Note: Our comparison table only shows our top 5 picks. You can find the other recommendations within this article.
Hello everyone and welcome to our list of 10 best laptops under $200, here we will be discussing all the budget laptops.
Let me clear one thing, if you're looking for a laptop to play games or do some video editing then don't even consider these options because these kinds of machines are only good for browsing, writing, data entry, music, movies, etc.
For such price, you can easily find a laptop with Windows 10 and Google's Chrome OS. Internal storage might be an issue in most of the listed laptops since manufacturer's first target is always storage space while lowering the budget.
We regularly test new and old laptops in our lab and all the following machines are tested for performance and durability. Of course, these notebooks have their own drawbacks but tell me honestly, what more do you expect for $200?
These are the best notebooks that one could buy for around $200. We always say choosing the laptop is all about the favorite brand and you should look for major budget brands like ASUS, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and HP.
Should you buy a laptop under $200?
There are many who don't even know that $200 laptops exist and when they hear about them for the first time, they have many questions about it including should they buy them or not.
Well, to be honest here, if your usage is light and all you do is some browsing, YouTubing, watching movies, etc. then we highly suggest that you buy one of these.
However, if you're into multi-tasking, running bulky programs, gaming, video editing, etc. then you should look at our guide of gaming laptops under $500 or if you have some extra budget then check out our list of best Intel Core i7 laptops.
You can also look for Chromebooks if your usage is limited to checking emails, browsing, writing, and editing. Most of these machines are quiet and portable and you can use it even while traveling. And quality won't be an issue since you will be buying a PC from one of the top laptop brands.
What to expect from $200 Laptop?
Firstly, if you're looking for a brand new laptop then don't expect an Intel Core i3 processor since the processor alone will cost around $200.
Most of the $200 laptops will include an Intel Celeron or Intel Atom processor, and it's good enough to handle your light tasks. You should also expect 2 GB of RAM in your laptop and if you're lucky you might find some great deals with 4 GB of RAM.
Most of these notebooks will be of a size from 10 to 14 inches and will provide you with a battery life of 5 to 8 hours. Like I already said, storage will be an issue, and you shouldn't expect more than 32 GB SSD, and you will have to rely on Cloud storage for your movies and large files.
Windows Laptops vs. Chromebooks
Chromebook's run the latest Google Chrome OS. The latest Windows and Mac OS operating systems are not available on Chromebook laptops, making this the biggest difference between Windows and Chromebooks. Here are some comparisons between Windows laptops and Chromebooks.
Screen Size and Quality
Chromebooks and laptops are very similar when it comes to screen size and screen quality. Laptops have a wider range of sizes to choose from than Chromebooks, and their HD screens are superior to Chromebooks screens.
This is only relevant when we are talking about laptops that cost more than $200. Laptops and Chromebooks at a budget price have a very similar display and screen quality.
Of course, everyone is after the best anti-glare screen; however, neither Chromebooks nor Windows laptops have brilliant screens at such a low price.
Processor, RAM, SSD Comparison
Now let's compare the more technical features that will affect your ease of use and day to day work. The processor, RAM, and SSD amount your laptop or Chromebook has will determine what you can or can't do with your dev ice.
Chromebooks are not going to be useful devices for heavy multitaskers or for someone that is looking to do a spot of gaming here and there. Windows laptops have a vaster processing option, and you can easily find a laptop with a Core i5 processor at a budget price.
Core i5 processors are probably the highest and strongest processors that you could use in Chromebook. Core i3 processors are safer and more popular CPU options for Chromebooks.
Chromebooks offer no more than 4GB RAM, whereas Windows laptops can offer as much as 32GB RAM. Again, this will not be an issue for casual users, but a massive downside for gamers and multitaskers.
Both Chromebooks and Windows laptops have limited SSD; however, SD cards are available for both devices to expand their memory storage capacity. These cards can be inserted into the card slots and work instantly.
