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While most of us usually look for specs such as RAMs and cores, the tech-savvy people also include Thunderbolt 3 ports in their laptop specifications.

Why? Well, because thunderbolt ports bring more speed and performance to computer hardware by allowing more data transferability options between to computers or laptops.

Thunderbolt laptops have grown in popularity since 2011 for both manufacturers and consumers.

Looking for a monitor to use with your TB3 Laptop?

If you are, then feel free to also check out our round-up, featuring some of the cheapest (and best value) laptops with USB-C support.

But while a Thunderbolt 3 laptop is the latest in hardware development, it comes at a pretty hefty price.

Because of this, we made a list in which you can find some of the cheapest laptops with Thunderbolt 3.

If you’re interested in more laptops, then you can check our exhaustive list of Thunderbolt 3 Laptops by Manufacturer, with Watts.

At a Glance – Our Top Picks

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
Acer Swift 3Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
Screen: 14-inch, 1920X1080
TB3 Ports: 1 x 4 PCIe
Battery: Up to 11 Hours
Check on Amazon
Acer Spin 5 (2020)Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
Graphics: Iris Plus Graphics
Screen: 13.5-inch, 2256X1504
TB3 Ports: 2 x 4 PCIe
Battery: Up to 15 Hours
Check on Amazon
Apple MacBook Air (2020)Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i3
Graphics: Iris Plus Graphics
Screen: 13.3-inch, 2560X1600, 227 PPI
TB3 Ports: 2 x 4 PCIe
Battery: Up to 12 Hours
Check on Amazon
LG Gram 15 (2020)Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G7
Graphics: Iris Plus Graphics
Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920X1080, 141 PPI
TB3 Ports: 1 x 4 PCIe
Battery: Up to 18.5 Hours
Check on Amazon
ASUS ZenBook 14Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
Graphics: Iris Plus Graphics
Screen: 14.0-inch, 1920X1080, 157 PPI
TB3 Ports: 2 x 4 PCIe
Battery: Up to 22 Hours
Check on Amazon
HP Spectre x360 (13-aw0020nr)Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
Graphics: Iris Plus Graphics
Screen: 13.3-inch, 4K (3840X2160), 331 PPI
TB3 Ports: 2 x 4 PCIe
Battery: Up to 22 Hours
Check on HP Store
Razer Blade Stealth 13Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q
Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920X1080, 166 PPI, 120Hz
TB3 Ports: 1 x 4 PCIe
Battery: Up to 10 Hours
Check on Amazon
Dell G3Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300H
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1050
Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920X1080, 141 PPI
TB3 Ports: 1x 4 PCIe
Battery: Up to 6 Hours 37 Minutes*
Check on Amazon
Lenovo ThinkPad T470Processor: 6th Gen Intel Core i5-6300U
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 520
Screen: 14-inch, 1366X768, 112 PPI
TB3 Ports: 1x 2 PCIe
Battery: Up to 13.9 Hours
Check on Amazon
HP Zbook 15V G5Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H
Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro P600
Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920X1080, 141 PPI
TB3 Ports: 1x 4 PCIe
Battery: Up to 9 Hours*
Check on Amazon

 

Before going into detail about every laptop on our list, let’s clarify why Thunderbolt 3 is such a desirable feature.

What is Thunderbolt 3?

Thunderbolt’s third version is one port that brings together all the capabilities featured in the previous versions.

Thunderbolt 3 has speeds of up to 40GB/s and multiple connectivities to 4K displays to the host computer as well as output video signals just like it would with audio signals. It is the fastest networking cable to date, having an average speed of 10GbE.

It has the same physical proprieties as USB 3.1, but it is far more compact and requires less space which makes it easy to incorporate in laptops that have a sleek design to its edges and facets. These laptops can be designed for ultra-core gaming due to their ability to connect to external graphics amplifiers with no lag between the processing. You can learn more about Thunderbolt 3: What is Thunderbolt 3? Revolutionary tech for your notebook

USB Type C vs Thunderbolt 3

Is Thunderbolt 3 the same as USB-C?

The short answer is “No“. 

Caution: Many people seem to confuse Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C. This is partly due to the fact that the ports share a similar look apart from the three-prong USB logo featured on USB-C cables and the Thunderbolt 3’s „Lightning Bolt” logo.

The distinguishable feature between the two is that USB-C refers to the port’s shape and Thunderbolt 3 is a connectivity standard. Thunderbolt 3 merges the connectivity of Thunderbolt, USB, DisplayPort, and power through one USB-C connector.

While it is true that USB-C devices will also connect through a Thunderbolt 3 port, they will not have the same speed and power as a TB 3 connected device.

