Are the cheap laptops worth buying

Purchase advisor: Inexpensive office laptops for everyday life, school and studies

Do you want to buy a cheap notebook or convertible with sufficient performance for everyday and office tasks, but you have no idea what to look out for with the many offers and brands? Then you are exactly right here. We introduce you to inexpensive entry-level notebooks that are perfect for everyday use, surfing, office and the like.

Last updated: May 2021

Brief information: The corona pandemic has a negative effect on the availability of many notebooks and thus also on the prices, which makes it difficult to update this purchase advisor within the price categories. We try our best to keep the post updated. However, it can always happen that notebooks are sold out or prices rise in line with demand.

If you are looking for an all-round laptop these days, you don't have to invest a fortune. Good notebooks and convertibles are already available at very reasonable prices and with enough performance for common everyday tasks. Surfing, watching films and office activities on a notebook for 400 euros? In 2021 this will no longer be a problem. Some devices are even suitable for light image or video editing.

What do you have to look out for in a cheap laptop?

When buying a cheap laptop, the first thing you should do is look at the Display size respect, think highly of. Do you want to lug the notebook around with you often? Then you should look for 13.3 "or 14" notebooks. Does the notebook stay in the same place most of the time and is it primarily intended for media consumption? Devices with a 15.6 "or 17.3" display are suitable for this.

The Weight depends of course on the display size. The larger the display, the heavier and more unwieldy the laptop. In the resolution it should be at least Full HD (1920x1080px). Lower resolutions are no longer up to date. Do you travel a lot? Then reach for one matt display, because in public transport or in the fresh air you rarely have any influence on the ambient lighting.

Pay attention to the built-in Storage. Despite a limited budget, you don't want to wait 2 minutes for the notebook to boot up in 2021. A (sufficiently large) SSD so is a must. We recommend at least 256 or better 512 GB so that there is enough space for programs and files in addition to the operating system. Same goes for that connections. HDMI, jack and USB-A connections are a matter of course, card readers, LAN and Type-C ports are not.

Of course, a minimum of performance also applies to the built-in one processor with integrated Graphics unit. It should be at least an Intel Core i3 (from 8th Gen.) or AMD Ryzen 3 (from 3rd Gen.). The computing power of the processors mentioned is roughly the same. The integrated Vega graphics chip in the Ryzen 3, on the other hand, is slightly faster than an Intel UHD 620 from the Intel Core i3 and is therefore better suited for image processing. The integrated Vega 10 graphics unit of stronger AMD CPUs is even enough for light gaming. The main memory should not be smaller than 8 GB.

To the processing and Housing materials you shouldn't make unrealistic demands on cheap notebooks. A Aluminum casing is of higher quality and more stable than a plastic bomber, but rarely available in very cheap devices. A chic one design and narrow Display borders however, already offer affordable devices.

Ultimately, there remains the question of a preinstalled one Windows. Personally, I prefer notebooks without Windows, because you can set up a clean Windows version without bloat or scareware. There are cheap licenses e.g. at our Black Week. In addition, there is more budget left for better notebook hardware. You can find out how to install Windows later here.

Should you buy used notebooks, remaining stock or B-goods?

Have you answered the previous questions for yourself and want to save as much money as possible? Then it is B-goods department Our shop is worth a look if you are justified in having incomplete original packaging or minimal signs of use. So you can get hold of one or the other notebook bargain. However, you should make sure that the hardware is not from the day before yesterday.

The same applies, of course, to demonstration goods, which are available more cheaply. Students, teachers and co. Should definitely also take a look at our campus program. You can also save money here. However, you have to be registered for the student program.

Upgrade cheap laptops yourself or configure upgrades in the shop

Everyone else can get a bargain with a new laptop if they have some crafting skills. In most notebooks, RAM and SSDs can be exchanged. For example, an old 2.5 ″ HDD can be replaced with a significantly faster 2.5 ″ SDD or a 128 GB with a 512 GB NVMe SSD. If you buy the components separately and install them, you bypass the manufacturers' often lavish memory or RAM surcharges.

If you don't feel comfortable upgrading, you can also choose pre-made upgrades for some notebooks in our shop. All components fit, only the SSD is too small? Simply have a larger SSD installed by one of our employees before the device is sent to you.

Featured office and multimedia laptops:

What do you have to do without with cheap notebooks?

Of course, you have to make compromises with an office notebook for little money. Plastic housing, expansive form factor, no USB-C or Thunderbolt 3? You should be able to get used to that in this price range. You shouldn't expect dazzling brightness and good color coverage with the displays. The performance is sufficient for common office tasks, but demanding image editing, 3D modeling or even gaming is not recommended in the entry-level class.

