449, was $650
  • HP Pavilion x360 14 2-in-1 — $480, was $630
  • Dell G15 Gaming Laptop — $686, was $985
  • Acer Spin 3 13 QHD 2-in-1 — $799, was $1,099
  • Apple MacBook Air — $949, was $999

Lenovo Chromebook 3 — $158, was $329

The Lenovo Chromebook 3 14 on a white background.

Why Buy:

  • Lightweight
  • Fast boot-up times
  • Very secure
  • 14-inch display

Offering everything you would expect from one of the best Chromebooks in this price range, the Lenovo Chromebook 3 keeps things simple while being an effective work machine. At its heart is an Intel processor along with 4GB of memory. As is customary for Chromebooks, storage is limited to 64GB of eMMC, but that’s because you’re meant to use Chrome’s cloud storage instead of physical hard drive space. That’s still more than most cheap Chromebooks, though, so there’s a bit of room here for saving files locally.

Alongside that hardware, you get a 14-inch HD display, which is better when it comes to screen size than many 11-inch Chromebooks that populate this price bracket. There’s also an HD webcam for taking video calls while out of the office or classroom.

While none of these specs sound particularly exceptional, the Lenovo Chromebook 3 is designed to be practical above all. It boots up quickly and has a battery that lasts all day so it’s always ready for action. A slim chassis is useful for carrying around, but that’s not at the expense of features. You still get USB-A and USB-C ports along with Bluetooth functionality and Wi-Fi. Other features include dual stereo speakers and a nice overall design. Throw in the built-in security that comes from using ChromeOS instead of Windows, and the Lenovo Chromebook 3 is an ideal starter system for kids or for yourself if you prefer to keep things simple.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 — $245, was $330

Why Buy:

  • Cheap but efficient
  • Great display for the price
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Sustainable design

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is easily one of the best Dell laptops out there, as it’s low on price without compromising quality. It has an Intel Celeron processor paired with 4GB of RAM. While that might not be anything impressive for power users, it’s exactly what you need for every tasks such as writing up documents or creating presentations. Alongside that, you also get 128GB of solid-state storage so there’s enough room for you to store all your most valuable files without having to over-rely on cloud storage.

One of the standout features of the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is its display. It has a 15.6-inch HD screen with anti-glare properties, and it’s LED-backlit, too. It also has narrow borders so it takes up less space and is easy to look at, plus it has Dell’s ComfortView software to help reduce harsh blue light levels. That means less eyestrain for you during those evening computing sessions. That’s the best thing about the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 — while simple, it’s intelligently designed.

The laptop also offers an expansive keyboard that with numeric keypad, something not seen on many other laptops. It also has 6.4% larger keycaps plus a spacious touchpad that makes it easier to get things done. The display’s lift hinge raises the palm rest to a more ergonomic angle so you have a comfortable typing stance while you work. Tiny rubber feet and bumpers on the hinge prevent skidding and give you some extra stability when it’s placed on a hard surface. Thoughtfully designed right down to its environmentally friendly and sustainable materials, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 offers a lot for its price.

Acer Aspire 3 17 — $449, was $650

The Acer Aspire 3 17-inch laptop on a white background.

Why Buy:

  • Speedy performance for the price
  • Nice appearance
  • Large display
  • Good battery life for a big laptop

The best laptop brands are always a good place to start looking for deals, and there are a number of reasons to appreciate the Acer Aspire 3. Somewhat unusual for this price bracket, you get the benefits of a 17-inch display while also enjoying some good hardware. The 17-inch screen features a Full HD resolution of 1080p and IPS technology. In conjunction with that, you get an 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. That’s everything you need to be able to work and multitask reasonably well without suffering slowdown.

In addition, the Acer Aspire 3 has a 256GB SSD which is more than sufficient for storing all your files. You get a free upgrade to Windows 11, too, so you’re good to go with the latest operating system. There’s a built-in HD web camera with temporal noise reduction for taking video calls. Also, you have integrated an digital microphone at your disposal so others can hear you clearly.

Sleek and stylish thanks to its natural silver color, the Acer Aspire 3 is an ideal system for work. Battery life is long enough for a day’s work before needing a recharge, which is useful for anyone who is on the move frequently. Other useful features include a large keyboard with numpad that lets you enjoy more fluid typing for a variety of tasks. It’s an ideal device for taking to work or class that offers a bigger display without being too heavy and awkward.

