Laptops under 250 were unheard of until recently. Technology doesn’t only get better with time; it also gets cheaper. Beginners don’t need to spend more than $250 to get started.
What a great time to be alive, right.
You no longer have to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for a laptop. Finally, there are more budget-friendly options, especially if you are buying a beginner’s laptop.
Still, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to expect a good, decent laptop for under $250? Perhaps you are looking for a gift idea for someone new to computing?
It’s possible since new hardware is developed every year, which allows the price of existing ones to lower. This is great because buying a gaming laptop for introducing your grandma to the world of tech is simply a waste of money. Is it even worth a search for laptops under $250?
So, budget-friendly laptops are perfect for kids, grandparents, students, and light tech users. For under $250, you won’t get a workhorse, but a laptop that can manage your internet browsing, movie watching, and word processing. Still, these machines can be incredibly production-orientated and long-lasting.
What To Expect In Laptops Under 250
Light tech users, beginners, and students MOSTLY use their laptops for internet browsing.
This makes budget-friendly models a perfect option since they were designed to perform simple tasks like internet browsing and word processing.
- It’s important to note that some sacrifices had to be made to keep the price so low. And for that very reason, you shouldn’t expect a gaming level of performance.
- Still, you can expect a good quality construction. In most cases, the bodies of these laptops are made out of sturdy plastic material.
- And you can still expect at least 5 hours of battery life. Surprisingly, most of these laptops come with a good, vivid display that is great for watching movies.
Make A Choice Between Chrome & Windows
Given the price range of up to $250 for a laptop, most people opt for a Chromebook. They run smoothly and effortlessly since Chrome OS is a pretty lightweight operating system.
Unfortunately, some of their features require an internet connection. To this day, they’re still working on being more flexible when it comes to offline use.
Windows machines, on the other hand, have the choice of applications and software. However, you can expect some features like a backlit keyboard to be left out. Still, they hold undeniable value when it comes to offline work.
Still, you can be confident that these laptops will serve you well – just not as fast.
The Best Laptops Under $250 In 2021
Here are the BEST laptops under 250 dollars for beginners in 2021.
Slow performance and poor design are expected of budget-friendly laptops. But with Acer Aspire 1, that’s just not the case.
This laptop is of a stylish profile and a slim, lightweight chassis. It also has a beautiful 14-inch 1080p display. This entirely black laptop has a brush textured lid that elevates the aesthetics.
The display can be folded flat thanks to the sturdy hinges that rotate 180°. The display itself offers precision detail. It can reproduce 71% of the sRGB color gamut, which is excellent for a budget-friendly model.
The laptop is equipped with an Intel Celeron N3450 CPU and a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor. This CPU, paired with 4GB RAM, will make your everyday internet browsing go smooth. 1080p video streams will run smoothly, as well.
Intel UHD Graphics 600 has enough power, enabling web games, just not enough for an AAA gaming title. As for the battery, you can expect up to 8-9 hours of battery life, which is excellent.
Pros Of The Acer Aspire 1
- Great battery life
- Full-size keyboard
Cons Of The Acer Aspire 1
- Heats up quickly
What this little 11.6-inch laptop lacks in size, it makes up with toughness. With a sturdy frame, easy-grip handles, rubber guards, and a spill-resistant keyboard, this laptop is perfect for students and middle-school children.
It’s designed to withstand regular use in a harsh environment, giving you a reasonably powerful laptop to work with.
This Chromebook sports an Intel Celeron N3060 CPU (up to 2.48GHz) for snappy performance. That’s more than enough power for writing book reports and spreadsheets. The screen is of a smaller size, measuring only 11.6-inches.
The 1366×768 screen resolution isn’t much, and the screen certainly isn’t sharp, but it’s as crisp as you would expect from a Chromebook. 4GB RAM is more than enough for writing reports and doing school assignments.
The keyboard of this Chromebook provides more than a comfortable typing experience. The touchpad is accurate and comfortable, requiring just the right amount of pressure to click.