Inexpensive office notebooks up to 500 euros

There are some 15.6 ″ laptops with 256 or 512 GB SSD storage and 8 GB RAM that are worth recommending for up to 500 euros. A Ryzen 5 CPU with integrated Vega 8 graphics unit is not uncommon, sometimes there are also Intel Core i3 and 5 processors of the 10th generation. There are even convertibles in this price range. These are, however, configurations with minimal equipment, which are better kept away from.

For the following notebooks, we recommend individual configurations that are more or less a perfect fit. The differences are mostly in the design and the connections. In terms of performance, materials and display, the devices all play in a similar league. So you can access it carefree if the design and connection portfolio meet your requirements.

Acer Aspire 3: 15.6 ″ notebook with Ryzen 3, large battery and Windows 10S

Price:499.00 euros *
Operating system: Windows 10S
Also recommended: -

Per

  • narrow display bezels
  • matt FHD display
  • LAN connection
  • USB-C connector
  • relatively slim
  • large battery
  • RAM expandable
  • backlit keyboard

Contra

  • Plastic case
  • moderate display brightness
  • Color coverage of the display
  • no card reader
  • WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.0

 

Conclusion on the Acer Aspire 3 A315-23-R0XR

The Aspire 3 is one of the bread-and-butter notebooks from Acer. Good performance, 15.6 ″ IPS display and solid NVMe SSD with 256 GB of storage. The design is simple and the display bezels are narrow. The notebook is well positioned with 8 GB of RAM. There are also a number of connections including a LAN port. On the other hand, USB-C is only available in the Aspire 5. The 48 Wh battery also ensures a good battery life. With the display, you shouldn't expect miracles in terms of color coverage and brightness. The case of the Aspire 3 is made of aluminum and plastic.

Technical data: Acer Aspire 3 A315-23-R0XR

Display15.6 ″ / 16: 9 format / Full HD / 1920x1080px
processorAMD Ryzen 3 3250U (2x 2.6 GHz)
graphicRadeon Graphics
R.A.M.8 GB
hard disk256 GB NVMe SSD
connections1x HDMI
3x USB-A
1x RJ-45
1x jack connector
OSWindows 10S
Weight1.9 kg
To the shop: Acer Aspire 3

Recommended office notebooks up to 600 euros

If you have up to 600 euros available, you can look forward to faster and more up-to-date hardware. A fourth-generation Ryzen 5 CPU with integrated Vega graphics unit is not uncommon here, and there are also SSDs with a TB of storage.

The design is also more attractive. Laptops can come up with particularly narrow display frames and the resulting high screen-to-body ratio, as well as more aluminum in the case.

Huawei Matebook D15: Chic office notebook with Ryzen 5 and narrow display bezels

Price:598.49 euros *
Operating system: Windows 10
Also recommended:

Per

  • narrow display bezels
  • matt FHD display
  • USB-C connector
  • Aluminum casing
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Windows 10 included
  • 2.5 ″ SSD can be retrofitted
  • relatively light and slim

Contra

  • moderate display brightness
  • Color coverage of the display
  • no LAN connection
  • RAM not expandable
  • no SD card reader

 

Conclusion on the MateBook D 15 WAQ9BR

The Matebook D15 is currently available for just under 600 euros *. In return, you get a sleek, flat and, considering its size, relatively light notebook with a very narrow display frame. A third-generation Ryzen 5 as well as a Vega-8 graphics accelerator and 8 GB of RAM ensure good performance. In contrast to the SSD, the latter cannot be expanded with a moderate 256 GB memory. There is space in the housing for a further 2.5 ″ SSD. The FHD display is 15.6 ″ and matte, but like most notebooks in this price range, it doesn't impress with its high brightness or good color coverage. A Type-C connection and Bluetooth 5.0 are available, but there is no SD card reader and the new WiFi 6.

Technical data: MateBook D 15 WAQ9BR

Display15.6 ″ / 16: 9 format / Full HD / 1920x1080px
processorAMD Ryzen 5 3500U (4x 2.1 GHz)
graphicRadeon Vega 8
R.A.M.8 GB
hard disk256 GB NVMe SSD
connections1x HDMI
3x USB-A
1x USB-C
1x jack connector
OSWindows 10
Weight1.53 kg
To the test: Huawei Matebook D15
To the shop: Huawei Matebook D15

Lenovo IdeaPad 3: Office beginners rely on Intel Core i3 and 8 GB of RAM

Price:549.00 euros *
Operating system: Windows 10 Home S
Also recommended: -

Per

  • narrow display bezels
  • matt FHD display
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • SD card reader
  • Windows 10 S included

Contra

  • Plastic case
  • moderate display brightness
  • Color coverage of the display
  • RAM difficult to expand
  • no LAN connection
  • no USB-C port

 

Conclusion on the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 81WE00MHGE

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 comes with a matt 15.6 ″ display and currently costs 549.00 euros *. In return, you get a pleasantly simple office notebook with an Intel Core i3-10110U, 8 GB RAM and Windows 10 S. The RAM can be expanded to 12 GB, but the existing RAM has to be replaced. The IdeaPad 3 uses an NVMe SSD with 256 GB of storage. There is no USB-C or LAN port, but there is a 4-in-1 card reader.

