The Chinese Brands to Boycott
Lenovo is the flagship Chinese laptop brand.
The company was founded in the 80’s and reached the world stage after acquiring IBM’s personal computer division in 2005, including the famed ThinkPad laptop. Lenovo’s worldwide market share has been hovering at around 25% (17,5% in the US), up from 6.6% in 2009!
When you take into account that the worldwide laptop and tablet market is worth 172 billion dollars, it puts it all into perspective. With China’s fame for industrial espionage and surveillance, this is one of the biggest national security threats out there.
The Best Laptops for 2020 on a Budget
It’s really hard to make list of the best laptops on a budget. Why? Because there are so many options and flavors that are really hard to compare. We tried to keep the list diverse and with as many options possible so that you can choose whatever configuration or OS you want.
Acer Aspire 5 (A515-54-51DJ) – Best Budget Big Screen
The Acer Aspire 5 is a great laptop, balancing performance with a low budget. It’s 8th Gen Core i3, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD, are more than enough for simple tasks, like surfing the web, doing e-mail and word-processing.
The 1080p (full HD) display provides brightness and contrast, great for editing your photos or streaming your favorite videos.
It’s all wrapped up in an aluminum hood with a thin frame and is fairly light for a 15.6-inch laptop. And although the build in line with other budget laptops with a lot of plastic, it comes with some nice features such as a backlit keyboard, a fingerprint reader, a USB type-C port and great battery life (up to 9 hours on a full charge).
A great Windows laptop with someone on a really tight budget.
Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5379) – Best for Everyday Use
The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 is Dell’s 2-in-1 (works both as a laptop and a tablet) modest cousin to the Dell’s flagship XPS 13, It combines an aluminum lid with a sturdy keyboard. With less plastic than many of its lower budget competitors, it feels more upscale than a low budget laptop. It also comes comes with a backlit keyboard, a fingerprint reader, USB type-A and type-C ports and great battery life (up to 11 hours on a full charge).
It’s hardware is customizable: Core i3/i5, 4/8GB of RAM and 128/256GB SSD, so that you can have an extra boost in performance if needed. The 1080p (full HD) display could be brighter, but still good streaming your favorite videos.
Still a budget Windows laptop but leaves you with the feeling that it’s a bit more upscale.
HP Stream 11 – The Cheapest Windows Laptop you can buy
The HP Streem 11 is cheap and great for traveling, with it’s 11-inch chassis, 2.5 pounds and 0.7 inch thickness. The build is plastic but still feels good considering it’s size.
The Intel Celeron N4000 processor and 4GB of RAM are able to handle 10 Microsoft Edge and 1080p videostreaming. The battery gives you up to 9 hours of use. The display and webcam aren’t great, but if you’re looking for the cheapest option, you’ve found it.
Microsoft Surface Go (with Type Cover) – 2 in 1 Budget Windows Laptop
The Microsoft Surface Go is a good merge between a windows laptop and tablet.
It’s 10-inch display (1800 x 1200 pixels) and loudspeakers are great to use as a tablet. It also brings an 8-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The Microsoft Surface Go tablet has 1.6GHz Intel Pentium Gold, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of Storage. The Type Cover and Surface Pen combined with its Windows 10 software give you the laptop user experience.
A great tablet for professionals or students that are looking for a Windows 10 laptop, that works extremely well as a tablet and are on a budget.
Asus Chromebook C523 – CHROME OS on a Budget
This the first Google Chrome OS laptop on the list, Chrome OS has evolved a lot over the last years, and you can run many different Android apps on it, making it very versatile. The Asus Chromebook C523 is a great laptop in its category, thanks to its sleek part-aluminum design and specs. The keyboard and touchpad are comfortable to use.
Since the Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system, so the 1.1 GHz Intel Pentium N4200 and 4GB of RAM are enough to provide smooth performance. The laptop comes with a USB Type-C port, a USB 3.1 port, a microSD slot, and a headphone jack.
The 15.6-inch 1080p (full HD) is sharp (but sometimes glossy) and the touch-screen is quite accurate. Audio output could be better, especially as you increase volume.
All around it’s a good choice if you want a workable, inexpensive big-screen Chromebook.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 – Best Budget Laptop for Kids
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is an 11.6-inch convertible, optimized for school use with a ruggedized design to cope with knocks, drops and water spills. It’s a 2-in-1 convertible, so it works both as a tablet and a laptop.
It runs the Chrome OS and Android apps with a maturing software ecosystem. Since the Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system,the 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron N3350, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage are enough to provide smooth performance. It brings a good keyboard, the Wacon stylus, Two USB-C, two USB 3.0 ports and Two cameras. The battery life is quite impressive with up to 13 hours of use per charge.
It’s the best chromebook for kids when you are on a really tight budget.
Apple MacBook Air (2020) – Not Cheap but the Best Value MacBook
When we mention Apple it’s never a cheap option, but If you’re a macOS fan who primarily uses a laptop to write and browse the web, the 2020 Apple MacBook is the option for you.
The Apple MacBook Air has a sleek and lightweight design characteristic of Apple devices. Its 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina True Tone display has the sharp quality common in Apple laptops. Equipped with a 1.1GHz Intel Core i3-1000NG4 (dual-core, 4 threads, 4MB cache, up to 3.2GHz) and 8 GB of RAM its performance is pretty impressive. The 256GB starting storage capacity is an improvement from past MacBook Airs. The battery will get you 11 hours of usage which is pretty great.
If you’re looking for an “affodable” MacBook without the ability to handle heavy workloads, along with a thin and light design, the Apple MacBook Air is the model for you.