More than 8 hours of battery life allows for comfortable computing without being tethered to a power outlet.
Pros Of The C202
- Durable and easy to repair
- Spill-resistant keyboard
- Great battery life
Cons Of The C202
- It’s a little heavier than the competition
HP Stream laptops have been on the market for quite some time now. If you were browsing for electronic devices in a low-budget section, the chances are that HP Stream already caught your eye.
HP Stream 14 is aimed at light-tech users though it keeps a low price by sticking to the bare hardware essentials. This allows for just enough performance for basic tasks like writing, streaming actual online media content, and internet browsing.
The chassis is made out of soft plastic, but the construction is pretty sturdy. The low weight of the chassis paired with a sturdy construction allows for worry-free bag transport.
With Intel Celeron N3060 (1.6GHz), Intel HD Graphics 400, and 4GB RAM, this laptop is mainly suited for a less demanding task. Stream 14 is passively cooled, and since there is no fan, noise emissions are relatively low.
HP Stream 14 is a colorful, budget-friendly option with a good enough performance for typing up papers and web browsing.
Pros Of The HP Stream
- Long battery life
- Free 1TB OneDrive cloud storage for a year
- Stable construction
Cons Of The HP Stream
- Only 32GB of storage
Many low-budget laptops lack certain features to keep the price. Many of those models sport a bare minimum configuration. For the same amount of money, however, a Chromebook might give you better performance.
This little Chromebook 3 by Samsung is a great small laptop, designed for a student who needs a computer for school & entertainment.
For those on the budget, Samsung Chromebook 3 is one of the best options on the market. Its construction is surprisingly good even though it’s made of plastic.
The hinges are strong and flexible, allowing a screen to tilt for a 180°. The 11.6-inch screen is genuinely exceptional. On top of that, the 1366x768p display is bright, with a pretty decent viewing angle.
With a 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3050 CPU, Intel HD Graphics 400, and 4GB RAM, Chromebook 3 has all the performance you need.
Using Chromebook 3, editing a few documents at once while listening to a concert from a streaming site is quickly done. And with a battery life of up to 10 hours, Chromebook 3 can easily last through a workday. Worth looking at if your laptop must be under $250.
Pros Of The Chromebook 3
- Strong performance
- Great battery life
- Accurate, bright screen
Cons Of The Chromebook 3
- Awkward button layout
L402S may be an ultra-affordable laptop, but don’t let that discourage you from buying it. This 14-inch model offers a lightweight design, a great screen, and a comfortable keyboard, and consistent performance at an affordable price.
The case is made out of plastic, with some pretty vivid color. Sometimes it looks black, and in some light, you can see a dark, navy blue. This effect adds some visual interest.
The screen is a decent HD panel reproducing 92% of the sRGB color spectrum, at 1366x768p resolution. Intel Celeron Dual Core N3060 (1.6GHz, up to 2.8GHz), coupled with 4GB RAM, will be enough for basic tasks, like writing and watching movies.
However, you’ll have to rule out gaming and heavy multitasking.
Still, L402S is an excellent choice for students who need an affordable, compact laptop for school.
Pros Of The L402S
- Comfy keyboard
- Multiple color options
Cons Of The L402S
- Meager performance
If you’re on the market for a professional-looking laptop to take along on your business trip, this one might be the right choice.
The Chromebook 11 G5 is one of the most balanced and beautiful devices for a budget-friendly price range.
Intel Celeron N3060 (1.6GHz/2.48GHz), coupled with an Intel HD Graphics 400 and 4GB RAM, are well suited for performing everyday tasks. For most users who use laptops for light work, like writing emails, editing documents, and browsing the web, the Chromebook 11 G5 will do just fine.
Storage is tiny, with only 16GB available. Though Chrome OS isn’t especially demanding, you’ll still have to rely on cloud storage.
Thanks to the energy-efficient processor, and the fanless design, HP Chromebook 11 G5 can hold a charge for more than 8 hours. It’s interesting to see how many features can be added to laptops under $250.
