Laptop these days are getting expensive. Some people can afford a $2500 to 10000 but some cannot. Today we have some laptops for those budget heavy people.
1. HP Chromebook X2
For people who want a great 2 in 1 laptop and tablet solution, we have the hp x2 on hand here. They sent me this to take a look at it for you guys. Because with the holidays coming up this can be something on your wishlist and is just perfect I think for students.
Build and Design
The hp x2 is a detachable laptop that doubles also as a tablet. Making this extremely portable for on-the-go usage it is also very lightweight in thin overall. So carrying this won’t be an issue taking a quick look around it as you can see the included detachable keyboard is pretty nice. The keys resemble the chiclet-style keys and I found typing on it to be a pretty easy adjustment. The way it connects to the screen is through these six pins in a magnetic hinge. Is what’s going to give you the freedom to easily take it on and off.
Now using this as a tablet means you’re not gonna need the keyboard. But if you still want to use it as a stand you can because of the keyboard on the hinge has some nice versatility. Where if you put the screen on the reverse it will prop it up and enable the tablet mode automatically. You can still enable tablet mode in the settings as well or have it come on when the keyboard isn’t attached. But it’s cool you can switch between the different modes with the hinge recognizing.
On the front, we have dual front-facing speakers running alongside the screen which do get decently loud. And should be fine for watching youtube or listening to music and stuff like that. To the right side is your volume rocker on the top it’s a little power button. And down the right side is a micro sd slot for expandable storage and HDMI output. We have the USB c port this is used for charging the x2 but can also be used to pass data. If you have a flash drive or something that is USB c and then a regular USB 2.0 port.
We do have a front-facing camera for skype or something as well as a 5-megapixel camera on the backside for taking quick photos or videos.
Now, this model has an intel atom x5 z-8350 CPU with intel HD 400 graphics and 2 gigs of ram. So you won’t be playing overwatch or anything on this. But it’ll be just fine for most applications on the windows store. And like I said earlier for just normal laptop or tablet usage.
Then taking a look at this screen it is a 10.1-inch touchscreen led backlit display. Coming in at 1280 by 800p it does get decently bright I’d like to see it goes a little bit brighter. The resolution and brightness setting are also going to help keep the battery up. As well also included is the hp active stylus.
Now since it is a laptop-tablet hybrid here using your finger for the screen going to be just fine. But there are some nice additions you get when using an active stylus. Like this makes taking quick notes or jotting down something a breeze and integrated. On the stylus, itself is a button for things like going backward or forward in your browser. Some drawing apps let you erase the last mark you drew. Overall the fine point tip on the stylus feels like you’re writing with an actual pen or pencil. It is very accurate and precise which is unlike a lot of stylus options out there. When you’re carrying this around the bottom of the screen uses those integrated magnets to hold the stylus in place. So you don’t lose it nicely.
I had a lot of pr classes so you know writing up quick notes in a meeting or quickly jotting down or drawing a mock-up logo. For a client would have been so easy to do on this. And it should last you a whole day. The battery is rated at ten and a half hours and that’s typically what I found when using this. More or less depending on your usage. But what’s cool is in just thirty minutes you can get this charged up back to 50%. So if you’re in between classes or on a break a quick half-hour charge we get the battery back up to 50%.
2. Acer Aspire E15
Acer aspires e15 is a budget laptop from Acer that was released quite a long time ago and is now one of their most popular laptops. And that is why they have been updating this laptop in particular quite consistently. In this review, I featured the most popular variant of the laptop which is the one with the intel core i3 in CPU. Which comes in at around 350 dollars and is probably the best variant out there in terms of value.
Design and Build
The first aspect of the review which is the design and build quality of the laptop. The laptop comes in a fully plastic body with a texturized finish on the back and front. The back has a woven type pattern that I think looks quite nice. And it is also resistant to fingerprints and scratches as well. The laptop is however taken heavier than what I would like when you lift it.
It feels quite a lot heavier than most of the laptops. And it is also quite a bit thick as well however due to this you do get some ruggedness with the laptop. As there is little to no keyboard flex and very little screen flex. Overall the build quality is good enough for a budget laptop and other than the weight. There is no real issue with the build.
