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Best laptops under $200: the best budget laptops around

Best laptops under $200
(Image credit: Microsoft, Asus and Dell)

The best laptops under $200 will save you some cash without forcing you to compromise on your computing needs. There are a few compelling reasons why you should opt for a budget laptop, whether it’s under $500 or even cheaper. And, just because they’re economical, that doesn’t mean that such portables are crappy, low-powered machines that won’t deliver much in terms of performance. 

If you’re only planning to use the laptop for browsing the Internet and binging on your Netflix shows, for example, spending $1,000 or more on one simply doesn’t make financial sense. Or if you’re a struggling college student who’s already buried waist-deep in student loans, it also makes no sense to spend all that money when you’ll only be using your laptop for research, typing up papers and watching movies on weekends.

There are many top laptops under $200 that will more than suffice, so you’re better off spending that remaining $800 on that smart home device you’ve been coveting or those pricey schoolbooks and food that’s better than instant ramen. Whether it’s one of the best Chromebooks that’s ideal for you or a proper Windows laptop, you’ll find something on our list of the best laptops under $200 that will save you some cash and satisfy your basic computing needs at the same time.

Best laptops under $200 at a glance:

  1. HP Chromebook 11
  2. Samsung Chromebook 3
  3. Dell Inspiron 11 3180
  4. Lenovo Chromebook S330
  5. ASUS VivoBook L203MA

HP Chromebook 11

The HP Chromebook 11 gets our vote as one of the best laptops under $200 for many reasons. (Image credit: HP)

1. HP Chromebook 11

Tiny, but mighty

CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3060 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4 GB LPDDR3 | Screen: 11.6-inch diagonal HD SVA Anti-glare WLED-backlit | Storage: 16GB eMMC

Great build 
Responsive keyboard
Vibrant screen
Battery life is just OK
Trackpad could be better

HP’s small laptop may not look like much, and it’s a little old at this point. But, you’ll be wise to not judge this Chromebook by its tiny cover. The HP Chromebook 11 gets our vote as one of the best laptops under $200 for many reasons. To start, for a cheap laptop, it’s actually solidly built as well as boasts a responsive keyboard and a vibrant display. 

It’s stripped down inside, of course, being a Chromebook, and you shouldn’t expect much in terms of features, either. However, rest assured that its Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of memory are more than sufficient to power its lightweight Chrome operating system – not to mention, to handle your Internet browsing needs and streaming needs.

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 11 review

Samsung Chromebook 3

Samsung Chromebook 3 is weather-resistant and has a premium-looking chassis. (Image credit: Samsung)

2. Samsung Chromebook 3

Water-resistant wonder

CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3060 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4GB DDR3 | Screen: 11.6 inch (1,366 x 768), 16:9 | Storage: 16GB flash memory solid state

Spill resistant
Long battery life
Premium look
Keys are sticky
Screen and keyboard are nothing special

The equally tiny Samsung Chromebook 3 is originally a little more than $200, but there are a lot of units out there that are on sale for considerably less, new and refurbished. It’s only right, therefore, to add this popular Chromebook to our best laptops under $200, though if you do need more convincing reasons to consider this laptop other than saving a few dollars, we certainly have those as well.

Whether it’s because of its water-resistant keyboard – a nifty feature if you’ve got young kids at home – or it’s due to the fact it offers up to 11 hours of battery life, you will be sold on this 11-inch laptop. And, that’s without mentioning the fact that it looks like a premium laptop – and feels like it’s built like one too.

Dell Inspiron 11 3180

Dell Inspiron 11 3180 ideal for non-Chrome OS fans or those who prefer to stay in the familiar Windows 10 environment. (Image credit: Dell)

3. Dell Inspiron 11 3180

For non-Chrome OS fans

CPU: 7th Generation AMD A6-9220e | Graphics: Integrated graphics with AMD APU | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) TrueLife LED Backlight Non-Touch IPS display | Storage: 64GB eMMC

Durable
Variety of ports
Vibrant screen
Can be sluggish

While Dell’s Inspiron Chromebook 11 3181 truly impressed us with its decent multi-tasking capabilities, it’s its Windows counterpart that’s a total steal. The Dell Inspiron 11 3180 model is even cheaper, and touts a Windows 10 S operating system, which is ideal for non-Chrome OS fans or those who prefer to stay in the familiar Windows 10 environment.

Granted, this isn’t the fastest laptop out there, but for casual computing use, it won’t fail you, especially with that better than average battery life. It also has a surprisingly decent number of ports on hand, one of which is a microSD card reader – which you don’t see often these days, and a vibrant screen. It feels durable as well, so you know it will survive its share of bumps and drops. 

Lenovo Chromebook S330

Lenovo Chromebook S330 is lightweight, durable and long-lasting. (Image credit: Lenovo)

4. Lenovo Chromebook S330

Lenovo’s lightweight laptop contender

CPU: 2.1 GHz MediaTek_MT8127 | Graphics: Integrated Mediatek Graphics | RAM: 4 GB DDR4 | Screen: 14-inch HD (1,366 x 768) anti-glare | Storage: 32GB flash memory solid state

180-degree hinge
Solid speakers
Great value
Display is only OK
Can be slow

Lenovo is known for building premium laptops that deliver excellent performance in sleek form factors. But, from the looks of Lenovo Chromebook S330, it’s no stranger to great budget laptops either. Among the best laptops under $200 to consider this 2019, this Chromebook is lightweight, durable and long-lasting.

For its price, you shouldn’t expect a machine that’s close to being perfect, and this one is definitely nowhere near that. Its display could be better, for example, though a couple of extra tens could get you a better 1080p display. But, for what it offers, this one’s definitely of great value, with features like a 180-degree hinge, anti-glare coating on the display and a solid set of speakers. The Lenovo Chromebook S330’s a boon for Lenovo fans who need a lightweight laptop to do all their Google office suite work in.

ASUS VivoBook L203MA

Asus’s VivoBook L203MA has an ultra-thin form factor worthy of the best Ultrabooks. (Image credit: ASUS)

5. ASUS VivoBook L203MA

Feature-rich

CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 Processor | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600 | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4 | Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) display | Storage: 64GB eMMC

Long battery life
180-degree hinge
Port variety
Ergonomic keyboard
Cheap looking
Can be a little slow

Looking for something that’s even thinner and more portable? Asus’s VivoBook L203MA has an ultra-thin form factor worthy of the best Ultrabooks out there. But, what’s even more impressive here is with that small footprint comes a feature-rich laptop that’s capable of handling all your casual computing needs, whether that’s word processing or browsing the web.

Besides its thin chassis, there are many other features you’ll appreciate here: a 180-degree hinge, a display with Tru2Life, an ergonomic keyboard, bigger storage space and a variety of ports that include USB-C and HDMI. Those who aren’t used to Chrome OS will appreciate this laptop’s Windows 10 S Mode environment, while those who like to watch their favorite shows after putting in a full day’s work will love its longevity. If you’re in the market for one of the best laptops under $200, this one’s definitely a shoo-in.