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Best Laptops For Every Budget: Which One Should You Buy?

Laptops. There simply are so many of them. But which laptop is the best for you? Is it a Chromebook, a business laptop, or a powerful gaming laptop? We recognize that the sheer number of options can be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled this list. 

Before you click the “Buy” button, you’ll be well-versed in the ins and outs of your prospective system, thanks to this handy guide. Here are some essential tips for finding the right design for you, including guidance on selecting screen size, deciding between an SSD and HDD, and learning where to find the best prices on laptops. 

Over a year, we have evaluated over 150 laptops spanning all price ranges and usage scenarios. Whether you’re looking for a productivity workhorse, a badass gaming system, or a multimedia machine to watch a few movies, we can help you find your perfect match. 

For a system to make our list of the Best Laptops of 2022, it must receive at least four out of five stars in our reviews and deliver on the features that consumers value most. Our evaluations emphasize design and comfort, display quality, the keyboard and touchpad, performance, battery life, and, most importantly, value. 

How to pick the best laptop for you 

So, what makes a laptop purchase-worthy? First, it must provide an excellent return on investment. This necessitates that laptops priced below $400 must still provide adequate performance and construction. 

Meanwhile, ultra-expensive devices must justify their prices with class-leading performance, premium build quality, and extended battery life. 

Consider a laptop with a modern processor, at least 8GB of RAM, a large screen, and a comfortable keyboard if you need a device for work. 

You’ll need the best gaming laptop with a dedicated graphics card and a quick and responsive screen for gaming. Check out our guide on what to look for when purchasing a new laptop at the bottom of this page for additional information on buying a laptop. 

10 Best Laptops for Every Budget

The best laptops of 2022 will continue to be essential purchases for many of us, especially remote workers and students. With the rising cost of living putting pressure on many of our budgets, you may not be particularly excited about purchasing a new laptop. 

The good news is that we are here to help, as we have compiled this list of brilliant laptops for various budgets using our expert knowledge. In addition to stylish, thin, and lightweight laptops with cutting-edge performance, we also offer more affordable options that you can rely on for years. 

Our team has evaluated each laptop on this list. We assess how well the laptops perform, how portable they are, how long their batteries last, and how much value they provide. You can also read about how we evaluate laptops to learn how we chose the best laptops for this list. 

1. Best Overall: Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

As anticipated, the new Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) is the best laptop currently available, outperforming Apple’s previous model (which remains on this list) in several significant ways.  It has a brand-new design that gives it a more contemporary appearance while making it thinner and lighter, and in our review, we adored the fact that it has a larger, brighter screen.  A larger Touch ID sensor for logging in with your fingerprint and a 1080p webcam make the new MacBook Air an outstanding laptop for those who make many video calls, which is most of these days. The new MagSafe charging port makes recharging the battery of the new MacBook Air simple, secure, and quick.  The MacBook Air’s interior is just as revolutionary as its exterior, with the new M2 chip providing excellent performance for various tasks such as 4K video editing. In our tests, the MacBook Air (M2, 2022)’s battery life lasted over 16 hours, so if you’re looking for a thin, light, and powerful laptop that can be carried almost anywhere, this is it.  However, it is significantly more expensive than the previous model, so if you’re looking for a more affordable laptop, we recommend the still-excellent MacBook Air (M1, 2020) as the best value laptop of 2022.  Before making a purchase, you should investigate the best MacBook Air deals and current discounts. 
Specifications
  • CPU: Apple M2 
  • Graphics: Integrated 8-core /10-core GPU 
  • RAM: 8GB – 24GB 
  • Screen: 13.6-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,664 LED-backlit display with IPS technology 
  • Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD 
  • Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches (30.41 x 21.5 x 1.13cm; W x D x H) 
PROS
  • Great new design
  • Very good performance
  • Long battery life
  • Larger screen
CONS
  • Much more expensive than previous model
  • New colors are a bit tame
  • Previous model is much better value