The input and post in here are very good as well. You get three USB ports, two USB 3 and one USB to USB type-c port. Vga, HDMI, ethernet, sd card slot. 3.5 mm microphone jack, a DVD drive and power in. The simples all the ports you could need and even include some bonus such as a DVD drive and a VGA.
The keyboard and trackpad also perform well on this the keyboard offer a good typing experience. That’s free from any shallowness or flex that you can find on many budget laptops. The keys provide good vertical travel and that leads to the accurate and fast typing experience. The keyboard also features white-colored backlight ink that adds value to the laptop and adds quite a bit of functionality as well.
The buttonless trackpad here also provides reasonably accurate navigation around the desktop with multi-touch gestures. The trackpad is however but slippery to use and the gestures don’t work whenever using them. Overall the keyboard and trackpad on this are quite solid.
The display on the laptop is surprisingly quite good. It features 15.6-inch full HD led a panel that has good colors and contrast. Good sharpness and decent viewing angles personally the only real negative I can find are the viewing angles on this. that doesn’t look quite good but other than that the display is quite good for the price.
Performance on the Acer aspire if you obtain is its best aspect even with its older models. The performance on this was well above the average but here at this price range, it is incomparable to others. Its specs include the intel core i3 8130u processor, 8gb of ram, one terabyte hard drive and windows 10. Because of these specs, you can expect some great performance in terms of work, multitasking, editing, and even light gaming.
Editing on this Acer, 1080p works well and photo editing won’t be an issue on this at all. Gaming, however, is where it lacks the most in this category. As it doesn’t have a dedicated GPU even though normal games run fine here.
3. Dell G5 5590
Now just for context, this is dells mid-tier gaming laptop so there’s also the g3 and the g7. The g5 is $1350 for the 1660 ti and $1450 for the RTX 2060. But just keep in mind that dell does have a separate laptop to hit that thousand dollar price point with the 1660 ti.
Build and Design
The build quality is excellent like really good and not just that but it feels like a high-quality laptop as well. Some of the premium gaming laptops will be super rigid but they just feel like they’re made of cheap plastic and it sucks. This is built well it feels like metal and it looks good too. The hinge is one hand open and there’s a very little screen bubble when using it on your lap which I like.
The keyboard deck is solid there’s no flex on the chassis and the screen is also quite rigid. There’s some flex but I guess because of how thick it is it’s just a little bit stiffer than other plastic screens. Also, the rubber feet on the bottom are grippy so there’s no sliding around on your desk or anything like that. Aside from the hideous gloss coating on the upper deck and they nailed the build quality on this thing.
There’s a full-size keyboard with a number pad on the right if that’s your gem. The switches are good a little bit shallow but it’s not too heavy. And I also like the fact that all of your volume, your media, and brightness controls are in the function row. It’s such a minor detail but it’s annoying when companies put the volume controls on like the arrow keys or the number pad.
It’s also got a three-stage white led backlighting and yeah it’s a bit shallow but I had no problems gaming or typing the script on this keyboard. Its easy to get used to.
The trackpad is okay it has all of your goodies like windows precision drivers, accurate tracking and good buttons. But the plastic surface gives it a bit more resistance than a glass surface. When you press them harder during something like drag-and-drop.
My unit is running a 1080p 60-hertz panel but there’s an optional 144-hertz option if that’s your jam. This panel, in particular, is not that impressive the brightness is decent 275 nits. So a bit on the dimmer, not the worst but the color gamut and the color accuracy is quite poor. And if you’re a content creator this won’t cut it. However, if you’re just looking to game on this thing that shouldn’t be a concern for you.
It’s an IPS panel so it’s got good viewing angles, good contrast and the bezels are relatively thin for a laptop at this price range. It’s fine for most people but artists should probably get something with better colors.
On the left, you have a Thunderbolt 3 port, USB a, headphone jack. There’s a USB a and a full-size sd slot on the right and the rear is an ethernet port, DisplayPort. 3rd USB a port and an HDMI port. I like the whole display outputs on the back deal it kind of tidied everything up and they’re going to route behind your desk anyway.
