Best budget laptops of 2014


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.

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Apple MacBook Air (11-inch)

Apple’s 11-inch Air gets a CPU speed bump and a decent price cut over the already excellent 2013 version. If you have a recent model there's no need to upgrade, but for anyone else, it's now a better deal than ever.

Price: $823.88 - $839.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Asus Transformer Book T100

The Asus Transformer Book T100 revives the Netbook value proposition (and Netbook usability issues) in a budget-price 10-inch laptop that doubles as a tablet. You won’t love it, but for sheer bang for the buck, it’s hard to beat.

Price: $254.99 - $427.52 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Dell Venue 8 Pro

The Dell Venue 8 Pro comes close to being a great pocket-size mini-PC, but a misplaced button and missing accessories feel like unnecessary errors.

Price: $249.99 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Best Chromebook

Acer C720P Chromebook

The Acer Chromebook C720P manages to get better at all the key things, adding up to a little laptop alternative that's better than any budget Chromebook we've seen before.

Price: $285.54 - $313.36 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good
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