Buying a best laptop under $200 is often an extremely strenuous task. Each manufacturer has their own set of strengths and they all play according to this. But then you, as a customer, would always try to buy the best laptop that you can get at your budget. Obviously, you must, at the end of the day, make a conscious effort to select a laptop that suits your needs rather than a product that is loaded with features. Here are some of the prospective good laptops under $200 that you could consider investing in. If you want a small and portable laptop, our guide on best mini laptops will you find one.
Reviews of Budget Laptops for $200
1. Dell Inspiron i3162-2040BLU
The best thing about the Dell Inspiron i3162-2040BLU is the fact that it is absolutely stunning to look at. Dell has, over the years, made laptop which seamless amalgamated beauty and performance to create exquisite devices. What the Inspiron i3162-2040BLU does is to merge the 360-degrees convertible with the budget laptop. The results are very impressive. You get a laptop which can be transformed into a convertible simply by twisting the screen around.
The USP of the device is simply its performance. This is not something you can note about budget laptops. The device works on an Intel Celeron N3050 processor which provides great performance consistently. You can in fact play games like Asphalt 8 with relative ease. Unlike the Chromebooks, the Windows 10 operating system does not restrict the applications you use.
The fact, that the Dell Inspiron i3162-2040BLU actually has computing power can be utilized in different applications like Photoshop which cannot be run on conventional laptops. Working on the laptop is an absolutely dreamy experience because the touchpad recognizes all pointing and gesture recognition.
Another stellar feature that the product packs in is a great battery life. While the average budget laptop has a battery life of 6 hours, the Dell i3162-2040BLU however, provides battery backup for around 8 hours easily. Apart from this, the battery build quality ensures that you do not need to replace the part for a long time to come.
The laptop is available in two variants of 2 GB and 4 GB. Obviously, you would be better off if you invest in the 4 GB version so that the powerful processor can be utilized to its fullest extent. A feature that you would surely miss on the device is the optical drive. Given that the laptop otherwise packs a lot of punch, the presence of an optical drive would surely have made the device a complete winner.
Lastly, if you are investing in an 11-inch laptop, chances are that you would obviously want the device to be easily portable. The i3162-2040BLU weighs only around 2.82 lbs and therefore, can fit into most bag packs and be carried around easily.
The Dell i3162-2040BLU combines the best of features in a holistic manner to provide you the best laptop for under $200. All this at an extremely modest price. What more could one ask for?
2. HP Stream Laptop PC 14-ax010nr
There are a lot of things people are ready to forgive if a laptop has a low price tag. If the laptop doesn’t interfere with daily tasks, then any amount of shortcoming can be compromised with. The HP Stream is a fair example of such a product.
However, it would be wrong to say that the laptop is a product with shortcomings because it has its fair amount of pros. Before you invest in the HP Stream you are well advised to limit your use of the product to basic internet surfing and using some basics.
First impressions, they say, are often lasting. The exterior of the Stream is of a bright blue hue. It looks absolutely beautiful and the ridges add to the texture and grip of the product. The color of the keyboard is white. The color contrast works wonders and the device looks absolutely stunning. On the downside, the absence of a stable hard drive hits hard as the laptop has only 32 GB of memory. You would obviously need to use an SD card for expansion options.
Another impressive aspect of the laptop is the touchpad. Now, the touchpad is endowed with gesture functions like multi-touch and pinch-to-zoom. The touch functions do work admirably but the touchpad sensitivity could still be better. The speakers are one of the best that I have seen on an HP laptop. The sounds levels are impressive and the bass levels are just off the charts.
Now, in terms of performance, the Stream does just about everything you can do on a Chromebook. However, while the Chromebook is limited in terms of function and accessibility, the Stream, being a Windows laptop, is more open system oriented. Before you get your hopes up, just remember that the limited space doesn’t allow you to install a lot of apps.
The HP Stream breaks the stereotype that a windows laptops under $200 can’t be effective and easy on the pocket at the same time. Yes, it has its fair share of problems, but at the price you get the product, it’s a bargain.
3. Acer Aspire One
The Acer Aspire One can well be touted as the dark horse among cheap laptops for $200. Aspire has consistently produced great laptops but they look all set to regain lost ground with this device. Going into the product, I had absolutely no doubts that the Aspire is a great product but what I wanted to see was if it could compete with products double its price tag.
The Aspire One sports a sleek design. The softly rounded edges help you hold the laptop with relative ease and carry it around. The smooth piano finish of the laptop gives it a really polished look and is just perfect for the occasional corporate environment. If you usually carry around the laptop in your bag then you would be quite happy to know how durable it is.
The laptop is quite well constructed and has enough rigidity to withstand some moderate blows.