2.Best affordable: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

The brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook demonstrates the excellence of contemporary Chromebooks. It can be used as a laptop or a tablet and has impressive specifications.  It is either a Chromebook or a tablet. However, you won’t have to choose with the brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. This Chromebook lives up to its name by providing two form factors in one, utilizing the flexibility of the Chrome OS and costing significantly less than many of the best Windows’s tablets on the market.  The battery life of this Chromebook is nearly 22 hours, which means you could pull an all-nighter, work through the day and early afternoon, and still fall asleep before it runs out of juice.  In our review, we mentioned that the keyboard is tiny, the trackpad is less reliable, and the charger and headphones share a single port due to the price. However, if cost is your primary concern, these are not deal-breakers. 
Specifications
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T Processor
  • Graphics: ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4X
  • Screen: 10.1″ FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 400 nits
  • Storage: 64 GB eMMC
PROS
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Long battery life
CONS
  • Tiny keyboard and finicky trackpad
  • Charger and headphones share a single port

3. Best Value: Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is currently the most cost-effective laptop. Thanks to the revolutionary ARM-based Apple M1 chip that powers the MacBook Air, this is a stunning achievement: a thin and light laptop that offers excellent performance, even when editing 4K video, and great battery life.  In our review, the battery life was quite impressive. With a battery life of over 11 hours on a single charge, you can easily transport this laptop to work or school, and its price is highly competitive compared to Windows 10 competitors, such as the Dell XPS 15. The M1 MacBook Air can now run iOS applications for iPhones and iPads, granting it access to hundreds of outstanding mobile applications and games.  While the newer MacBook Air (M2, 2022) is now available (and is our current pick for the best laptop overall), it’s a lot more expensive. With the price of the older MacBook Air (which Apple is still selling) frequently reaching $899 or less while still providing excellent performance, this is an outstanding laptop for those who want to get the most bang for their buck. 
Specifications 
  • CPU: Apple M1 
  • Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU 
  • RAM: 8GB – 16GB 
  • Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology 
  • Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD 
  • Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm; W x D x H) 
PROS
  • Brilliant value
  • Amazing battery life
CONS
  • No new design
  • Fanless design could impact performance

4. Best Window: Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5” Touch-Screen

While Apple’s new MacBook Air (shown above) wowed us, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4 also impressed us. As with previous Surface devices, build quality and design are excellent, and the PixelSense touchscreen truly sets it apart from the competition (a touchscreen has yet to appear on an Apple laptop, Microsoft likes to point out).  It also features a fantastic keyboard that makes typing a pleasure and excellent specifications that ensure Windows 11 and all your favorite applications run flawlessly. In our tests, the battery life lasted more than 13 hours, and the price was impressively competitive. 
Specifications 
  • CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 /AMD Ryzen 5 – 7 
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe / AMD Radeon 
  • RAM: 8GB – 32GB 
  • Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) touch 
  • Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD 
PROS
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Beautiful screen
CONS
  • Not enough ports
  • Alcantara fabric might get gross over time

5. Best Budget: Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop

Behind the Acer Swift 3’s unassuming exterior is an excellent laptop with ample power for work and study. The Swift 3 (not to be confused with the Switch 3, another Acer) is a budget-friendly laptop, but its aluminum chassis is packed with powerful components.  It performs surprisingly close to the significantly more expensive Microsoft Surface Laptop. Except for the price, the two devices are strikingly similar, except for the display resolution.  As we discovered in our review, it is also quite durable due to an unfortunate cat-related incident, which is always a positive worth noting.  This laptop is also incredibly user-friendly, thanks to its spacious trackpad and backlit keyboard, providing a comfortable typing experience and adequate travel. This is one of the best budget laptops 2022 has to offer if you’ll be doing a lot of writing, whether at the office or while traveling. 
Specifications 
  • CPU: up to Intel Core i7-8565U 
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150, Intel HD Graphics 620 or AMD Radeon Vega 8 
  • RAM: 4GB – 8GB 
  • Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS – 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) 
  • Storage: 128GB – 1 TB HDD, 16 GB Intel Optane Memory 
PROS
  • Superb keyboard and trackpad
  • Excellent performance
CONS
  • Looks a little plain

6. MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021)

In 2022, the powerful 14-inch MacBook Pro is unquestionably the best laptop for work. The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) is a dream for creative professionals such as photographers, video editors, and music producers, thanks to a choice of powerful new M1 Pro or M1 Max chips that can effortlessly handle even the most intensive workloads.  Based on our testing history, we believe this is the best laptop for creative professionals we have ever examined.  In addition, its Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED technology is stunning and has the best screen available on a laptop. Add a 1080p webcam and a more extensive selection of ports, and you have a brilliant business and productivity laptop. This is the best laptop for creative work, but it’s not for everyone due to its price and power. If you’re not a student, check out the MacBook Air (M1, 2020). 
Specifications 
  • CPU: Apple M1 Pro 8-core – M1 Max 10-core 
  • Graphics: Integrated 14-core – 32-core GPU 
  • RAM: Up to 64GB 
  • Screen: 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display 
  • Storage: Up to 8TB 
PROS
  • Brilliant performance
  • Best screen on a laptop
CONS
  • 14-inch screen may be a bit small

7. HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop

The HP Spectre x360 (2021) is now equipped with 11th-generation Intel Core processors, which provide a noticeable performance boost, and enhanced integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics.  The HP Spectre x360 (2021) retains the 2-in-1 design and gem-cut chassis for which these laptops are renowned, making it one of the best-looking 2-in-1 laptops ever created and second only to the excellent MacBook Air in terms of build quality (M1, 2020).  Although expensive, it has excellent extras, including formidable security features and Bang & Olufsen speakers. Our review found the tablet mode to be a bit cumbersome due to the device’s size. However, this laptop is for you if aesthetics is as vital as performance and overall quality. 
Specifications 
  • CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics 
  • RAM: 8GB – 16GB 
  • Screen: 13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch – 13.3″ diagonal 4K (3840 x 2160) UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch 
  • Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD 
PROS
  • Gorgeous design
  • Excellent battery life
CONS
  • Fans can get noisy
  • Expensive compared to some competitors

8. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

We doubt that the Dell XPS line can do anything wrong at this point. Its yearly updates have consistently made our list of the best laptops, and they continue to improve. The Dell XPS 13 (2020) is an aesthetically pleasing device. As expected, it also has excellent performance, a stunning display, and lengthy battery life, among other features.  Like its predecessor, it is an expensive investment, but that is hardly a reason to discourage Ultrabook enthusiasts. As is the case with the majority of Ultrabooks, the choice of downward-firing speakers can muffle the sound. For the price, we’d expect better quality. Still, it would not be easy to find something significantly superior.  Dell has once again created a thin, light notebook that is a delight to use and well worth the investment if you have the funds. 
Specifications 
  • CPU: Up to 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 
  • Graphics: Up to Intel Iris Xe Graphics 
  • RAM: Up to 32GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x 
  • Screen: 13.4″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 13.4″ UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display 
  • Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe 
PROS
  • Stunning design
  • Excellent battery life
CONS
  • Sound quality is just OK
  • There are cheaper laptops out there

9. Best laptop for gaming: Razer Blade 14

Razer’s thin and lightweight gaming laptop exudes luxury and is the perfect portable gaming device for those who value portability. Our review of the Razer Blade 14 referred to it as the “go-to gaming laptop for anyone desiring a luxury gaming laptop.” It has a sturdy construction, so you won’t have to worry about getting damaged on the road, and it’s one of the most attractive modern gaming laptops we’ve seen.  The Razer Blade 14 is also equipped with cutting-edge hardware, such as an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and up to an RTX 3080 graphics card. This means that you can play any AAA game in its full glory. It is the best gaming laptop in 2022, but it is expensive. 
Specifications 
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 – RTX 3080 
  • RAM: 16GB 
  • Screen: 14-inch 144Hz Full HD – 14-inch 165Hz QHD 
  • Storage: 1TB SSD 
PROS
  • Beautiful chassis
  • Thin and light
CONS
  • Very expensive despite its performance
  • Not the most powerful gaming laptop

10. Best large-screen laptop: Dell XPS 17 (2022)

The Dell XPS 17 (2022) is the best laptop for those who desire a large screen and a sleek and stylish device that is easily transportable. This year’s model features Intel’s most recent 12th-generation Alder Lake processors and can even be equipped with a graphics card. While we would not recommend using this laptop for gaming, it is ideal for graphics-intensive tasks such as video editing.  This is a fantastic laptop to flaunt while you’re out and about getting work done, whether in the office, a coffee shop or traveling for business. It has an excellent battery life that allows you to work for hours without recharging. If you like the appearance of the Dell XPS 13, which is also included on this list of the best laptops, but prefer a larger screen, this is an excellent option. 
Specifications 
  • CPU: Up to 12th Generation Intel Core i9-12900K 
  • Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 
  • RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4-3200MHz 
  • Screen: 17.0″ UHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 17.0″ UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit 
  • Storage: Up to 4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe 
PROS
  • Gorgeous design and build quality
  • Excellent CPU performance
  • Remarkably good battery life
CONS
  • Not exactly cheap
  • Not a true gaming laptop
  • Not the most portable laptop around

What should be considered when purchasing a new laptop?

