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10 Best Laptops under $200: Choices that Do Not let you Down

Affordable laptops are good picks but if you can get hold of something for under 200 dollars, you can’t help but question its functionality. Regardless of what commonsense would project, a $200 can still exist in the retail space whilst being functional and capable of managing some unexpected professional and personal feats.

Before you venture out for laptop shopping with a light wallet on you, you must set aside skyward expectations. Also, while there are decent laptops to purchase for under $400, $500, and even $300 in certain cases, the 200-dollar mark is probably the lowest threshold for someone on the tightest possible budget.

Although it isn’t even wise to expect a $200 laptop to turn heads, what can still look forward to a decent chunk of RAM for multitasking, a legible display , quad-core processor, durable build quality, and the ability to manage everyday tasks with ease. 

Best Laptop under $200: My Top Recommendation

Lenovo IdeaPad 1

If you are biased towards inexpensive secondary laptops to aid and assist your primary machine, the IdeaPad 1 from Lenovo seems like the best choice for less than 200 dollars. Stacked up with an Intel Celeronchipset, this laptop is one of the ultraportable units that you can pick for experiencing Windows 10 functionality, anti-glare display, and excellent cost-to-ownership ratio.

Coming back to the generic predispositions towards laptops under $200, you shouldn’t be overenthusiastic and look for options to make gaming, video editing, or relentless content creation possible. The most you can expect from these best budget laptops is good enough streaming support. 

Acer Aspire 5
Lenovo IdeaPad 1
  • Celeron N4020 with 4GB DDR4 RAM & 64GB SSD
  • Up to 8 Hours Battery, 14-inch HD Display
  • Win 10 S Mode OS
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HP Pavilion x360
Asus L210
  • Intel Celeron with 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC
  • Up to 12 Hours Battery, 11.6-inch Display
  • 180-degree hinge
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Lenovo IdeaPad S145
Lenovo Chromebook Duet
  • Helio P60T with 4GB RAM & 64GB SSD
  • Up to 10 Hours Battery, 10-inch FHD Display
  • WUXGA screen
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Asus VivoBook 15
HP Chromebook 14a
  • Intel Celeron N4000 with 4GB RAM & 32GB eMMC
  • 14-inch High Definition Display
  • Up to 14 Hours Battery with Stereo Speakers
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Dell Inspiron 5593
Acer Aspire 1
  • Intel Celeron N3450 with 4GB RAM & 32GB SSD
  • 9 Hours Battery, 14-inch HD Display
  • Excellent battery, Fast SSD
Check Price →
Lenovo IdeaPad S340
Samsung Chromebook 4
  • Celeron N-series Processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC
  • Up to 12.5 Hours battery with11.6-inch FHD
  • Military-grade form factor
Check Price →
Acer Swift 3
Asus Chromebook CX22NA
  • Intel Celeron N3350 Processor with 4GB RAM & 16GB eMMC
  • Up to 11 Hours Battery, 11.6-inch FHD
  • 100% color accuracy
Check Price →
Dell 15 3000
Acer Chromebook 311
  • Celeron N4000 Processor with 4GB RAM & 32GB HDD
  • 11.6-inch Display, Up to 10 Hours Battery
  • IPS screen
Check Price →
HP Stream 11
  • Celeron N4000 Processor with 4GB RAM & 32GB HDD
  • 12 Hours Battery, 11+-inch Display
  • Glare-free screen
Check Price →
Microsoft Surface Go
HP 14-AX040WM
  • Celeron D Processor with 4GB RAM and 32 eMMC
  • 5 Hours Battery, 14-inch Display
  • HD webcam
Check Price →

I know that when it comes to picking up the best laptop for $200, there aren’t many usable choices around. However, I have still reviewed and tested the best available options in the market to come forth with a list that makes sense. 

Minimum Specifications

Note: Although a $200 laptop doesn’t let you make a lot of choices, you must still watch out for some basic specifications to even consider buying one. Here are the specs that actually make sense and must be strictly adhered to:

  • Processor:  Intel Celeron
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC
  • Display: 11.6-inch HD
  • Battery Life: Up to 4 Hours
  • OS: Chrome OS

Also, you must have seen that I have let go of the graphics card as a selection criterion. The reason is pretty self-explanatory as laptops for under 200 dollars inadvertently make way for basic, integrated graphics coprocessors. 