We mentioned before that Thunderbolt 3 has a speed of 40Gbps, which is twice as fast as the data connection for Thunderbolt 2. A Thunderbolt 3 laptop which connects to a desktop monitor and an external graphics card will have almost zero delays, its enhanced performance making it perfect for activities such as gaming.

A USB comes in many types, and their version number refers to their capabilities like speed and cable compatibility. USB has the following types: USB Type-A, USB Type-B, and USB Type-C (USB-C) and its versions are USB 1.1, USB 2.0, USB 3.0., USB 3.1 Gen 1, and USB 3.1 Gen 2.

USB-C ports can be used to connect with USB 3.1 devices, with some having power outputs of 100 watts at 20 volts. The power output of a USB-C enables larger devices to be charged as well as smaller devices by eliminating excess charging wires.

Thunderbolt 3 can do the same things as a USB-C, but the USB-C is not able to perform the same capabilities as a Thunderbolt 3.

The speed and video display of Thunderbolt 3 is far greater than that of USB-C. Thunderbolt 3 has a speed of 40Gbps while USB-C works only 10 Gbps. Thunderbolt 3 be connected to present the video content on two 4K displays or one 5k display at 60hz while USB-C can only be used in one 4K display.

Now that we have concluded our brief explanation regarding USB type C and Thunderbolt 3, we can move on to our list of cheapest laptops with TB3.

1. Acer Swift 3 – Best Cheap Thunderbolt 3 Laptop

Acer Swift 3 is an ultraportable budget laptop that offers excellent performance at a considerably lower price.

Acer is among the top laptop manufacturers that offer a wide range of devices for users. Swift 3 is one of their latest notebooks that shows you don’t have to break the bank to get a stylish and powerful laptop with Thunderbolt 3.

This ultraportable laptop is a perfect fit for students, business professionals, and even gamers, thanks to the included Thunderbolt 3 port that supports external GPUs. With long battery life, you can take this Ultrabook wherever you go.

A 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor powers the Swift 3 while the integrated UHD Graphics provides the juice for graphics-intensive tasks. Intel UHD Graphics are not the best GPUs available. However, this shouldn’t be a limitation as you can always hook up a plug and play Thunderbolt 3 eGPU for extra graphical power.

Design

The Swift 3 may be cheap, but it comes with a premium look and feel. It is very lightweight at 2.62 pounds, while the sturdy aluminum chassis completes the beautiful and elegant design.

The Swift 3 comes with an excellent backlit keyboard that provides a comfortable typing experience. Drafting quick business emails or typing long college essays shouldn’t be a problem. With a responsive touchpad, this is an excellent value for a budget laptop.

One of the downsides of the design is the downward-facing speakers. The Swift 3 does not provide the best immersive audio for entertainment or gaming fanatics.

Display

The display of the Swift 3 is a 14-inch non-touch with a Full HD (1080p) resolution running on an IPS panel. The IPS panel provides consistent picture quality throughout a wider viewing angle.

The thinner bezels allow for more screen real estate with 84% screen to body ratio. You can view more images and text with amazing details.

You can get excellent performance for most business tasks, lightweight gaming, and other daily tasks, including YouTube and Netflix. However, it isn’t ideal for professional video editing and content creation. The 67% sRGB and 50% AdobeRGB provides a limited color gamut for color grading work.

Connectivity

Swift 3 comes with a wide range of connectivity options to provide a single solution for your needs.

Onboard you get the latest and high-speed Intel Wi-Fi 6, which offers download speeds of up to 1,700 Mbps and 75% lower latency.

Also, the laptop supports the Bluetooth 5.0 standard. You can connect Bluetooth enabled devices and reduce the amount of cabling on your desk.

The selection of the I/O slots is excellent, with support for both legacy ports and the revolutionary Thunderbolt 3 port. While some of the latest laptop models come with only USB Type-C slot, the Swift 3 includes two USB 3.0 and an SD card slot.

Ports

  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x 3.5mm jack
  • 1 x SD Card slot
OUR TAKE
The Acer Swift 3 is the cheapest laptop with Thunderbolt 3. It comes with a powerful 10th generation processor, while the tb3 port allows you to connect to an eGPU for high-end gaming and video editing tasks.

The laptop delivers excellent value for your money with an elegant design, versatile connectivity options, and a robust and sturdy. Few laptops can match the Swift 3. With Thunderbolt 3 and lower price tag, Acer Swift 3 remains the best choice for a tb3 notebook on a budget.