While considering the display, you will notice the huge screen borders the device has and obviously lament on the misuse of space. The laptop could easily have been half an inch smaller. However, this screen border actually has an advantage, as it does mean that the device endowed with a spacious keyboard. The keys don’t really wobble about and they are pretty strong.
Even the touchpad adds a slight twerk to the conventional touchpad. Unlike the regular touchpad, the buttons are on the sides of the touchpad. This design is actually quite effective once you actually start using it. Before, I analyze the performance aspect of the device, I would just like to note the beautiful display of the device. The glare is minimal and the viewing angles are not bad at all.
Lastly but most importantly, we’ll to the performance of the device. The laptop works on an Intel Atom processor which works fine for everyday tasks. Be it browsing, Skype or word processing, the laptop just aces them all. Given its limitations, however, you should refrain from playing games or HD videos on the laptop for very obvious reasons.
The Acer Aspire One may look like a premium product but it sure does not function like one. But it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that the laptop is one of the best laptops in the budget of $200. If you’re constrained by budget and looking for a decent laptop for under $200 for basic computing tasks, this could easily be your safest bet.
4. Lenovo N22
When you consider the Lenovo N22 as your preferred laptop choice, there are a lot of considerations you need to make. For instance, the problem of durability. When compared to a lot of laptops in this segment, the N22 lacks build quality. But then, this is a problem across most Lenovo product and you shouldn’t read too much into this. What the product lacks in durability, it makes up in terms of performance, and other aspects, for sure.
Over the years, Chromebooks have seen a gradual increase in popularity with more people opting for these devices. For those of you who are unsure as to how a Chromebook works, the device basically runs a Chrome-based OS and can be used to surf the internet and other daily tasks. You can use the chrome applications to do things like word processing or image editing.
Since they work in a way quite similar to the Mac OS notebook at a quarter of the price, they have gained steady prominence.
The education sector, for instance, has been using Chromebooks quite a lot.
The outer coating of the device is a thin plastic material which honestly feels a bit frail. But then don’t worry, you can carry it about in your bag and it can handle a fair amount of pressure. Since Chromebooks are essentially aimed at students, there is a nifty handle attached to the device that lets you carry it about. While it doesn’t really look great, it is actually useful.
The N22 packs in a decent sturdy keyboard which should serve you well for day to day typing works. The keys might be a tad bit noisy but given the price, they are just perfect. The touch screen feature of the Chromebook is also impressive. However, you shouldn’t get your hopes very high because though the display is crisp and beautiful, the same cannot be said about the touch response.
Another possible reason to invest in the Chromebook is obviously the extended battery life. A full charge would give you up to 14 hours of power. Such battery longevity is absolutely stunning by any standards. Given how slim the laptop actually is, it is pretty impressive that the battery turns out to be the most impressive feature about the Chromebook.
The Chromebook is designed with a specific set of function in mind. If the functions match with your preferences, you should definitely invest in a Lenovo N22. You just cannot possibly go wrong if you’d be using it for tasks like preparing college or university projects, movie watching and image processing.
5. ASUS L402SA
The Asus L402SA can at best be termed as a gamble. This is a feature typical of budget laptops. Given the host of features that any laptop in this segment tries to accommodate, there are always some corners that are cut. But the best part about the laptop is that unlike most other devices, you get to choose between three attractive colors.
On the design front, the L402SA is a durable product. It does not feel cheap or disposable in your hands. A problem that I have seen with many Asus laptops is that the hinge isn’t durable. The L402SA sports a very strong hinge which lends credit to its durability. The display of the laptop is average if you watch a video which has different shades of black, for instance, movies like The Dark Knight.
If you are watching the film, you’ll notice that the image on some parts of the screen cannot make a distinction between the darker and lighter tones. The images, therefore, have an overall impression of being washed out. The fact that the screen does not have a very high resolution also limits the possibilities and overall viewing experience. Nonetheless, the display of the L402SA is better than the Inspiron 14 or the Stream 14.
Another commendable aspect of the laptop is the keyboard. The keys are very optimally placed and help to type fast. Upon typing on the keyboard you’ll obviously notice that the keys are very responsive. An issue that you might face is the smaller size of the Shift and Control keys. Not a deal-breaker, though.
On the performance front, the Intel Celeron N3060 processor and the 4 GB RAM performs consistently. However, there is a small issue. Multitasking is not great on the device and if you wish to open up multiple tabs, the device laptop slows down and lags considerably. Though the machine heats up considerably, it is nothing to be worried about.
The L402SA sports an extremely colorful display along with a durable keyboard. However, the battery life is average at the most. Overall, the laptop provides a consistent performance and the fact that you can choose between three colors is just another excuse to invest in this sub $200 laptop.