Best Budget Laptops Reviewed

During the course of this discussion, I plan on reviewing each $200 laptop by evaluating them across several parameters. Also, none of my reviews will be random as I have used each of the enlisted laptops for at least a fortnight before being critical towards the same.

1. Lenovo IdeaPad 1: Best Overall

Lenovo IdeaPad 1
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch HD
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 Hours
  • OS: Windows 10 in S Mode

Review

The IdeaPad 1 readily makes its way atop the list, with a sizable screen, low-power processor, interactive OS, and SSD support to work with. This is arguably the best laptop under $200, if you are interested in a comprehensive specs sheet, led by a professional-grade display. 

Design & Display 

Coming to the display, the 14-inch screen is worth investing in. The expansive panel showcases an overall resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, which might not be the brightest but certainly gets the job done. 

The 14-inch display looks even bigger with the narrow bezels to show for. As far as the design is concerned, this is one plastic-clad laptop with minimal thickness that doesn’t exceed the 1-inch mark. Plus, it weighs a notch above the 3-pound mark, making it quite portable. 

Internals

The is 4GB of DDR4 RAM to speed up streaming and online browsing activities. Storage runs thin at 64GB but the SSD makes file retrievals faster than usual.

Productivity

As far as the productivity goes, the Intel Celeron N4020 is good enough to work with. The Intel UHD graphics pertaining to this chipset handles visuals better than the likes of Intel Celeron n3350, and other primitive chipsets. 

This budget laptop also comes equipped with Dolby Audio functionality, which plays a pivotal role in qualifying the Ideapad 1 one a proper streaming-oriented device. Finally, the connectivity gamut is top-notch with Lenovo accommodating Wi-Fi AC support, 2 USB 3.1 slots, HDMI, and more.

In conclusion, with 8 hours of backup to show for, the IdeaPad 1 is arguably the best laptop under 200 dollars, if you also want to make use of the Windows 10 S mode functionality, biased towards minimal bloatware and power efficiency. 

PROS

  • Massive display
  • Powerful speakers
  • Perfect for video conferencing
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Light and portable

CONS

  • Not the best viewing angles
  • Underwhelming storage support

2. Asus L210: Best with Portability in Mind

Asus L210
  • Processor: Intel Celeron
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC 
  • Display: 11.6-inch
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 Hours
  • OS: Win 10 in S Mode
Check Latest Price

Review

The Asus L210 makes it on the list owing to its professional operating system and an incredibly slim and portable form factor. While there are several good things about this 11-inch laptop, what convinced me was the reasonable processor, leading towards a fanless design for better productivity. 

Design & Display 

When it comes to sheer design, this 2.2-pound device is certainly the best laptop under $200. While the heft remains pretty standard at 2.2 pounds, it is the re-engineered touchpad that impresses me beyond contemplation. Plus, you can always make use of the 180-degree hinge for furthering its aesthetic presence.

The 11.6-inch screen is strictly high-definition and doesn’t quite deliver when outdoor usage is concerned. Still, as an 11-inch laptop it is adequately bright and even boasts slimmer bezels. 

Internals

Like most other 11-inch laptops on the list, even the Asus L210 features 4GB RAM for seamless browsing and conferencing. The 64GB eMMC flash storage unit might be a tad underwhelming but gets you up to speed with storage-specific needs. 

Productivity

The N4020 bests the Intel Celeron N4000 by a significant margin. Plus, the intel UHD graphics makes the visuals come to life. What works well for a professional is the minimal heat generation, which in turn keeps the fan out of the equation. Finally, you also get a brilliantly designed keyboard with palm-rejection support to help you with content creation.

Overall, the Asus L210 is one brilliant piece of hardware, offering close to 12 hours of battery life, which outpaces other budget inclusions. 

PROS

  • Slim and light
  • Excellent battery backup
  • Win 10 S Mode is power efficient
  • Fast processor with zero overheating
  • Wide range of connectivity-specific perks

CONS

  • Sunlight visibility is questionable
  • Middling storage

3. Lenovo Chromebook Duet: Best with Chrome OS

Lenovo Chromebook Duet
  • Processor: Helio P60T
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Display: 10.1-inch WUXGA
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 Hours
  • OS: Chrome OS
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Review

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet isn’t your standard professional laptop but a resourceful tablet-PC with low-power processing components, exceptionally bright screen, and excellent online exposure, if you are more into using cloud-specific applications. 

