When you venture out to purchase a laptop for personal or professional use, you prep yourself to live with a light wallet for months to come. Even after years of advancing technology, laptops don’t exactly come cheap.
Or do they? Well, here is some excellent news for anyone looking to bring home an inexpensive laptop that won’t break down under pressure: many top computer makers have introduced cheap laptops priced under—hold your breath—$200!
You may have previously come across laptops priced under $300, and assumed that was the cheapest deal anyone could give you in this market. However, today, you can find cheap laptops produced by reliable and established brands such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung.
Other brands like CHUWI have also emerged to compete with these market leaders, offering products with features that seem impossible to attain in so low a price point. Suffice it to say that if it is a cheap laptop that you covet, you will be spoilt for choice.
One word of caution: laptops under $200 do come with some inherent limitations. They have limited processing muscle that will be adequate for day-to-day needs, but you cannot expect them to facilitate intensive endeavors like graphics designing, programming, animation or gaming.
Many of these laptops lean toward the tablet model, restricting the brilliance of the display that you can expect. So, while laptops in this league have several merits to boot—not the least of which is excellent portability—they may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Let us find out a few essential things about cheap laptops under $200 and how to go about acquiring one, if at all. We have also consolidated ten recommendations that are both trustworthy and wise buying choices for various requirements ranging from home use to traveling.
- Is a Sub-$200 Laptop a Good Fit to Your Lifestyle?
- Our Picks: The 10 Best Laptop Under $200 for 2021
- 1. ASUS Laptop L210 Ultra-Thin Laptop
- 2. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
- 3. HP 14a-na0020nr Chromebook
- 4. Lenovo IdeaPad 1 (11”, AMD) Laptop Under $200
- 5. ASUS CX22NA-BCLN4 11.6″ Chromebook Under $200
- 6. Samsung Chromebook 4
- 7. Acer Chromebook 311 CB311-9H-C12A
- 8. Asus C423NA Chromebook
- 9. Lenovo 100e Chromebook
- 10. HP Stream 11 Laptop
- Must-Have Features in Cheap Laptops Under $200
- Closing Note
Is a Sub-$200 Laptop a Good Fit to Your Lifestyle?
Thanks to low-cost components (that still manage to be high-quality) and manufacturers who prioritize cost-effectiveness, the marketplace now offers several laptops that cost under $200 or thereabouts. But how far will such products benefit you? Well, they are likely to adapt to your lifestyle if you come under one of these user groups:
- Students: Do you use your laptop primarily for note-taking and homework assignments? These laptops can be excellent choices, saving you precious dollars that can go toward numerous other college expenses. (Note: This won’t work if you are majoring in arts, software development, or any other course that demands you to perform CPU-intensive operations on your computer.)
- Professionals: Unless you are a creative professional, a techie, or someone who must run complicated software regularly, these basic laptops are good enough for regular needs like checking e-mail, browsing the internet, and taking voice or video calls.
- Travelers: Since these laptops focus the most on portability and ease of use, they will be perfect travel companions. You can carry them on vacations, using them to stay connected, entertained, and backed up.
- Budget-watchers: This category undoubtedly covers a lot of people, making cheap laptops good options for first computing devices, gifting, home-based use, etc. You don’t have to pay a bomb, but your basic functions are sorted. After all, not everyone wants to use their computer as a one-stop device to replace cameras, hard disks, projection screens, and the kitchen sink.
Our Picks: The 10 Best Laptop Under $200 for 2021
Finding good quality laptops for under $200 sounds like a dream. But, there are several brands who have come out with accessible and affordable devices and we are going to sort out the best ones for you.
1. ASUS Laptop L210 Ultra-Thin Laptop
If you are looking for a cheaper and portable laptop to keep you hooked to your work when you are on the go, we’d suggest you take a look at the ASUS Laptop L210.
It features a very compact and lightweight design, weighing less than 2.2 lbs. It enables you to make the most out of your productivity, enabling you to create content even when you are on the go. It is also designed with an 180° lay-flat hinge for seamless collaboration.
Even with the cheaper price point, the device is backed with a stunning ASUS’s NumberPad for a simpler number tapping experience. It runs on the Intel Celeron N4020 Processor and is equipped with a compact 11.6” HD slim display for unmatched user experience.
As for the overall performance, the 64GB eMMC flash storage and 4GB RAM ensure the most out of your device, even when you are dealing with complicated tasks. It runs on the Windows 10 in S Mode.
2. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
When talking about cheap yet high-performance devices, Lenovo is a brand that stands out. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is another amazing example for just that.
It is a multi-purpose Chromebook that can be used as a laptop and as a tablet, whenever you need it.
The device is backed with a stunning plug and play keyboard that makes it easier for you to work around it whenever the need be.
The device features a compact 10.1” FHD IPS display with 1080p screen resolution for crisp and clear visuals. It is powered by the MediaTek Helio P60T processor for a fast and secure performance and productivity throughout the day.
The display is integrated with smooth 10-point multi-touch touchscreen, enabling you to use it in the tablet mode too.
The Chromebook is backed with 64GB eMMC SSD for storage and 4GB RAM for memory options. It runs on the Chrome OS.
3. HP 14a-na0020nr Chromebook
HP is likely one of the absolute best brands when it comes to developing highly functional and sleek looking laptops.
The HP 14a-na0020nr Chromebook is a pretty affordable device that has a compact design that lets you carry it around when you are on the go
It is equipped with a multi-touch touchpad along with a backlit keyboard that keeps your productivity in check.
As for the performance, the device is powered by the latest Intel processor and a 14” display that lets you enjoy the visuals without any hindrance. The device is also manufactured with environmentally conscious material, especially with the low halogen and mercury-free display panel.
The device is also equipped with 32GB eMMC and 4GB RAM for memory, making it a suitable option for students. The stunning and lightweight design of the device makes it a worthy purchase if you are on a budget.
4. Lenovo IdeaPad 1 (11”, AMD) Laptop Under $200
Lenovo has time and time come out with devices that are affordable and at the same time, extremely functional too.
Aside from the compact 11” display, the device also comes with a compact and lightweight design that makes it easier for you to carry around.
Paired with the AMD processor, the device is backed with up to 7 hours of battery life, which is pretty amazing, especially when it comes to longer hours of performance and productivity. As for the storage and memory, it is integrated with 64 GB eMMC and 4GB RAM for memory options.
As for the operating system, it is equipped with the Windows 10 Home in S mode for all-day productivity. The display panel is designed with 768p screen resolution with an anti-glare feature to keep your vision protected.
5. ASUS CX22NA-BCLN4 11.6″ Chromebook Under $200
Next up on the list of the best devices under $200 is the ASUS CX22NA-BCLN4 Chromebook.
Even this features a compact 11.6” display with crisp and clear visuals and 100% accurate color reproduction.
It runs on the Google Chrome OS, which might be new for the Windows users.
The device is powered by the Intel Celeron N3350 processor, which is enough to support your college work and get you through the requirements from the start till the end. It is equipped with 16GB eMMC flash memory with 4GB RAM for seamless multitasking.
It has a decent battery life, making it easier for you to work for extended hours without any issues. The only downside to this device is the fact that the display panel doesn’t feature narrow bezels, taking up majority of the space.
6. Samsung Chromebook 4
All of us love a little bonus, right? Well, the Samsung Chromebook 4 is another device that you wouldn’t regret splurging out on.
The device features a compact and lightweight design with a 13.3” display that makes it easier for you to carry the device around without any heavy-lifting.
The exterior of the device is backed with military-grade durability as well.
The device is integrated with multiple layers of built-in anti-virus protection for advanced security from the get-go. The best thing about this device is the longer battery life of up to 12.5 hours.
Even for such an affordable price range, it sure doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the performance and productivity. The device is also Google Assistant enabled and runs on the Chrome OS for seamless user experience.
It is equipped with the 801.11ac type wireless connectivity with 4GB RAM for memory options. As for the processor, the device runs on the Intel Celeron N4000 processor.
7. Acer Chromebook 311 CB311-9H-C12A
For the users who rely on Acer, the Acer Chromebook 311 CB311-9H-C12A is a pretty cheap and affordable option around.
The device comes with everything integrated, making it easier for you to keep a check on the seamless functions and operations.
The device is also integrated with a built-in anti-virus, enabling you to keep your data concealed and protected.
The Chromebook is equipped with a compact 11.6” HD display and runs on the Intel Celeron N4000 for smoother and uninterrupted performance. Aside from that, the device runs on the 32GB eMMC flash storage along with 4GB RAM for smoother multitasking performance.
As for the productivity, the device is backed with 10 hours of battery life for extended hours of work. It also comes with excess 100GB of additional storage on Google Drive to keep your data secured there.
