These days, it seems as if everyone needs a laptop. Between school, work, and the obvious demands of the pandemic, laptops are needed more than ever. Unfortunately, these devices aren’t cheap, and it can be hard to find one that is inexpensive but still gets the job done. As such, here’s a look at the best laptops to buy if you are on a tight budget.

Acer Chromebook: Chromebooks have become very popular in this pandemic, as they provide speedy internet access without some of the more expensive bells and whistles that are available with other products. You can buy one new or refurbished for around $450. This Chromebook is usually small, with a screen that is typically around 14 inches. It’s processing power will allow for basic operations, usually clocking in at 2.20 GHz and utilizing some variation of the Pentium i3 chip. 

Acer Chromebook

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex: The Flex type of computers are an amalgamation of a tablet and laptop. The devices flex, meaning that they can be used either way, but just snapping the keyboard on or off. As such, these devices typically run a bit more expensive than a Chromebook, usually starting at around $560. However, for kids who attend school or adults who are working from home and need a portable device, these can be a dream. They have a 14-inch screen that is great for viewing documents or accessing the internet and often come with a pen or stylus that makes drawing or editing documents a breeze. Like Chromebooks, the processing power is enough to get the job done, and they typically come with an i3 chip. 

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex

Microsoft Surface: The Surface is also a hybrid tablet/laptop, and that helps to drive its price down to a starting point of a mere $400. However, since it’s from Microsoft, this deal comes with a variety of potential upgrades that will drive up this price but dramatically increase its functionality, including the ability to bundle in Microsoft Office packages. For a student or someone who is now working from home, this has the potential to be a big deal at a reasonably affordable price.

Microsoft Surface

Lenovo Chromebook: You want a cheap laptop? Here it is – this is one of the most affordable laptops on the market, with a price point that starts at a mere $229. Indeed, this is as inexpensive as you can possibly get for a new laptop. The features on this one are reflective of the price, and it is essentially just an internet device, with processing power that will get you logged on, but not much else. Its screen is small, too, just 11 inches. On the plus side, it is very light and portable, allowing you quick and easy access to the internet in a flash.

Lenovo Chromebook

At the end of the day, laptops can be purchased that are relatively inexpensive – you just have to take the time to look for them. These four laptops are great starting points, but you can always take the time to do more research and find the best fit for you.