PROS

  • Great value
  • Plenty of ports
  • Comfy keyboard with a responsive touchpad
  • A longer battery life
  • High-speed Wi-Fi 6
CONS

  • No dedicated GPU
  • Not the best for content creation
 

2. Acer Spin 5 (2020) – Cheap Thunderbolt 3 2-in-1 Laptop

Acer Spin 5 is an outstanding convertible laptop that packs so much power in a compact, lightweight design. It replaces Lenovo Yoga 730 in our roundup with updated specs, including 10th gen processor, Wi-Fi 6, and a colorful display, making it the best cheap 2-in-1 laptop with Thunderbolt 3.

A quad-core Intel Core i7-1065G7 with Iris Plus Graphics powers the Spin 5, providing the muscle for multitasking and play. Acer pairs the processor with 16GB RAM and 512GB solid-state drive storage. The integrated graphics isn’t the best for gaming, but you can use an eGPU via Thunderbolt 3 to run more graphics-intensive apps.

Design

Acer Spin 5 features a 360 degrees hinge that lets you switch among laptop, tent, stand, or tablet modes. It adapts to your needs, whether you want to draw, read, write, or watch your favorite movies and videos. That allows you to take the Spin 5 wherever you go from classroom to office. The hinge lifts the base at an angle to create more space for ventilation and airflow.

Elsewhere, the laptop features a slim magnesium-aluminum alloy body that keeps the weight around 2.65 pounds. It is an excellent 2-in-1 laptop for portability up there with the likes of LG Gram. Acer Spin 5 comes bundled with a rechargeable Active Stylus pen that provides a near pen to paper experience for more interactive and precise sketching and writing.

Display

The Spin 5 runs 2256 x 1504 resolution content on a 13.5-inch IPS screen delivering sharp and colorful visuals. The 3:2 aspect ratio offers more vertical screen real estate perfect for reading documents, browsing, and coding. And with the 201 PPI, the text is sharp and crisper, reducing headaches when working long hours.

The color reproduction on the laptop is impressive. It covers 100% of the sRGB color space and has 360nits brightness. You can use this monitor for color-critical work, especially for creating content for the web. Combine the design flexibility that allows you to use the Spin 5 in different modes and with a Stylus pen, everywhere is a studio for you.

Connectivity

One of the best features of this 2-in-1 laptop is the modern connectivity options that you get. The Acer Spin 5 supports the newest Wi-Fi 6 standard that improves performance in busy networks and crowded environments with features such as MU-MIMO and OFDMA. It also supports Bluetooth 5.0 and dual Thunderbolt 3 ports that support charging, multiple 4k external displays, and data transfer.

With Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3, this convertible laptop not only provides advanced and ultra-fast connectivity, but it also future-proof you for the years to come.

Ports

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 1 x microSD Slot
  • 1 x 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • Stylus Dock
OUR TAKE
It’s not every day you’ll find a powerful 2-in-1 laptop packing all the latest specs and productivity features, but the Acer Spin 5 is here to blow your mind. With less than a grand, you get 10th gen chip, 16GB memory, Wi-Fi 6, and sharp, colorful display. Combine the Stylus pen and flexible design, and you get a beast of a laptop that sorts all of your needs from modeling and content creation to daily productivity tasks such as browsing and programming.
PROS

  • Outstanding performance
  • Colorful display
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Includes Stylus pen
  • Slim and lightweight design
CONS

  • Battery life could be better
 

3. Apple MacBook Air (2020) – Cheap Mac Thunderbolt 3

The refreshed MacBook Air remains the most affordable Mac notebook in 2020 despite bringing more processing power, better keyboard, and more internal storage. Also, Apple reduced the base model’s starting price, making it even cheaper than last year’s version, which was our most affordable MacBook in this roundup.

The 2020 MacBook Air now features a 10th generation Intel processor and Iris Plus Graphics. Apple offers Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB solid-state drive for the base model, but you can upgrade to quad-core Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz. You can also configure the Air with up to 16GB memory and 2TB storage on the Apple website. It’s not as powerful as MacBook Pro, but it has never been a powerhouse anyway.

Design

The design of the MacBook Air 2020 is unchanged from last year apart from the keyboard. You still get the premium Apple design with a slim 0.63-inch body, .16 inches at its thinnest. The body is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum, and it does a great job of resisting fingerprints. With 2.8-pound weight, MacBook Air is among the lightweight and portable laptops.

The significant upgrade of the 2020 Air is the backlit keyboard with scissor switches, alias Magic Keyboard. Apple dropped the shallow butterfly switches in favor of scissor keys, which offer 1mm of key travel for a more responsive and comfortable typing experience.

