If you want to buy a new laptop, but don’t want to spend $1000+ on the fanciest computer around, but still want a decent device to get your work done on, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I’m going to show you some more affordable laptops for your home office. I also have an article about the best premium laptops for your home office. But here, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the best laptops around that won’t break the bank.
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How To Choose A Good Inexpensive Laptop
When looking to buy a more affordable laptop, there are a lot of cheap devices out there that will try to draw you in with fancy features, but a lot of them will be slow and frustrating to use and probably not last more than a year.
So in your search for a new computer, there are a few things you’ll want to pay attention to in order to make sure your laptop will actually perform well. The things you’ll want to keep an eye out for are:
- CPU (processor)
- And Price
CPU – The CPU (otherwise known as “processor”) is the chip in the laptop that does all the work, you’ll need to make sure you choose a computer with a fast enough CPU otherwise your laptop will be slow and annoying to use.
RAM – RAM in a computer is where everything that’s currently open get’s stored, things like browser tabs, and other apps all have to be kept in the RAM while they’re open. So the more RAM your computer has, the more things you can have open simultaneously.
For most people, 8GB is a good amount of RAM, it will allow you to keep plenty of different browser tabs and apps all open at once. 16GB would be even better and allow you to have more stuff open at once, but you’re unlikely to find 16GB of RAM in a budget device.
Storage – The storage is where all your files and apps will be stored. Thanks to cloud storage services like Google Drive being so common these days, the amount of storage space a device has is not as important as it used to be. But it’s still handy to have a decent amount of storage space on your laptop.
If you want to store everything on your laptop, you’ll probably want at least 500GB of storage, cheaper laptops don’t usually come with this much storage, but there is one on my list below that does.
If you’re happy to store some of your files on a cloud storage service or an external storage device like a USB stick, you will be able to comfortably use a laptop with even only 100GB of internal storage.
Price – If you’re reading this article, you’re probably looking for a reasonably priced laptop. This means the price is definitely going to be something to take into consideration when making your decision.
Best Laptop For Home Office Use
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has a very affordable price tag making it the cheapest Windows computer on this list.
Obviously, at this price, you’re not going to get the best laptop in the world, but the Lenovo IdeaPad is actually pretty good in the aspects that matter most.
With a 10th Gen Intel Core i3 CPU, it’s not the fastest laptop around, but it should breeze through most day to day tasks like web browsing and email.
It has 8GB of RAM which is a good amount of RAM for most people and will allow you to have plenty of browser tabs and other apps all open at the same time without running into any issues.
For storage, it has 256GB which is easily enough to store all your apps, and if you don’t have a lot of large files you will probably be able to store all your files on it as well.
Of course, if you have a lot of images, videos, or other large files, you will probably need to use a cloud storage service like Google Drive, or an external storage device like a USB stick.
For ports, it has 3 regular USB ports (USB A), an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and a Headphone/Microphone port. Unfortunately, there is no USB C port which means you can’t connect a USB C hub, but at this price point, that’s probably to be expected.
There is no backlighting on the keys but that’s not a huge deal. The screen is a bit dim which would be something to keep in mind if you often work outside or right next to a window, but you can still see it so it’s not a huge deal.
The only other real downside would be that the webcam is only 0.3 Megapixels which is not very good so if you do a lot of video calls you might want to consider getting an external webcam which will have much better picture quality.
So overall, if you want a budget-friendly laptop, that still has enough power to get you through the day, this is probably the one for you.
Want to Buy The Lenovo IdeaPad 3?
The Acer Swift 3 is a bit more expensive than the Lenovo IdeaPad 3, but it’s still a very reasonable price, and if you don’t mind paying a little bit more, it’s probably worth the upgrade.
The CPU is an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U which is quite a powerful CPU considering the price and will effortlessly breeze through any day to day task. It might struggle a little bit with really intense things like video editing, but for most people, it will be a wonderfully fast experience.
Like most of the laptops on this list, it has 8GB of RAM which is a really good amount for most people, you’ll be able to have plenty of browser tabs and apps open at the same time without any issues.
If you want plenty of storage, this is going to be the one for you, with 512GB of storage to work with, you should have no trouble storing all your files and apps on it.
The selection of ports is pretty good too, it has:
- 2 USB A ports (Regular USB)
- An HDMI port
- A Headphone/Microphone Port
- And a USB – C port (which is good for connecting a USB – C hub)
The keyboard is backlit which is really handy if you often work in a dark environment. The only real downside is that the keys on the keyboard are quite a light color which means the letters can be a little hard to see when you’re in a bright environment while the backlighting is on.
