Whether you’re setting up a home office for the first time or are a work-from-home veteran, nothing comes close to the importance of having a reliable computer setup. Desktops, however, though quite powerful, lack portability. When you need a good computer you can take with you while you’re out and about, you can’t beat the convenience that comes with a laptop. We’ve rounded up three excellent laptop deals to get your home base ready for the daily grind — and with pricing starting at only $180, there’s bound to be something for everyone.
— $180, was $230
Simple and clean, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 laptop is a great entry-level option for working professionals constantly on the move. Its sleek and uncomplicated gray chassis is minimalism at its finest, allowing you to stay focused on the task at hand without getting distracted by any flamboyant decorations. Weighing in at just a little over three pounds, this notebook offers the most hassle-free mobility of the three laptops on our list, making it an excellent travel companion.
The 14-inch display with 1,366 x 768 resolution isn’t the most optimal for viewing images or videos at their peak quality. The AMD Radeon R4 graphics chipset doesn’t do the IdeaPad 1 any favors, either. Regardless, it gets the job done for regular work that doesn’t involve visual output like documentation and project management. In terms of overall horsepower, the IdeaPad 1 comes with a dual-core AMD A6-9220e processor and 4GB of RAM. What you can do with the laptop is limited by this as it can’t handle too many tasks simultaneously, but for lightweight work and simple tasks that aren’t too intensive, the IdeaPad 1 will do just fine.
If you’ll be listening to music, you’ll be glad to know that the built-in Dolby Audio dual-stereo speaker also provides decent sound quality. The laptop’s biggest and most apparent weakness is its incredibly small 64GB eMMC flash memory, which can’t hold a candle to an average SSD. This means that if you’ll be using the laptop for a while, you’ll need to invest in a storage upgrade. Purchase the laptop now and you also get a freebie. For those without Microsoft Office 365, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 offers a free year-long Personal subscription, so you can get what is arguably the best office software on the market for no cost whatsoever. You can find the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 laptop on Best Buy where it’s currently on sale for only $180.
— $329, was $450
If you need something a little more powerful than the Lenovo IdeaPad 1, the Dell Inspiron 15.6 may be the ticket. With a stylish black exterior that doesn’t compromise utility for looks, the Inspiron is a balanced laptop that’s suitable for most office tasks. It weighs a bit more than the IdeaPad 1 at around 4.4 pounds, but the difference is honestly negligible. You can comfortably take this laptop wherever you go and look good doing it.
The Dell Inspiron 15.6 has a 15.6-inch touchscreen display with 1,366 x 768 resolution that — although it isn’t a huge step up from the IdeaPad — still does its job decently well. Plus, the touchscreen allows for greater accessibility and can be surprisingly convenient if you don’t have a mouse or can’t be bothered to use a trackpad. With the built-in Intel UHD Graphics 620, it won’t be able to handle intensive image or video processing, but it’s decent for basic tasks such as photo editing or note-taking. The eighth-generation Intel Core i3 processor isn’t as powerful as its i5 and i7 variants, but it’s still a definite upgrade from the IdeaPad’s AMD A6-9220e, with greater memory bandwidth and a marginally better operating frequency. The 8GB of RAM also allows you to handle multiple applications with relative ease.
Another thing to take note of is the Inspiron’s solid-state drive (SSD) with a relatively low 128GB storage space capacity. This shouldn’t be a deal-breaker though as storage upgrades are always available. If you’re a photographer, then you’ll be glad to know that the Dell Inspiron 15.6 also comes with a media reader for SD cards, so you won’t need a separate SD card reader for transferring photos and other files. Check it out on Best Buy where it has a discounted price of only $329, $121 off its original retail price.
— $479, was $649
Being a budget-friendly gaming laptop has its perks, especially when it comes to its effectivity in the (home) office. Being the most powerful option on our list, the Acer Nitro 5 has a multitude of excellent features you’ll be glad to have. It’s not as light as the previous laptops, weighing in at just above five pounds, but while it has the same horsepower as some dedicated desktops, this practically weighs as much as a feather in comparison. With an elegant black and red chassis, the Acer Nitro 5 looks deceptively high-end for its price, making it a great statement piece at home or in the office.
The 15-inch matte display offers Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution to provide crisp and detailed visuals at excellent quality with vibrant colors and exceptional detail. This allows users to maximize the full power of the Acer Nitro 5. It also comes with IPS panels, so that your viewing experience isn’t compromised regardless of where the screen is positioned or angled toward you. Coupled with the AMD Radeon RX 560X graphics card, you can comfortably work with intensive visual software like heavy-duty editing and even some hardcore games without missing a pixel. With the help of the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor and 8GB of RAM, you might just be able to do more with the Acer Nitro 5 than both of the previous listed laptops combined. Although the AMD Acer Nitro 5 isn’t as powerful as its Intel variant, it is still incredibly effective as a gaming laptop. Acer CoolBoost also keeps the laptop cool to avoid overheating and damage from prolonged use.
The sound quality isn’t terrible either with the built-in Dolby Audio Premium and Acer’s TrueHarmony — the speakers provide rich sound to complement your music as you work or play, so you don’t need a separate speaker or headphones to get the most out of your tracks. As an added bonus, the Acer Nitro 5 also has a 1TB HDD to store all your important files with enough space left over to download a few games on the side. The Acer Nitro 5 is currently discounted on Walmart for only $479, scoring you $170 in savings.
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