Pros Of The Chromebook 11 G5
- Nice build quality
- Great battery life
- Good value product
Cons Of The Chromebook 11 G5
- Narrow viewing angles
Cloudbook 14 is a cloud-minded Windows laptop.
They were designed to be a Windows-based alternative to Chromebook for students and low-tech users who need it for simple internet browsing.
With Intel Celeron N3050 CPU and only 2GB of RAM, Cloudbook 14 was never meant to be a processing powerhouse. However, it’s more than enough power to handle your internet browsing, email writing, and a few spreadsheets at the same time.
Expecting a top-quality display from a budget-friendly device is a little unreasonable, but a 1366x768p display fits the purpose.
The plastic body feels relatively sturdy. The whole laptop weighs about 3.5 pounds, allowing for excellent mobility. The keyboard quality is pretty decent, and the touchpad is accurate and pleasant to use, especially given the price range of this laptop.
The battery lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. It means you’ll be able to work for the entire day without needing to plug it in.
Pros Of The Cloudbook 14
- Class-leading battery life
- Comfy keyboard
Cons Of The Cloudbook 14
- Limited storage
Acer Chromebook 11 is as good as Chromebooks get.
In the early days, Chromebooks were relatively limited without an internet connection, but that’s no longer the case as they became much more fun to use.
With this particular laptop, you’re getting a compact and light design, reliable performance, and a long-lasting battery. The best part is that all of that comes at an affordable price.
Acer made this laptop stand out with a beautiful white exterior. While its plastic body might not feel expensive, it’s very sturdy. The screen is excellent, too.
This 11.6-inch laptop uses a 1366x768p IPS LCD panel. The resolution might be low, but the colors are satisfying, viewing angles are quite broad, and there is no noticeable glare.
Intel 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840, 2GB RAM, and 16GB storage will give you just enough power and storage to work with multiple documents and web pages.
Pros Of The Acer Chromebook 11
- Up to 9 hours of battery life
Cons Of The Acer Chromebook 11
- Not a “design-piece.”
When it appeared a few your back, Elitebook 8470P was a top-of-the-line device.
Over the years, the price of these great devices went down and made it to the “under $250” list.
The case is exceptionally sturdy, given the materials used for the construction. Still, it does give off a somewhat chunky appearance though the design itself is excellent. The hinges hold the display pretty firmly.
It’s equipped with a 14-inch LED display, with a maximum resolution of 1600x900p. This model comes with an Intel Core i5 3210M CPU (working at 2.50GHz) and 8GB of RAM. It means you can do your browsing, streaming, and even some light gaming, worry-free. Not bad for a laptop below $250.
If you’re the type of user that wants more power at this price range, this model is worth a look. Elitebook 8470P is meant to be a powerhouse that delivers excellent performance for office work and media entertainment.
Pros Of The Elitebook 8470P
- Solid build
- Great keyboard
Cons Of The Elitebook 8470P
- Feels heavy
If you need a simple, all-day companion, you should take a look at C300 Chromebook by Asus.
This modern-looking laptop is fitted in a textured faux-brushed-metal plastic case. It weighs about 2.9 pounds, so carrying it to your favorite coffee shop presents no problem. The butterfly keys of the keyboard are pretty pleasant to type on, and the touchpad works just fine.
It’s equipped with an Intel Celeron N3060 (1.6GHz), capable of making your web browsing and media reproduction a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, you’ll have to rely on cloud storage since this model only has 16GB SSD.
Battery life is a highlight of this model. It lasts up to 10 hours allowing for all-day computing. Like many other Chromebooks, C300 works exceptionally well for streaming, document editing, and web browsing. Impressive for laptops under $250! This laptop also gets extra points for having the cutest dog on the screen.
Pros Of The C300 Chromebook
- Large screen
- Long battery life
Cons Of The C300 Chromebook
- Feels a bit cheap
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