The Best Budget Laptops?

By that, I mean the laptops that offer the best features according to their category, at multiple price points up to $900.

Why write this article?

How much time do you have to research the best computer?

Many of us don’t have much time to read, or the knowledge to understand, detailed laptop specifications nor reviews and just want to know:
What’s the best budget laptop for my needs?

I’m here to help you with this article. I believe that you deserve the computer that is the best for your needs. That way, your computer is working for you and not the other way around. This allows you to focus your full potential on realizing what you want, without being limited by your computer.

With 19 years of experience with computer hardware, researching, always up-to-date research with the newest parts, performance and prices, I know what matters in a computer.
See my About page for more information on me, Mathieu Bourgie, and this website, Hardware Revolution

Here are the features that I evaluate in order to make my recommendations:

1. Price
2. Performance: CPU, RAM, Storage, Video Card and Wireless Adapter
3. Screen: Size, Resolution, Matte or Glossy, Panel type (TN, IPS, etc.), Brightness, Contrast, Viewing Angles and Color Accuracy
4. Portability: Dimensions, Weight, Real-life battery life during average web browsing?
5. Usability: Keyboard: Layout, Key size, Travel/Pressure, Key Shape and any additional Function keys. Touch pad quality, trackpoint, backlit keyboard, numpad, Operating System, which ports are offered, Webcam resolution, sound quality, optical Drive, noise levels.
6. Reliability: How solid is the chassis? Are the temperatures under load reasonable? How solid are the screen hinges? Is the keyboard spill-resistant? Overall manufacturer long-term reliability? How easy is it to service the laptop?
7. Warranty: Warranty length? What does the warranty cover?

I then recommend laptops that I think are the best at a given price, according to those features that I evaluated on the hundreds of laptops that I’ve considered during the research that I do to write this article.

I offer to you the result of that research, by making recommendations for the best budget laptops at multiple price points up to $900.

My goal:
Help you easily choose the best laptop for your needs and budget.

Put all of this together and you get this article. Because if you’re about to buy a laptop, might as well get the one that offers the best features possible for your budget, right?

Looking for all our articles on laptops?

Visit the Best Laptops For Your Money category page, for all our articles on laptops.

Summary

Click on any of these links to jump to the section that interests you.

The best mid-range laptops:

  1. Chromebooks: Inexpensive, runs Chrome OS, simple to use, secure
  2. Ultrabooks: Lightweight, small, thin, great battery life. Ideal for traveling.
    Standard screen ultrabook: If you want a lightweight laptop. 
    – 2-in-1 convertible screen: 360 degree hinge touchscreen, use it as a tablet, tent, etc.
    – Detachable screen 2-in-1 ultrabook: Detach the screen from the base, use it as a tablet.
  3. Apple Macbook: The iconic Apple laptops.
  4. Gaming laptops: The best gaming performance at a given price.
  5. Traditional 14-15.6″ laptop: Larger screens than ultrabooks but a bit heavier too
  6. 17.3″ entertainment: Laptops with an even larger 17.3″ screen and good speakers.
  7. Business laptops: Security, solid build, easy to service, fairly powerful, portable
  8. Power Users: Ideal for photo/video/3D editing: High-performance CPU, RAM, storage.
  9. Workstations: Powerful, reliable and with workstation-class video cards

Upgrade your laptop:

  1. Upgrade the RAM
  2. Upgrade the storage
  3. External Storage Drive

Prices for B&H as of April 17th 2020. Click on Amazon links to see prices. Note that I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Chromebook: Simple, inexpensive, secure, Chrome OS

What are Chromebooks?

Chromebooks are laptops that run the Chrome Operating System (OS) instead of Windows or Mac OS.

While using a Chromebook is different from a Windows or Mac laptop, if you have an Android device or have used Chrome before, you’ll feel just at home. Even if that isn’t the case, it’s easy to learn.

They are simple to setup and secure:
1- Setup is very simple and only takes a few minutes.
2- Your computer starts in a few seconds.
3- Installing software, through the Google App store, is easy.
4- No concern with updates, or complicated software installation, the OS does it for you automatically.
5- Battery life is generally above average to exceptional, depending on the model.
6- Highly secure and with automatic updates, you’re unlikely to run into any virus or malware problems.

The Chrome OS is one of the most secure OS on the market. It includes security features such as sandboxing and categorizing websites that may be harmful. Chromebooks are outstanding at catching malware and viruses, so you’re unlikely to run into any problems of this sort.

Inexpensive and you can download many free applications:
Chromebooks are inexpensive computer compared to laptops running Windows, especially compared to Macbooks!

Need Office programs like Word, Excel, etc.? Google Docs offer Google equivalent for free, with automatic saving online, Google Drive to save and share your documents and the Google App store.

Chrome OS is a lightweight OS, so laptops running it boot quickly, feel snappy and are easy to use. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, great looking, simple to use and highly portable computer to browse the web, listen to music, read/write documents and stream videos, you should highly consider a Chromebook.

About the Acer Chromebook 14

16GB storage: – $299.00 on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
32GB storage: – $299.99 on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

The Acer Chromebook 14 is the least expensive Chromebook that I recommend.

While there are slightly less expensive alternatives, I don’t recommend them because they feature awfully low-performance CPUs or only 2GB of RAM, which isn’t enough.

Featuring an aluminium build, which is better than a cheap plastic chassis.

Despite its low price, you still get a Full HD 1920 x 1080 display, with an IPS panel for wide viewing angles, good contrast and colors.

Battery life is rated at an excellent up to 12 hours.

How much storage do you need?
If you don’t plan on installing apps or only a few, you can get by with 16GB of storage.

That said, if you plan on installing quite a few apps or simply to be on the safe side, going with at least 32GB of storage is a good idea.

If you plan on having a lot of apps, saving a lot of local files or playing around with Linux and Linux apps, or simply want to be future-proof, at least 64GB is a good start. 128GB or 256GB storage capacities are available on higher-end models.

