Best budget laptops of 2016


The era of the Netbook may be long gone, but you can still find their successors -- Chromebooks and Atom-powered Windows tablets -- for under $300. We're including the $900 11-inch MacBook Air here as well, as the most affordable Apple option. To explore the best in all categories, check our list of the best laptops overall.

About The Author

HP Stream 11.6

The HP Stream 11 aims to be a cloud-focused laptop, much like a Chromebook, but with the added utility of Windows 8. It's a rock-bottom budget laptop, so don't get your hopes up, but the battery life is impressive.

3.5 stars Very good

Acer Chromebook 15

If your one gripe about Chromebooks is the small screen sizes, the Acer Chromebook 15 is the solution and it's a very nice solution at that.

Price: $670.98 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Toshiba Chromebook 2

If you're looking for an all-around solid Chrome OS experience -- with one of the best screens we've seen on a Chromebook -- the Toshiba Chromebook 2 should be your starting point.

3.5 stars Very good

Hisense Chromebook

The Hisense Chromebook offers just enough power and comfort for far less money than the competition.

3.5 stars Very good

Microsoft Surface 3

The budget-priced Surface 3 is a solid tablet that finally runs the real version of Windows, but it would be a much better value if the must-have keyboard cover was included.

Price: $839.00 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good