Display

Like other Apple displays, the MacBook Air 2020 features a vibrant Retina display with true tone technology. It’s a 2560-by-1600 native resolution on a 13.3-inch screen, which is incredibly sharp at 227 pixels per inch. With the 16:10 aspect ratio, the display is perfect for reading documents, browsing long webpages, and programming. It uses an IPS panel, making everything looks sharp and vibrant, no matter the viewing angle.

On the downsides, the Air does not cover DCI-P3 wide color gamut, so it may not be suitable for color enthusiasts, such as creative pros and photographers. At 400nits, the brightness does match with the MacBook Pro, but it is better than most notebooks in the market.

Connectivity

Onboard you get only two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack. You can connect dual 4K displays or up to a single 6K display, meaning you can now use MacBook Air with Pro Display XDR.

Ports

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x 3.5mm Headphone Jack
OUR TAKE
The MacBook Air gets even cheaper in 2020 and brings powerful internal hardware and excellent keyboard. It is not the best laptop for avid gamers and enthusiasts, but it provides the best experience for general users who don’t demand much power in a MacBook. If you’re not a gamer or graphic designer, this is the best MacBook for you.
PROS

  • Entry-level pricing
  • Powerful hardware
  • Slim and lightweight design
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Improved keyboard
  • More vertical screen with 3:2 aspect ratio
CONS

  • Low-quality webcam
  • Color reproduction can be improved
  • No Wi-Fi 6
 

4. LG Gram 15 (2020) – Best For Portability

If you’re looking for a cheap Thunderbolt 3 laptop for traveling, look no further than the LG Gram. The LG Gram 15 is an extremely light laptop with a bigger screen and incredible battery life to stay productive on-the-go. The 2020 version gets an Ice Lake update and Wi-Fi 6 to provide power for more demanding tasks like gaming.

The LG Gram 15 (2020) base model features a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G7 processor with Iris Plus Graphics. Still, there is no dedicated GPU, but you can use an eGPU via Thunderbolt. The laptop comes with 8GB RAM and a fast 256GB M.2 NVMe solid-state drive onboard. LG claims up to 18.5 hours of battery life, capable of getting you through the day, allowing you to travel without limitations.

Design

Weighing slightly over a kilogram (2.47 lbs), the LG Gram 15 remains the most lightweight laptop ever built. It’s lighter than the MacBook Air and most 13-inch ultrabooks. The magnesium alloy unibody keeps the weight to a minimum and protects it from the daily ups and downs. LG claims LG Gram notebooks were subjected and passed military-grade tests, so you don’t have to worry about durability.

LG Gram 15 has a full-layout backlit keyboard with a number pad and a medium-sized trackpad. Log in to your machine quickly using the fingerprint scanner integrated on the power button. Touch the power button to wake the laptop and go straight to Windows.

Display

The LG Gram 15 missed on a 16:10 aspect ratio, but it still has an excellent screen for productivity with 141 PPI. It’s a Full HD display with IPS panel providing vibrant colors and deep contrast. According to Notebookcheck, the brightness peaks at 366nits, and it can display 96% of the sRGB color space, making it an excellent option for color enthusiasts.

However, LG used a glossy screen on this notebook, and any light falling on the screen may cause reflections. It’s not suitable for outdoor use.

Connectivity

The LG Gram 15 (2020) brings advanced connectivity standards, including Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, for wireless connectivity. It has multiple ports that include Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, USB-A, and card reader.

Ports

  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3 x USB 3.1
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • 1 x UFS/Micro-SD
OUR TAKE
With an updated Ice Lake processor, Wi-Fi 6, and excellent battery life, the 2020 LG Gram 15 is easy to recommend to users who demand power on-the-go. It provides a larger display to work on, yet weighs less than 13-inch laptops. Not many laptops can beat the Gram in terms of portability, and with more power and Thunderbolt, it remains our best option for portability in 2020.
PROS

  • Incredibly light for a 15-inch laptop
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Long battery life
  • Fast fingerprint reader
  • Solid performance
CONS

  • Not a colorful display
  • Conventional looks
 

5. ASUS ZenBook 14 – Best Budget Thunderbolt 3 Ultrabook

ASUS ZenBook 14 is another cheap Thunderbolt 3 laptop with a compact body targeted to business professionals. Asus refreshed the ZenBook lineup with Ice Lake processors from 8th Gen chips. The new notebooks now bring more power in an even thin and compact package.