Pros:

  1. Least expensive recommendation
  2. Intel Celeron N3160 Quad-Core 1.6-2.24GHz CPU: Not a powerhouse but significantly better than lower end dual-core models
  3. 4GB of RAM: Plenty enough for web browsing and a few apps
  4. Two USB ports
  5. Great battery life of up to 12 hours.
  6. Aluminum build
  7. HDMI output to connect your display on a external screen.
  8. WiFi 5 802.11ac 2×2 Dual-Band
  9. Bluetooth 4.2
  10. Quite portable for a laptop with a 14″ display: 13.4 x 0.7 x 9.3″ and 3.42lbs
  11. Full HD 1920 x 1080 display
  12. IPS panel, meaning that you get wide viewing angles, good contrast and colors

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered: You cannot add RAM
  2. No numpad.
  3. Limited storage capacity : 16 or 32GB
  4. Storage is soldered and there’s no available M.2 slot to add a SSD
  5. Keyboard isn’t backlit
  6. No touchscreen
  7. No MicroSD or SD card slot
  8. No USB Type-C port

More powerful, backlit keyboard

14″ Acer Chromebook 714

– Pentium Gold 4417U 32GB: $491.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping) 
– Core i3-8130U 64GB: Click here to see the price on Amazon / $614.49 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
– Core i5-8250U 64GB: Click here to see the price on Amazon / $719.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

15.6″ Acer Chromebook 715

– Pentium Gold 4417U 32GB: $475.69 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
– Core i3-8130U 64GB: Click here to see the price on Amazon / $599.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
– Core i5-8250U/16GB RAM/64GB SSD: $708.29 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the Acer Chromebook 714 (14″) and 715 (15.6″)

The Acer Chromebook 714 (14″ model) and 715 (15.6″ model) are basically higher-end, more premium versions of the Acer Chromebook 14 recommended above.

Note that besides the different screen size, the obviously different physical size, weight and the presence of a numpad on the 15.6″ model, the Chromebook 714 and 715 are otherwise identical, so you can choose your preference between a larger display or a lighter, more portable Chromebook.

You still get the aluminum build, an excellent 12 hours battery life as well as the Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display.

What you gain are more powerful CPU, more RAM, more storage, a backlit keyboard, a fingerprint reader, USB Type-C ports and a micro-SD card reader.

You lose the HDMI output, but get Displayport output from the USB Type-C, so you just need an adapter if you want HDMI output.

Choose between 3 hardware configurations, in order from slowest to fastest:
1. Intel Pentium Gold 4417U Dual Core / 4 threads 2.3GHz and 32GB of storage
2. Intel Core i3-8130U Dual-Core / 4 threads 2.2-3.4GHz and 64GB of storage
3. Intel Core i5-8250U Quad-Core / 8 threads 1.6-3.4GHz and 64GB of storage

Which one should you pick? Well, it depends on what you need and want. If you only want to browse the web and install a few apps, the entry-level option is fine. If you plan on having more apps, opt at least for the mid-level option, with its 64GB of storage. If you want the highest performance for the fastest computing experience possible with this Acer Chromebook, opt for the Core i5-8250U model.

Pros:

  1. Relatively high performance CPUs
  2. 8GB of RAM: Plenty enough for pretty much any usage on a Chromebook
  3. Three USB ports, including Two Type-C ports
  4. Great battery life of up to 12 hours.
  5. Aluminum build
  6. Backlit keyboard
  7. Charging through USB Type-C
  8. Displayport output through USB Type-C
  9. WiFi 5 802.11ac 2×2 Dual-Band
  10. Micro SD card reader
  11. Bluetooth 4.2
  12. Numpad on the 15.6″ model
  13. 14″ model: Highly portable for a laptop with a 14″ display: 12.7 x 9.4 x 0.7″ and 3.53lbs
  14. 15.6″ model: Fairly portable for a 15.6″ laptop: 14.4 x 9.8 x 0.7″ and 4.3lbs
  15. Full HD 1920 x 1080 display
  16. IPS panel, meaning that you get wide viewing angles, good contrast and colors
  17. Decent storage capacity : 32 or 64GB

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered: You cannot add RAM
  2. No numpad on the 14″ model
  3. Storage is soldered and there’s no available M.2 slot to add a SSD
  4. No touchscreen

Ultrabooks: Thin, lightweight

The Best Standard screen ultrabooks:

Cheap laptops that I recommend avoiding:

Yes, there are slightly less expensive laptops but I don’t recommend them for one of the following reasons:
Anemic CPU performance: Any laptop with an Intel Atom, AMD A9-9420e (or the like of low power old AMD SOC CPUs) or Intel Celeron dual-core CPU should be avoided.
Lack of storage: Laptops with 32GB of storage should be avoided: It’s not enough storage for Windows and you’ll have issues with updates.

Samsung Notebook Flash

White: N/A
Grey: – $349.99 at B&H
Peach: N/A

Note: Slower CPU variant to avoid:
I only recommend the model equipped with the Intel quad-core Pentium N5000. Avoid the much lower performance models equipped with the dual-core Intel Celeron N4000.

About the Samsung Notebook Flash:

An highly portable (8.64 x 12.69 x 0.67″) lightweight (3.02lbs) laptop that offers up to 10 hours of battery life, the Samsung Notebook Flash might be a good choice.

I say that this laptop might be a good choice because well let’s face it, to reach that low of a price, there are compromises of course.

It’s fine for web browsing, email, social media, Office (Word, Excel, etc.), watching video, listening to music and other light tasks, but don’t expect it to run modern games or heavy applications.

Equipped with a 13.3″ screen with a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, an integrated fingerprint reader and a better design that doesn’t look like a generic inexpensive laptop.

The CPU, an Intel Quad-Core Pentium Silver N5000 1.1-2.7 GHz CPU, is no powerhouse, but it ain’t that bad either. While no match for Intel Core CPUs, it’s better than other, dual-core, Intel Celeron CPUs.

You only get 4GB of RAM, which will limit you to running only a few apps and web pages.

You only get a 64GB eMMC storage drive, with Windows using a good part of it, so storage is limited and can fill up pretty quickly. On the plus side, it’s solid state storage, so the compute is more responsive and more resistant to shocks than with an hard drive. You can add more storage using the MicroSD card slot.

Got $100 more? Need more CPU power, more RAM, more storage or a backlit keyboard?
See the Acer Swift 3 laptop below. There are 2 performance levels, the least expensive being only $100 more than the Samsung Flash Notebook and offering far better performance!

