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The best budget laptop of 2022

Best Cheap Laptop 2022: Asus Chromebook CX5
Here are the best cheap Chromebooks and laptops you can buy. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales

The best cheap laptops from HP, Lenovo, and more.

The best cheap laptops are getting better and better. The question to ask is: what’s most important, and what are you willing to sacrifice? Even the best cheap laptops aren’t perfect in every area — they have some strengths but cut corners to achieve their price tags. You can almost certainly find a budget laptop with a touchscreen, a premium-looking chassis, an HDMI port, a backlit keyboard, or stylus support, but you may need to consider which of those features you want the most, and which you can go without.

Our pick for the best cheap laptop of 2022 is the HP Envy x360 13, running Windows 10. We feel that the Envy has build quality, performance, and battery life that surpass those of many premium laptops, as well as the best cheap laptops on the market. But we’ve tested dozens the best laptops under $500, and we’ve got a number of additional models on this list from Lenovo, Acer, Samsung, HP, and more.

Other best cheap laptops include the Lenovo Chromebook Duet and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. Many of these laptops also appear on our best laptop, best Chromebook, and best student laptop lists.

Many of our picks for the best cheap laptops are currently Chromebooks. We believe that Chromebooks are, in many cases, the best-value option for shoppers seeking a laptop under $500 and tend to offer better specs, features, and build quality than most Windows laptops at that price point. We hope to add more Windows laptops under $500 to this page in the future and are keeping a close eye on those releases.

Best Cheap Laptops 2022


Best Cheap Laptop 2022: Asus Chromebook CX5 Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales
The Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 is the best cheap laptop of 2022.

1. Asus Chromebook Flip CX5

The best cheap laptop of 2022

The Chromebook Flip CX5 really is that good. It’s sturdy enough to withstand all kinds of jolts and jostles in a backpack or briefcase, and has a unique velvety texture that’s very pleasant to hold. Add a wide port selection, a smooth and comfortable keyboard, and a vivid display, and you’ve got a chassis that can hold its own against plenty of midrange Windows laptops.

Performance is equally impressive. We never once heard its fan in our testing, even when pushing a workload that slowed most devices down. Battery life is quite satisfactory, easily lasting us a day. And the speakers delivered some of the best audio we’ve ever heard from a Chromebook. While the CX5 isn’t a perfect device, it’s one of the best ones we’ve ever tested under $700. Overall, budget shoppers who don’t mind Chrome OS won’t be disappointed in this machine.


Best Cheap Laptop 2022: Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is the clamshell Chromebook to buy, and one of the best cheap laptops under $800.

2. Acer Chromebook Spin 713

The best cheap Chrome OS laptop

If you’d prefer a more traditional Chromebook with a clamshell form factor, the $395 Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is an affordable option that’s all-around excellent. It has a gorgeous 3:2 display that delivers a sharp picture and bright, vibrant colors with plenty of vertical space. The screen alone would make the Chromebook Spin 713 a standout, but it has a number of other strengths as well, including a great keyboard, all-day battery life, and a comprehensive port selection, including an HDMI, in addition to USB-C, USB-A, and a microSD slot.


Best Cheap Laptop 2022: Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge
The Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 is the best cheap laptop with a built-in stylus.

3. Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3

The best cheap laptop with a stylus

If you like the Duet’s size and detachable form factor but are willing to spend on something a bit more upscale, you may find the Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 to be a better choice. Like the Duet, the CM3 is a 10.5-inch 16:10 Chrome OS tablet with a fabric cover, kickstand, and detachable screen. But the CM3’s kickstand folds multiple ways: you can crease it lengthwise to stand the tablet up like a laptop or fold it the short way and stand the tablet up horizontally. Plus, it comes with a built-in USI stylus and roomy keys with a surprising amount of travel. Battery life was also quite impressive: we averaged close to 13 hours of continuous work.

Where the CM3 lags a bit behind the Duet (and other cheap laptops you may try) is the power. Its MediaTek processor can be a bit sluggish compared to more pricier offerings. But the CM3 still offers a surprising number of perks for its sub-$400 price and makes a great student driver or secondary device.


Best Cheap Laptop 2022: HP Pavilion Aero 13 Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge
The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is a 13-inch powerhouse that weighs almost nothing.

4. HP Pavilion Aero 13

The best cheap Windows laptop

If you’re looking for a budget Windows laptop that’s thinner and lighter than the Envy x360 while delivering similar category-topping performance, the $669 HP Pavilion Aero 13 is a good choice for you. It has a powerful eight-core Ryzen processor, which is one of the fastest processors for thin and light laptops that you can get. Not only does it perform well, but it’s also unbelievably light at just 2.1 pounds, and it comes with a blindingly bright 16:10 screen. It’s a standout in battery life, too — I averaged almost 11 hours of continuous work.