6. Lenovo Ideapad 100S-14
Lenovo’s latest marketing tagline reads “Sometimes the best thing you can gift someone is belief”. The line is perhaps aimed at the budding entrepreneur or the high school student for whom a laptop is not merely a device but something that inspires confidence. The Ideapad line of products has been generally consistent when it came to performance and value for money. No wonder it became such a sensation in the budget laptop segment. The Ideapad 100S-14 is but a larger version of the classic 100S.
The best part about the 100S-14 is it does not debunk its roots. It is a bigger, better and smarter version of the classic laptop.
Among the new things the laptop sports, the most prominent and alluring would have to be the color of the device. The laptop has a navy-blue cover and smooth matte finish. The finishing prevents the exterior from getting any easy scratches and gives a premium look to the laptop. The plastic used to build the laptop, however, lacks the sturdy feeling that you would find in products like the HP Stream 11.
With laptops getting smaller and thinner by the day, one area where the makers tone down is the connectivity options. You will be happy to see that this is not the case with the 100S-14. It is equipped with all types of ports including 3 USB ports that you would find in any premium device.
The 100S-14 sports a full HD display which, though not extremely bright, manages to pump out some vivid colors. The viewing angles are virtually unmatched and watching videos in a group won’t be a problem. If you try comparing the screen resolution of the 100S-14 with the Inspiron 14 3000, you’ll find the former to emerge as the clear winner. The same holds for the audio. Be it jazz or metal, you can play all types of music on the laptop and be satisfied with the audio output. The position of the speakers does muffle the sound a bit but that’s not a big deal.
The Ideapad 100S-14 is a beautiful amalgamation of style and performance. Given how popular its predecessor was one can only but expect this product to be one of the best in the segment. It does manage to live up to its expectations and if you are looking for the best budget laptop under $200, this could be your best bet.
7. Acer Chromebook 11
The increasing use of smart board learning and digital pedagogy has made the Chromebook an integral part of the modern classroom. The fact that it can be used to connect to a network and is durable greatly accentuates its desirability. The Acer Chromebook 11 is a laptop that looks like it has been custom made for this very purpose. Smart, no-nonsense, and simple- the product is everything that you would want in a product while exploring the Google ecosystem.
On the design front, the white color does raise the occasional worry that the device would get dirty very easily and as such needs to be cleaned regularly. The product is pretty durable and has been certified as being able to withstand drops from up to 1.2 meters height. There’s also a “gutter” feature which allows you to drain the keyboard in the event of a water spill. Now, do you get why this is an optimum device for the classroom?
The display is easily one of the best that you will find on any Chromebook. Since Chromebooks are not really devices preferred for entertainment they tend to dumb down on those features. But this is not the case with the Chromebook 11. The display sports a resolution of 1366 x 768 which is surprisingly better than the display of the Acer Aspire One. The touch is also equally good and multi-touch features like pinch to zoom works like a dream.
The touch is actually more responsive on the device than the trackpad and you would find preferring the touch over the latter. The Intel Celeron processor along with the 4 GB RAM ensures that you always stay at the top of your competition. The fact that the Chromebook does not have a fixed hard drive seriously put a dent into its performance. It is endowed with only 16 GB of space which means that you would have to use an SD card to expand the memory.
Obviously, the Chromebook 11 is not a product that everyone would use. The laptop cannot run heavy duty applications. But if you need a laptop to stay connected to the Google ecosystem and do basic tasks, this is a laptop for $200 you can consider investing in.
8. Lenovo Ideapad 110s Premium – 11.6″ Laptop
The word ‘Premium’ is a strange one. It raises expectation like no other word. This is one of the problems of calling the product a premium one. Often the product would not be able to meet up the expectations. In a fashion quite similar to the Acer Chromebook 11, the Lenovo Ideapad comes in a shade of white. However, what separates the two laptops is the fact that the Lenovo Ideapad is beautiful to look at while the Chromebook is plain. The color almost makes the Ideapad look like a Macbook.
For a laptop that comes at a budget price, the Ideapad 110s sure does not feel like one. However, the chic look of the laptop is accentuated by the durable build and the matte all-white clamshell. On the performance front, the product runs on a Windows 10, easily making it way more function friendly than the traditional Chromebook. However, it is not a high powered device. You must not expect high-end games to perform smoothly for the simple reason that the laptop will lag. If you are looking for gaming laptop, do check out our cheap gaming laptops for $300 guide.
Unlike the cramped and very small keyboards that laptops usually have, the keyboard is bound to surprise you. The keys are really spacious and the layout ensures that you won’t have any problems while typing. Lenovo laptops usually have this kind of keyboard in their premium products and to find one on a budget laptop is truly inspiring.