4. Acer Swift 1
All right today we’re taking a look at the Acer Swift 1, a 14-inch notebook with slim bezels and an aluminum body all for under 500 euros. This model is rocking a full HD IPS display, an Intel Pentium silver the base clock of 1.1 gigahertz and it boosts up to 2.7. 4 gigabytes of ram ddr4 and an m.2 SSD with a capacity of 128 gigabytes. The expected battery life is about 12 hours and during my testing, I noticed that it lasted me between 7 hours and 9 hours.
Touching down on port selection we have quite a few. Two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, we got a USB type-c. Sadly it is not a thunderbolt port, HDMI for all your video outputs, a 3.5-millimeter combo jack and last but not least a full-size sd card reader.
Moving on to keyboard and touchpad. The keyboard on the swift 1offers a decent typing experience. The swift 1’s chiclet keys offer shallow one-millimeter travel and require 71 grams of actuation force. And last not but least that the keyboard is backlit for all them nighttime sessions. The one complaint I have however about this keyboard is it flexes harder than I do when I play fortnite.
The touchpad on this laptop I think is great. It has a decent size of 4.1 by 2.5 inches, it has a smooth surface, clicky buttons. And it is fairly accurate due to windows precision drivers.
Build and Design
So, all in all, we have a laptop that has a slick appearance and only weighs in about 1.3 kilograms. And it also shares similar traits to let’s say a do so popular MacBook, but it doesn’t nearly cost as much though. It is made out of aluminum but does feel a little cheap but it is rugged for sure.
This laptop is designed to be handling your day-to-day tasks. Such as word processing or your daily internet browsing. It can’t do any hard legwork such as video gaming or editing. We only got four gigabytes of ram, a flexing keyboard. A Pentium silver processor bit of on the weaker side but still handle your day to day task easily. The speakers are pretty decent. They have nice clarity in the highs and mids but they lack bass.
5. Asus ZenBook 13 UX333
On paper, the new Asus zenbook 13 is a great thin and light laptop. Featuring a nearly bezel-less 13-inch display with an impressive 95% screen to body ratio. It packs in some decent hardware and at its price point. It could prove to be the perfect buy for both students and professionals work on the go.
Let’s kick things off with the design, the Asus zenbook 13 is a thin and light notebook. With a slim chassis and subtle design, it weighs slightly over a kg. And it’s just 16.9 millimeters thick making it exceptionally portable. The smooth edges make it an absolute pleasure to hold and because of its small form factor. I sometimes tend to forget that I’m even carrying it in my backpack.
Design-wise the most unique thing about the zenbook 13 is angular lift hinge. It lifts the laptop at an angle when open resulting in a very comfortable typing position. The hinge also lifts the laptop from the surface which improves airflow. And slightly enhances the sound output from the tiny downward-firing speakers. However, the hinge doesn’t feel sturdy and it slipped out quite a bit when typing which affected my overall experience.
Even with such a small body the zenbook 13 offers a good selection of ports including USB 3.0, type-a port, a USB 2.0 type a port. A USB type-c, a full-size HDMI port, and a headphone microphone combo jack. The laptop even features a micro-sd card slot which comes in handy while transferring images from my camera.
The zenbook 13 features a nano edge 13.3-inch full HD led with crazy thin bezels. Giving the laptop a 95% screen to body ratio I can tell Asus has used a high-quality panel on this laptop. Because the visuals consistently look quite sharp and crisp. The thin bezels add-on to the viewing experience making watching movies or playing games quite immersive. Viewing angles are also pretty great and I didn’t notice any color shifting while looking at the display from the sides.
Color accuracy is decent and most casual users will have absolutely no problems with the color reproduction. And thanks to the bundled splendid and true-to-life software the performance can be fine-tuned even further.
The keyboard on this laptop is rather unremarkable the key travel is a bit too short. And sometimes the keys need to be pressed a little too firm which takes away from the overall typing experience. However layout wise the keys are well spaced out and typing for long sessions feels quite comfortable.