Pros:

  1. Least expensive recommendation
  2. Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Quad-Core 1.1-2.7GHz CPU: Not a powerhouse but significantly better than dual-core models
  3. Easy secure login with Windows Hello and the fingerprint reader
  4. MicroSD card slot : Useful to expand the storage capacity.
  5. 3 USB ports, including one USB Type-C
  6. Great battery life of up to 10 hours.
  7. HDMI output to connect your display on a external screen.
  8. WiFi 5 802.11ac 2×2 Dual-Band
  9. Bluetooth 5.0
  10. Speakers are fairly good for a budget laptop
  11. Highly portable: 8.64 x 12.69 x 0.67″ and 3.02lbs
  12. Full HD 1920 x 1080 display

Cons:

  1. Only 4GB of RAM, which will limit you to running only a few apps and web pages.
  2. Windows 10 S. Microsoft Edge is the default web browser and you can only install apps from the Microsoft store. You can and probably should upgrade to the regular Windows 10.
  3. No numpad.
  4. Limited storage capacity : 64GB, you’ll have about 20-30GB of free space left. Removing pre-installed bloatware is highly recommended. Storage can be extended with a micro SD memory card.
  5. Storage is soldered and there’s no available M.2 slot to add a SSD
  6. Keyboard isn’t backlit
  7. No touchscreen
  8. Poor webcam quality: VGA (640 x 480) resolution, grainy.

Acer Swift 3

– Click here to see the price on Amazon

About the Acer Swift 3

The best bang for your buck:
This is the least expensive ultrabook without major compromises. Compared to the model above, you get significantly higher CPU performance, twice the RAM with 8GB, a Full HD 1920 x 1080 high resolution display with an IPS panel for wide viewing angles and better color accuracy, a backlit keyboard, a fingerprint reader and a great battery life, at up to 12 hours.

If you intend to multi-task, run heavier programs or simply plan on keeping your laptop for a long time, the quad-core CPU will have no problem handling those tasks and it will show its worth in more demanding tasks, such as photo editing or if you simply want outstanding performance along with more storage.

Pros:

  1. Great CPU: Core i5-8265U Quad-Core 1.6-3.9GHz
  2. 13.3″ screen with Full HD 1080p 1920 x 1080 resolution
  3. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light
  4. IPS panel: Great contrast, vibrant colors and large viewing angles.
  5. 8GB of DDR4 RAM allows you to run a good amount of programs at once and do several tasks.
  6. 256GB SSD for a more responsive system and a faster booting speed.
  7. Excellent battery life: Up to 12 hours
  8. MicroSD card reader: Useful to copy photos from a camera, expand the storage capacity, etc.
  9. 1 x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0 and 1x USB 3.1 type-C port (with Displayport support)
  10. 720p HD (1280 x 720) webcam
  11. HDMI output
  12. Sleek build
  13. Fingerprint scanner for extra authentication security, easy login with Windows Hello
  14. Backlit keyboard
  15. Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac); Dual-Band (2.4 & 5 GHz) with MU-MIMO support
  16. Bluetooth 5.0
  17. Highly portable: 2.98lbs

Cons:

  1. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  2. No numpad, as is usually the case in 13.3″ laptops
  3. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded

HP Pavilion 13-an1010nr

– $729.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Featuring Intel’s new CPU architecture, Ice Lake, with Sunny Cove cores and improved graphics performance.

You get a modern CPU, 8GB of RAM, a large capacity 512GB SSD, USB Type-C, a full-size SD card reader and HDMI output, in a laptop that’s 0.61″ thick and only weight 2.88lbs.

What’s not to like?
The RAM is soldered, so you cannot add more.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with the newest Intel Core i5-1035G1 Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.0-3.6GHz CPU.
  2. 13.3″ touchscreen with Full HD 1080p 1920 x 1080 resolution
  3. IPS panel: Great contrast, vibrant colors and large viewing angles.
  4. 8GB of DDR4 RAM allows you to run a good amount of programs at once and do several tasks.
  5. 512GB SSD for a more responsive system and a faster booting speed.
  6. Good battery life: Up to 10 hours
  7. Full size SD card reader: Useful to copy photos from a camera, expand the storage capacity, etc.
  8. 2 x USB 3.0 and 1x USB 3.1 type-C ports
  9. HDMI output
  10. Backlit keyboard
  11. Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac); Dual-Band (2.4 & 5 GHz) MU-MIMO 2×2\
  12. Bluetooth 5.0
  13. Highly portable: 2.88lbs and 12.24 x 8.3 x 0.61″

Cons:

  1. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  2. No numpad, as is usually the case in 13.3″ laptops
  3. USB Type-C port doesn’t support Displayport nor Thunderbolt 3
  4. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded
  5. HDMI output is 1.4 variant, limiting refresh rate to 30Hz with a 4K display.

HP 13.3″ ENVY 13-aq1075nr

– $849.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Compared to the model above, you get the same performance, with the same CPU and same RAM capacity and frequency.

What you gain is a fingerprint reader and a larger capacity battery.

You also get a brighter display with a wider color gamut.

Also worth noting, the USB Type-C port does support DisplayPort and Power Delivery on this model.

Finally, you get an higher quality build quality.

What’s not to like?
The RAM is soldered, so you cannot add more.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with the newest Intel Core i5-1035G1 Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.0-3.6GHz CPU.
  2. 13.3″ touchscreen with Full HD 1080p 1920 x 1080 resolution
  3. IPS panel: Great contrast, vibrant colors and large viewing angles.
  4. Fingerprint reader
  5. 8GB of DDR4 RAM allows you to run a good amount of programs at once and do several tasks.
  6. 256GB SSD for a more responsive system and a faster booting speed.
  7. microSD card reader: Useful to copy photos from a camera, expand the storage capacity, etc.
  8. 2 x USB 3.0 and 1x USB 3.1 type-C ports
  9. USB Type-C supports DisplayPort and Power Delivery
  10. Backlit keyboard
  11. Four speakers
  12. Dual-array digital mics
  13. Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac); Dual-Band (2.4 & 5 GHz) MU-MIMO 2×2
  14. Bluetooth 5.0
  15. Highly portable: 2.88lbs and 12.24 x 8.3 x 0.61″

Cons:

  1. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  2. No numpad, as is usually the case in 13.3″ laptops
  3. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded
  4. No HDMI

The Best 2-in-1 convertible screen ultrabooks

– $399.00 on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the Acer 14″ Spin 3 Multi-Touch 2-in-1

An inexpensive 2-in-1 convertible laptop, the Acer Spin 3 might be a good choice.

I say that this laptop might be a good choice because well let’s face it, to reach that low of a price, there are compromises of course.

It’s fine for web browsing, email, social media, Office (Word, Excel, etc.), listening to music and other light tasks, but don’t expect it to run modern games or heavy applications.

