7 Best Affordable Laptops in 2022

lenovo ideapad
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2022 is here, and we are looking forward to what the new year brings for us, the tech enthusiasts, in terms of better portable computing. While a huge chunk of the year is left, and we have yet to go through many techxibitions and expos, the first one that has already set high benchmarks is the CES 2022. The January mega-event has already set the tone, and laptop lovers ought to hold on tight for the joy ride CES 2022 has promised.

Silently going under the radar, however, are some affordable launches by premier brands that perhaps didn’t get much limelight due to their cheap budget or the affordable price tag. We are here to dig up some gold for you. Today we have some of the best affordable laptops of 2022.

Before we begin, let me take you through some fun facts that would have some of us repaint some pictures and notions we had. While we might think that gaming laptops are the holy grail we must latch onto, a 2017 survey by Million Insights shows that they only comprise around 20 percent of laptops sold, with the majority going towards productivity-focused business offerings. This data emphasizes the popularity of budget laptops that are good at most things barring mainstream gaming. Here are some of the best inexpensive laptops of 2022.

Best Affordable Laptops in 2022 at a Glance

Image Product Details Check Price
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 on Amazon
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Display: 14-inch, FHD IPS, Anti-Glare
Resolution: 1920x1080
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U 4.0GHz
Memory: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
Graphics: AMD Radeon 7 Graphics
Storage: 256GB M.2SSD
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HP 15-DY 2024NR on Amazon
HP 15-DY 2024NR Display: 15.6-inch, Full HD, IPS Anti-Glare
Resolution: 1920x1080
Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 4.2GHz
Memory: 8GB DDR4 – 2666 MHz SDRAM
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD
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Dell Inspiron 15 3511 on Amazon
Dell Inspiron 15 3511 Display: 15.6-inch, Full HD, Anti-Glare
Resolution: 1920x1080
Processor: Intel Core i5-1115G4 4.2GHz
Memory: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
Graphics: Intel UHD
Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD
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Asus VivoBook 15 on Amazon
Asus VivoBook 15 Display: 15.6-inch, Full HD, OLED
Resolution: 1920x1080
Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 4.2GHz
Memory: 12GB DDR4 SDRAM
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
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HP 17-CN 0025NR on Amazon
HP 17-CN 0025NR Display: 17.3-inch, HD+ Anti-Glare
Resolution: 1600x900
Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 4.2GHz
Memory: 8GB DDR4 3200 MHz SDRAM
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD
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Acer Nitro 5 on Amazon
Acer Nitro 5 Display: 15.6-inch, FHD, IPS 144Hz
Resolution: 1920x1080
Processor: Intel Core i5-10300H 4.5GHz
Memory: 8GB DDR4 2933MHz SDRAM
Graphics: Nvidia RTX 3050 4GB GDDR6
Storage: 256GB SSD
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Samsung Galaxy Book Pro on Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro Display: 15.6-inch, AMOLED
Resolution: 1920x1080
Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 4.20GHz
Memory: 8GB LPDDR4
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
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Best Affordable Laptops in 2022 – Our Top Picks

1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

While there are plenty of flash-powered devices available at dirt-cheap prices, we have primarily focussed on full-fledged laptops today, and our first pick is the IdeaPad 3 from Lenovo. Inexpensive laptops need not necessarily come with sub-standard specifications, as seen from a top-of-the-line mid-range processor in the IdeaPad 3. The Ryzen 5 5500U is a hexacore processor with twelve threads and a boost clock of 4.0GHz. The multi-tasking possibilities of the IdeaPad 3 are exemplary, considering the cheap price tag it comes with.

Lenovo offers good durability in the IdeaPad 3, keeping the weight reasonably low and a tapered finish at the edges. Under the lid, we find a Full HD IPS display with an anti-glare coating and narrow bezels. The processor comes embedded with the Radeon Graphics 7, which allows quite a bit of mainstream gaming and opens up numerous opportunities for visual entertainment, especially with Dolby audio-enabled speakers. The 14-inch panel has a wide viewing angle and crispy color representation.

The IdeaPad 3 is an affordable laptop that has a proper ventilation system that keeps thermals in check. It has 8GB DDR4 physical memory and a 256GB SSD for storage. You can expand storage through available internal slots or external USB 3.2 Type-A ports. In the absence of a physical LAN port, there is MIMO-enabled Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 in addition to an HDMI port and 3.5mm audio port.

