After carrying a research for almost 200 economical laptops in 2017 and testing four—over 100 hours looking into and testing 16 more laptops in the past two years—we found that the Acer Spin 5 is the most affordable Windows laptop for majority of people. It’s essentially smaller and lighter than different laptops in this value range, in addition to it has a decent keyboard, trackpad, touchscreen, and 360-degree hinge. The Spin 5 is somewhat costly, however it’s justified regardless of the cost.
We suggest the SP513-51-53FC or SP513-51-58C2 configurations—they’re similar however sold by different retailers—with an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8 GB of memory, and a 256 GB strong state drive. (Last year’s model, the SP513-51-51PB, has a past-generation processor however an incredible alternative was in case you find it for under $600.) The Spin 5 comes preloaded with unwanted applications and its fans can get rattly, anyway these are little tradeoffs for a cheap Windows laptop that isn’t awful.
This model of the Spin 5 typically costs around $600, and though that is costly for this category, we suggest it at that cost. Our runner up is just $20 less expensive, but it is bigger, 2 pounds heavier, and has a non-touchscreen that looks more terrible. In the event that the Spin 5 goes up in cost for any reason, get the $700 Asus ZenBook UX330UA. Compared with the Spin 5, the ZenBook is much more compact and just about a full pound lighter, has almost two times the battery life, and comes with a fingerprint reader. You can read more about the ZenBook in our manual for the best Windows ultrabooks.
Just in case the Acer Spin 5 goes up in cost or is unavailable, the next best choice is the Acer Aspire E5-575G-57D4. It’s the cheapest available that meets our specs requirements, and it has a stunning decent backlight keyboard, a dependable trackpad, a 1080p display, and no bloatware. When compared to the Spin 5, the Aspire E5 is huge, heavy and has a lower-quality screen. At around $580, it’s still more costly than we’d like, however no different Windows laptop available now for less has a better processor, enough memory, and a strong state drive to give smooth performance today and for a long time to come.
The specifications we suggest has a similar processor, memory, and strong state drive as our best choice, in addition to it has a Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics card with 2 GB of memory. That implies it can play some less-demanding games like Overwatch on medium settings. (In case you’re thinking about a specific game, check this handy graph from Notebookcheck.)
In the event that you can’t spend more than $500, the best alternative is the Acer A515-51-563W for around $450. It has a similar processor and memory from our best pick however does not have a strong state drive, which implies it will feel slower every time you boot the laptop or do anything that requires accessing programs or files stored on the drive —along these lines, practically all that you do on a laptop. The A515 is upgradeable, so you can swap the hard drive for a SSD later, however many people will spend more in advance to avoid the stress later. Furthermore the A515’s console isn’t illuminated, its trackpad feels cheap and noisy, and it comes with a lot of bloatware.
It’s hard to make a firm suggestion for a cheap Windows laptop since laptop manufacturers introduce and discontinue these models without notice and prices can change overnight. In case our selections is unavailable or up in cost and you need to search alone, we’ve arranged a list of the basic requirements you should search for in a cheap laptop and in addition a few hints for when you start shopping—we know that it is so difficult to look for a budget laptop, and we’re here to offer assistance.