Equipped with a 14″ touchscreen with an HD resolution of 1366 x 768, it’s not a Full HD display, but it’s fine for most students, reading the news, listening to music, etc.

The CPU, an Intel Core i3-8130U, is a 2.2-3.4GHz dual-core CPU. While it is no powerhouse and no match for more modern quad-core CPUs, it’s still more than capable of handling basic tasks such as the ones listed above.

You only get 4GB of RAM, which will limit you to running only a few apps and web pages.

You only get 128GB of storage, with Windows using a good part of it, so storage is limited and can fill up pretty quickly. On the plus side, it’s solid state storage, so the compute is more responsive and more resistant to shocks than with an hard drive.

Overall, this is a fine entry-level 2-in-1 convertible that can suit basic computing needs. If you need more power, prefer a Full HD display or want a lighter laptop, see my other recommendations below.

Pros:

  1. Inexpensive 2-in-1 convertible laptop
  2. 128GB SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system.
  3. 2-in-1 convertible screen to switch to laptop, display, tent or tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  4. Touchscreen with IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  5. Full size SD card reader
  6. Backlit keyboard
  7. Webcam
  8. 3 USB ports: 2x USB 3.0 Type-A and 1x USB 2.0 Type-A
  9. HDMI output
  10. 802.11ac WiFi MU-MIMO
  11. Battery life of up to 16 hours!

Cons:

  1. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  2. No RJ-45 LAN Ethernet port
  3. No Bluetooth
  4. No numpad
  5. 4GB of RAM limits you to a few tasks at a time
  6. Dual-Core CPU when most laptops are now equipped with quad-core CPUs
  7. Limited display resolution of 136 x 768
  8. On the heavier side for a 2-in-1 convertible laptop: 3.75lbs
  9. No USB Type-C

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex Pro

i5-8250U/8GB RAM/256GB SSD: $599.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
i7-8550U/12GB RAM/256GB SSD: – N/A
i7-8550U/16GB RAM/512GB SSD: – N/A

About the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex Pro:

Compared to the laptop above, you get a much higher performance CPU, in a thinner and lighter device, with a Full HD display

Pros:

  1. Intel Core i5-8250U or i7-8550U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.6-3.4 or 1.8-3.7GHz CPU.
  2. M.2 PCIe 256/512GB SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system.
  3. 2-in-1 convertible screen to switch to laptop, display, tent or tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  4. 8, 12 or 16GB of DDR4 RAM.
  5. Good battery life: up to 9hrs.
  6. Thin and light : 12.72 x 8.8 x 0.55″ and 3.09lbs
  7. Touchscreen with IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  8. Full size SD card reader
  9. Backlit keyboard
  10. HD Webcam.
  11. 3 USB ports: 2xUSB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB 3.0 Type-A
  12. Displayport output through USB Type-C
  13. 802.11ac WiFi
  14. Bluetooth 4.1
  15. Dedicated volume and power buttons
  16. Good build quality

Cons:

  1. No HDMI output: Displayport through USB Type-C
  2. No RJ-45 LAN Ethernet port

ASUS 14″ ZenBook Flip 14 UX461

– $899.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the ASUS 14″ ZenBook Flip 14 UX461:

Compared to the laptop above, you get an higher performance CPU and a longer battery runtime.

Pros:

  1. Intel Core i5-8265U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.6-3.9GHz CPU.
  2. M.2 PCIe 256/512GB SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system.
  3. 2-in-1 convertible screen to switch to laptop, display, tent or tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  4. 8GB of DDR4 RAM.
  5. Great battery life: up to 12hrs.
  6. Thin and light : 12.8 x 0.6 x 8.9″ and 3.1lbs
  7. Touchscreen with IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  8. microSD card reader
  9. Backlit keyboard
  10. HD Webcam.
  11. 3 USB ports: 2xUSB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB 3.0 Type-A
  12. HDMI output
  13. 802.11ac WiFi
  14. Included USB 3.0 to RJ45 Cable
  15. Bluetooth 5.0
  16. Dedicated volume and power buttons
  17. Good build quality
  18. Good keyboard

Cons:

  1. It’s hard to find one considering what you get at this price point?

2-in-1 Detachable screen ultrabook

Microsoft Surface Go

– Click here to check the price on Amazon
Type Cover (Sold Separately):
– Click here to see the price on Amazon

Note that the Type cover (keyboard) and pen are sold separately.

About the Microsoft Surface Go:

Most detachable 2-in-1 computers have low performance Atom or Celeron CPUs, which are barely adequate for web browsing, let alone anything more demanding. The Microsoft Surface Go comes with higher performance Intel Pentium Gold CPU, which is based on the same architecture as Core CPUs, so it’s capable of handling everyday tasks, web browsing, Microsoft Office, video, social media, some light photo editing, etc.

If you plan on running more demanding programs or doing multitasking, go with the higher end Microsoft Surface Pro model recommended below.

Being only 0.3″ thick and 1.15lbs (tablet only), it is incredibly light and highly portable!

It comes with a gorgeous, high resolution 1800 x 1200 display, with a 3:2 aspect ratio.

If you’re looking for a low-cost alternative to the Microsoft Surface Pro, the Surface Go it is an excellent choice for the price.

For its great price and even better features, this is the best budget detachable 2-in-1 laptop on the market.

You may have noticed that there’s a lower-end model with 4GB of RAM. I don’t recommend it. 4GB is barely enough in 2019 and considering that you cannot add RAM in the Microsoft Surface, you’re better with 8GB, so that you can keep using your computer for many years.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y Dual-Core 1.6GHz
  2. 128GB SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system.
  3. 2-in-1 detachable screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  4. Fanless
  5. 8GB of RAM.
  6. Good Battery Life: up to 9hrs of video playback
  7. Charges fairly quickly
  8. Excellent kickstand
  9. Highly portable, incredibly lightweight : 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.3″ and 1.15lbs.
  10. High resolution 10″ 10-point touchscreen display: 1800 x 1200
  11. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  12. MicroSD card reader to add an extra MicroSD card to add more storage for your music, videos and images.
  13. 8MP rear facing and 5MP front facing cameras!
  14. 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO WiFi
  15. Bluetooth
  16. Two speakers.
  17. Dedicated volume buttons

Cons:

  1. Keyboard isn’t included
  2. Pen isn’t included
  3. RAM and storage cannot be upgraded
  4. Only 1x USB 3.1 Type-C port: You might need or want dongles
  5. CPU performance is fine for basic everyday tasks, but limited for anything more demanding
  6. Windows 10 S Mode: Can easily be upgraded to Windows 10 Home

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

– $899.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the Microsoft Surface Pro 7:

Compared to the Surface Go, the Surface Pro offers a much more powerful CPU, larger higher-resolution display and a longer battery life:
– The Intel Core i5-1035G4, with twice the cores (4) and threads(8) and the inclusion of Turbo, allowing the CPU to boost from its base frequency of 1.1GHz all the way to 3.7GHz.

