With so many schools moving to teach remotely, having a functioning computer — one with good storage, speed and connectivity — at home is more important now than ever. While there are plenty of premium laptops on the market, many of them don’t come cheap (a new MacBook Pro or 2020 Dell XPS 13 can easily set you back upwards of $2000). But there are also great affordable laptops out there that don’t sacrifice on quality and can be purchased for well under $1000.
So if you’re looking for something with just enough speed and capacity to replace an older model, or a very basic option for a grade schooler learning from home, consider one of the affordable laptops below. These reliable laptops won’t set you back, but will have you set for class, correspondence, browsing, writing, media, and more.
We’ve combed through ratings and reviews to find seven trusty but cheap laptops you can buy on Amazon right now. They’re all $600 or less, so you can head into the fall well equipped for all your digital needs without putting that big of a dent into your bank account.
ASUS VivoBook L203MA Laptop
This remarkably affordable laptop is also quite well-liked by its owners, with nearly 1,200 four-star or better ratings posted on Amazon. The four gigabytes of RAM provide sufficient speed for most users (no gaming of any note here, of course), and while the 64GB of storage is on the smaller side, for online work and for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and the like, this computer is more than adequate.
It’s also notable for the range of inputs featured, including two USB ports, a USB-C port, an HDMI input and a headphone jack. For less than $400, this value is hard to beat.
Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
Like any Chromebook, this computer works best when it has good internet access, as most of your data is stored offsite in the cloud when you use the Chrome OS. Thus, the 64GB storage capacity isn’t much of an issue and, when you have a strong connection to the web, it processes at speeds one owner called “turbo fast.”
The computer can be folded over and used as a touchscreen device, and in that orientation the included pen allows for precise drawing, graphing or writing right on the screen. Plus its front-facing camera has a 13 megapixel resolution and an auto focus feature, making it a great option for video calls.
HP AMD Athlon 3050U Business Laptop
This HP computer’s 128GB solid state means faster startup and data retrieval and less noise and heat than you get with a traditional hard drive. It can be synced with myriad accessories thanks to its Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, while inputs ranging from USB-C and HDMI to an SD card slot line the sides. The 14-inch screen has a high definition 1,366 by 768 pixel display, and customers have given the laptop a four-star overall rating. It runs Windows 10, but do note it does not come with Office.
Dell Inspiron Intel Core i3583 Touch-Screen Laptop
The eight gigabytes of RAM in this 8th Generation Intel Core laptop offer plenty of processing speed, while the 128GB solid state drive provides ample storage space unless you need to edit videos or plan to save every document or spreadsheet you ever create on your computer.
At present, the i3583 has a 4.4-star overall rating with hundreds of Amazon reviews posted. The touch-screen is responsive and the graphics sharp, and the large 15.6-inch screen is great for watching shows, for video meetings or for use as a canvas or graph paper if you use a stylus.
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
This computer is remarkably slim, making it easy to tuck away in just about any bag. While small on profile, the Aspire 5 is plenty big on performance. It processes swiftly thanks to its eight gigs of RAM and it has a monstrously large storage capacity for a laptop, with both a 128GB solid state drive and a 500GB hard drive. If you run out of space, it’s really more that you have a problem with too much stuff, not the computer has a problem with too little storage.
With several dozen reviews posted of this relatively new computer, it currently enjoys a solid 4.5-star overall customer rating.
HP FHD 10th Generation Intel Core Laptop
HP could probably charge a couple hundred dollars more for this computer and no one would bat an eye. From a full keyboard (meaning number key pad to the right of the qwerty keys) and inputs ranging from USB-C to SD to HDMI to USB-3 to a full HD and backlit display that looks great in everything but blaring sunlight, this laptop is a great choice as the primary computer of the working professional. It offers solid 10-hour-plus battery life during standard use and decent six-hour battery during video play, and it can achieve a 50% charge in only about 45 minutes. And with nearly 200 reviews, the 15-1035G1 has a 4.4-star rating.
Lenovo 2019 Ideapad 330S Intel Core Laptop
The Lenovo Ideapad was a very good computer last year, and it’s a very good computer this year, too — just a bit cheaper because it’s no longer the new kid on the block. The eight GB RAM and 256 GB storage give you speed and space to store, and the laptop boots up quickly and can handle several programs running at the same time without lagging. The large screen is UHD quality and the speakers are decent quality for a laptop, too. Currently, this capable computer has a 4.4-star overall rating.