Specifications: Lenovo IdeaPad 3 81WE00MHGE

Display15.6 ″ / 16: 9 format / Full HD / 1920x1080px
processorIntel Core i3-10110U (2x 2.1 GHz)
graphicIntel UHD
R.A.M.8 GB
hard disk256 GB NVMe SSD
connections1x HDMI
3x USB-A
1x jack connector
1x SD card reader
OSWindows 10 Home S
Weight1.7 kg
To the shop: Lenovo IdeaPad 3

HP 255 G7: Robust entry-level notebook with Ryzen 3 and 256 GB SSD

Price:549.00 euros *
Operating system: Without OS
Also recommended:15S89ES15S88ES3P345ES

Per

  • matt FHD display
  • SD card reader
  • LAN connection
  • large battery
  • RAM expandable

Contra

  • Plastic case
  • moderate display brightness
  • Color coverage of the display
  • wide display bezels
  • no USB-C port
  • no Windows pre-installed
  • WiFi 5 and BT 4.2 only

Conclusion on the HP 255 G7 3P347ES

With Ryzen 3, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD, the HP 255 G7 offers solid equipment for 549.00 euros *. The 15.6 ″ anti-glare display has a resolution of 1920x1080px. Since the notebook can be opened easily, you can easily retrofit a larger SSD or a second RAM bar. In addition to a 3-in-1 card reader and LAN port, the 255 G7 also has enough connections for everyday use. On the other hand, there is no type C connection or an aluminum housing.

Technical data: HP 255 G7 3P347ES

Display15.6 ″ / 16: 9 format / Full HD / 1920x1080px
processorAMD Ryzen 3 3200U (2x 2.6 GHz)
graphicRadeon Vega 3
R.A.M.8 GB
hard disk256 GB M.2 NVMe SSD
connections1x HDMI
3x USB-A
1x SD card reader
1x jack connector
1x RJ-45
OSwithout Win 10
Weight1.78 kg
To the shop: HP 255 G7 3P345ES

Send office notebooks up to 700 euros

With a budget of 700 euros you have reached the upper end of the entry-level office class. Ryzen 7, Core i5, dedicated graphics accelerator or aluminum case? You can find that right here. Most users who are looking for a solid office notebook and want to use it for several years should be happy in the price range of up to 700 euros. Even notebook displays with a color space coverage of around 75% AdobeRGB can be found in this segment, but they are still rare.

Of course, you can spend significantly more money on devices with 16 GB of RAM, weighing less than one kilogram and an OLED display. However, this added value should only be really useful for very few average consumers.

HP 14s: Compact 14 ″ office notebook with Intel Core i5

Price:699.00 euros *
Operating system: Windows 10 S

Per

  • narrow display bezels
  • matt FHD display
  • SD card reader
  • USB-C connector
  • relatively light and slim
  • large battery
  • RAM expandable

Contra

  • Plastic case
  • moderate display brightness
  • Color coverage of the display
  • no LAN connection

Conclusion on the HP 14s-dq1156ng

With the 14s, the American manufacturer HP offers a light and slim 14 ″ notebook. The display bezels are narrow and the matte IPS display has an FHD resolution. With a 5th generation Ryzen 5 5500U and 8 GB RAM, the notebook is armed for all everyday tasks. For more performance, you can also build in 8 GB of RAM. With the large 41 Wh battery, the notebook lasts longer than average. The weaknesses? The case of the HP 14s is made of plastic and the display is not very bright and color-accurate.

Technical data: HP 14s-dq1156ng

Display14 ″ / 16: 9 format / Full HD / 1920x1080px
processorRyzen 5 5500U (6x 2.1 GHz)
graphicAMD Radeon Graphics
R.A.M.8 GB
hard disk512 GB NVMe SSD
connections1x HDMI
2x USB-A
1x USB-C
1x SD card reader
1x jack connector
OSWindows 10
Weight1.46 kg
To the shop: HP 14s-dq1156ng

Acer Swift 3: 14 ″ notebook relies on Intel Tiger Lake and a fingerprint sensor

Price:699.00 euros *
Operating system: Windows 10
Also recommended: -

Per

  • Aluminum casing
  • FHD display
  • USB-C connector
  • large battery
  • good performance

Contra

  • average display brightness
  • moderate color coverage
  • RAM not expandable
  • no LAN connection
  • small SSD

 

Conclusion on the Acer Swift 3 SF314-59-50CK

The Acer Swift 3 is of high quality thanks to the aluminum casing. The matt 14 ″ IPS display has a full HD resolution. A new Intel Core i5-1135G7 with a new Intel Xe graphics chip and 8 GB of RAM, which unfortunately cannot be expanded to 16 GB, ensure sufficient performance. In addition to the USB-C and an HDMI port, there is also a fingerprint sensor. The 48 Wh battery is also well sized despite its compact design.

