If you want to buy a new laptop and your budget is $200 at most, the truth is that your options are not that great. However, it’s still doable and you can still buy a cheap laptop under $200 that is good enough to handle internet browsing, text editing, watching movies and running other basic programs. You won’t be able to find a laptop for this budget that will handle modern games or more demanding programs, but sometimes you just need enough to be able to browse the web, watch your favorite shows and nothing more. For that, we have a few options and I am here to share them with you: the best cheap laptops under $200 for 2017 and beyond.
Before we get there, you should know that you should be ready to make some concessions. For example, the market has seen a lot of very cheap notebooks released lately, called Chromebooks. These won’t run Windows, but Google’s own operating system, Chrome OS, which is web-oriented. This means that unless you can have constant internet connection, the cheap Chromebooks won’t be of much use. You also can’t use regular Windows programs on them, but there are alternatives in most cases. But we also have traditional laptops running Windows on our list, so let’s not waste any time and let’s find out below which are the best laptops under $200!
1. HP ProBook 6550B
This laptop looks and is really amazing and it has some of the best stats on our list: it has the largest display at 15.6″ and it runs on an awesomely fast processor, the Intel Core i5 540M. It also offers a ton of storage space compared to other laptops in the same price range: 250GB, has 4GB of RAM and comes with an optical unit for DVDs, which is again something that you won’t really get at this price. You also get Windows 10 installed on it and it should run really good.
All in all, this is one of the best laptops you can get at this price and its specifications are truly unbelievable. However, there is a catch: this product is a Certified Refurbished one, which means that it’s not brand new. It is a laptop that was inspected, repaired, cleaned and re-packaged for sale after being used by a customer and returned – this could mean that either a blogger received it for review purposes (which would be a good thing), or somebody was not satisfied with it or it has some problems which were later fixed (which isn’t ideal). However, the Certified Refurbished products that you can buy on Amazon are products that come with warranty (1 year in this case) and products that are expected to work just as the original would. So personally, if I were on a very tight budget but I’d still want to get a very good laptop, I’d go for a Certified Refurbished one as I’d consider it the safest option for the price. And the HP ProBook 6550B is a great pick!
2. Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ
It’s time to check out the Chromebooks I was telling you about in the intro! And we’re going for Acer, which is one of my top three most favorite brands when it comes to laptops, notebooks and Chromebooks. This particular model is extremely cheap and very good if you know what to expect from a Chromebook. Also, have in mind that it has a very small display – at just 11.6-inch so if you’re downsizing from a regular laptop (which is usually 15.6-inch), you’ll need some time for adjusting.
This Acer Chromebook, however, is extremely light and easy to carry around, runs on an Intel Celeron 2.16 GHz processor, has 2GB of RAM and comes with 16GB of internal storage. Now that’s not a lot of storage, but all Chromebooks offer a little in order to keep the costs down. Also, they are intended to be used for browsing the internet and doing everything online, where you can take advantage of free cloud storage options in order to get that extra space. It offers great battery life (up to 9 hours), it is very light and thin, it comes with all of Google’s goodies installed (including Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Hangouts) and you can also run Android Apps on it. All in all, a great option if you don’t have a ton of things to store on your laptop and you can get used to doing everything online.
3. ASUS C201
Even better looking than the previous Chromebook – in my opinion at least – and with better stats, comes the ASUS C201 Chromebook. It also comes with a small screen (11.6 inches), but has more RAM than the previous model (4GB) and runs on the Rockchip 1.8 GHz Processor. Just like any Chromebook, it can open/edit MS Office files using free embedded QuickOffice editor or Google Docs, and can download Microsoft Office Online (an online version of Microsoft Office) for free.
Thin, light, with great battery life and a modern design… all these are things that make it a great choice is you don’t mind owning a Chromebook. It also has just 16GB of storage and has no optical drive, but as I said, when you’re on a tight budget, you have to compromise a bit. And if its small size is not a problem for you, you can’t go wrong with a Chromebook – even less with the ASUS C201!
4. ASUS E402MA
If you prefer good ol’ Windows operating systems, we have more options for you. And the good news is that the size of the screen increases a bit, offering you a bit more at 14-inch. It’s almost as big as a regular laptop and adjusting to this size shouldn’t be a big problem. The keyboard is also a lot easier to use as the keys are not as small as those on a 11.6-inch laptop.
The ASUS E402MA runs on a Dual Core Intel Processor (up to 2.58GHz, which is really fast) and is powered by 2GB of RAM, offering resolutions of 1366 by 768 pixels. It also comes with Windows 10 installed, which is a big bonus for many. However, storage space is extremely limited at just 32GB and you get no optical drive. It does come with an SD card slot to increase storage a little bit and also has a HDMI port like all the other laptops, which is nice. It has a good design, it’s light and the battery lasts up to 7 hours on average usage, so it’s one of the best choices if you’re looking for a good laptop under $200.
5. HP 14-an013nr
Our final recommendation is a good 14-inch laptop from HP. It has some really good rankings on Amazon, with over 150 reviews at the moment of writing this article and an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5, which is pretty impressive. It’s right under budget too normally and it has some goodies up its sleeve. So even though it has just a 14-inch display, it can offer 1920×1080 resolution (which is FULL HD!) It’s also powered by a quad-core processor which offers a nice speed bonus, as well as 4GB of RAM – and we all know that the more RAM we have, the better. It will still not be able to run modern games, but for the basic tasks it should perform just fine.
It also comes with Windows 10 installed on it, but has the same limited storage like the ASUS: just 32GB. So, just like with all models on this list, you will have to look into free cloud options, but as we saw already, there are a lot available. One potential drawback of this HP laptop is that the extra juice required to deliver that amazing resolution reduces its battery life so you should expect it to only run for about 5 hours on average. Which is still not bad!
The good news is that you have quite a few options to buy a decent laptop for under $200 and I am sure that you will find one that fits your needs and requirements on our list.