People often ask: what is the best laptop for the money? The answer can be different for everyone. “Value” depends on what purpose you want to use a laptop for. Do you need a laptop for learning, gaming, office or content creation, and productivity tasks? A laptop for learning will never provide value for gaming. Likewise, a productivity horse will leave you wanting more when you’re using it to play games. And while you can use a gaming laptop for office or learning, the higher cost will bring its overall value down in the long run.
For this write-up, I have put together a list of the best value laptops based on each laptop’s particular use. These laptops offer specifications and feature combo that suits your unique needs. Take a look!
ASUS TUF FX505DT Laptop – Great Value for a Budget gamer
ASUS TUF lineup of gaming laptops has some great budget gaming options. But FX505DT takes the cake because of the excellent value for the price it offers. In just under $900, you get 1080p gaming thanks to a combination of AMD’s Ryzen 5 3550H processor and Nvidia’s capable GTX 1650 GPU. Not just that, ASUS has added some extra bells and whistles as well.
The laptop has a modest plastic chassis. While it’s not fully aluminum unibody construction like other gaming laptops, it doesn’t feel cheap. Additionally, the FX505DT also boasts a healthy refresh rate of 120 Hz. So even if you are not hitting the max, this adds a layer of smoothness to any game you play. Oh, and you also get an RGB backlit keyboard.
Of course, you also have to manage your expectations because the GTX Turing GPU won’t be killing ultra settings at 120 fps. But it certainly delivers 1080p if you are a little more considerate in the graphics department. Still, on top settings, we were able to play Far Cry New Dawn at 44fps on average. That’s great for a budget gaming laptop.
While ASUS uses WD NVMe SSD to keep data transfer smooth, 250 GB feels slightly limited. Try sticking Red Dead Redemption 2, and you won’t be left with space for anything else. So, If you can work with this limitation, the ASUS TUF FX505DT is an excellent value for a budget gamer.
Buy Here: Amazon
Apple MacBook Pro (16 Inches) – Great Value for Creatives & Business Professionals
The 16 inches Macbook Pro released back in 2019 is an easy recommendation for professionals. It’s a powerful, well-rounded beast of a machine that brings incredible power, performance, and value. Yup! It annihilates in performance even the latest version’s base configuration. But, it’s slightly heavier than other versions, so don’t expect it to keep you company on everyday travels.
This MacBook features a 9th-gen 6-Core 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 Processor, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD Storage. Thus bringing desktop-class graphics power to a laptop. Moreover, it has a stunning Retina Display with True Tone technology. The magic keyboard is truly magical – responsive, comfortable to type, and super quiet.
As for the battery, Apple claims a runtime of 11 hours. While that seems like a stretch, you should easily be able to get an entire day’s work of performance on a single charge. Finally, it has all the luxury features (such as a Thunderbolt 3 port) you have come to expect from premium business laptops.
With a bigger display, a beefier graphics card, and an improved keyboard (yay!), Apple’s 2019 MacBook Pro is a beyond-capable powerhouse for professionals and creatives. Only they can get the most value out of its premium price tag.
Buy Here: Amazon
HP Pavilion x360 (2021) – Great Value for Work-At-Home Professionals
Since its introduction back in 2015, the HP Pavilion x360 has been praised for its solid performance. Subsequent models further improved on various aspects. For instance, the latest 2021 version now supports touch input, has a better display with thinner bezels (FHD), and a higher screen-to-body ratio.
You can go with any hardware configuration, depending on your budget. The laptop supports 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1(Up to 3.4GHz) and Intel Core i5-1035G1 (up to 3.6GHz) processors. For memory, HP offers 8GB & 16GB DDR 4 options. Likewise, storage can be 128GB t0 512 M.2 SSD drive. It also has 802.11ac support, Webcam, HDMI, and Fingerprint reader.
As it’s a convertible, you can use it any way you want. Emailing while huddled in the blanket? No problem, use it in tablet mode. Video conferencing? Use the laptop mode. Watching movies as you do the dishes? Use the tent mode.
So, it’s perfect for web browsing, web conferencing, light editing, and entertainment. It’s plenty capable of running full-blown Windows10 Home and never feels sluggish in performance. It’s also lightweight, quiet, has decent battery life, and an all-around pleasure to use. Perfect for work-at-home professionals!