But fortunately, there is an option to very easily turn the backlighting on and off, which will pretty much fix the problem.
So overall, it’s a great laptop, it doesn’t have any fancy features but it’s nice and fast and is a joy to use.
Want to Buy The Acer Swift 3?
The HP 15 is very reasonably priced, it’s not the cheapest on this list, but it’s very affordable while still being a very good device.
The 10th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU is a very powerful CPU that you’d usually expect to find in much more expensive laptops. It will easily power through day to day tasks like web browsing, email, and even things like photo editing.
It once again has 8GB of RAM which is a good amount of RAM for most people and will allow you to have plenty of browser tabs and other apps all open simultaneously.
The 256GB of storage is not huge, but you will easily be able to fit all your apps and possibly even all your files. That being said, if you have a lot of files, you might need to use a cloud storage service like Google Drive, or an external storage device.
The port selection is pretty good with:
- 2 Regular USB ports (USB A)
- An HDMI port
- An SD card slot
- A Headphone/Microphone port
- And a USB – C port (which is good for connecting a USB – C hub)
The only real downside to this otherwise wonderful device would be that you can’t charge it through the USB – C port. This doesn’t really matter, it just means that if you want to use a USB – C hub to easily connect all your accessories, you will still need to plug in a separate charging cable.
But most laptops at this price point don’t even have a USB – C port so this really isn’t something to complain about.
So if you want a nice dependable laptop that will keep up with your work all day for a reasonable price, this is probably the one for you.
Want to Buy The HP 15?
The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is quite different from the other laptops I’ve mentioned in this list. As it’s a Chromebook, it doesn’t have Windows on it, instead, it uses a different operating system called Chrome OS.
If you don’t know what Chrome OS is, click here to read a more detailed article about what it is and who should use it.
But essentially, it’s a simple and easy to use operating system that doesn’t allow you to use Windows apps. Instead, it comes with the Google Chrome web browser, and the ability to install any app that you could install on an Android smartphone.
It might sound silly, but a lot of computing is done with online apps like Google Docs and Gmail these days which can all be accessed in Google Chrome. Meaning a lot of people have recently started using Chromebooks instead of traditional Windows computers.
A Chromebook is a good option when looking for a budget-friendly laptop, as Chrome OS will give you a very fast experience even on a cheaper device.
I have actually written an entire article on the best Chromebook for your home office. So if you like the idea of a Chromebook, click here to read it.
If you think a Chromebook might work for you, it’s definitely worth considering the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5. It’s the cheapest device on this list, but due to the nature of Chrome OS, it will actually perform just as well as any of the other devices mentioned above.
The 10th Gen Intel Core i3 CPU is not extremely powerful. But as it’s a Chromebook, you’ll still get a nice fast experience for day to day tasks like web browsing, email, spreadsheets, and more.
It only has 4GB of RAM, these days I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy a Windows computer with 4GB of RAM. But on a Chromebook 4GB is a fairly good amount of RAM and will allow you to have plenty of browser tabs and apps open at once.
The storage is another thing that may be an issue for some people. Chromebooks aren’t really designed to store all your files on them. Instead, you’re meant to store all your files on a cloud storage service like Google Drive.
If you’re happy to use Google Drive, the good news is that the files app in Chrome OS integrates really well with Google Drive, so much so that as long as you always have an internet connection, you don’t even notice you’re using Google Drive.
This particular Chromebook has 64GB of storage, which is easily enough space to store all your apps, along with a few files, but you’ll almost definitely need to store most of your files somewhere else.
The port selection is quite good, it has:
- 2 USB – C ports (which is good for connecting a USB – C hub)
- 1 Regular USB port (USB A)
- A micro SD card slot
- And a headphone/microphone port
A nice feature of the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 that you won’t find in any of the other devices on this list, is that it has the ability for the keyboard to fold around behind the touchscreen turning it into a tablet.
This can be nice if you want to be able to pick it up and mover around the house more freely.
So if you’re okay with the differences of Chrome OS, this really is an incredibly good laptop for a bargain of a price. So as long as you think you’ll be able to get all your work done on a Chromebook, this is likely going to be the one for you.
Want to Buy The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5?
So there you have it, with 4 different great laptops to choose from, hopefully, you’ve found one that fits your budget and will be great for your home office!
This is my list of the best budget laptops for your home office, but if you’re happy to spend a bit more money for an even better laptop, check out my article on the best premium laptops for your home office.
If you like the idea of using a Chromebook in your home office, check out my article on the best Chromebooks for your home office.
If you want to find out how to create the best computer setup for your home office, click here to read my full guide on creating the best work from home computer setup.