If you need your battery to last you for more than 10 hours, you will be pleased to learn that both Chromebooks and laptops have excellent battery features. With modern-day battery technology, most devices have brilliant qualities, even for budget items.
Our Top Picks for Best Laptops under $200
1. HP Stream
The HP Stream is among the best laptops under $200. The Intel Celeron N4000 processor is able to run your programs like MS Office, Skype, Chrome browser, etc.
Other specifications include 4 GB DDR4 RAM and 32 GB SSD (eMMC). This laptop comes with a decent keyboard and it's small size and incredible battery life (12+ hours) make it a great choice for people on the go. This model has an improved Wi-Fi antenna for stronger and more reliable Internet connections.
It might not be a great laptop for writers and editors but it certainly is the best laptop for college students and businessmen. It sports a 11.6-inch HD display with 1366 x 768 resolution. The display is really amazing for watching movies and videos online.
The HP Stream ships with Windows 10 S. This means that, by default, you can only install applications from the Microsoft Store. This is a great security feature. However, if this is too limiting for you, it is possible to disable the S mode.
2. ASUS L402WA-EH21
If you're looking to buy a new portable yet budget laptop under $200 then the ASUS L402WA-EH21 is something to look at. It's known for its sensitive touchpad and once you get used to it you'll never again use your mouse.
It has enough hardware power to handle most of your everyday tasks like editing documents, watching movies, browsing, checking emails, basic photo editing, etc.
Under the hood, it packs Quad Core 1.5 GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, 32 GB eMMC SSD and Radeon R2 graphics. Its power button is located on the top left side and is little smaller than usual buttons but that shouldn't be an issue as you only use it while powering it on. It's one of the best laptops for the price with these specifications.
It comes with pre-installed Windows 10 S which is way better than Chrome OS. You can optionally upgrade to Windows 10 Pro through the Microsoft Store. If you need Microsoft-compatible business applications, the laptop includes 1 year subscription to Office 365 Personal.
It's equipped with a 14-inch display that provides a decent resolution of 1366 x 768 and also packs a keyboard with IceCool technology that will keep your palms cool while using your laptop. Considering its specifications and design, it's a good performer that comes with elegant looks.
3. Lenovo Chromebook 100E
The Lenovo Chromebook 100E is one of the latest models by Lenovo and is powered by Chrome OS. Its design might look like an old device, but it's as new as it gets.
Best and most innovative feature of this notebook is undoubtedly the security and virus protection provided by Chrome OS. Not just that, but it performs really well and is capable of handling most of the day to day programs and Chrome OS now can run Microsoft Office applications.
Even though it's an incredibly portable laptop, it packs a keyboard that provides a pleasant experience while writing and we highly recommend this PC to writers who love to travel and write.
Its Intel Dual Core processor along with 4 GB RAM delivers the performance for running your applications and it's also good laptop while heavy multi-tasking on browsers.
We can assure you this is one of the most sturdy and lightweight laptops under $200. Overall, it's a nicely designed notebook that is wildly portable and can run plenty of games smoothly.
4. HP Stream Laptop PC 11-y010nr
The HP Stream 11-y010nr is another one of the best laptops under $200 and it's available in two colors, purple and blue. It's equipped with all the ports and slots that one might need for extra connectivity.
The only complaint I have about this 11-inch laptop is about its 32 GB SSD which is way less for most of the users and they'll have to rely on cloud storage.
The 11 hours of battery backup is a great advantage for people that use their laptop on the go.
It's powered by Intel Celeron Dual Core processor, 4 GB DDR3 RAM and Windows 10 which makes sure your laptop is all set for efficient performance.
Even though it's a portable 11-inch laptop, it features a decent keyboard with perfect keys and touchpad that are able to deliver the pleasant experience.
It's known for providing a robust and sturdy body that can even survive a fall or two and in case you desire a bigger screen, it' also available in 14-inch variant with same specifications for a nominal extra fee.
Overall, it's the best budget laptop under $200 and totally lives up to the expectations.
5. Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ
If we're talking about the laptops under $200, we simply can't forget the Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ. It's a perfect option for multimedia users on the budget as it can smoothly play your movies and songs and it will only cost you around $150.
Even though it's a Chromebook, it has enough ports for wire line connectivity and in case you're not satisfied with the Chrome OS, you can also install Windows on it.
Under the hood, it has Intel Celeron N2840 Dual Core processor, 16 GB SSD and 2 GB of DDR3L SDRAM. It also packs Intel HD graphics which will help you while watching HD movies and videos.
For such low price, it doesn't miss out any anything and includes a decent hardware that'll allow the users to perform a number of useful tasks. Well, that's surely not a bad thing if you look at the price of this device.
Anyways, if you're good with regular notebook then go with this one and in case you'd like its convertible model then that's available too for nominal extra cash.
6. ASUS VivoBook L203MA
When it comes to buying a new laptop for under $200, the ASUS VivoBook L203MA is a dependable option. The 11-inch notebook features an efficient Intel Celeron processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 64 GB SSD.
It sports a polymer battery that will easily last over 10 hours while playing videos. As one of the best laptops in this guide, it is powered by Windows 10 in S Mode. The S mode is a secure version of Windows that will only install applications verified by Microsoft.
Accordingly, it also packs a full-size chiclet keyboard with plenty of smart features and a large touchpad that is very comfortable to use.
It's surely among the top class laptops for college students and the aspect that makes it a perfect device is certainly its design and powerful hardware for such price.
Other than being extremely lightweight and providing an excellent battery life, it also has amazing speakers and one can easily watch movies on its battery all day long. Overall, it's an excellent option for browsing, watching movies, studying, attending classes, etc.
7. Acer TravelMate
Acer is known for their high-performance budget laptops and the Acer TravelMate is no exception. What makes it different from other laptops under $200 is its long lasting battery life and out of the box design.
Under the hood, it's powered by an Intel Celeron processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB eMMC SSD and Microsoft Windows 10 Professional. It's a good choice for people who need a portable device for such low price. Its specifications are great for the asking price and they work smoothly with MS Windows 10.
It weighs about 3 pounds and it's a good choice for school students who have to carry their PC in their backpack. If we talk about its build quality, it's a reliable device and totally deserves credit for being this solid.
Overall, it's not the fastest laptop on the market but you get what you pay for and it's a decent option for the asking price.
8. ASUS C202SA Chromebook
Here comes another one of the best budget Chromebooks under $200 from ASUS. It's powerful enough to run most of your basic programs. Even though it's a portable 11-inch laptop, it sports a decent keyboard for writers and comes with 1 year of international warranty.
This model is ruggedized and water resistant, with rubber wrapped edges. It can survive a drop from 4 feet, so you can expect it will last a relatively long time and withstand rough usage. It's also very lightweight at 2.65 pounds. You won't even notice it in a backpack.
It has a solidly built chassis, and its insides include Intel Celeron N3060 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 16 GB of eMMC SSD.
Additionally, it provides a battery that can last for up to 10 hours. It has all the updated features and hardware including all the ports and plugs. Thanks to its Intel GMA HD graphics, it's able to handle some of the light games flawlessly.
This is one of the best laptops under $200 right now and it's perfect for all kinds of people and usage.
9. Dell Inspiron i3542-602BLK
The Dell Inspiron i3542-602BLK is one of its kind of a laptop for such low price and it's designed according to everyday user's needs. Like most of the $200 laptops, this one also comes with only 32 GB of SSD and user will have to rely on an external storage device or SD card.
It's a 14-inch laptop which is portable enough to carry around and also includes 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 ports, and HDMI port.
It's a perfectly priced PC and is the best option for limited tasks like Facebook, browsing, shopping, etc. It can also make a wonderful birthday or anniversary gift to your wife or girlfriend. It's also a good choice for businessmen who have to travel often.
It comes with pre-installed Windows 10 and it works pretty smoothly with its specifications. It's powered by Intel Celeron N3050 processor and Intel HD graphics. It also packs 2 GB of Memory which can be upgraded up to 16 GB.