8. Asus C423NA Chromebook
Another affordable Chromebook option worth considering is the Asus C423NA Chromebook. Unlike the other ones, this features a full-fledged 14-inch anti-glare display with narrow bezels and anti-glare coating to prevent bad impacts to your eyes.
The device is powered by the Intel Dual-Core Celeron N3350 Processor that allows you to experience superior and snappy performance like nothing else.
It does come integrated with the 802.11 Dual Band Wireless-AC 2×2 WLAN along with Bluetooth 4.0 for smoother wireless connectivity options.
It is backed with 64GB SSD and 4GB RAM for elevated performance and productivity throughout the day. It is perfect for users on the go, especially because of the lightweight design and premium quality battery life.
9. Lenovo 100e Chromebook
There are several affordable Chromebooks available from Lenovo and the Lenovo 100e Chromebook is hands down one of the best options.
It runs on the AMD A-series chipset, which is quite a rare option in laptops nowadays. This Chromebook is one of the few options from Lenovo featuring a compact 11.6” HD LCD display with 768p screen resolution. It is also backed with the AMD Raden R4 Graphics for crisp visuals.
Aside from the basic configuration of the device, it also manages to stand out with its connectivity options. The combination of USB Gen 3.1 and Type-C ports keep you hooked from the get-go. It is one of the feature devices backed with 32GB eMMC flash storage along with 4GB RAM for memory options.
It runs on the Chrome OS and is backed with the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac for wireless connectivity options.
10. HP Stream 11 Laptop
HP never disappoints with their devices and the HP Stream 11 is an example of that. Even with the cheaper price point, the brand has managed to redefine productivity with the latest technologies and functionalities in the device.
The Stream 14 is equipped with a 11.6-inch HD display with 768p screen resolution. It runs on the Intel Celeron processor and is backed with Intel UHD graphics for crisp and clear visuals unlike anything else in the market.
It is integrated with 64GB eMMC and 4GB RAM for seamless and smoother multitasking experience.
The device runs on the Windows 10 Home in S mode operating system and is backed with the latest wireless connectivity options and I/O ports for uninterrupted performance throughout the day.
Must-Have Features in Cheap Laptops Under $200
What features can cheap, ho-hum laptops really bring to you? First off: do not give in to this line of thought. Do not let a brand convince you that $200 is hardly enough money to cover the basics. Today, a sum of $200 can make you the proud owner of a laptop that caters to everyday processing needs without requiring you to break the bank. You only have to look out for these essentials:
- Processor and OS: Look for a speedy processor (e.g., Intel dual-core or quad-core) and a smart operating system like Chrome OS or Windows 10. This will facilitate daily computing tasks like opening documents and presentations or navigating through multiple browser tabs.
- RAM and Storage: As far as possible, don’t settle for anything under 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage. You need this kind of memory to keep the booting and loading times manageable. Of course, storage can usually be supplemented by external drives and the cloud.
- Display: Most laptops in this price point offer HD screens. Some also provide anti-glare panels and features such as night mode or color adjustment. If your computer has inbuilt USB ports and HDMI (as it should), you will be able to connect to external displays and expand your viewing horizons.
- Battery Life: Scout for laptops that offer at least 6–8 hours of unplugged juice. Since you will be carrying these laptops around, you need not be shackled to power stations all the time.
- Build and Portability: This will depend on the form factor you choose, with 11” laptops being among the lightest. Ask for notebooks that are sturdy yet lightweight. Just because you are purchasing an inexpensive laptop does not mean you must settle for unwieldy, drab machines.
With changing times and rising expenses, the demand for cheap laptops has escalated. They are coveted especially by audiences that want to own reliable computing companions that satisfactorily perform everyday tasks.
These devices may not offer the fancy, flashy features of their pricier counterparts, but then not everyone demands those features or is willing to pay a premium for them. In light of this market dynamic, computing brands are now competing in budget laptops.
You will find devices aspiring to outdo each other: a more powerful CPU in a more compact chassis, a shinier display with longer hours on a single charge, and so on.
If you have been eying a cheap laptop for a while, the time is now ripe to take the plunge. The market abounds in products with varied focus areas.
For instance, while the HP 14a chromebook (#1) is ideal for seekers of good battery backup, you can consider the ASUS chromebook (#3) if your requirement is design flexibility. Laptops such as #2 and #4 are also good, all-rounder choices that can slip into different shoes on different occasions.
Make a careful bucket-list of your priorities and choose accordingly; you are almost certain to find something that gets your needs.