The ASUS ZenBook 14 is our choice for the best budget Thunderbolt 3 ultrabook. It comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7, Iris Plus Graphics, 8GB RAM, and 512GB solid-state drive. The best part is you’re getting all that for a lot less than the other featured options in this roundup. Factor in the 22 hours battery and you get the best bargain

Design

The ZenBook 14 rivals the LG Gram in terms of size and weight. It’s a very compact laptop that manages to fit the 14-inch screen in a body the size of most 13-inch laptops. And with 4-sided thin bezels, ZenBook 14 achieves 90% screen-to-body ratio, making it the most compact laptop in the world. However, it weighs slightly heavy at 2.49 lbs than the Lg Gram 15, but you will rarely notice.

The laptop comes with an edge-to-edge backlit keyboard that provides enough spacing for a good typing experience. You also get a responsive trackpad that also doubles as a touch-sensitive number pad. Another great feature of the design is the hinge, which lifts the base to raise the keyboard at an angle for more comfort when typing.

Display

ASUS ZenBook 14 has a colorful 14-inch display running Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution on an IPS panel. You get vibrant colors and vivid images throughout the screen, and even outdoors with the anti-glare coating. It’s a bright display at 400nits that allows you to enjoy vibrant visuals even with ambient lighting in the room.

Connectivity

Like most laptops released in 2020, the ZenBook 14 comes with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for improved network performance in crowded environments. However, there is no headphone jack on this laptop. You have to rely on Bluetooth enabled speakers solely.

Ports

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 1 x MicroSD Slot
OUR TAKE
ASUS ZenBook 14 is an excellent laptop with great internal hardware and the latest connectivity standards, including Wi-Fi 6. It’s a perfect option for users who demand more power and lightweight design for portability without costing them a fortune. This compact laptop delivers everything you could wish for in 2020, making it the best budget Thunderbolt 3 laptop.
PROS

  • Slim and lightweight build
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth
  • Good keyboard and trackpad
  • Outstanding performance
  • Bright 400nits display
CONS

  • No headphone jack
 

6. HP Spectre x360 (13-aw0020nr) – Cheapest 4K Laptop with Thunderbolt 3

The 2020 HP Spectre x360 will blow your mind with its beautiful OLED display and 4K resolution. It’s one of the laptops with the best screens in 2020 and powerful internal hardware ready for any work, whether editing, gaming, or entertainment.

The OLED configuration features a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor with Iris Plus Graphics and 16GB memory. The processor clocks at 1.3GHz and up to 3.9GHz with Turbo Boost, capable of handle anything you throw at it. You can configure the storage from 512GB to 2TB capacity depending on your needs.

Design

HP Spectre x360 makes a statement with its unique CNC-milled aluminum unibody with a precise gem-cut. It has a 90% screen-to-body ratio thanks to its thin 4-sided bezels that enable the 13-inch screen to fit in an even smaller chassis. The laptop measures 2.92 pounds and 14.mm thin, making a suitable option for traveling and working on-the-go.

HP Spectre x360 comes with robust security features, including a webcam kill switch and Mic Mute button that protects you from hackers and people prying into your conversations.

Lifting the lid, you get a full-size island-style keyboard with white backlighting. It doesn’t have a number pad, and like most 13-inch notebooks, the arrow keys are smaller and stuffed. But you get a fingerprint reader and a large, responsive trackpad.

Display

The Spectre x360 display beats premium and expensive laptops in the market, with its 4K UHD resolution resulting in sharp and vivid visuals. It supports multi-touch and has an anti-glare Corning Gorilla Glass that strengthen the screen and reduce reflections. Color reproduction is excellent with 100% DCI-P3 and 400nits that delivers accurate and crisper colors even on max brightness.

The significant highlight of the Spectre x360 is the OLED display that delivers rich blacks and deep contrasts for true-to-life visuals. An OLED screen can switch off individual pixels to achieve true black on darker scenes for improved picture quality.

Connectivity

HP Spectre x360 13 supports the next-gen Wi-Fi 6 standard and Bluetooth 5.0. You also get dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-A, and audio output jack. There is no HDMI or DisplayPort.