Design & Display 

The Lenovo Chromebook makes way for an alloyed chassis. Plus, the dual-tone layout means that you get required plastic undertones to keep the product light and well-ventilated. As far as functionality goes, you can attach a keyboard and a kickstand to the same via the useful pogo pin connector. 

The 10.1-inch Full HD screen cannot be any brighter. Plus, the multi-touch panel responds well to an active USI stylus pen and boasts decent sunlight visibility. 

Internals

You even get 4GB of low-power RAM for multi-tab browsing. Plus, the 64GB SSD space is good enough for any Chromebook in the given price range. The Chrome OS is interactive enough and unlike Windows, doesn’t eat up a lot of storage with residual bloatware.

Productivity

The Helio P60T is fast and ensures that the Lenovo Chromebook Duet boots up in almost no time, albeit with the fast SSD breathing down on its neck. However, as a comprehensive device, this Lenovo Chromebook makes room for several other resources, including the 8MP rear and 2MP front shooter, dolby speakers, and a Type-C port for added functionality.

Finally, you get 10 hours of battery life to depend on, which makes it outpace any other chromebook in the retail space. 

PROS

  • 1920 x 1200 pixels make it adequately bright
  • Sharp IPS screen with excellent outdoor visibility
  • No overheating
  • Outstanding battery
  • Light and portable

CONS

  • Lacks Win 10 app support
  • Not enough ports

4. HP Chromebook 14a: Best Screen Size

HP Chromebook 14a
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4000
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Display: 14-inch High Definition
  • Battery Life: Up to 14 Hours
  • OS: Chrome OS
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Review

Unlike any other 11-inch chromebook on the list, the HP Chromebook 14a is more like a fully functional laptop, provided you are more into online tasks and apps. What makes this tick is the entire gamut of functional traits, including the Bang & Olufsen speakers, 14 hours of battery backup, fast charging support, and a surprising, backlit keyboard

Design & Display 

This aesthetically crafted chromebook weighs no more than 3.24 pounds. While the form factor is still on the portable side, it is the 14-inch screen that impresses me the most. Plus, you have an anti-glare support on this one followed by the 82 percent screen-to-body support for better streaming. 

Internals

The HP Chromebook fits in 4GB of RAM that works in tandem with the 32GB of eMMC storage space. However, you can always upgrade the storage space via the pre-existing SD card reader. 

Productivity

The Intel Celeron N4000 makes the cut, best known for the maximum burst frequency of up to 2.6GHz. Overall, this HP Chromebook is the perfect resource for someone looking to primarily work online and make less use of on-premise resources. 

PROS

  • Big screen
  • Responsive keyboard
  • Dependable battery life
  • Loud stereo speakers
  • Chrome OS is faster than the Windows counterpart

CONS

  • Dual core processor isn’t meant for the heavy lifting
  • 32GB eMMC is underwhelming

5. Acer Aspire 1: Best Battery Life

Acer Aspire 1
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N3450
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Display: 14-inch Full HD
  • Battery Life: Up to 9 Hours
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
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Review

From the first impression, the Aspire 1 might seem like a pricey laptop but you can get it for close to 200 dollars, provided you are ready to wait for deals. While the product seems more than handy for a regular professional, it is the standard chiclet keyboard that inspires most copywriters, who are on the lookout for a budget device. 

Design & Display 

The Aspire 1 is plastic-clad , boasts rounded edges, aesthetic hinges, and an overall heft of up to 3.64 pounds. The display on the other hand is led by a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. However, the colors still feel a tad washed out at times, mostly outdoors. 

Internals

There is 4GB of RAM to work with followed by the inclusion of a 32GB SSD, lending fast boot-up support to the Windows 10 OS

Productivity

The Celeron N3450 exceeds the performance of the older Celeron N3350. Plus, the Intel HD graphics support adds to the visual brilliance of this promising laptop. Also, the battery lasts for up to 9 hours, making it one of the better units to rely on.

PROS

  • Ultrafast storage space
  • Light
  • Big screen
  • Reliable battery
  • Affordable

CONS

  • TN display feels a tad washed out despite Intel HD graphics
  • 32GB storage isn’t enough for a standard laptop

6. Samsung Chromebook 4: Best with Intel Celeron

Samsung Chromebook 4
  • Processor: Intel Celeron
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Display: 11.6-inch 
  • Battery Life: Up to 12.5 Hours
  • OS: Chrome
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Review

The new and improved Samsung Chromebook 4 takes productivity to a whole new level with a full-size, responsive keyboard, ultra-fast internet speeds, and a type-C port that also doubles down as the fast charging ally.