One drawback of this laptop for some people can be a lack of optical drive but that's pretty standard for portable laptops. All in all, it's a suitable notebook for most of the frequent travelers as well as homemakers.
10. Lenovo IdeaPad 210S
The Lenovo IdeaPad 210s is another one of the best budget laptops under $200, and since its release, it has been among the best sellers. It offers specifications that are usually found in netbooks, and it comes with Intel Celeron N3350 processor, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB eMMC flash storage.
Its design and color might feel odd to some people since Lenovo has given it a classic look, but regardless of that, it features an ergonomically designed keyboard and touchpad which are pretty responsive and accurate.
For the OS, it comes with pre-installed Windows 10 and thanks to its battery it can easily last up to 8 hours. Moreover, it has a real built-in webcam which one can use while video chatting and its 11-inch display is pretty sharp.
It also features Intel HD graphics which is good for casual gaming and HD videos. Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad 210s is a budget friendly device, and most of the certified buyers have left a positive review after using.
Laptops Under $200 Worth mentioning
Dell Chromebook 11
Simbans tango tab
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e Chromebook
Now you know what kind of laptops one can buy for under $200 and of course, it's totally possible to use them for more than a couple of years.
With so many $200 laptops it can be tough to choose one of them so you must always focus on your usage and requirements. You should also look for the portability it offers and it should have at least 4 hours of battery life.
Before creating this guide, we have tested all of these laptops and have checked the reviews of laptop experts. You can also check our list of laptops under $300 in case you have that budget.
I know for many, the storage will be an issue but what else can one do on a limited budget? They'll have to work with it or else one can look out for used and refurbished laptops.
You'll also find some of the best Chromebooks under $200 here and if you're fine with Chrome OS then feel free to buy one. Anyways, if you have already purchased one of these, then we would appreciate if you shared your experience.
Q: What is the best laptop under $200?
A: The most popular laptop for less than $200 is the HP Chromebook 11, making it the best in many people’s opinions.
Q: Should I buy a laptop or a Chromebook for everyday use?
A: Chromebooks are great devices for simple everyday use and are one of the top options for casual users. If you need your laptop for more than just casual web surfing, you should opt for a laptop with a Core i5 CPU or above.
Q: What is the best budget laptop for children?
A: The ASUS C202SA CHROMEBOOK is a brilliant device for children.
Q: How much should I spend on a laptop?
A: That is all down to your budget. Most high-quality laptops cost around $800 to $1000 and can be used for work, leisure, and playing games.
Q: How do I choose a laptop?
A: You should always use a buying guide if you are a first-time laptop buyer. This will ensure that you do not miss out on any important features and specifications.
Q: How much RAM do I need my laptop to have?
A: Look for a laptop with at least 4GB RAM for leisurely use. If you need a laptop with good graphics, look for one with 8GB RAM or higher.
Q: How long will a new laptop last me?
A: The lifetime of a new laptop depends on how often you use it and what you are using it for. If you use your laptop every day for work or intense gaming, you will probably need to renew it after three or four years.
Never let your laptop overheat as this will cause it to deteriorate and need replacing drastically. You can put a laptop cooling pad under the laptop to stop it from overheating thus making it last longer.
Another important thing to remember is to look after your laptop's battery. Never keep the charger plugged into your laptop if it has fully charged as this will reduce its efficiency.
Q: Are laptops becoming obsolete?
A: Tablets and 2-in-1 laptops are becoming more and more popular; however, they can not replace a high-quality laptop as they have limited RAM and storage space.
Q: Which laptop brands are the most reliable and last the longest?
A: HP, Lenovo, Apple, and Dell XPS are very reliable laptop and tablet brands that develop models that will last for a number of years.
Q: Should I buy a laptop online or offline?
A: It doesn’t matter how you choose to buy your laptop. You will usually find better deals and prices if you buy online due to the popularity of online shopping. If you are confident in what you are looking for, shop online.