While the keyboard is average at best the trackpad on the zenbook 13 is simply brilliant. And has a smooth glass surface and windows precision drivers support making it a pleasure to use. Tracking is accurate and the palm rejection is also pretty great and no time for accidental touches. What means the trackpad on the zenbook 13 stands out however is its illuminated Numpad. To me, it seems more like a gimmick than a functional component as it isn’t as responsive as I’d wanted to be. And I ended up not using it.
Inside our review unit, 8th gen inbuilt core i7 processor with 8 gigs of ram, 512 gigs of SSD and an Nvidia GeForce MX 150 graphics card with 2 gigs of VRAM. With these specs, the laptop feels quite snappy in everyday use thanks to the MX 150. The zenbook 13 is also capable of handling games although not all that well.
I tried a couple of games of the system and most of them ran at medium to low settings at 1080p. Slightly improving in performance when the resolution was bombed down to 720p. Well, that’s to be expected but what’s surprising is that the laptop didn’t heat all that much while gaming. Sure the fans to crank up and make noise under load but that’s a trade I am willing to make.
The zenbook 13 battery backup is what makes it the perfect companion for people looking for a thin and light notebook to work on. While they’re on the move it lasts long like really long. In my testing, that day laptop lasted an impressive eight and a half hours and the light workload with screen said 250 nits brightness.
Under heavier load including some light video editing and gaming, the battery lasted almost four hours. But since you wouldn’t be gaming or editing videos on battery power regularly I don’t think you will face any issues with the battery life.
6. Lenovo ThinkBook 13s
When we think of the Lenovo ThinkPad series, the first thing that comes to our mind is a line of durable and reliable laptops. They are primarily intended for business users however the ThinkPad laptops are usually thick and bulky devices. Which is the main complaint of its many users despite the reliability and comfort it provides.
Design and Build
Now Lenovo decided to respond to the long-awaited request by presenting a model. That represents a fusion between the ThinkPad series complemented with some of the smart solutions from the yoga and Ideapad series. Thus the ThinkPad was born a laptop designed primarily for business users. But also for anyone who appreciates an elegant and practical device.
The body of this device is completely made of aluminum alloy which further enhances the impression of reliability and elegance. The small dimensions of this model feel nice and Lenovo made sure to capture that premium feel. It has been quite some time since we last have a chance to encounter such a sophisticated yet compact laptop. And you surely won’t lack any style with this beauty, despite its rather small size.
This is not your classic ultrabook, we’re talking about a powerful mobile platform that comes with the comfort and speed. Needed for a lot of business solutions add some security elements to that and you got yourself an ideal business notebook. The notebook comes with an intel core i7 8565u processor which to our surprise showed some good real-world performances. The processor maintains very high operating frequencies during its use.
Since its firmware is tuned to keep the clock speed between 4 and 4.4 gigahertz when you pair that up with 16 gigabytes of ddr4 dual-channel RAM. And a 512 gigabytes of high-speed m2 PCI express solid-state drive you get a very powerful and fast notebook. Business apps such as Microsoft office package open almost instantly feeling like you’re using a desktop pc. Its performance is the same in some parts of the entertainment department like watching high-resolution movies or listening to music. Let’s just say that you should forget about gaming on this laptop since this is not on the priority list of this device.
This laptop comes with the 13.3-inch IPS screen which displays a full HD 1080p resolution. If we were to describe the picture quality with one word it will be enchanting. Since it guarantees superb and impeccably saturated colors, the text, and detail on the screen are crisp and crystal clear. The brightness of the screen is 300 nits which are a clear indication of how you can fit an amazing picture on such a small diagonal.
In terms of connectivity, Lenovo ThinkPad 13s offers two high-speed USB 3.1 first gen ports which have a transfer rate of five gigabits per second. These USB ports are classic types of connectors that are located on the right side of the device. On the left side of the device, we find the USB type-c connection that uses a USB 3.1 gen2 standard for transferring at speed of 10 gigabits per second. Right next to it we also find the HDMI 1.4 b port that allows the device to connect to the other monitors or large screens. The final slot is a 3.5-millimeter combi audio jack used for microphones and headphones.
Internet connection on this device is established exclusively in wireless mode. Using its dual-band wi-fi that provides extremely fast data transfer. In addition to the wireless, it is also worth mentioning that this notebook comes with the Bluetooth 5.0 standard.