Ports

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
  • 1 x Headphone/Microphone Combo
  • 1 x MicroSD Slot
OUR TAKE
The refreshed Spectre X360 is a powerhouse and gets even better. The 4K OLED display with 100% DCI-P3 and 400nits is perfect for photographers and creative pros looking for color accuracy in a sleek, portable notebook. With Wi-Fi 6, Ice Lake chip, and included Stylus, Spectre X360 13 (2020) is easy to recommend to power users and professionals, who still want to keep the budget to a minimum.
PROS

  • Classy and premium finish
  • Great performance
  • Colorful and vibrant display
  • Impressive color reproduction
  • Robust security features
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Stylus included
CONS

  • No HDMI or DP
  • 4K resolution drains the battery
 

7. Razer Blade Stealth 13 – Best Value Thunderbolt 3 Gaming Laptop

The first gaming ultrabook still reigns superior in 2020 with updated hardware and specs making it the best version of Stealth 13. Razer Blade Stealth 13 is the best value Thunderbolt 3 gaming laptop that you can also use for content creation. It has powerful hardware and fast connectivity standards to make your gaming and editing as smooth as possible.

Under the hood is a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 quad-core processor with 16GB of memory. Razer pairs it with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q, delivering the power you need to run demanding games and graphically-intensive applications. Stealth 13 comes with 512GB storage onboard.

Design

The laptop comes with a compact, all-metal build that keeps the weight around 3.11 lbs. It measures 0.60 by 8.27 by 11.99 inches, impressively thin for a gaming laptop with dedicated GPU. The slim and light design makes the Razer Blade Stealth the best laptop for gaming on-the-go. Elsewhere, the laptop sports Razer’s clean and premium aesthetics with narrow bezels and black finish.

Stealth brings that gaming-esque and aesthetics to your rig with a single-zone RGB keyboard powered by Razer Chroma. The keyboard layout is also improved, addressing the complaints of last year’s model. It now has small arrows keys and a full-length Shift key, resulting in accurate and comfortable typing experience.

Display

Razer Blade Stealth 13 comes with a Full HD resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate for fast, smooth gaming. You can upgrade to 4K, but Full HD at 120Hz offers the best gaming experience unless you’re a content creator. The display has a matte coating to reduce reflections when using outdoors.

The Stealth 13 isn’t just a gaming monitor, with 100% sRGB it makes a good laptop for photo and video editing. It has a powerful dedicated GPU so you can run demanding 3D modeling and editing applications to create content just about anywhere.

Connectivity

The laptop keeps you connected with modern connectivity standards, including Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, Thunderbolt 3, and USB-C. The Thunderbolt 3 port has 4 lanes of PCI Express ready for eGPUs to give you desktop-class graphics processing power to run all AAA games or professional editing applications.

Ports

  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
  • 2 x USB-A 3.1
  • 1 x Headphone/Microphone Combo
OUR TAKE
Razer Blade Stealth 13 is still the best portable gaming laptop since its launch, beating its close competitor, the ROG Zephyrus G14. The new Stealth comes with the latest Intel processor, gaming-ready Nvidia GPU, a light metal build, and tons of latest features that make it at the top of ultraportable laptops. The Stealth makes a perfect office and productivity laptop for the power-hungry with its muted and lightweight design.
PROS

  • Powerful hardware
  • Sturdy, elegant build
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Improved keyboard with RGB backlighting
  • Thunderbolt port with 4-lanes PCIe
  • Supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1
CONS

  • Visible bezels
  • No HDMI or DP
 

8. Dell G3 – Best Budget Thunderbolt 3 Gaming Laptop

The Dell G3 is the cheapest gaming laptop with Thunderbolt 3.

For a while, gaming laptops have been among the most expensive laptops in the market. Dell has done a great deal to provide a Thunderbolt 3 gaming laptop with an affordable price tag for most gamers.

The Dell G3 comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8300H processor with refresh rate up to 3.9GHz. It is a very demanding processor, but it provides the best performance allowing you to run massive games at ease.

Onboard you also get an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 4GB of dedicated memory. You’re assured of sharper graphics with fluid animations to enjoy the best gaming experience on a budget. You can always use an eGPU with the latest RTX graphics cards should you need more juice.

The Lenovo G3 can run most games, including Fortnight and PUBG, with the G3. However, you’ll need a more powerful external GPU to run demanding games like Apex Legends and GTA V at the recommended settings.

Design

The G3 has a rather simple design compared to the flashy and big gaming laptops. It is light and thin at 22.7mm, making it the most lightweight 15-inch laptop in the Dell gaming series. You can carry the G3 around to play games on the go.

This Lenovo G3 version dons an eclipse black chassis with blue gaming accents and highlighted WASD keys. It is robust and sturdy to withstand hours of power gaming and other intensive tasks. With a very responsive and comfy keyboard, rest assured to send the right strikes at the same time.

The four-zone RGB backlit keyboard and the highlighted WASD keys ensure you can easily play games even under low-light environments.