HP Pavilion x360 14 2-in-1 — $480, was $630

Why Buy:

  • Two-in-one design
  • Large hard drive
  • Classy look
  • Great sound

The HP Pavilion x360 convertible is ideal if you simply can’t decide if you need a laptop or tablet. That’s because it’s a 2-in-1, so you can easily switch between using it as a laptop or as a tablet depending on what you need from it. It has a 14-inch HD display that is multitouch-enabled so you can get hands-on with it. It looks good, too, with 250 nits of brightness plus edge-to-edge glass with suitably slim bezels. An HD resolution of 1,366 x 768 is more than sufficient at this price, but you can upgrade to 1080p at extra cost if you want.

Under the hood, you get an Intel Core i3 CPU along with 8GB of memory. Combined, that’s sufficient processing power to ensure you can multitask reasonably well, switching between applications in Windows 11 as needed. Best of all is that you also get a 512GB SSD, which is plenty of space to store all your most valuable files and software. It’s possible to use the HP Pavilion x360 2-in-1 in four different modes so you can get just the right interface for your needs. The laptop also has Dual Speakers with Audio by B&O so it sounds great, too.

Well-designed, the HP Pavilion x360 offers fast-charging so you can get back on the move more quickly. It’s also designed with the environment in mind as it’s built using sustainable, post-consumer recycled, and ocean-bound plastics. Looking super smart while offering a bunch of features for its price, the HP Pavilion x360 is a great all-rounder for anyone keen to be more productive on the move. The convenience of being able to use it as both a tablet or laptop is one you’ll wonder how you lived without.

Dell G15 Gaming Laptop — $686, was $985

Why Buy:

  • Cheap gaming on the move
  • Includes dedicated graphics card
  • Great display
  • Reliable performance

While just shy of making our list of the best gaming laptops, the Dell G15 still offers plenty of reasons to love it if you’re keen to game but don’t want to spend a fortune. It offers all the core components you need for gaming, providing you don’t mind tweaking some settings to lower quality levels on more demanding games.

At its heart is an 11th-gen Core i5 CPU paired with 8GB of RAM. Ideal for multitasking if a little basic for gaming at high settings, it’ll still keep you on track to play on the move. In addition, you get 512GB of SSD storage which is more than enough for installing a handful of your favorite games at a time. The highlight here is the Dell G15’s Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card which, combined with its 15.6-inch full HD display, is capable of ensuring that games look great. You also get a refresh rate of 120Hz so it’s able to keep up with a higher framerate without the risk of motion blur or other annoyances that detract from the quality of the game you’re playing. With 250 nits of brightness, it can cope with being used in brighter environments, too.

One of the main advantages of the Dell G15 is that it uses some of the technology you’d see on Alienware laptops without the high price tag. It has a great thermal system that utilizes copper pipping to dissipate heat, so your hardware stays cool during long gaming sessions. There’s also Game Shift technology: At the touch of a button, you can trigger a dynamic mode to improve performance while keeping your system cool. Overall, this thing is exceptionally well-designed for such an affordable gaming laptop.

Acer Spin 3 13 QHD 2-in-1 — $799, was $1,099

The Acer Spin 3 13 2-in-1 with stylus pen.

Why Buy:

  • Gorgeous design with stow-away stylus pen
  • Powerful performance for its size
  • QHD touchscreen
  • Lightweight

The Aspire 3 13 2-in-1 is easily one of the best laptops Acer makes, and this version offers a fold-flat touchscreen to make it even more appealing. At its core, it has an 11th-gen Core i7 processor along with 16GB of memory and 512GB of solid-state storage. That’s all you need for being able to work without having to rely on cloud storage or without suffering from poor multitasking performance. Best of all, though, is its 13.3-inch Quad HD+ display. It features slim bezels that make the whole package more slender and lightweight, so you can see the screen without being distracted by a thick frame. And, of course, it’s a fold-back touchscreen so you can get more hands-on with your work rather than having to solely rely on the keyboard or trackpad.

Impressively, the Aspire 3 13 2-in-1 crams everything into a slight 11-inch form factor. That means you get all the benefits of a 13-inch screen while enjoying a smaller laptop that’s easy to carry around. The display doesn’t miss out on quality because of this, either, with IPS technology for a color-accurate picture that always looks great, plus wide viewing angles so you’ll never miss a thing.

