Laptop prices have never been lower, and the quality of cheap laptops has gone up substantially in the last few years. It didn’t used to make sense to buy a cheap laptop, because often times they were barely able to run Windows, but that’s no longer the case. If you have a few hundred bucks to spend and you want to enjoy the portability and function a laptop affords, you don’t have to sacrifice too much.
You can even get competent gaming laptops now for well under a thousand bucks. Walmart has a bunch of cheap laptops on clearance, including some gaming laptops, so if you’re looking to buy, or you’re preparing for school, now’s a great time to buy. Walmart also offers free shipping, a huge bonus.
Lenovo ideapad 320 Celeron
This is the barest computer on clearance right now that’s both name-brand and runs Windows. It’s not packing much in the way of specs, but there’s enough here to surf and do some Word Processing, which, let’s be honest, is 90% of what laptops get used for anyway.
Lenovo ideapad 320 Pentium
This is a slightly upgraded version of the ideapad above, swapping a Celeron processor for a Pentium processor, and the same pros and cons apply. It is more powerful, so you’ll see a bump in performance over the cheaper version.
Acer Swift 3 Ultrabook
The Acer Swift 3 Ultrabook has a lot going for it: current-gen i5 processor, full HD display, a 256GB SSD, and a nice light and thin profile, weighing just over 3 pounds.
Acer Aspire R5 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop
I’m a big fan of the 2-in-1 laptop, having reviewed a few in the past. Sometimes I just don’t want to tap a screen to type out a hilarious Twitter joke, and having the functionality of a laptop with the convenience of a tablet rules. Plus reading books and especially comics on a giant touchscreen is pure bliss.
Lenovo Gaming Laptop, 1TB HDD
OK, enough of those laptops for getting work done. I know you really want a good deal on a gaming laptop. Gaming laptops are the best kind of laptops, because after you get done doing your taxes or writing a paper, you can open up Steam and disappear into a world of fantasy. This Lenovo has a 1050 Ti pumping out its pixels, a fine GPU, especially for the price.
Lenovo Gaming Laptop, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
This is largely the same laptop as the one above, but Lenovo crammed a 128GB SSD in there along with an extra 8GB of RAM for good measure. If someone asked me to recommend a gaming laptop for under $1000, I’d point them to this one. That means YOU!
ASUS Vivobook 15 Red
This ASUS laptop is the best balance of value and power. If you want a laptop that can do some serious work without breaking the bank, this one has an Intel i5 processor, 1TB hard drive and a touch screen, too. You can get a model with an Intel i7 processor for $60 more.
Seth Macy is IGN’s tech and commerce editor and believer in the goodness of humanity. Talk him up on Twitter @sethmacy.