Display

The display of the Lenovo G3 is a 15.6-inch screen with a Full HD resolution. The G3 provides a wider viewing angle while the IPS panel ensures the picture quality doesn’t look degraded on off-angles. With this, you enjoy sharper images across the screen, which helps to pinpoint enemies quickly, no matter the viewing angle.

The only disappointment with the screen specifications is the 60Hz refresh rate. Some of the latest games and high-end GPUs can push more than 60 frames per second, which can cause tearing when playing with this 60Hz display.

The display of the G3 is perfect for gaming, entertainment, and other productivity tasks but not high-resolution video editing and image editing. The 45% NTSC color gamut and 220 nits of brightness aren’t the best specs for professional content creation.

Connectivity

The Lenovo G3 provides essential wireless connectivity options for a gamer. It has an Intel 9462AC Card (802.11ac) that offers high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity for playing online games, streaming, and sharing files. You can alternatively use Bluetooth to connect wireless peripherals such as gaming controllers.

There are plenty of slots for connecting external devices such as displays, storage, controllers, docking station, and eGPU via thunderbolt 3. Some of the essential ports are the USB legacy ports for connecting most USB devices and a single PCIex4 tb3 port.

Ports

  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0a
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio combo
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 slot
  • 1 x 2-in-1 SD / Micro Media card
OUR TAKE
The Dell G3 is a powerful gaming laptop with Thunderbolt 3. It is available a much lower price tag, making it one of the budget-friendly gaming laptops in the market. It has a powerful processor and dedicated Nvidia GPU to tear apart most games and streaming tasks.

The G3 may only have a 60Hz, but it is a good buy regarding its price. It has a good IPS display and tb3 port, which will serve you for a lot while before thinking of upgrades.

PROS

  • Robust hardware with dedicated GPU
  • Good battery performance
  • Excellent gaming software
  • Great value
  • Comfy backlit keyboard
CONS

  • Lower refresh rate
  • 220nits isn’t bright enough
 

9. Lenovo ThinkPad T470 – Cheapest ThinkPad with Thunderbolt 3

The ThinkPad T470 is a budget-friendly business laptop with Thunderbolt 3.

Lenovo has provided the most high-end business laptops over the years with its ThinkPad series. The T470 is one of the models in the series available for a much affordable price tag. You no longer need an expensive laptop to improve your productivity; you have the ThinkPad T470 to thanks for that.

The only problem with the T470 is that the Thunderbolt 3 port uses two lanes of PCI Express. However, this will only be a limitation if you want to squeeze every juice of your eGPU. Otherwise, it can meet all of your productivity needs.

The ThinkPad T740 comes with a 6th generation Intel Core i5. It is a power-efficient processor that offers excellent performance with low battery usage to extend the battery life. Onboard there is 8GB of DDR4 memory and 256GB NVM.E SSD fast storage for quick boot times and access to files.

Design

The ThinkPad T470 maintains the familiar ThinkPad aesthetic with an all-black chassis and the T470 logo at the bottom bezels. The laptop is compact and solid enough to withstand intense daily usage.

With a weight of 3.48 pounds, you can carry the T470 to all of your business meetings and never miss a presentation. It is relatively lighter compared to the ThinkPad T460 and has a longer battery life, which makes it the perfect choice for portability.

Among the reasons why the ThinkPads remain the best business laptops is the award-winning ergonomic keyboard and the exclusive TrackPoint. The keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience, while the TrackPoint makes it easy to scroll and jump to specific items.

Display

The T470 provides sharp and vibrant visuals with a Full HD (1080P) resolution running on a 14-inch IPS panel. The screen offers wider viewing angles with consistent picture quality across the whole screen. For regular office tasks and entertainment, the display meets all the requirements.

The ThinkPad T470 covers 73 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which isn’t the best for color grading work. However, you can view your graphs, reports, and images without much hassle with the 234-nit brightness. The display specs might be the best, but considering the price range, it’s a decent value.

However, do not expect to play AAA games on this laptop. The integrated UHD graphics in itself cannot sustain the most demanding applications, and the display can hardly reach 60Hz.

Connectivity

The ThinkPad T470 deserves a nod in terms of connectivity. While most of the featured laptops in this list feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the T470 includes a super-fast LTE-A support. Always get connected with 4G even when you’re out of Ethernet and Wi-Fi range.

There are also plenty of ports to connect your external devices. T470 has almost every slot you can think of from HDMI to card reader slots and Thunderbolt 3. You can connect countless USB peripherals, docking stations, and other tb3 devices to increase your productivity.