The useful features keep on coming with the Aspire 3 offering a high-definition webcam so you get sharp image along with noise reduction to improve video and voice quality. That even goes for viewing in dim lighting conditions. This 2-in-1 is also surprisingly durable despite its compact size, and Acer builds things well so it’s sure to last you a good while. It’s a truly delightful laptop to own and use for working hard wherever you are.

Apple MacBook Air — $949, was $999

Apple MacBook Air on a white background.

Why Buy:

  • MacOS works well
  • Lightweight design
  • Fast performance
  • Ideal for Apple users

The Apple MacBook Air is a delight to use, particularly if you also own other Apple devices. Connecting well with your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and other Apple gadgets, the Apple MacBook Air might seem expensive on the surface but it’s impressively powerful. That’s thanks to Apple’s own M1 chip, which offers phenomenal performance alongside exceptional battery life. The processor has eight cores and is up to 3.5 times faster than the previous-gen Intel CPUs. Despite having so much power, it still has a battery life of up to 18 hours so you can bring it along on a long day and it’ll keep going.

In addition, 8GB of memory means it’s capable of multitasking at speed, and everything is designed to work well with MacOS. It also has a gorgeous looking 13.3-inch Retina display. Text is sharp and clear, while colors are bright and vibrant. A totally fanless design means that you don’t even have to worry about a constant fan noise, as the MacBook Air’s M1 CPU stays cool and silent at all times.

Additional features include a 256GB SSD, which is plenty of room to store your most important files. It also has a FaceTime HD camera for video conferencing and taking FaceTime calls. Touch ID support lets you use your finger to log in rather than constantly having to type passwords. The backlit keyboard also looks great, and particularly useful when working in the evening. Simply put, the MacBook Air is a true delight to use and a great choice for Apple fans. With many productivity apps ready to use right out of the box, it’s ideal for students an professionals alike.

How to choose a laptop

The first step of choosing a laptop, after setting your budget, is determining what you need it for. Most people just need a standard laptop that will perform well and that won’t feel outdated within one or two years, and for that, you’ve got plenty of very affordable options available to you. Those with more specific needs — artists, graphic designers, video editors, and gamers, to name some examples — may want extra features like touchscreens, fold-flat displays, and dedicated graphics cards. Keep size in mind as well. Laptops commonly range from 13 to 17 inches (which refers to screen size measured diagonally), and also pay attention to overall dimensions and weight if you’re going to be moving and carrying yours around fairly often.

As far as hardware goes, the three basic components to consider are CPU, RAM, and storage. The CPU, or central processing unit, is the “brain” of any PC. It’s what actually does the computing: Reading data, running programs (and other processes), and so on. The two biggest CPU makers are Intel and AMD, and unless you’re on the tightest of budgets, we typically recommend sticking with 11th or 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processors, AMD Ryzen 5 processors, and above (Core i7, Ryzen 7, etc.). If the specific generation of Intel CPU isn’t stated explicitly, it will be indicated in the first two digits of the processor’s model number. For example, a Core i5-11400 is an 11th-gen model, while the Core i5-12400 is 12th-gen.

RAM, or random access memory, is a bit more straightforward. In simple terms, if the CPU is your PC’s brain, then RAM could be described as its short-term memory. It supports your CPU’s performance by storing data and tasks for quick recall when needed. The more the better. We suggest a minimum of 8GB for good performance by modern standards, and like Core i5 and Ryzen 5 CPUs, you can find this even on affordable laptops — you really aren’t saving much money by skimping on RAM, but you will definitely feel your computer stumbling when under load.

Storage needs are personal to the user, but today, solid-state drives (SSDs) have largely replaced older platter-based hard disk drives (HDDs) owing to their superior read/write speeds and reliability due to the lack of moving parts. However, SSDs are typically smaller (or at least cheaper per gigabyte) than traditional HDDs, which is something to bear in mind if you do need a lot of storage space for things like games or large project files. We recommend sticking with SSDs as a rule, but some laptops come with a smaller solid-state system drive paired with a larger HDD for overflow, so you’ve got options.

Finally, depending on your needs, a discrete video card may be worth the extra money. A GPU, or graphics processing unit, is essentially a second processor dedicated solely to demanding graphical tasks like rendering videos and playing 3D video games. Mobile laptop GPUs are a bit different than their desktop counterparts and Nvidia GeForce cards are by far the most common. The current-gen models are the 16-series and 30-series cards. AMD has also rolled out its own line of laptop graphics cards, the 5000M series, as mobile counterparts to its desktop GPUs. These are a fine option as well, especially if you prefer AMD hardware.

Editors' Recommendations