Since the speakers of the laptop are located on the bottom of the device, the sound levels are muffled and so you are advised to use a pair of headphones. By far, the biggest disappointment of the product is the display screen. If you tilt the screen a few inches, you won’t be able to see anything. The Lenovo Ideapad 110s is at best a budget laptop for under $200 with moderate specs at a great price.
The biggest plus-point of this laptop by far the budget price tag and if the price is a deciding factor, you could consider this product. True that it comes with its fair share of cons, but almost no budget laptop is exempt of issues like this.
9. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02
The resurgence of Chromebook can be attributed completely to the use of computer in modern classrooms. True to its intended audience, the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 has features that make it relatively safe around children than other laptops. For starters, the Chromebook sports a spill-resistant keyboard. The first impression that you might have of the device is the fact that it is thicker than most other Chromebooks.
In fact, if you start considering it, a lot of features are actually put in keeping in mind that children may use the laptop. The C202SA-YS02 has a durability that is virtually unmatched among laptops in this segment. It can survive minor falls easily and the rubberized molding on the exterior part acts as a shock absorber. Asus claims that the laptop can withstand drops of up to 4 feet.
The Display of the Chromebook offers a few surprises of its own. Along with a high resolution of 1366 x 768, the screen also has an anti-glare coating which makes it extremely easy to work outside or under bright lights.
However, the Chromebook does not support touchscreen capability. Now, this comes as a serious turn off since almost all the Chromebooks support touchscreen facility. To add to the disappointment, the hinge opens only 180 degrees and cannot be used as a convertible, In fact, the Acer R11 actually has a great display and also a responsive touchscreen and scores brownie points over the C202SA-YS02 because of this.
Almost no budget laptop has a backlit keyboard as this feature is reserved for more expensive variants. While this makes typing in low light a bit difficult, it is often a compromise for the price. The C202SA-YS02 offers a cheap way around the problem. The lettering on the keys is blue which makes it easier to see under dim lights. The larger font size also helps. The stereo speaker located at the bottom of the laptop is quite impressive.
The C202SA-YS02 offers fairly average performance. Multiple tabs slow down the laptop but if you open up applications one at a time, there’s usually no lagging. The product deserves a recommendation because it is built to last. The long battery life is an added bonus to that.
10. Samsung Chromebook 3
Over the last couple of years, Chromebooks have increasingly come to be stereotyped as devices that are used by children.
True to this stance, even the manufacturers have started loading these laptops with features that make them safe around children. In a market that caters for educational institutions only. The Samsung Chromebook 3 comes as a refreshing change.
The Chromebook is aimed both at kids as well as adults who are always on the go.
You might be initially disappointed with the quality of the laptop since the exterior is predominantly made of plastic. However, upon taking it up in your hands, you will surely feel that you may have underestimated the durability of the product. The metallic black color gives the laptop a suave look that is very difficult to beat. The color choice of the laptop has to it a subtle texture that actually minimizes the reflections that come from the screen.
A trouble area with any small laptop or Chromebook is the fact that they have a weak hinge. This creates problems with the display over time. But the Chromebook 3 has a very durable hinge which ensures that you can tilt the screen to 180 degrees.
The small size of the device is highly convenient as it can be carried around easily.
The display of the device easily outshines that of its closest competitors. The laptop sports a 1366 x 768 LED display which provides excellent viewing angles. Unlike the Dell Inspiron 14 3000, the Chromebook 3 screen offers viewing angles of 45 degrees on each side.
The colors of the Chromebook 3 are so vivid that they can give any budget laptop a run for their money.
The audio quality of the Samsung Chromebook 3 speaker is extremely loud, enough to fill up a small room. They may not have the quality of a Stream 11 speaker but they are certainly better than most other Chromebooks.
On the performance front, the Chromebook 3 is equipped with an N3060 processor along with a 4 GB RAM. Since most Chromebooks don’t come with a built-in hard drive, it is useless to expect one from the Samsung offering. The 32 GB flash storage is enough to hold up when using basic applications like word processing and internet surfing.
Everyone likes a product that provides value for money and the Samsung Chromebook 3 is an exemplary example of such a device. True that some of you might find the HP Stream 11 to be a more desirable product. But, for those who wish to invest in a solid durable laptop under $200 to use at home and work – the Chromebook 3 is a great choice.
The Bottom Line
If I absolutely have to boil it down to just best laptop under $200, nothing beats the versatility and performance of Dell Inspiron i3162-2040BLU in this segment. Though the lack of an optical drive is a glitch but that’s something you’ve to deal with when you’re on a budget. Its closest competitor in this segment would be Lenovo Ideapad 100S-14. It’s an eye-candy, has a sturdy built and offers a delightfully smooth operation. Hope this helps. Besides reading reviews, trust your intuition too when selecting a laptop. That’s all for today for best laptops for under $200. Happy shopping!