Design & Display 

Not many Chromebooks on budget offer military-grade durability. However, the Samsung Chromebook is an exceptional piece, boasting the requisite ruggedness and a heft that is slightly less than the 3-pound mark.The 11.6-inch panel is sharp and can be attributed to a pretty standard visual quality. 

Internals

For the given price point, 4GB RAM is quite a standard addition. Also, the price range ensures that you get hold of a 64GB eMMC unit as opposed to the 32GB eMMC pertaining to the more cheaper variant. 

Productivity

The standard Celeron chipset persists followed by the UHD graphics support. Not to mention the 12.5 hours of standard battery backup that qualifies the Samsung Chromebook 4 as one of the more dependable gadgets running the Chrome OS. 

PROS

  • Sharp screen
  • Clean operating system
  • One of the few budget laptops with a full-size keyboard
  • eMMC flash memory is quite fast
  • One of the better laptops for web browsing and working on google Docs

CONS

  • Model with 32GB of storage is underwhelming
  • 11-inch screen isn’t great for managing spreadsheets

7. Asus Chromebook CX22NA: Best HD (1366 x 768 Pixels) Screen

Asus Chromebook CX22NA
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N3350
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Display: 11.6-inch
  • Battery Life: Up to 11 Hours
  • OS: Chrome
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Review

Here is one Asus Chromebook that makes the best use of the Chrome OS and even trumps the exceptional Samsung Chromebook with the 100 percent color reproduction support. 

Design & Display 

This plastic-made chromebook weighs 2.2 pounds and makes way for a standard 11.6-inch screen. The native resolution, i.e. 1366 x 768 pixels, makes visuals come to life. 

Internals

While the 4GB RAM is at par with the Samsung Chromebook 4, the Asus Chromebook cuts a few storage-specific corners by making only a 16GB eMMC flash memory available.

Productivity

The Celeron chipset is fast enough and most importantly, does not heat up a bit. Therefore, if you are on the lookout for a stealth laptop under 200, the CX22NA can be quite a compelling selection. Plus, much like the best gadgets in the given price range, it boasts an autonomy of almost 11 hours

PROS

  • Perfect ultraportable laptop for a budget user
  • 4GB RAM
  • Integrated card slot
  • One of the few notebooks to offer access to the play store for android apps

CONS

  • Low on flash storage
  • Lacks a dedicated anti-glare screen

8. Acer Chromebook 311: Best with Cloud Storage

Acer Chromebook 311
  • Processor: Celeron N4000
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage:32GB
  • Display: 11.6 IPS
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 Hours
  • OS: Chrome
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Review

The Acer Chromebook 311 is your best bet when it comes to maximizing cloud storage space by over 100GB. However, this chromebook is easily one of the better laptops on the list for someone who would be interested in carrying the same around for office and personal work 

Design & Display 

Mobility is hardly an issue with the Acer Chromebook 311 making way for a relatively sleek chassis that weighs 2.35 pounds. There is also a standard IPS screen to work with, fortified further with ComfyView anti-glare support and widescreen functionality.

Internals

You get 4GB RAM for efficient multitasking. Plus, 32GB of storage on this Chromebook and that too for the given price point is justified and can be upgraded further, using the expandable slot. 

Productivity

The Celeron N4000 is one of the better SoCs on cheap laptops. However, the low-power processor and 4GB RAM work in tandem to make cloud-based professional workload manageable for the users. 

PROS

  • Affordable price point
  • Chromebook with high speed wireless standard
  • Excellent battery
  • One of the best laptops for online productivity

CONS

  • The USB-C port isn’t the fastest
  • Thicker than usual

9. HP Stream 11: Best in terms of Power Efficiency

HP Stream 11
  • Processor: Celeron N4000
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Display: 11+ inch
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 Hours
  • OS: Win 10 Home
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Review

The HP Stream 11 is one of the more promising laptops under $200, bested by the reliable , 12-hour battery backup and a full gamut of connectivity-specific traits.

