Best Budget Laptop Review:
How to choose a budget laptop? Which of the manufacturers are they the most reliable? What characteristics do you need to pay attention to first of all? Can cheap laptops be quality? How to buy an inexpensive gaming laptop?
In the article, we figure out how to choose the right inexpensive laptop, and at its end – the best budget laptops of 2020.
Laptop up to $ 400 – an inexpensive reliable assistant:
Very often, our financial capabilities are enough just to buy an inexpensive laptop, but at the same time, I want it to have a modern attractive look, work quickly, and be reliable. Oddly enough, but all this is quite real, only very high reliability will not work for any money, because the modern world is stuck in a quagmire of the so-called ” planned obsolescence “, which does not allow you to make truly reliable laptops, even very expensive ones. You must immediately accept as a fact that both budget laptops and very expensive laptops of any manufacturer will live for about 7 years if they do not die prematurely by a violent death from a fall from a height or juice spilled on a keyboard.
Why is that? Because it is beneficial for all manufacturers to buy laptops from them as often as possible. They produce them – you buy them, more purchases – higher profits, it’s just a business. I would also like to add that when choosing a laptop, buyers often use the simple life rule “a cheap model cannot be good,” therefore they are very distrustful of low-cost laptops. The same rule is actively supported by store managers, since their premium ones directly depend on the price, although in reality, you can choose many decent models from modern budget laptops, but for the above reasons, buyers often get a loan or simply overpay for what they don’t have at all need to.
A lot of laptops currently, there is a very good selection of budget laptops, but Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo have the highest sales, so it is worth paying attention to the first of all since the quality of materials and the assembly of inexpensive laptops from these manufacturers are pretty good as for its price. Separately, I would like to highlight Asus, most of whose models are distinguished by excellent design, high quality, reliability, durability, and adequate price. It is strongly recommended not to buy any laptops from little-known manufacturers since it is very likely that their operation will reveal very annoying fatal problems.
Oddly enough, but statistics and practice show that budget laptops are much less likely to get repaired than more expensive and reputable models. The reason for this misunderstanding is the temperature since low-cost laptops usually do not have a discrete graphics card and far from the most powerful processor. They are always cooler than universal and especially gaming models, so even a cooling system completely dust-clogged does not lead to fatal overheating of the laptop. It is recommended that you read later on how to protect your laptop from breakdowns and repairs and how to choose the most reliable laptop.
We look at the characteristics:
Can I save on the processor? Is it necessary to have a capacious hard drive and which type is preferable? How much RAM is needed? Is a discrete graphics card required for games? Let’s try to figure out what we really need, and what we can refuse.
Screen. Technology does not stand still, and most manufacturers install screens of quite satisfactory quality in their even the most inexpensive laptops, although an inexpensive or sometimes even frankly cheap matrix is still significantly inferior to some more solid models in some respects, and in some instances, it can be simply disgusting.
The cheapest laptops can have very poor viewing angles or too low a maximum screen brightness, so before buying in an online store it is advisable to find a detailed review on the Internet, or better yet – to see with your own eyes the selected model in any electronics supermarket to be sure that the image quality is at least at a satisfactory level. It is strongly recommended that the screen surface is matte, with a maximum brightness of at least 200 cd / m2 and viewing angles of at least 170/160 (if specified).
Regarding screen resolution, almost all inexpensive laptops have Full HD (1920 × 1080 pixels) or HD (1366 × 768 pixels). Laptops with Full HD screens are able to display the image in much more detail than HD, but at the same time they are a little more expensive and in standard modes display system fonts quite small.
CPU. Since the performance of the laptop mainly depends on the processor, and it will be very difficult or even impossible to upgrade it in the future, you should take maximum responsibility for its choice.
Notebook processor (AMD logo)Inexpensive AMD processors E1 and E2 series (for example, E1-7010, E2-9000, and E2-9000e) have low speed, which will be enough only for office work and the Internet. AMD processors of the A4 and A6 series (for example, A4-9120, A4-9125, A6-9220, and A6-9225) already have more or less satisfactory performance, and the A9 series (for example, A9-9420 and A9-9425) makes it quite comfortable work in most popular programs. The speed of the integrated video cards in AMD processors of the E1, E2, A4, A6, and A9 series will not be enough to run almost all modern games even at the very minimum quality settings.
And only AMD processors of the Ryzen 3 series (2200U, 2300U) and especially Ryzen 5 (2500U, 3500U) at their reasonable price have very decent computing capabilities of both the processor itself and the integrated video card (2500U and 3500U have approximately the same level as the discrete GeForce MX110), which will be enough to run almost all modern games at minimum quality settings.
(Intel logo)The performance of Intel Celeron N-series processors (for example, N3050, N3060, N3350 and N4000) is very low; Pentium N-series processors (for example, N3700, N3710, N4200 and N5000) are much faster, but still, their performance is very modest, and even having 4 cores with an operating frequency above 2 GHz does not save the situation – this is the price paid for low cost and cost. The slowness of these processors in notebooks based on SSDs is not too noticeable, but in the long run, it is still better to buy a laptop with a faster processor. The speed of the integrated video cards in the Intel N-series processors will not be enough to run almost all modern games even at the most minimal quality settings.
A good combination of speed, economy, price and the initial gaming capabilities of the integrated video cards for 8th generation Intel i3 processors (e.g. i3-8130U, i3-8145U), a satisfactory combination for 6-7 generation Intel i3 processors (e.g. i3-6006U, i3- 6100U, i3-7020U, i3-7100U), but Intel i3 processors of 4-5 generation (for example, i3-4005U, i3-5005U) although they have more or less sufficient speed for standard tasks, at the same time the gaming capabilities of their built-in video cards are much weaker.
So which processor to choose?
The energy efficiency of most Intel processors is much higher than AMD’s similar ones in speed, and only in the AMD Ryzen series is it at this level. Since energy efficiency significantly affects the size, weight, battery life, temperature, the noise emitted by a laptop and even its reliability, it is highly recommended to buy budget laptops only on Intel or AMD Ryzen processors:
If you want to play sometimes, then AMD Ryzen (all models) or Intel i3 (6100U and higher);
If the games are not of interest, then on Intel i3 (all models) or AMD Ryzen (all models);
If the money limit is very limited, then on slow Intel N3700 / N3710 / N4200 / N5000 or in the most extreme case on Intel N3050 / N3060 / N3350 / N4200.
For completeness, you can find a complete list of processors for laptops, where processors with performance:
- up to 1200 – very slow;
- 1200-2500 – slow;
- 2500-4000 – satisfactory;
- 4000-5000 are good;
- above 5000 – great for inexpensive laptops.
RAM. A normally installed and uncluttered Windows 10 with all the necessary services and a built-in antivirus program takes about 1 GB or a little more in memory. Since budget laptops do not have high computing capabilities, 4 GB will be quite enough for comfortable work with office programs, the Internet and for simple games, and processor or video card power will not be enough for normal work with heavy programs and launching modern games at high-quality settings, but not the amount of RAM. Naturally, the presence of additional RAM will not be superfluous, but it is better to buy a laptop with 4 GB of RAM and a faster processor than with 6-8 GB of RAM and a weaker processor.
For the simplest tasks performed on inexpensive laptops with weak processors (AMD E1, E2, A4, A6, or Intel N series), 2 GB of RAM may be enough.