What's the Best Budget Laptop Money Can Buy?

I have an Acer Aspire V5 and I kind of hate it. This laptop broke again and again and back when I bought it, I had a ton of compatibility issues with Windows 8 as well. Over the years, I had to replace the fan, keyboard, hard drive and the charger is about to fail. Also, it's impossible to use this laptop for more than 2 hours straight because the battery sucks. I've been doing some research to replace it with another computer, but most laptops are around the $1000 or over and that's just a lot of money. What are some cheap alternatives? I know you have to make some concessions when it comes to $300 laptops. I'd love a laptop around that prince range that's not going to break apart just by looking at it and I'd love it if it had a nice 1080p screen, but maybe that's not possible for the money. To be clear, I'm looking for a laptop that allows me to: surf around the internet with no major hiccups and I can watch movies and TV series. A 14-inch screen would be perfect as well. The only option I found was the HP Stream. Those are around $200-300, but they only have 32GB of storage and that's a problem because you can't really install any Windows 10 updates as far as I know and you can-t upgrade the storage. Any ideas? Or should I save more money?

Post was last edited on May 28, 2019 10:07 AM PDT

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At 200 to 300 you would have to shop refurbs.

Here's a recent model we are adding to the office laptop pool. Yes, it is out of stock but an example of what we look for in the refurbs for the office. is 221USD to our office door.

It's not the cheap Pavillion consumer line but one of their up level grade models.
The Acer Aspire lines are consumer grade lines that folk get from 2 to more years use from.

As to Windows 8 compatibility I worry that you may be still new to Windows. Very very few PCs are "compatible" as in "Install Windows" and it just works. The ONLY laptop that worked on was our Microsoft Surface models.

Similar deals on Groupon follow. I may add a comment. is very nice with an i5 CPU but 128GB SSD may be a bit small for some. Later you could shop a larger SSD. I've seen 240 to 256GB for under 40 bucks. 240USD is OK but it has a HDD so not going to boot and be as snappy in performance. Stick to A GRADE models on refurbs. is only 214USD but small SSD that you can change later. The Latitude is a step up from the Inspiron line but only 4GB so this and the lesser i3 CPU has me write this is not as good a deal but it is cheap and great for someone with no budget for new and needs a Windows laptop.

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Not an Option

Thanks so much for the detailed answer, but in my country refurbs are much more expensive than that. Maybe I can check for a used computer, but those are always a gamble, especially laptops.

Post was last edited on May 28, 2019 10:49 AM PDT

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Some go the long way to get those deals.

Some family in the USA gets it, checks it out and on a trip home they bring it to you. Yes, it's as good as no warranty but in the price range you list, I don't see any model give you what I listed above for that low number.

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Still Not an Option

I understand what you mean, but I don't live in the US and that's simply not an option

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It's an option for many.

Since you have a budget and limits you work those. There may be something like Groupon or Woot in your country but I won't know that.

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Must it be a laptop?

what country?

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I live in Argentina and our country is going through an economic recession. Laptops and pretty much tech in general is prohibitively expensive right now. I was going to buy a $1000 laptop, but that would be extremely irresponsible from my part at this point. I use my computer for work from time to time, but it's not like I can justify getting a MacBook or a Surface Pro. Most of the time I'm using a browser, YouTube, Media Player Classic and that's about it...

I'd love it if it was a laptop. I use the keyboard a lot to reply emails and messages and there's nothing like controlling the cursor with a mouse. As an alternative I have a Kindle Fire HD 8 and I absolutely adore that thing. I use it a lot and I'm really happy with it, but you know, an 8-inch tablet is not the same as a 14-inch laptop, especially when you want to watch a film or series.

Post was last edited on May 28, 2019 11:32 AM PDT

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Well with what you do

a Chromebook might serve your purpose.

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Plenty of options - new or used

HP - 14" Laptop - Intel Core i3 - 4GB RAM - 128GB SSD
NEW @ $320 at Best

Lenovo - 330S-15IKB 15.6" Laptop - Intel Core i3 - 4GB RAM - 128GB SSD
NEW @ $330 at Best

Lenovo ThinkPad T420s/T430s Laptops - i5 2nd/3rd gen, 4GB RAM (16gb Max), 128GB SSD (3 SSD's MAX), inexpensive parts and easy to repair; modular business laptop.
REFURB @ $150 on

Prices of this post, 5-30-2019

Windows 8 doesn't destroy laptops nearly as bad as Windows 10. Two seasonal "upgrade" updates a year and speculated of destroying hardware since 2015 when running on a computer with increased amounts of telemetry and useless data crunching? Good software, but it's not a massive improvement over the Win7 or Win8 environment.

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