You get a larger 12.3″ 10-point touchscreen display with a 2736 x 1824 resolution.

You get up to 10.5 hours of battery life.

Note that the type cover (keyboard) is sold separately.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i5-1035G4 Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.1-3.7GHz
  2. 128GB SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system.
  3. 2-in-1 detachable screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  4. 8GB of RAM.
  5. Great Battery Life: up to 10.5hrs.
  6. Highly portable, lightweight : 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33″ and 1.7lbs.
  7. High resolution 12.3″ 10-point touchscreen display: 2736 x 1824
  8. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  9. MicroSD card reader to add an extra MicroSD card to add more storage for your music, videos and images.
  10. 8MP rear facing and 5MP front facing cameras.
  11. 1x USB 3.0 Type-A port and 1x USB Type-C
  12. 8MP rear facing and 5MP front facing cameras!
  13. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  14. Bluetooth 5.0
  15. Two speakers.
  16. Dedicated volume buttons

Cons:

  1. RAM and storage cannot be upgraded
  2. Type cover (keyboard) is sold separately

Apple Macbook

Apple MacBook Air 11 (MJVM2LL/A)

Renewed: – Click here to see the price on Amazon

About the MacBook Air 11:

This is the smaller variant, the 11-inch Macbook Air. I also recommend a recent Macbook Air 13-inch model below.

This is a renewed item, meaning that it has been restored to work and look like a new product, with minimal to no signs of wear, by a specialized third-party seller approved by Amazon. This is my recommendation if you want an Apple Macbook at the lowest cost possible. There are less expensive options, but with only 4GB of RAM, which is not enough nowadays.

This laptop is highly portable, solid, reliable, has a good excellent battery life, great backlit keyboard and an excellent trackpad.

Pros:

  1. Least expensive Macbook laptop.
  2. Thin and lightweight: Only 2.38lbs and 0.11-0.68″ thick. Perfect if you’re traveling and often on the move.
  3. It’s an Apple computer: Mac OS X, Time Machine backup (automatically backs up system data to an external hard drive), many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
  4. Excellent keyboard, great for typing
  5. Backlit keyboard
  6. High-end performance storage makes your computer feel more responsive.
  7. Very quiet: The fan is hardly audible, unless you push the CPU to 100% for a long time.
  8. Long battery life: 12 hours of web browsing (when new, used will be undoubtedly lower)
  9. Solid chassis: All-aluminum unibody
  10. Solid screen hinge
  11. Excellent trackpad, with great multi-touch support
  12. MagSafe power connector which automatically detaches from your laptop if you pull on it, preventing your Macbook from accidentally falling if you trip on the power cord.
  13. Bluetooth

Cons:

  1. Limited amount of ports: 2x USB 3.0, one ThunderBolt 2 (Mini DisplayPort via Thunderbolt port) and a combo audio jack.
  2. Low screen resolution: Only 1440 x 900 resolution. Poor compared to the Macbook 12″ or Macbook Pro with their high-resolution Retina displays.
  3. Average CPU performance: Fine for web browsing, music, Office work and lightweight programs. Not ideal for heavy photo/video editing, heavy multitasking or demanding programs where high sustained CPU performance is required. You’ll want a more powerful CPU and possibly more RAM for better performance, so consider a Macbook Pro instead.
  4. Limited GPU (graphic card) performance. Forget playing modern video games or 3D rendering: you want a dedicated video card for that. Once again, a Macbook Pro would be a better option.
  5. No LAN port
  6. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  7. No Numpad
  8. Limited amount of storage
  9. Limited amount of RAM: 8GB is fine for web browsing, music, Office work and lightweight programs. Not ideal for heavy photo/video editing, heavy multitasking or demanding programs.
  10. The Macbook Air RAM cannot be upgraded: It’s soldered. The SSD storage can be upgraded if you have the right tool, don’t mind following a guide to disassemble your Macbook Air and a guide to copy your data.
  11. Renewed: According to Amazon: “Product works and looks like new. Comes with a 90-day warranty. Renewed products are pre-owned products not Apple certified but have been inspected and tested by Amazon-qualified suppliers. Box and accessories may be generic. All products on Amazon Renewed come with a minimum 90-day supplier-backed warranty.”

Apple MacBook Air 13 Retina

Renewed: – Click here to check the price on Amazon
Brand new: $899.99 at B&H

About the MacBook Air 13:

This is the bigger variant, the 13-inch Macbook Air. I also recommend the 11-inch model above.

This is a newer “Retina” model, with TouchID, 8GB of RAM and high-performance SSD storage.

Amazon renewed: This means that it has been restored to work and look like a new product, with minimal to no signs of wear, by a specialized third-party seller approved by Amazon. This is my recommendation if you want an Apple Macbook at the lowest cost possible.

If you don’t want to mesh with a refurbished Macbook, you can buy it brand new from B&H, which are a authorized Apple reseller, for not that much more money.

This laptop is highly portable, solid, reliable, has a good excellent battery life, great backlit keyboard and an excellent trackpad.