There are certain factors to consider when purchasing a new laptop in 2021 to ensure you get the most value for your money. 

Examine the specifications of a laptop before making a purchase. As long as you know what you’re looking for, this is an efficient method for determining a laptop’s performance and capabilities. 

Initially, there is the processor. A laptop will typically have a processor (also known as a CPU) manufactured by either Intel or AMD. Intel is the most popular CPU manufacturer for laptops, but the number of AMD-powered laptops is growing. 

As a rule, Intel processors offer superior performance, whereas AMD processors are more cost-effective. 

Intel and AMD have numbered their processors to give you a general idea of what tasks a laptop with that processor can perform. 

A laptop with an Intel Pentium, Intel Core i3, or AMD Ryzen 3 processor will perform simple tasks such as web browsing and Netflix streaming while remaining affordable. 

Obtain a laptop with a minimum Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor if you need something with a bit more oomph to perform complex tasks such as editing home videos or playing games. 

The best laptops for media creation and complex tasks are equipped with an Intel Core i7, Core i9 processor, or an AMD Ryzen 7 processor. Laptops with these processors are top-of-the-line and will provide excellent performance regardless of the task; however, they are frequently found in the most expensive models. 

Lastly, keep an eye on the processor’s age. Intel designates its processors with generations; the higher the generation number, the more recent the processor. The 10th generation is the most current, although the 9th generation of Intel Core processors is also relatively recent. 

A more recent processor performs better and consumes less power so that the battery will last longer. However, they are more expensive. 

Laptop processors include built-in (integrated) graphics, so you don’t need to worry much about graphics. However, if you wish to play PC games on your laptop, you will need a gaming laptop with a discrete GPU from Nvidia or AMD. 

FAQs

Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and HP are the best laptop brands, and they each have their strengths. Apple, for instance, produces brilliantly designed thin and light laptops, whereas Dell offers an extensive selection of high-end ultra-books and affordable devices and Chromebooks. Lenovo is well-known for producing sturdy business laptops (as well as some excellent 2-in-1 laptops), and HP has recently made some lovely laptops that are among the best in the world. Alienware, Asus, and Acer are the best laptop brands for gaming. 

RAM (Random Access Memory) is an essential element to consider when purchasing a laptop. You’ll need at least 4GB of memory for a Windows laptop, though we recommend 8GB for most users. This will ensure the longevity of the laptop’s performance. Chromebooks on a budget can get by with less RAM, such as 1GB or 2GB. 

RAM, computer memory, and the processor impact the speed at which your laptop operates. The greater the number, the greater the speed. For example, 4GB of RAM is superior to 2GB. The processor speed is measured in gigahertz, and a machine with a 2 GHz processor runs faster than one with a 1 GHz processor. 

Most experts estimate the lifespan of a laptop to be between three and five years. It may survive more prolonged, but its utility will diminish as its components lose their capacity to run sophisticated applications. 

Which generation of laptops is the best? A student should opt for a laptop with an i5 or i7 processor from the 10th or 11th generation. Note, however, that you must also consider other factors when purchasing a laptop, as your processor and other software/hardware must be compatible. 

Conclusion

So, What Is the Best Affordable Laptop to Purchase? 

These days, inexpensive laptops are scarce, with many of the best models frequently going out of stock. There is a good chance that at least one of our recommendations is backordered at any given time, even though we update this guide frequently. However, do not lose hope if you are on a tight budget. You can find PCs with sufficient performance to complete your daily tasks without a hitch. 

Alternatively, please refer to our buying guide featuring our top laptop picks overall for more general factors to consider when selecting a computer. 

Why Trust Us?

Best Top Reviews Online was founded in 2018 to provide our readers with thorough, unbiased, and independent advice on what to buy. We now have millions of monthly users from all over the world and evaluate over 1,000 products per year.

The article above was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which includes many of the US’s most knowledgeable technical experts. Our team includes well-known writers with extensive experience in mobile phones, computing, technology, photography, and other fields.

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