Our Take

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has excellent value for money. It has an excellent low TDP processor that can easily handle mainstream gaming and business multi-tasking. It has good thermal management features on top of a rugged build that is sure to last you during heavy use. A 3-month trial pass for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate sweetens the deal. A chink in its armor is a spongy keyboard that is not backlit.

PROS
  • Powerful Mid-Range Processor
  • Dolby Audio
  • Excellent Thermal Management
  • Multiple Performance Modes
CONS
  • Low Storage
  • Keyboard not Backlit

2. HP 15-DY2024NR

Next up on the list is an all-day companion from HP. The HP-15DY2024NR looks premium with a brushed metal finish and a sleek design that makes it an excellent portable device. While on a budget, this cheap laptop has a full-fledged keyboard with a number pad and a large multi-touchpad. The lid hides a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a high screen-to-body ratio. The side bezels are extremely thin, with slightly thick top and bottom bezels that house the webcam.

The HP device comes with an 11th Gen Core i5-1135G7 power-efficient quad-core processor best suited for light multi-tasking. You can expect the laptop to run a few games thanks to Intel Iris Xe graphics and 8GB DDR4 RAM running at 2666MHz. Besides the webcam on the top bezel, two microphone arrays offer good clarity during voice calls.

A feature not usually present in affordable laptops is a fast charge feature that charges the laptop up quickly. Overall, battery backup is around 8 hours, though, which is just adequate to last you through the day. In-built storage is again a bit low at 256GB. There are multiple physical ports in a couple of USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, and an HDMI port to extend the display.

Our Take

Overall, a decent option in the cheap laptop segment, the HP 15-DY2024NR could have had a better battery mainly due to the power-efficient processor. It has adequate RAM and allows light to medium level multi-tasking capabilities. Storage options are pretty limited, and the only shining light is a premium build and a full-sized keyboard.

PROS
  • Premium Build and Looks
  • Thin Bezel IPS Display
  • Latest Operating System
CONS
  • Low Battery Back-up

3. Dell Inspiron 15 3511

The Dell Inspiron 3511 is a 15-inch laptop with a lift-up hinge design that props the laptop up when used to improve the angle while typing and aid in thermal management. The Inspiron 3511 sports an FHD Anti-glare LED display supported by an in-built Intel UHD graphics processor. The display has adequate color coverage, with most content retaining its original colors when displayed.

The Inspiron 15 3511 is an inexpensive device that features an ultra-low-power processor in the Core i3-1115G4. It is a dual core-quad-threaded processor with a 12-watt TDP and 3.00GHz peak speed. Coupled with 8GB DDR4 physical memory, the laptop efficiently manages regular entertainment and light business. Gaming is not possible on this laptop as the Intel UHD is not meant for any serious gaming.

Dell Inspiron 15 3511 is the cheapest device on our list today, and it still manages to cram in a 256GB SSD for storage. There are quite a few physical connectivity ports in the form of USB 3.2 Type-A ports. You can extend the display using the HDMI 1.4 port or connect slightly older peripherals using the USB 2.0 port. The laptop comes with an inspiring Express Charge capability and good thermal management features.

Our Take

Strictly an entry-level laptop that does just enough to stay afloat. That is the praise we could muster up of the Inspiron 15 3511. There is, however, little to complain about when you look at its price tag. Students looking for laptops for their schools and creating and viewing some presentations would benefit from the Blue-Light filter technology.

PROS
  • Low Blue Light View
  • High Physical Memory
  • Prop-up Hinge Design
CONS
  • Entry Level Processor
  • Strictly a Home Theatre PC

4. Asus VivoBook 15

For quite a few years now, VivoBooks by Asus has been creating a name for itself with excellent value for money laptops that are budget-focused and offer standout features. The VivoBook 15, for example, comes with a 15.6-inch OLED display. While we will get to what else the laptop can do, the display itself suggests it will be an excellent laptop to binge-watch movies or web series on. The Full HD panel has an 85 percent screen-to-body ratio with extremely thin side bezels.

As for the performance, it comes loaded with a budget-focused, battery-friendly Core i5-1135G7 processor with a peak speed of 4.2GHz and an Intel Iris Xe graphics processor. Mainstream gaming, though sparingly, is undoubtedly on the cards here. For handling heavy workloads, the VivoBook 15 has ample physical memory in an additional 4GB DDR4 module besides the 8GB onboard RAM. That much possibility is sure to generate heat and hence a prop-up hinge design to lift the laptop and let the heat pass through.