Design & Display 

Coming to the design, this is one of the few laptops under $200 to feature an aesthetic form. Also, the product weighs 2.37 pounds and features a HD screen, flaunting 1366 x 768 as the cumulative resolution. Plus, the anti-glare panel keeps the excessive brightness within manageable limits. 

Internals

As expected, the HP Stream 11, like some of the other laptops under $200, features 4GB RAM. You also get 32GB of integrated storage space for managing boot-ups and basic on-premise work.

Productivity

The Celeron N4000 is a reliable processing bet, seen only on the best laptops under 200 dollars. However, the chipset works with the UHD 600 graphics, which performs better than the Intel HD counterparts.

PROS

  • Intel UHD is quite an increment over Intel HD graphics driver
  • More resourceful than a chromebook
  • Competitive price tag
  • Excellent battery backup for a cheap laptop

CONS

  • Bloatware eats into a lot of storage space
  • Not meant for demanding tasks

10. HP 14-AX040WM: Best Price-to-Productivity

HP 14-AX040WM
  • Processor: Celeron D
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Display:14-inch 
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 Hours
  • OS: Windows
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Review

The HP 14-AX040WM is slightly dated for my liking but performs commendably  if you are on the lookout for laptops under $200. What works best is the extensive connectivity suite, led by high-speed wireless standards, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and even a HD webcam. 

Design & Display 

At 3.2 pounds, this plastic-clad notebook  is certainly worth investing in. Plus, the 14-inch screen is bright and at par with some of the best chromebook in the market. Not to mention the Win 10 operating system that makes the screen come to life. 

Internals

You get 4GB RAM on this gadget followed by 32GB of storage space, which might be limiting but adequately fast. 

Productivity

The Celeron D chipset clocks at 1.6GHz and is a perfect resource  for affordable laptops like the HP 14. However, despite the frills, the 5-hour battery backup is certainly a disappointing inclusion, making us place this notebook right at the end of the list. 

PROS

  • Big screen
  • Windows OS outpaces a standard chromebook in terms of functionality
  • One of more durable laptops in this price
  • Masterfully designed keyboard

CONS

  • Middling battery support
  • Underwhelming storage

Buying Guide: Things to Know before Investing in a $200 Laptop

Now that you are aware as to which laptops fit in lik good buys, it might just be the perfect time to skim through the features and broader aspects that would help you make informed decisions, even without sitting through verbose reviews. 

Performance and Processing Setup

If you plan on purchasing an affordable notebook for less than 200 dollars, you must compromise certain traits for the more basic ones. To start with, you must get hold of at least 4GB RAM and 32GB storage. Anything higher is more like a bonus. Also, if you seek a budget notebook, you can expect a standard AMD 3000 series or a Celeron 3000 or 4000 series chipset from Intel. Performances would be restricted to streaming, online multitasking, and cloud computing. 

Display Configuration

As a rule of thumb, you must get an IPS screen, preferably with at least 11 inches of real-estate. HD resolution seems like a commonplace but you can even get hold of a Full HD panel if you know where to look.

Portability

Coming to the portability quotient, your search for the best laptops under $200 should include a chassis and battery backup of at least 8 hours, depending on the OS you plan on persisting with. 

Operating System

The existing selection of laptops under 200 dollars is broadly into Windows and Chrome-powered units. However, the choice of the OS depends on your professional usage and other preferences. 

FAQs

Q1. What is the best laptop under $200

A1. The best notebook under 200 dollars is the one that covers every important aspect, including graphics, battery backup, processing firepower, and even connectivity with precision.

Q2. What is the cheapest good laptop?

A2. The Samsung Chromebook 4 is the cheapest laptop on the list that justifies its price to the best possible capacity.

Q3. What laptops are good for gaming under 200 dollars?

A3. Sub-$200 aren’t meant for gaming. However, if you still want to try your luck with titles like Minecraft and COD, Aspire 1 from Acer seems capable enough?

Q4. What is the best laptop under $250?

A4. If you plan on adding to the price, you can get yourself a brand new Lenovo Flex, boasting remarkable aesthetics. 

Verdict

Finding the perfect notebook for less than 200 dollars can be a daunting task for many. I feel this list can help you make better choices in case budget laptops are your priorities. Also, if you are still confused, even after sifting through a wide range of choices, the IdeaPad 1 mentioned right at the start, seems like a good choice, followed by any Chromebook mentioned in the aforementioned sections. 

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