Are you in search of a laptop for your needs, but unsure about the minimum price you need to pay for a good one?
Here is the information you need to figure out how much you should pay as a minimum for a good laptop.
Every laptop is a good laptop; the only thing that matters is what tasks you are using it for. While it may be tempting to save money on a laptop, consider how frequently you will actually use it.
The cheapest laptops start in the $300-$600 price bracket if you use them for light tasks.
Although you cannot get everything with this much money, you can get a laptop that performs well in some key areas like web browsing, watching movies, working on documents, etc. But if you want a gaming laptop, you will need to spend extra.
There are actually three categories of laptops
- Consumer laptops you use for everyday tasks
- Business laptops that require heavy office tasks
- And gaming laptops with speedy processors and graphic cards
It totally depends on what laptop you are willing to buy; every category of laptop above has a different price tag.
Therefore, it is always a good idea to choose the laptop based on your requirements and the time you are going to spend on it.
In this article, I will discuss different pricing factors to take into account when purchasing a laptop and compare which price range you should think about.
Factors affecting laptop prices:
There are many price-related factors that you should consider when looking for a laptop; that way, you can get an idea of why laptops have different price points.
Laptops with high prices have features that minimum-priced laptops do not have. But there are several good laptops at affordable prices that offer decent performance for everyday use.
We will start with hardware specifications, which include CPU, RAM, storage(SSD/HDD), and display quantity. These have the largest impact on the price of the laptop, from highest to lowest.
The CPU, or processor, of a normal laptop used for daily tasks that don’t demand a lot of processing power, is what mostly defines how much it costs. These laptops do not have a dedicated GPU, or even if they do, it is of lower power.
On the other hand, laptops used for tasks such as gaming, coding, 3D rendering, and demanding business tasks require more powerful processors; the more powerful the laptop is, the more expensive it will be.
Brand and model also have an effect on prices; well-known brands like Acer, HP and Dell carry higher tags because of their popularity for quality and reliability. But these brands also have cheaper laptops with a minimum price based on features.
Other than these, a laptop’s price depends on its RAM capacity (memory), storage capacity, and storage type. When the RAM and storage capacity are greater, obviously, the price is higher.
In terms of storage, SSDs are better than HDDs because they are faster and safer. On the whole, the more RAM your computer has, the better it will function when running multiple apps at once.
The amount of RAM in your computer should be enough to take full advantage of the CPU’s speed.
On top of that, laptops with bigger and high-resolution screens tend to cost more than those with smaller screens.
Figure out what laptop you need:
First off, you must identify your laptop’s needs and what purpose you are going to use it for. Do you need a laptop for basic tasks? Or do you require it for highly demanding tasks like gaming, coding, etc.? Once you know your purpose, you will have a good grip on choosing a laptop.
Laptops for basic tasks like web browsing and document editing are more reasonably priced than gaming laptops with high-end graphics and processing capabilities. Less expensive machines are ideal for high school or college students who are not looking for top-of-the-line performance. In that case, buying a laptop for around $500 could be a better option.
However, there are affordable options available for gaming laptops, which means you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a decent gaming experience.
The ASUS TUF F15 is one of the cheapest laptops, with an incredible price of under $700. It is top-listed on Amazon, and everyone is already loving it.
For an excellent gaming experience, you don’t need an NVIDIA RTX 4080 or a 500 Hz screen; there are options available for under $1000 that can easily be found.
Choosing a low-cost laptop does not mean you won’t get an up-to-date processor. The 12th Gen Intel Core or AMD Ryzen 5000 and 6000 chips are found in many inexpensive laptops and are powerful enough to handle productivity tasks, intensive web browsing, spreadsheets, photo editing, and other tasks.
However, business laptops cost more than consumer laptops if you want one for your business. They are capable of performing demanding tasks and have a longer lifespan.
A consumer laptop might not have the processing power to handle many business programs or play games with complex graphics.
These less powerful and least expensive laptops are used for tasks that don’t demand a lot of computing power, such as web browsing, watching movies, interacting on social media, or working on school or college assignments.
Business machines, on the other hand, are designed for fast processing and come with preloaded software, which makes them ideal for focusing on projects and work, whether they are for educational purposes or business.
So, if you need a machine for work-related tasks like dealing with demanding business applications like Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365, and AWS Elastic Beanstalk, then you should buy one that costs at least $1000.
Consumer vs. Business laptops:
After hours of research, I have compiled a list of some well-known consumer and business laptops, along with their prices:
If you are like many people these days, you have probably found yourself working from home more often, and if you are anything like me, you know that having the right laptop can make all the difference when it comes to productivity and efficiency.
The Macbook Air M1 is the ideal option for working from home because it costs less than $1000 and is preferred by most people. It may not be the cheapest option on the list, but its quality, dependability, and usability make up for it.
The MacBook Pro might be a better choice if you carry out high-end graphic design and ultra HD video editing every day.
Another option is the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, which is around $599. This laptop is designed for portability and ease of use, making it a great option for those who need to work on the go.
Additionally, the laptop offers decent performance for basic tasks like web browsing, email, and word processing.
The HP Pavilion 15 is also worth considering when it comes to work-from-home laptops. The laptop has a sleek design, a comfortable keyboard, and solid performance for light tasks.
This laptop has a great battery life, which can last up to 8 hours. Although it is not quite as good as a Macbook, it is still far more than you will probably need in a single day.
You may have limited options for laptops under $500, but as I said, there are several options still available if you only need a minimum-priced laptop for simple everyday tasks. Then $500 laptops are good to go.
Chromebooks are a great option, and most people are going to be fine with them, especially students. It runs Google’s Chrome OS, which itself is basically the Chrome web browser and a few extras, although now new Chromebooks also have the ability to run Android apps from the Google Play Store and Linux software.
Because, think about it, what’s most of what you do on a laptop? Email, web surfing, videos, etc.—all that stuff is usually done by the web browser, and if you are looking to spend under $500, you should give the Chromebook a shot.
But if you are buying a $500 laptop, I don’t think you are going to have a lot of luck with Photoshop and video games.
Business laptops on a budget are typically more affordable than high-end versions. Because of that, they are affordable for companies and people on a tight budget. It is therefore excellent for new business owners. But they could also last less time than more expensive laptops.
According to research, laptops usually last between three and five years on average, although Apple laptops have been reported to survive longer.
Laptops with an average price of $700 or less can be expected to last 2-4 years.
Some minimum-priced laptops for business are as follows:
- Microsoft Surface Laptop Go ($600)
- Acer Aspire 5 (around $700)
- Lenovo Thinkbook 15 ($1000)
- HP Envy 13 (around $700)
- HP Pavilion ($999)
These above-mentioned laptops are great for a startup company; they have great processing power and battery health and can get your work done easily.
But keep in mind that before buying a budget laptop, go for a good processor. Choose a machine with an Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 or above that can handle demanding workloads without any trouble.
The other thing to consider is RAM memory. The performance of the laptop will improve if you get a device with 8GB or more of memory if you want to use apps for work-related tasks.
If you mostly use the cloud for storage, you should seek out a device with a solid-state drive that has 128GB or more. SSD speeds up app loading. 256GB is a better choice for work-related tasks, but it is more expensive. If you are on a tight budget, 128GB is an excellent starting point.