Today, most laptops feature a 256GB SSD for storage, but thankfully, Asus has double the space available. The backlit keyboard has a responsive touchpad that sits right under the space bar with a fingerprint sensor embedded in it. Keyboard response is smooth with a low key-travel distance. Connectivity ports include a USB 3.2 Type-C port, Type-A port, an HDMI port, and Wi-Fi 6.

Our Take

The OLED display with 100 percent DCI-P3 and 133 percent sRGB color gamut adds a lot of oomph in the otherwise decently powered VivoBook 15. The display is HDR certified and has a blue light filter that facilitates binge-watching. However, the affordable laptop is hit by lackluster battery performance and a build that trades style for durability.

PROS
  • Cinema Grade OLED Display
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Huge Physical Memory
  • Ample Physical Connectivity Ports
CONS
  • Low Battery Backup
  • Fragile Body

5. HP 17-CN 0025NR

Next up is the 17-inch HP CN 0025NR. Carrying a much lower price tag than the VivoBook, this HP laptop sports the most extensive display, but it goes down a notch on resolution numbers managing just 1600×900 pixels. However, there is no dearth of clarity, with images appearing crisp and vivid. The build is the same brushed metal finish, but the base props up thanks to a life-hinge design.

The HP 17-CN 0025NR has a tried and tested Intel Core i5-1135G7 powering it through your daily endeavors. We are seeing a plethora of laptops turn to this mid-range power-efficient performer to maintain an exceptional balance between performance and longevity. Intel Iris Xe is here to help you through games, and a fast 3200MHz 8GB RAM is on standby to take you through multi-tasking.

The HP 17-inch laptop goes a bit low with storage, and users might have to look for upgrade options once the 256GB SSD fills up. There is a SuperSpeed USB Type-C and dual SuperSpeed Type-A ports for connecting external hard drives. Sporting a slim design with an Energy Star rating and decent battery life, the HP 17-CN 0025NR is worth buying.

Our Take

Sporting the same build as the HP 15-DY2024NR above, this budget laptop has premium looks and decent performance at an exciting price point. Its low-resolution display pulls it back from stardom, but high-speed memory, full-fledged keyboard, and thermal management make the CN 0025NR an excellent value-for-money laptop.

PROS
  • Premium Design and Build
  • Full Keyboard with Number Pad
  • Powerful Mid-Range Performance
  • High-Performance Memory
CONS
  • Inadequate Storage

6. Acer Nitro 5

The only proper gaming laptop with an affordable price tag is the Acer Nitro 5. You might have to settle with slightly aging specs and an old OS, but a full-fledged gaming laptop in the inexpensive laptop category is a steal deal any day. The lid opens up to a 15.6-inch FullHD IPS display with a screen refresh rate of a whopping 144Hz. It is tailor-made for mainstream gaming with an edgy build and intelligent design. Of course, it is bulky and heavy too.

Being an almost mainstream gaming laptop, the Acer Nitro 5 sports an Intel Core i5-10300H processor with a peak speed of 4.5GHz. It is not a battery-efficient chip like some of the 11th Gen Intel processors and comes with four hyperthreading enabled cores that slice through the heaviest of applications you task it to run. The laptop has 8GB DDR4 physical memory a ray-tracing enabled Nvidia RTX 3050 for graphics.

A small 256GB SSD storage might seem a deal-breaker, but this is perhaps a ploy to keep costs low. Thankfully, there is an empty PCI slot and a SATA slot inside the belly for when you need more storage. Physical LAN slots are increasingly rare, but the Nitro 5 sports one beside the two USB 3.2 Type-A ports. There is a USB 3.2 Type-C port, HDMI 2.0 port on the other edge, and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port. In terms of physical connectivity options, the Nitro 5 comes loaded.

Our Take

A proper gaming laptop in the budget segment is always value for money. These laptops are powerful enough to run games that are complex applications themselves and hence would excel in business and productivity. It is also suitable for content creators and students alike. The low storage is the only chink in its armor.