Pros:

  1. Inexpensive, especially for a Macbook!
  2. Thin and lightweight: Only 2.75lbs and 0.6″ thick. Perfect if you’re traveling and often on the move.
  3. It’s an Apple computer: Mac OS X, Time Machine backup (automatically backs up system data to an external hard drive), many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
  4. Excellent keyboard, great for typing
  5. Backlit keyboard
  6. High-end performance storage makes your computer feel more responsive.
  7. Very quiet: The fan is hardly audible, unless you push the CPU to 100% for a long time.
  8. Long battery life: 11 hours of web browsing (when new, used will be undoubtedly lower)
  9. Solid chassis: All-aluminum unibody
  10. Solid screen hinge
  11. Excellent trackpad, with great multi-touch support
  12. Bluetooth
  13. 2560 x 1600 High-resolution Retina display with excellent viewing angles and color accuracy

Cons:

  1. Limited amount of ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 (Supports DisplayPort) and a combo audio jack.
  2. Average CPU performance: Fine for web browsing, music, Office work and lightweight programs. Not ideal for heavy photo/video editing, heavy multitasking or demanding programs where high sustained CPU performance is required. You’ll want a more powerful CPU and possibly more RAM for better performance, so consider a Macbook Pro instead.
  3. Limited GPU (graphic card) performance. Forget playing modern video games or 3D rendering: you want a dedicated video card for that. Once again, a Macbook Pro would be a better option.
  4. No LAN port
  5. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  6. No Numpad
  7. Limited amount of storage
  8. Limited amount of RAM: 8GB is fine for web browsing, music, Office work and lightweight programs. Not ideal for heavy photo/video editing, heavy multitasking or demanding programs.
  9. The Macbook Air RAM cannot be upgraded: It’s soldered. The SSD storage can be upgraded if you have the right tool, don’t mind following a guide to disassemble your Macbook Air and a guide to copy your data.
  10. Renewed version: According to Amazon: “Product works and looks like new. Comes with a 90-day warranty. Renewed products are pre-owned products not Apple certified but have been inspected and tested by Amazon-qualified suppliers. Box and accessories may be generic. All products on Amazon Renewed come with a minimum 90-day supplier-backed warranty.”

Gaming / Creative Pro laptops

If you are looking for a budget laptop for gaming or as a creative pro, we have an article dedicated to that, click here to see our article on the Best Budget Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros.

Traditional 14-15.6″ laptop

Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-43-R19L:

– Click here to get the price on Amazon

About the Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-43-R19L:

The Acer Aspire 5 Slim offers amazing value for the money.

It is equipped with a fine AMD Ryzen 3 3200U dual-core CPU, a screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and an IPS panel for good viewing angles, contrast and colors, it offers a up to 7.5 hours battery life, high-performance SSD storage (no more slow hard drive!) and a backlit keyboard, all at a great price.

Best of all? It’s thin and light for a 15.6″ laptop, being .7″ thick and weighting under 4lbs!

If you want an inexpensive notebook to check the web, Facebook, Youtube, emails and the like, this is a fine choice. Want more power, a longer battery life or a more solid build? See my recommendation below.

Do you want a more powerful CPU, 8GB of RAM, twice the storage capacity, an USB Type-C port and a longer battery life? See the Intel quad-core variant recommended below.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.6-3.5GHz CPU.
  2. One empty RAM slot allows for an easy and inexpensive upgrade to 8GB (add a 4GB stick)
  3. Screen with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  4. 128GB SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system.
  5. Screen with wide viewing angles, good contrast and colors, thanks to the IPS panel
  6. Good battery life: up to 7.5 hours per charge, varies depending on your usage.
  7. Backlit keyboard : it’s easier to see your keys when typing where there is less light.
  8. Three USB Ports
  9. HDMI Output to plug in your display to an external screen.
  10. 802.11ac WiFi 5
  11. Rj-45 Ethernet port
  12. HD webcam
  13. Numpad
  14. Bluetooth
  15. Thin and light for a 15.6″ laptop: .7″ thick and 3.97lbs

Cons:

  1. 4GB of RAM is enough for web browsing, Office and basic workloads, but you’ll need more for multitasking and heavier programs.
  2. Storage capacity is limited at 128GB
  3. No USB Type-C
  4. Only a dual-core CPU. Fine for web browsing, Office and basic workloads, but you’ll want a quad-core for multitasking and heavier programs.
  5. Average build quality. It’s all plastic and it could be better.
  6. Windows 10 in S mode; Can be upgraded for free to the regular Windows
  7. Keyboard layout could be better: the up and down arrow keys are half-size and the power button is part of the keyboard.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-54-59W2:

– Click here to get the price on Amazon

About the Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-54-59W2:

Similar to the model above, this is an updated model with a newer Intel 10th generation quad-core CPU and twice the RAM (8GB), so you get much higher performance, along with  a longer battery life, now rated at 9.5 hours and an USB Type-C port, all of this at a very reasonable price!

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i5-10210U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.6-4.2GHz CPU.
  2. 8GB of RAM
  3. 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system.
  4. Screen with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  5. Screen with wide viewing angles, good contrast and colors, thanks to the IPS panel
  6. Great battery life: up to 9.5 hours per charge, varies depending on your usage.
  7. Backlit keyboard : it’s easier to see your keys when typing where there is less light.
  8. Four USB Ports, including one Type-C
  9. HDMI Output to plug in your display to an external screen.
  10. Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802 11ax Dual-Band 2 4GHz and 5GHz featuring 2×2 MU-MIMO
  11. HD webcam
  12. Numpad
  13. Bluetooth 5.0
  14. Windows 10 Home
  15. Thin and light for a 15.6″ laptop: .7″ thick and 3.97lbs

Cons:

  1. Storage capacity is limited at 128GB
  2. Average build quality. It’s all plastic and it could be better.
  3. Keyboard layout could be better: the up and down arrow keys are half-size and the power button is part of the keyboard.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15:

– $879.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15:

If you’re looking for better performance all around, better build quality and a screen that can be flipped, the Lenovo  IdeaPad Flex 15is an excellent step up and a great choice overall.

It’s equipped with a more powerful Core i7-10510U processor, which offers 4 cores running at 1.8-4.9GHz and it has twice the storage capacity with 512GB.

You also get a dedicated graphic card: The GeForce MX230, with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 graphic memory. It’s no powerhouse, but still a good step-up above Intel’s integrated graphics.

Finally, you get a much more solid build, with a metal construction.

Pros:

  1. Intel Core i7-10510U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.8-4.9GHz CPU.
  2. 8GB of DDR4 RAM that can be upgraded up to 20GB (4GB soldered on board +16GB stick)
  3. Nvidia GeForce MX230 2GB dedicated graphic card
  4. Screen with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution.
  5. Screen with an IPS panel: Good contrast, more accurate color reproduction and good viewing angles.
  6. Windows 10 Home
  7. 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD for faster boot and a responsive PC
  8. Good battery life of up to 10 hours
  9. HDMI output to connect external screens or HDTV.
  10. 3 USB port: 2x Type-A  and 1 x USB Type C
  11. SD card reader: Can be useful for extra storage or to upload media from devices such as cameras.
  12. 802.11 ac WiFi MU-MIMO 2×2 Dual-Band
  13. Bluetooth 4.2
  14. Numpad
  15. Backlit keyboard
  16. Fingerprint reader
  17. Solid build quality

Cons:

  1. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.