Technical data: Acer Swift 3 SF314-59-50CK

Display14 ″ / 16: 9 format / Full HD / 1920x1080px
processorIntel Core i5-1135G7 (6x 2.3 GHz)
graphicIntel Xe Graphics
R.A.M.8 GB
hard disk256 GB SSD
connections1x HDMI
2x USB-A
1x USB-C
1x jack connector
OSWindows 10
Weight1.2 kg
To the shop: Acer Swift 3

Huawei Matebook D14: Compact office notebook with Ryzen 5 and good battery life

Price:639.90 euros *
Operating system: Windows 10
Also recommended:

Per

  • narrow display bezels
  • matt FHD display
  • USB-C connector
  • Aluminum casing
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Windows 10 included
  • light and slim

Contra

  • moderate display brightness
  • Color coverage of the display
  • small SSD
  • no LAN connection
  • RAM not expandable
  • no SD card reader

 

Conclusion on the MateBook D 14 WAQ9AR

The Matebook D14 is the little brother of the D14 and convinced Sascha even more in the comparison test thanks to its compact dimensions and longer battery life. Otherwise, it has the same narrow display bezels and decent performance thanks to the third generation Ryzen 5, Vega-8 graphics chip and 8 GB of RAM.However, the RAM cannot be expanded either and the smaller housing offers no space for a further 2.5 ″ SSD. The FHD display is 14 ″ and matt, but neither scores with high maximum brightness nor good color coverage. The keyboard is illuminated and the workmanship of the aluminum case is very good.

Technical data: MateBook D 14 WAQ9AR

Display15.6 ″ / 16: 9 format / Full HD / 1920x1080px
processorAMD Ryzen 5 3500U (4x 2.1 GHz)
graphicRadeon Vega 8
R.A.M.8 GB
hard disk256 GB NVMe SSD
connections1x HDMI
2x USB-A
1x USB-C
1x jack connector
OSWindows 10
Weight1.38 kg
To the test: Huawei Matebook D14
To the shop: Huawei Matebook D14

Samsung Galaxy Book: Chic office notebook with the latest Intel CPU, 2x USB-C and WiFi 6

Price:679 euros *
Operating system: Windows 10

Per

  • Aluminum casing
  • bright FHD display
  • narrow display bezels
  • 2x USB-C port
  • MicroSD card reader
  • large battery
  • Bluetooth 5.1 and WiFi 6 (ax)

Contra

  • moderate color coverage
  • no LAN connection
  • small SSD

Conclusion on the Samsung Galaxy Book Mystic Silver

With the modern Galaxy Book, Samsung is also represented in our office recommendations for up to 700 euros. The notebook shines with an aluminum case, clean workmanship and up-to-date connections. Included are 2x USB-C, a MicroSD card reader as well as Bluetooth 5.1 and WiFi 6. A current 11th generation Intel Core i3, an Intel UHD graphics unit and 8 GB of RAM provide enough power. The SSD is not very generous with 256 GB, but the Galaxy Book can be upgraded. With the 54 Wh battery, the battery life is above average and Windows 10 is also on board.

Technical data: Samsung Galaxy Book Mystic Silver

Display15.6 ″ / 16: 9 format / Full HD / 1920x1080px
processorIntel Core i5-1115G4 (4x 2.4 GHz)
graphicIntel UHD
R.A.M.8 GB
hard disk256 GB NVMe SSD
connections1x HDMI
2x USB-A
2x USB-C
1x MicroSD card reader
1x jack connector
OSWindows 10 Home
Weight1.6 kg
To the shop: Samsung Galaxy Book

Of course, waiting is always an option. The generation from the previous year is often much cheaper. Our weekly offers or our Black Week are also recommended. Another filter option is our purchase advisor in the shop. If you have any further needs for your home office, just take a look at our landing page in the shop. There you will find everything at a glance: headsets, monitors, mice, keyboards, etc.

Have you found the right notebook for your budget and purpose? Then it's alright. If not, just write us in the comments why that is the case and we will help you.

* As of: 05/21