PROS
  • High Refresh Rate Display
  • Nvidia RTX 3050 Powered Dedicated Graphics
  • Vents for Heat Management
  • Powerful Mid-Range Processor
CONS
  • Low Storage
  • Inadequate 8GB Physical Memory

7. Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

Finally, our last pick is a Galaxy Book by Samsung. These nifty devices have gained popularity in the past few years, with Samsung offering breathtaking specs at low prices. It boasts a 15.6-inch AMOLED display that is vibrant, and viewing content on the device would be absolute peach. It is stylish and comes in a thin form factor with incredibly thin bezels around the AMOLED panel. On top of that, the base tapers towards the edges imparting an ultra-sharp and beautiful design.

There are ample brains to go with the beauty as the Galaxy Book Pro is powered by an Intel 11th Gen Core-i5 processor coupled with 8GB DDR4 memory to aid users during multi-tasking. The Galaxy Book makes it easier to manage your Galaxy devices and switch between work and personal life. It is hard to imagine how Samsung has managed to cram in all the juice to keep the chassis thin and weigh only around 2.30 pounds.

The Galaxy Book Pro is a premium device with 512GB of storage. Even with the AMOLED display, it still manages close to twenty hours of battery life, thanks to an Intel Evo tag the laptop comes with. You have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 6E to connect wirelessly, while physical connectivity options are limited. Like HP, the Galaxy Book Pro features an excellent keyboard with a number pad and a super-responsive trackpad.

Our Take

Samsung has roared into mainstream computing with its Galaxy Book Pro lineup. There are many customization options regarding the core components while the display remains the same. Physical connectivity options are minimal, but the battery life on offer is stupendous.

PROS
  • AMOLED Display
  • Sleek and Lightweight Design
  • Up to 20 Hour Battery Life
  • Galaxy Android Sync
CONS
  • Not Durable: Handle with Care

Affordable Laptops in 2022 – A Buying Guide

With the picks sorted, let us look at the factors that should determine your choice while looking for an affordable laptop to buy in 2022. While price is the primary factor for many, since we have already narrowed it down to affordable options, we would not pick the price exclusively as a factor, and a range around the $800 mark would be best for budget laptops. Here are the other factors we should look into.

Operating System

It’s 2022, and Windows 11 is out already. With OS upgrades in desktops, there are some concerns with the TPM module, which thankfully is not a concern with laptops as there is limited scope for upgrades. Hence going for a notebook with built-in Windows 11 or promises a free upgrade to the latest Microsoft OS would be the safest bet.

You could still opt for Windows 10 pre-installed, but only if the other components are way beyond the budget category. The Acer Nitro 5, for example, comes with Windows 10, but it is a mainstream gaming laptop, so the trade-off is just too good to miss.

Display Size

What is the entire purpose of buying the laptop? You should decide the size of your device with this question in mind. For education and casual browsing, a smaller 13-inch size would be enough and would fit right into your budget. You might even save a couple of hundred dollars on a smaller device. For a bit more mainstream business or productivity, you might want a more prominent display but expect to save almost nothing from your budget.

Gaming needs a 17-inch display, and these laptops cost more, so expect to go off your budget by a few hundred dollars unless you can spot a steal deal. You can, however, still game on a smaller display if you are a casual gamer and have good internal graphics like Intel Iris Xe or, even better, Iris Plus. Smaller and lightweight devices would offer excellent portability, and you might not need a bag pack even.

Display Quality and Resolution

With the size sorted, it’s time to settle for the display quality, and thankfully with a vast user base belonging to the budget category, good quality displays don’t cost much now. You can spot IPS displays easily, but going above a Full HD display would not be possible if you are tight on cash. We won’t recommend anything under HD+ (1600×900) in 2022, no matter the display size you choose.

Longing for HDR would be too far-fetched, but there are other goodies like Blue Light Filter tech and Anti-Glare that improve usability in low light and bright light, respectively. Color gamut is essential, and our advice would be to stick to over 90 percent in sRGB, Adobe DCI-P3. The higher, the better, and if you can spot an OLED display, that alone could be the x-factor.

Performance Numbers

You are on a budget, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to settle for the cheapest processor. With AMD waking up from their slumber and shaking up the entire processor industry, both Intel and AMD now have excellent budget-focused processors that offer exceptional performance without sipping too much power. You can go with any budget quad-core 11th Gen Intel processors or Ryzen 5000 series processors. As long as the processors have multithreading, you should be okay with putting a bit of load, even on a budget laptop.

Next is the amount of physical memory you would need. We would stick to a bare minimum of 8 gigabytes, DDR4 of course, which most laptops would come within the cheap category. 16GB RAM is also not hard to find, but we doubt if that much RAM would be helpful, especially when you are on a budget and can’t go over the top with the processor. However, if you spot a cheap laptop that fits the bill, take it as it would save you money on upgrades down the line.