17.3″ entertainment and desktop replacement laptopAbout 17.3″ laptops:

I am amazed at how many 17.3″ laptops are equipped with one of the following three annoying downsides:
– A 1366 x 768 or 1600 x 900 resolution display: I mean, come on, we can easily find 300-400$ laptops with 1080p displays nowadays, why is it so difficult to find one on a 17.3″ laptop?
– Hard Drive only: A modern laptop should be highly responsive, thanks to a SSD.
– Anemic CPU performance: Many options with ancient AMD CPUs or dual-core Intel CPUs.

So many 17.3″ options are disqualified from the get-go due to the presence of one of these deal breakers.

About the ASUS VivoBook 17 S712FA:

– $799.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

A great 17.3″ laptop, with one Intel’s new CPUs, the Core i7-10510U, which can boost up to 4.9GHz!

To complete the package, you get a full HD IPS 17.3″ display, enough RAM and modern high-performance storage, all at a reasonable price.

You get a 256GB SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system, as well as a 1TB hard drive.

It’s also lightweight for a 17.3″ laptop, weighting in at only 5.07lbs!

Pros:

  1.  Great CPU: Core i7-10510U Quad-core + Hyper-Threading 1.8-4.9GHz
  2. 256GB SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system.
  3. 1TB hard drive
  4. 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution
  5. IPS panel means wide viewing angles
  6. Windows 10 Home
  7. 1x USB Type-C, 2 xUSB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 Type A
  8. HDMI output to connect your display to an external display.
  9. MicroSD card reader
  10. WiFi 5 802.11ac
  11. Bluetooth 4.2
  12. 8GB of DDR4 RAM
  13. Webcam
  14. Numpad
  15. Backlit keyboard
  16. Lightweight for a 17.3″ laptop: 5.07lbs

Cons:

  1. Only one RAM slot
  2. Poor integrated video card performance: Fine for web, movies, office and the like. Forget about gaming.
  3. No integrated DVD drive, but you can always plug in an external USB drive
  4. No Ethernet RJ-45

About the HP ProBook 470 G7:

– $861.95 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

If you insist on having an integrated DVD drive, Ethernet Rj-45 and or a full-size SD card reader, the HP Probook 470 is a good alternative to the laptop recommended above.

Like the model above, you get a latest generation Intel quad-core CPU, 8GB of RAM, a full HD IPS 17.3″ display, enough RAM and modern high-performance storage, all at a reasonable price.

You still get a 256GB SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system, but no hard drive, but there’s a 2.5″ 7mm drive bay available for you to add a hard drive or SSD if you wish to.

You also get a dedicated graphic card, the AMD Radeon 530 with 2 GB GDDR5, but this is an entry-level graphic card, not a powerhouse. You can still play older games at a low resolution with low graphic settings.

It’s still lightweight for a 17.3″ laptop, weighting in at 5.2lbs.

Pros:

  1.  Great CPU: Core i7-10510U Quad-core + Hyper-Threading 1.8-4.9GHz
  2. 256GB SSD for fast boot and a more responsive system.
  3. 1TB hard drive
  4. 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution
  5. IPS panel means wide viewing angles
  6. Screen with Matte finish
  7. Windows 10 Home
  8. 2 xUSB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 Type A
  9. HDMI output to connect your display to an external display.
  10. SD card reader
  11. WiFi 5 802.11ac
  12. Bluetooth 5.0
  13. 8GB of DDR4 RAM
  14. Two RAM slots, one occupied with a 8GB stick and the other one is free
  15. HD Webcam
  16. Numpad
  17. Backlit keyboard
  18. Lightweight for a 17.3″ laptop: 5.2lbs
  19. Dedicated entry-level graphic card: AMD Radeon 530 with 2 GB GDDR5
  20. Integrated DVD drive
  21. Ethernet RJ-45 port
  22. Dedicated mouse buttons
  23. Battery life up to 13.5 hours

Cons:

  1. On the thicker side: 0.96″ thick. To be expected considering the integrated DVD drive
  2. No USB Type-C is 2020 is disappointing

Business laptops

HP 14″ EliteBook 445R G6:
– AMD Ryzen 5 3500U / 8GB RAM: – $678.95 at B&H
– AMD Ryzen 5 3500U / 16GB RAM: – $748.95 at B&H
HP 3-Year Next Business Day Onsite Hardware Support: – $107.50 at B&H

About the HP 14″ EliteBook 445 G6:

Featuring an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U quad-core + Hyper-Threading CPU, equipped with the AMD Radeon Vega graphics, combined with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB PCie NVMe SSD drive, this laptop is plenty fast for everyday Office tasks, while being reliable.

Do you have a preference for an Intel-powered laptop, or simply want an higher performance laptop? See the Intel powered HP Elitebook recommended below.

Security wise, you get storage User Password Protection, Power-On Password, Infineon TPM Software Professional Package and a Fingerprint Reader.

The SSD (Solid State Drive) has no moving part unlike an hard drive, meaning that it offers higher performance than a traditional hard drive as well as being more reliable and shock-resistant.

Weighting in at 3.5lbs, it’s also fairly lightweight, without sacrificing build quality.

You also get an high-quality display. It’s a Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) display with a IPS panel, meaning wide viewing angles and good contrast.

Battery life is rated at up to 12 hours, but realistically expect up to 8 hours of web browsing.

Finally, you can buy HP 3-Year Next Business Day Onsite Hardware Support from B&H (see link above) for peace of mind that you’ll have quick support for your business laptop.

All of this makes the HP Elitebook 445R an excellent business laptop.

Pros:

  1. Good quality build, mix of aluminum and plastic
  2. TPM encryption, power-on password, storage password
  3. Fingerprint smart card reader for better authentication security.
  4. Equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.1-3.7GHz CPU.
  5. Windows 10 Pro
  6. 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 RAM that can be upgraded up to 32GB (2x16GB).
  7. Screen with IPS panel: Good contrast and large viewing angles.
  8. Display resolution is 1920 x 1080
  9. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light
  10. 4x USB ports: One Type-C, with Displayport and power delivery, and three Type-A
  11. HDMI output
  12. RJ-45 LAN Ethernet port
  13. HD webcam
  14. SD card reader
  15. Bluetooth and 802.11ac WiFi
  16. Good keyboard and touchpad
  17. Backlit keyboard
  18. Silent under light load, still quiet under heavier loads
  19. Touchpad and surrounding areas stay cool under heavy load.
  20. Good speakers, located above the keyboard, firing upward

Cons:

  1. No numpad
  2. No optical drive
  3. No dedicated mouse buttons
  4. No maintenance hatch, you must remove the bottom cover to access the hardware.
  5. Bottom of laptop can get hot under heavy loads, if you rest your laptop on your lap.

