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Guide'em's Top 5 Budget Laptops for 2021

As technology continously improves, so do our range of choice. It wasn’t too long ago that budget laptops were slow, flimsy machines that weren’t up to much. Nowadays, there are so many capable machines it can be hard to know what’s the best out there.

Budget laptops are what the majority of computer users own. Offering all the same basic functionaliuty as more premium systems, unless you have a niche requirement or are into gaming or media, a budget laptop will be best. Why spend thousands when you can get a capabale machine for much less? Budget laptops are perfect for browsing the internet, shopping online, streaming, video calls, office work and basic multimedia.

Guide’em have compiled a list of the best budget laptops for 2021, from full-size Windows laptops to Chromebooks and hybrids. Read on to find out our Top 5!

    1. Acer Chromebook 314

    Review Model

    Weight: 1.7kg
    Size: 20mm thick
    Battery life: 13 hours
    Screen: 14-inch 1080p
    RAM: 4GB
    Storage: 32/64GB SSD
    CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
    OS: Chrome OS

    Our Rating

    In our opinion, the Acer 314 is the best budget Chromebook on the market. This model makes it easier than ever to ditch Microsoft and Windows for good.

    The processor easily handles multiple tabs and video streaming, but if you want a machine capable of serious media editing you’ll have to look elsewhere.

    The aluminium exterior looks great, the screen is crisp, and the keyboard has a satisfying feel. There are 2 USB 3 and 2 USB-C ports, and a battery that lasts up to 12.5 hours on a single charge. 

    Overall, the Acer Chromebook 314 is well-designed and easy to use with enough power to function as a daily computer.

    2. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

    Review Model

    Weight: 1.6kg
    Size: 20mm thick
    Battery life: 7.5 hours
    Screen: 14-inch 1080p
    RAM: 8GB
    Storage: 256GB SSD
    CPU: AMD Ryzen 5
    OS: Windows 10 Home

    Our Rating

    Lenovo don’t want an budget to = slow, and with the IdeaPad 3, they’re proved they can deliver.

    A powerful processor coupled with powerful memory and storage mean this laptop delivers bang for it’s buck. Everyday computing, streaming and even light media editing are not an issue this this laptop. 

    We love that you can switch between Max Mode – which gives the quickest performance –  and Stealth Mode – which makes the machine run quieter, and preserves battery life.

    With 2 USB-3 ports, an SD card slot, a HD web-cam with privacy shutter and dual band wireless, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a versatile little laptop, and our favourite for everyday use.

    3. Microsoft Surface Go 2

    Review Model

    Weight: 1.2kg
    Size: 20mm thick
    Battery life: 10.5 hours
    Screen: 10.5-inch 1080p
    RAM: 4GB
    Storage: 64GB SSD
    CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y Processor
    OS: Windows 10 Home S

    Our Rating

    In your search for a budget laptop for 2021, why not consider a hybrid? If portability is a key factor for you, and you’re not looking for a powerhouse, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 is an excellent choice.

    It easily converts between laptop and tablet, making it easy to jot down ideas, help out with homework, create and practice presentations and more. 

    The size and weight of the tablet make it ideal for carrying around, as well as a decent enough size for streaming too.

    If it’s a family computer you’re looking for, the Surface Go 2 is a great contender. It offers parent-managed screen time limits, spending control, and content filtering.

    4. HP Steam 14

    Review Model

    Weight: 1.45kg
    Size: 18mm thick
    Battery life: 10 hours
    Screen: 14 inch 1366 x 768 pixel resolution
    RAM: 4GB
    Storage: 64GB SSD
    CPU: AMD Athlon 3020e
    OS: Windows 10 Home S

    Our Rating

    Slim and stylish, the HP Steam 14 retails for a bargin price.

    The battery is impressive, and with HP’s Fast Charge you can go from 0 to 50% battery in 45 minutes. Two USB A, 1 USB-C, a microSD card slot and built in webcam mean this laptop offers a great range of features.

    The screen’s anti-glare panel is great for enjoying your favourite content in the sun. It’s nonreflective and low gloss, meaning you’ll get less glare while you’re outside.

    The HP Steam 14 comes with a free year of Microsoft Office 365, and 1 TB of cloud storage, which is a nice touch!

    5. Acer Aspire 3

    Review Model

    Weight: 1.9kg
    Size: 24mm thick
    Battery life: 7 hours
    Screen: 15.6-inch 1080p
    RAM: 4GB
    Storage: 128GB SSD
    CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3250U
    OS: Windows 10 Home S

    Our Rating

    This budget laptop crams a lot of features in. It comes with three USB type-A ports, dual band wireless, and the option to upgrade to 1TB harddrive. Users can also connect an external display through the HDMI port.

    The Aspire 3 serves up a  Full HD screen that is surprisingly crisp along with good ergonomics. It’s got a keyboard that’s snappy, and the trackpad buttons are responsive.

    The only thing that lets this machine down is it’s lacklustre design. It’s a plain looking laptop, and the lid feels a little flimsy (the trade-off for the size.) We’d recommend a laptop sleeve for travel!


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