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Best cheap laptops in 2022

By Joshua Hawkins,


If you’re looking to buy one of the best cheap laptops, then you’ve got your work cut out for you. Not only are there hundreds of options out there, but not all laptops are created equal. Because of that, we’ve put together a list of cheap laptops that should help you narrow down your choices.

Of course, when you’re looking for a cheap laptop, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, what exactly does cheap mean? For us, cheap usually means any laptop under $600, though there are a couple of places you might need to go above that budget if you want a specific type of laptop. With that in mind, though, you’ll also want to decide what kind of OS you need. Do you need a standard Windows laptop or will something like a Chromebook work for your needs? You’ll also want to take into account the overall size of the laptop, as well as what you need it to do. Want more advice on how to figure out what you need? Check out our guide on everything to consider when buying a new computer.

Once you’ve thought about all of that, it’s time to dig in and look for the best cheap laptop you can find. We’ve put together a few solid options below, so make sure you check them out to get a better idea of what to look for. Not on a budget? Check out our best laptops guide for a broader set of options.

Best cheap laptop overall: MSI Modern 14
Image source: MSI / Newegg

The MSI Modern 14 comes close to breaking through the ceiling of our budget, but it’s on this list for a good reason. Not only is MSI a great manufacturer for computers like this, but the Modern 14 has a lot to offer for its $599 price tag.

The 14-inch IPS-level display is a big plus, bringing what MSI calls true-to-life images. That display gets you a full HD screen, which means plenty of space and clarity no matter what you’re working on. The screen also has a high max brightness level, which means you never have to worry about images being too dark to see clearly.

The MSI Modern 14 weighs in at just above two and a half points. It’s not the lightest laptop out there, but for this price range, you aren’t going to get the lightest most durable builds. The Modern 14 features an aluminum body, though, which means it should be able your standard day-to-day wear.

When it comes to everyday usage, the MSI Modern 14 is a nice standard to set for budget laptops. For under $600, this is one of the best laptops that you’ll find on the market. The only thing we’d really like to see is a bigger SSD in this model. That’s something you can solve with an external drive, though.

Best cheap gaming laptop: Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop
Acer / Amazon

Pros: SSD for fast game loading, RAM can be upgraded

Cons: Lags behind gaming desktops in the same price range

This laptop is a bit of an outlier on our list, as it breaks our standard “cheap” budget of $600 with its $750 price tag. But, if you’re looking for a cheap gaming laptop, this is the best you’re going to find.

Not only is this laptop armed with a fast SSD, which makes loading quick and easy, but it also features an upgrade slot for the laptop’s RAM. This means you can upgrade that 8GB of RAM it already includes, to deliver even more performance to your games and apps.

As with any budget laptop, though, the CPU and GPU included here aren’t the most powerful. As such, playing heavily intensive games might make your laptop a little sluggish. That’s to be expected within this price range, though. If you want to be able to play games and meet all your other everyday browsing needs, though, the Acer Nitro 5 is well worth the extra cash you’ll put down on it.

You can also check out our other recommended gaming laptops if you’ve got a bit bigger budget to work with.

Best cheap 2-in-1 laptop: Microsoft Surface Go 3

Pros: Comes with Windows 11, responsive touch-screen display, lightweight and easy-to-carry design

Cons: Lower ram may be limiting, accessories can get costly

If you’re looking for a solid 2-in-1 laptop that’s going to last a bit, then the Microsoft Surface Go 3 is one of the better options out there. It comes with Windows 11, which is Microsoft’s newest operating system. You can also hook it up with a slew of different accessories to meet your laptop needs. The only real downfall for this 2-in-1, though, is the fact that all the accessories are sold separately. That can be disappointing for users that wanted a stylus included. But, most of the accessories are fairly affordable, too.

As with most 2-in-1s, the CPU and GPU here aren’t going to let you do the same things that more expensive options might. Still, the Surface Go 3 will meet all your needs, even if it gets a little sluggish under heavy loads.

If you’re a student or are buying for a student, then the optionable stylus can really help make taking notes easier. That’s by far one of our favorite features of the Surface Go 2-in-1s. There are also a few different CPU options out there for the Surface Go 3. With that in mind, though, the cheapest option offers more than enough power for everyday tasks.

Best cheap laptop for students: Dell Inspiron 15 3000
Dell / Amazon

Pros: Comes with Windows 11, affordable but solid build, large full HD display

Cons: Speakers could be better, no USB Type-C ports

There’s a lot to love about the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. First, let’s start with the solid and reliable build quality that Dell puts into its laptops. The laptop also comes with Windows 11 baked in. That means you’ve got access to the latest Windows operating system without having to do any updating yourself. The 15-inch full HD display is also stunning and provides a good range of visual colors for viewing web pages, videos, and more.

The laptop comes equipped with 4GB of RAM in the most basic version. If you need more, you can always add up to 12GB before purchasing. The included Iris Xe graphics solution also means you can make the most of light gaming and application usage. You can also upgrade the included SSD up to 512GB. That’s a small number in the long run, but like most laptops, you can easily pair it with an external hard drive for document or image storage.

This isn’t the beefiest laptop ever. But, the asking price makes it a perfect option for students that need a reliable but cheap laptop.

Best cheap Chromebook: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
Lenovo / Amazon

Pros: Chrome OS delivers fast and easy-to-use software, 2-in-1 design makes it easy to swap between modes

Cons: Limited support for apps outside of the Play Store

Chromebooks have been an unsung hero of the budget laptop market for many years. Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet is no different. This 2-in-1 laptop makes use of Chrome OS to deliver a fast and reliable operating system. It also gives you access to thousands of apps courtesy of the Google Play Store. The Duet can easily move between the laptop and tablet mode, too. That makes this a perfect companion for people who travel a lot.

Lenovo has become a trusted name in the laptop world over the years, and that’s for good reason. The company continues to deliver solid builds and quality laptops designed to give consumers a great experience.

The integrated MediaTek Helio processor and ARM GPU aren’t the fastest things you’ll find in a Chromebook. But, for the price, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet delivers more than enough power to keep you browsing the web and enjoying your favorite apps for up to 10 hours before you need to charge it. Of course, like with most Chromebooks, you’ll have limited access to apps that aren’t on the Google Play Store. But, if you already live your life in the Android ecosystem, that shouldn’t be that big of a problem.

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