HP did have to cut a few corners to achieve those benefits at this price point. The audio on our model wasn’t great, and the device shipped with some cheap bloatware installed. But the Pavilion Aero 13 is excellent in almost every other way, and it won’t disappoint if you’re looking for a functional, cheap Windows PC.


Best Cheap Laptop 2022: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the reddest Chromebook you can buy and one of the best cheap laptops under $800.

5. Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

An affordable laptop with a bold look

If you’re looking for an affordable Chromebook that stands out from the crowd, the $549 Galaxy Chromebook 2 should be on your list. It comes in a bold “fiesta red” color (as well as a regular gray, if you prefer to blend in). It’s a touchscreen convertible with stylus support (though the stylus isn’t included).

On top of the design, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 includes an excellent QLED panel, which is one of the best displays we’ve ever seen on a Chromebook. You also get a solid keyboard, decent battery life (we averaged 7 hours and 21 minutes of continuous work), and a port selection that includes two USB-C ports, a microSD slot, and a headphone jack. It’s easily one of the best Chromebooks you can buy and one of the best cheap laptops as well.


Best Cheap Laptop 2022: Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is the best cheap laptop under $500.

6. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

The best cheap laptop under $500

If you’re looking for an absurdly cheap Chromebook that absolutely gets the job done, you should definitely be looking at the Duet 3. This is a great, tiny laptop for budget shoppers with a magnetic detachable keyboard and kickstand. The screen even supports USI styluses, though a stylus is not included in this price. The keyboard is included, however, as are the keyboard and kickstand, which makes for a pretty solid package for a sub-$400 price.

While we don’t recommend the Duet 3 for work use, we found it quite usable for social media use, leisure, and multimedia viewing. It has a sharp, bright, 11-inch screen, and the keyboard and touchpad are surprisingly comfortable. As a bonus, it’s just 2.09 pounds, which makes it great for carrying around in a backpack or a purse.


Best Cheap Laptop 2022: Lenovo ThinkBOok 13S Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge
The Lenovo ThinkBook 13S is the best cheap business laptop, and one of the best cheap laptops under $900.

7. Lenovo ThinkBook 13S

The best cheap laptop for business

The Lenovo ThinkBook 13S looks a lot like Lenovo’s high-end ThinkPad laptops. But it’s much more affordable than those ThinkPads, with models currently starting under $900. We were pleasantly surprised by its sharp 16:10 display and its generous port selection, which includes Thunderbolt 4. The audio is loud and clear. The device lacks some of the artistry of the ThinkPad line, but brings the same functionality and high-quality build. If you’re looking for a sub-$900 Windows laptop for business, the ThinkBook should be on your list.


Best Cheap Laptop 2022: Acer Swift 3X Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge
The Acer Swift 3X is one of the best creator laptops you can buy, and one of the best cheap laptops under $700.

8. Acer Swift 3X

The best cheap creator laptop

Many of the best cheap laptops might be good choices for schoolwork or leisure, but the Acer Swift 3X is intended for creative professionals shopping on a budget. Models are available with Intel’s Iris Xe Max, a discrete graphics card that isn’t meant for intense gaming, but can lend a hand for amateur creators and students who work with photos and video for class. Those who want the cheapest model can go for integrated graphics, which will deliver a great experience (and are currently available for under $700).

In our testing the 3X offered good performance for its price — including surprisingly long battery life for a device with a discrete GPU. There’s a nice matte screen that’s available in a touch model. And at just over three pounds, it’s also much easier to carry around than most creator-oriented laptops out there. It’s not bad looking either — we particularly liked the “steam blue” color that our model came in.


Best Cheap Laptop 2022: Microsoft Surface Go 3 Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
The Microsoft Surface Go 3 is one of the best cheap laptops under $500 for 2022.

9. Microsoft Surface Go 3

The best cheap laptop for Surface fans

The Surface Go 3, currently available for under $500, is a 10.5-inch tablet that’s best for young students or anyone else who needs a small device for on-the-go use. It offers the same excellent build quality and premium design as the rest of Microsoft’s acclaimed Surface line, but carries a much lower price tag.

Windows 11 runs quite well on this device, andwe found Snap Assist helpful for sizing apps and tabs for the smaller screen. We could run all the Windows apps we wanted, and even found the small keyboard surprisingly comfortable. The battery life was a bit short, however, so make sure you won’t need to have this device away from an outlet for too long if you’re considering buying it.



Source: The Verge

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