Buy Here: Amazon
Dell Inspiron 15 (5502) – Great Value for College Students
The Dell Inspiron 15 (5502) is an upgrade on already very in-demand Inspiron 5584. This thin and lightweight laptop introduces a brand new chassis design to the Dell’s Inspiron series. The dual-heat pipes, dual-fans, and a drop-hinge keep your system pretty cool while working.
It sports Intel’s latest 11th gen Tiger Lake processor options, ranging from the Core i5-1135G7 chip with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, 256 GB M.2 SSD, and 1080p non-touchscreen for about $700 up to the Core i7-1165G7 with 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD, and 1080p touchscreen for $900.
The area where Inspiron 15 really excels is expandability. Believe it or not, it has two SODIMM and two storage bays. You can easily exploit these slots to make the most of your purchase, as similarly priced laptops often lack storage options. The battery life is also pretty decent. It lasts for an entire day of light browsing and document editing.
Therefore, it is an excellent value for college students because of its upgradability and affordability. Keep in mind, though, its display is dim and lackluster. This makes it unsuitable for any photo editing tasks. And although it has a backlit keyboard, gaming isn’t its strongest suit.
Buy Here: Amazon
Acer Aspire E 15 – Great Value for Programmers, Developers, and Designers
The Acer Aspire E15 is undoubtedly one of the best value laptops today. It offers several excellent features at a very competitive price range. It has a plethora of port options (including USB-C) and over 10 hours of battery life. Plus, the removal compartment at the base easily lets you upgrade should you run out of hard disk and memory.
It has an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 Quad-core 8250Uprocessor (up to 3.4 GHz boost), NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 2GB of dedicated GDDR 5 VRAM, 8GB Memory, and 256GB SSD. With such high specifications, programming tasks run smoothly and for an extended period without overloading your machine.
Furthermore, it has a backlit keyboard, a responsive touchpad, and all the ports you want (except thunderbolt 3). The only area where it disappoints is the display. The 15.6-inches full HD LED-lit IPS display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080p. Unfortunately, it has thick bezels, and while the viewing angle is decent, its brightness is dim.
That said, Acer’s Aspire E15 is an affordable laptop for programmers, game developers, and graphics designers. It can handle intensive tasks like a pro and offers great customization options.
Buy Here: Amazon
What type of laptop offers the most value for you?
General laptops come cheap. You can easily find the best laptop under 500 (link article) in this category. These laptops focus more on practicality than power, style, portability, or other luxury features. So you will usually find non-ultrabook clamshell laptops with HD display and 128GB SSD. These laptops are ideal for general everyday use like browsing, streaming, preparing school assignments, or official documentation.
Ultrabooks are thin and lightweight. They offer better display, storage, battery life, and overall performance than general laptops. Ultrabooks come with powerful yet mobile-centric components. The cost of Ultrabooks varies greatly depending on what components you want. You can get an ultrabook for as low as $700 or as high as $2000. These laptops are ideal for mobile professionals.
Two in One laptop
Laptops that can also double as a tablet fall under this category. These laptops are designed with both 360 degree rotating and detachable hinges. You won’t find a powerful machine in this category because these laptops are designed for cool, quiet, and portable operation using low-power mobile processors. As you can use these laptops in multiple orientations and environments, these two-in-one convertibles are suitable for mobile professionals, college professors, and students.
All of the best Chromebooks (link best Chromebooks article) run on the Chrome OS. With these little laptops, you can do pretty much anything you can with a regular Windows or macOS. Besides, Chromebooks are focused on the cloud over local storage. Therefore even 128GB storage is rare in this category. Chromebooks are inexpensive, generally costing less than $300 for a solid machine. These laptops are good for kids and younger students.
Finally, we have the gaming laptops. As obvious, these laptops are a beast of a machine offering desktop-level performance. 4K displays and the highest possible hardware components money can buy are very common in this category. Although you can find a good budget laptop for under 500 (Link article) US dollars, professional gamers use laptops that cost as much as $6000. You can find some of the best laptops (Link Article) here.
So, that’s pretty much everything we have on the value laptops. The best laptop for the money offers excellent functionality while making the most financial and component limitations. With 5 of the best value laptops above, we hope you’re now able to narrow down your options. Good luck, and thank you for reading!