Graphics Processor

Stick to internal graphics as that would keep the cost low. Intel Iris Xe is good enough for most older titles, and you can play some latest ones, too, with settings tuned down a bit. If the pocket allows Iris Plus, then blindly go for it as gaming is better than Iris Xe. Internal graphics usually come embedded in the processors themselves, and hence heavy content creation is out. With most internal graphics accelerators, you can manage photo editing and light video editing.

In 2022, our advice would be to stay away from Intel UHD graphics. Frankly, they are suitable just for displaying the OS and playing movies. Nvidia also has internal graphics in the form of the MX series, which are good enough for games and somewhat manage to emulate discreet graphics.

Storage

Thankfully SSD costs have come down, and even inexpensive laptops come with at least 256GB SSD storage, but we realize that it might not be enough. If your laptop does not have upgrade options, you need to rely on cloud solutions more than locally installed applications. For that, you would do good with an SSD that offers fast and snappy performance.

We would advise you to choose a laptop even with a low-capacity SSD and upgrade to a higher capacity SSD drive later or add a secondary HDD later when you need more space. SSD would ensure fast boot-up of the OS and quick navigation in the file manager. Installed programs would launch instantly, and the power consumption would be lower, leading to overall better battery life.

Physical Ports

While buying a laptop, connectivity ports play a significant role as in case there are no upgrade options, you can use them to extend the capacity of various components. In 2022, USB 2.0 is almost obsolete, and hence most laptops should have USB 3.2 Gen 1 or Gen 2 ports. If you are fond of gaming, look for laptops with Thunderbolt 3 or 4 support, as that would allow you to connect external graphics cards later. You can also use high-speed USB Type-C ports to connect high-speed storage drives.

Fast Charging and Battery

There is a dearth of time, and everyone’s needs computing on the go. Hence, more than the battery capacity, look for fast charging tech and Intel Evo branding. Fast charging and Intel Evo work well. Intel Evo ensures that the laptop meets a bare minimum of 7-8 hours of battery backup and fast charging provides quick charging in less time. So if you are in a hurry, you can get a good 4-5 hours with just 30m minutes of charging.

Brand and Reliability

If you scourge e-commerce portals, some of them list mind-boggling devices at dirt cheap rates. We would advise you to stay away from them as any electronic equipment can go wrong anytime, and you should have support nearby. Laptops from unknown brands might have longevity or even support center issues. These devices could be poorly optimized with counterfeit software and cheap quality components that would fail precisely when you need your laptop the most.

Reliable brands bring years of experience and pedigree in manufacturing quality electronic devices. Their service centers are within reach, and they have competent service personnel to service your device if needed. Your laptop would be your personal computer and would have your personal and professional files. It is wise to trust reputed brands with all this information.

Affordable Laptops in 2022 – Frequently Asked Questions

Do cheap laptops have less longevity?

Inexpensive laptops do not necessarily last shorter as their components are still from the same brands as expensive laptops. Every hardware manufacturer manufactures components of low to high specifications, priced accordingly. Hence a laptop that uses lower specifications would cost less, and it would have lesser computing power but the same longevity as its costlier counterpart.

What kind of performance can I expect from affordable laptops?

Performance rarely depends on the price of a laptop. The components are at play here, and with affordable laptops, you have to be content with components that have lower specifications. Hence you can expect light to medium multi-tasking. Browsing with multiple tabs is possible, but a high-resolution image or video editing would not be possible. Gaming can happen but mostly on HD resolution with quality tuned down.

Are Intel Celeron processors or AMD Athlon processors any good?

Celeron and Athlon are extremely low-powered processors that have limited use. Laptops with these processors would be thoroughly underpowered, and you should choose your laptop based on your probable usage. If you need to run medium-heavy applications like MS Office regularly and have Chrome open simultaneously, you would be better off with more powerful processors. Celeron or Athlon will suffice if only binge-watching and entertainment are on the agenda.

How much is built and durability important in affordable laptops?

Like with every laptop, the build quality and durability are essential factors in inexpensive laptops, but premium designs might not be available with a limited budget. Military-grade durability ratings would also be missing in these laptops. You would mostly have to pick from hard plastic or fiber, which would protect the laptop from minor falls and bumps.

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