Ports

  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3 x USB 3.0
  • 3.5 mm Combo Audio Jack
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x RJ45 Gigabit LAN
  • 1x CS13 Docking
  • 1 x Media Card Reader (SD 3.0, UHS-I)
  • 1 x Smart Card Reader (Optional)
  • 1x Micro SIM
OUR TAKE
The ThinkPad T470 is the cheapest Thunderbolt 3 ThinkPad that provides great value for your money. The tb3 port, excellent battery life, comfortable keyboard with TrackPoint, and solid build design shows why this should be your first choice business laptop if you’re on a budget.

It is not the best laptop available, there are high-end processors and brighter displays, but the T470 offers splendid performance and versatility on a budget.

PROS

  • Plenty of ports
  • Very affordable price tag
  • Reliable and robust build design
  • Good battery performance
  • Innovative TrackPoint and comfy keyboard
CONS

  • Display could be brighter
  • Two lanes (x2) Thunderbolt 3 port
 

10. HP Zbook 15V G5 – Cheapest Thunderbolt 3 Mobile Workstation

The HP Zbook 15V G5 is the cheapest mobile workstation with Thunderbolt 3 you can use for your school projects, advanced engineering and architectural work, or high-resolution video editing other high-end workloads.

This mobile workstation comes with powerful hardware, including an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor and NVidia Quadro P600 with 4GB dedicated RAM. Onboard there is 16B DDR4 memory and 1TB of fast storage SSD.

It has a power-hungry processor that has adverse effects on battery life, but it the best considering the speed and epic performance you’ll get.

Design

The ZBook 15v may not come with stylish designs like most of the notebooks, but it has a robust and durable build quality that can withstand intense usage. The laptop passed different military-standard tests, including drop and harsh environments.

Whether you’re working in the field, construction sites, or in the office, the Zbook 15V G5 will serve you for years to come.

The laptop weighs heavy at 4.72 pounds and measures 1.0 inches thick. It has a massive build quality owing to the efficient cooling mechanism and dedicated GPU. The positive is that you can work for longer hours with no noticeable thermal problems.

Display

The Zbook 15V G5 is a large laptop with a 15.6-inch touchscreen display with a glossy finish. Don’t worry about reflections anymore when working in the field or extreme environments with this glossy screen.

Connectivity

Zbook 15V features the latest Bluetooth 5.0 protocol with Wi-Fi (802.11ac) support. You can get connected wherever there is a wireless network onsite to complete your productivity tasks.

There are plenty of ports in this mobile workstation, including three USB ports and a Thunderbolt 3 port. There is an optional RJ-45 slot for the Ethernet if you want high-speed networking.

Ports

  • 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio combo jack
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) slot
OUR TAKE
The Zbook 15V G5 is a powerful mobile workstation that can run high-end applications and tasks without any dip in performance. It has a durable build design, and you can use it in different extreme conditions.

The Thunderbolt 3 port is an excellent addition to this budget mobile workstations and opens many possibilities. You can connect many devices, including docks and external displays, to manage your productivity work with ease.

PROS

  • Epic performance
  • Robust and durable build quality
  • Good selection of ports
CONS

  • Large and heavy
  • Display could be better
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cheap Thunderbolt 3 laptops support eGPUs?

Yes, every laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 port supports external graphics card enclosures. For the best performance, ensure to select one with Thunderbolt 3 ports that have 4 lanes of PCI Express.

Can you charge a laptop with Thunderbolt 3?

Yes. Provided the Thunderbolt port on your laptop supports USB Power Delivery. Thunderbolt 3 support up to 100W passthrough, which is enough for most laptops.

How to identify a Thunderbolt 3 port on a laptop?

Look for a lightning logo. Both Thunderbolt and USB-C have the same Type-C connector, but Thunderbolt 3 ports include a lightning logo next to the port.

Do I really need Thunderbolt 3?

If you want to connect multiple 4K displays, eGPUs, or fast-access external storage, you should get a Thunderbolt 3 laptop. Thunderbolt’s 40Gbps bandwidth unlocks new possibilities, including capturing live 4K UHD footage, transferring massive files, and daisy-chaining to connect even more devices with less cable clutter. However, if you just want to connect your standard monitor, HDMI should suffice.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, our list with the cheapest laptops with Thunderbolt 3. While all the mentioned models come with their advantages and disadvantages, we recommend that you look for the laptop which best suits your activities of interest.

For example, Dell G3 is a good option if you want to use your laptop mostly for gaming, Yoga 730 is a fine option for creative work, and Lenovo ThinkPad T470 is for business work.  Of course, price is also a decisive factor in this matter, which is why we made this list in the first place to help you find a cheap Thunderbolt 3 laptop.