HP 14″ EliteBook 440 G7:
– Intel Core i5-10210U 1.6-4.2GHz – $842.50 at B&H
– Intel Core i7-10510U 1.8-4.9GHz: – $969.95 at B&H
HP 3-Year Next Business Day Onsite Hardware Support: – $107.50 at B&H

About the HP 14″ EliteBook 440 G7:

Featuring an Intel Core i5-10210U quad-core + Hyper-Threading 1.6-4.2GHz or Core i7-10510U 1.8-4.9GHz CPU, equipped with Intel integrated graphics, combined with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB PCie NVMe SSD drive, this laptop is plenty fast for everyday Office tasks, while being reliable.

Security wise, you get storage User Password Protection, Power-On Password, Infineon TPM Software Professional Package and a Fingerprint Reader.

The SSD (Solid State Drive) has no moving part unlike an hard drive, meaning that it offers higher performance than a traditional hard drive as well as being more reliable and shock-resistant.

Weighting in at 3.5lbs, it’s also fairly lightweight, without sacrificing build quality.

You also get an high-quality display. It’s a Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) display with a IPS panel, meaning wide viewing angles and good contrast.

Battery life is rated at up to 14.75 hours (at idle), but realistically expect up to 10-12 hours of web browsing.

Finally, you can buy HP 3-Year Next Business Day Onsite Hardware Support from B&H (see link above) for peace of mind that you’ll have quick support for your business laptop.

All of this makes the HP Elitebook 440 an excellent business laptop.

Pros:

  1. Good quality build, mix of aluminum and plastic
  2. TPM encryption, power-on password, storage password
  3. Fingerprint smart card reader for better authentication security.
  4. Equipped with either an Intel Core i5-10210U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.6-4.2GHz or Core i7-10510U QC + HT 1.8-4.9GHz CPU
  5. Windows 10 Pro
  6. 8GB of DDR4 RAM that can be upgraded up to 32GB (2x16GB).
  7. Screen with IPS panel: Good contrast and large viewing angles.
  8. Display resolution is 1920 x 1080
  9. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light
  10. 4x USB ports: One Type-C, with Displayport and power delivery, and three Type-A
  11. HDMI output
  12. RJ-45 LAN Ethernet port
  13. HD webcam
  14. SD card reader
  15. Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac WiFi
  16. Good keyboard and touchpad
  17. Backlit keyboard
  18. Silent under light load, still quiet under heavier loads
  19. Touchpad and surrounding areas stay cool under heavy load.
  20. Good speakers, located above the keyboard, firing upward

Cons:

  1. No numpad
  2. No optical drive
  3. No dedicated mouse buttons
  4. No maintenance hatch, you must remove the bottom cover to access the hardware.
  5. Bottom of laptop can get hot under heavy loads, if you rest your laptop on your lap.

Best Laptop for Power Users

If you are looking for a low-cost powerful laptop, see our recommendations for Creative Pros in the Best Budget Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros article.

Workstations

Dell Precision 5510:

– 16GB RAM/256GB SSD: – Click here to see the price on Amazon
– 16GB RAM/512GB SSD: – Click here to see the price on Amazon
– 16GB RAM/1TB SSD: – N/A
– 32GB RAM/256GB SSD: – Click here to see the price on Amazon
– 32GB RAM/512GB SSD: – Click here to see the price on Amazon
– 32GB RAM/1TB SSD: – Click here to see the price on Amazon

About the Dell Precision 5510:

If you are looking for a great budget mobile workstation at a relatively low price, this Dell Precision 5510 is the way to go.

It is equipped with an Intel Core i7 Quad-core + Hyper-threading 2.7-3.6GHz CPU combined with a Nvidia Quadro M1000M 4GB workstation class graphic card which comes with workstation class drivers.

You get 16 or 32GB of RAM, a 256/512GB or 1TB PCie NVMe high-performance storage.

Display wise, you get a 15.6″ IPS 4K ( 3840 x 2160) touchscreen, with wide angle, good contrast and good color accuracy. For external displays, you have two outputs: HDMI 2.0 and Displayport 1.3 through the USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 port.

Unlike most older workstations, this one offers a good battery life, you can expect about 9 hours of web browsing.

While obviously it isn’t as powerful as more expensive options, this is a great entry-level workstation laptop without major compromises.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with a Intel Core i7-6820HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.7-3.6GHz Quad Core CPU
  2. Dedicated NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 4GB workstation class graphic card.
  3. Windows 10 Pro
  4. 256/512GB or 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD for improved responsiveness and booting speed.
  5. 16GB or 32GB DDR4 RAM
  6.  3840 x 2160 resolution
  7. IPS panel, more accurate colors, better contrast, wider viewing angles
  8. Touchscreen
  9. HDMI 2.0 and Displayport 1.3 (through the USB Type-C/Thunderbolt)
  10. 2x USB 3.0 ports and 1x USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports
  11. SD card reader
  12. Great build quality: Lid and bottom are made of dark-silver aluminum. Carbon-fiber deck with a comfortable, soft-touch finish
  13. Great keyboard layout
  14. Backlit keyboard
  15. Excellent speakers for a laptop
  16. 802.11ac WiFi
  17. Bluetooth
  18. Fingerprint reader
  19. 720p Webcam

Cons:

  1. No RJ-45 Ethernet port
  2. No numpad
  3. Awkward webcam placement
  4. Renewed

Upgrade your Laptop:

Upgrade your RAM:

RAM can be upgraded on many laptops. Do note that some laptops cannot be upgraded at all, due to their unique design. A quick google search should provide that info. Feel free to ask me in the comment section if you aren’t sure and need help figuring it all out.

External storage drive

Do you want to buy a external storage drive for extra storage or backup? Check out our recommendations for the Best External Hard Drives, SSDs and Flash Drives.

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article.

With this being such a long article with many recommendations and alternatives, you may find some typos.

Alternatively, you may believe that there’s a better option than my recommendation.

Or you may have some questions.

In any case, please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you, to help find the best laptop for your needs and to answer your questions.