7 Best Cheap Laptops Under $250: Which Is Right for You?

best cheap laptops

123RF (Daniil Peshkov)

Why spend more when you can get a laptop that runs like a dream for less? With that in mind, here are the best cheap laptops under $250.

What Are the Best Laptops Under $250?

samsung exynos Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Attractive Design
  • Quick Book Time
  • User-Friendly
Price: $176.75 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Jumper EZbook X3 Windows 10 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full HD Display
  • 6GB of RAM
  • Fast
Price: $259.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dell Chromebook 11 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great screen
  • Decent processor
  • Very affordable
Price: $167.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
asus vivobook Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 180-degree hinge
  • 32GB eMMC Storage
  • N4000 Processor
Price: $279.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Acer Chromebook 315 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lightweight
  • Fast
  • 4GB of Ram
Price: $199.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Acer Spin 1 SP111-33 Ultra Slim Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Killer price
  • HUGE storage (64GB)
  • Runs on Windows 10
Price: $249.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
HP Stream 11 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 32GB eMMC HD
  • Attractive
  • Built-in Camera
Price: $221.10 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Samsung Chromebook Notebook Exynos 5250

    Pros:
    • Attractive design
    • Fast setup
    • Very thin, weighs under 2.5 pounds
    • Quick boot time
    • User-friendly
    Cons:
    • Battery life only around six hours
    • Lightweight design may seem flimsy to those used to heftier laptops
    • Keyboard lacks some shortcut keys found on desktop keyboards
    • May not be compatible with all software you want to use; Chrome OS is only a browser

    Another Chromebook worth considering is this attractive model from Samsung.

    Boasting a screen that’s nearly a foot wide, this big laptop feels expansive, despite some of the limitations that come with relying on ChromeOS. While it has just a 16 GB solid-state drive and 2GB RAM, you can get more storage through Google Drive.

  2. 2. Jumper EZbook X3 Windows 10

    Pros:
    • 64GB SSD
    • Runs on Windows 10
    • Full HD display
    Cons:
    • 13.3-inch screen may seem too small for some users
    • 13.3-inch screen may be too large for some users
    • Not ideal for complex photo editing

    For those who want a laptop that’s got a ton of power, a full Windows 10 install, and a massive amount of storage space, the Jumper EZbook X3 offers a lot of value at a low price.

    Of course, don’t expect too much: it’s for basic Windows use and isn’t going to replace a new mid-range desktop. It will struggle with intensive tasks like gaming or deep photo editing (though you can run Photoshop on it for general editing). That said, this is a great device for a variety of use; users love the display, the sheer power, microSD card slot, and full HD display. Plus, it’s pretty rugged, especially for a clamshell.

  3. 3. Dell Chromebook 11 – Renewed

    Pros:
    • Great screen
    • Decent processor
    • very affordable
    Cons:
    • 16GB SSD is fine, but I'd prefer 32GB
    • 2GB of RAM isn't quite as good as 4GB
    • Renewed

    One of the best things about this job is finding great deals, and this Dell Chromebook 11 is one hell of a deal. 

    You’ve got a crisp 11.6-inch screen. Seriously, everything looks great on this. Not only that, the whole ChromeOS is backed up by a powerful Intel Celeron N2955U processor and 2GB of RAM. 

    The only real issue with this Chromebook is the lower storage size. 16GB is very manageable for streaming and work, and Google Drive solves the problem of needing to save work-related files on the SSD, but, It’s not the comfortable 32GB many Chromebooks feature. 

    That’s not a deal-breaker by any means. it’s just for me, 32GB is the sweet spot. 

  4. 4. ASUS VivoBook 11.6″

    Pros:
    • Fast
    • Long battery life
    • 32GB eMMC Storage
    Cons:
    • Touchpad feel
    • Windows 10 (not Chrome OS)
    • Some users report heating issue

    The ASUS Vivobook is one of the highest-rated non-Chromebook

    What makes this such a great cheap laptop?

    For one, it has a unique 180-degree hinge that makes it easier to hold when you’re lying down watching movies — which oddly isn’t a standard feature in this day and age. Secondly, it has a Dual-Core Celeron N4000 processor and an impressive 32GB eMMC storage. It also uses 2GB DDR4 Ram (you’ll notice the Chromebooks on this list use DDR3 Ram).

    While it uses the less-cleaner software of Windows 10, it’s still great for browsing the web, watching videos, and working on that blog you’re trying to get off the ground.

  5. 5. Acer Chromebook 315 – Renewed

    Pros:
    • Lightweight
    • Fast Celeron N4000 Processor
    • Loud Speakers
    • HDR webcam
    • 4GB of Ram
    Cons:
    • Larger than you might want
    • Looks box-like
    • No touchscreen

    If you’re looking for good laptops under $250, you should definitely start with Chromebooks. And, the best inexpensive Chromebooks you’ll find right now come from Acer.

    The Acer Chromebook 315 has a dual-core Celeron N4000 processor that hits up to 2.48GHz, and it comes with 4GB. Plus it comes with a meaty 32GB of storage making it great for browsing, working, and binge-watching all of the Netflix you want.

    It also has a 15.6″ HD backlit IPS screen that’s vibrant and renders pixels beautifully, and the two built-in speakers are nice and loud — again, great for your next Netflix session!

    People use this model for, well, everything. Gaming isn’t really an option, but then it’s not designed for that. For writing (or in my case literally writing these words), surfing, or watching videoes, there’s no beating it. 

  6. 6. Acer Chromebook Spin 311

    Pros:
    • Killer price
    • HUGE storage (64GB)
    • Runs on Windows 10
    Cons:
    • Some people don't like renewed for some reason?
    • Only 1 USB 3.0 port (there are two 2.0 ports though)
    • Touchscreen isn't perfect

    Buying renewed is a great way to get a solid laptop for less. Just take this renewed Acer Chromebook Spin 311 for example. It’s both a laptop and a tablet for one low price. What’s not to love?

    Technically it’s not a tablet, but when your laptop can fold right over to create a flat, one-panel device, I’d say it’s a tablet. If you plan on chilling in bed while watching your favorite videos, or if it’s for an older child, that flip-over feature is going to get a lot of usage. 

    On the power front, we’ve got the Intel dual-core N4000 paired with an acceptable 4GB (the industry standard when it comes to affordable laptops) and a HUGE 64GB SSD. 

    The SSD will speed everything up, and given most laptop makers tend to opt for 16GB or 32GB, that increase in size means you’ll be able to store music or games on the laptop instead of via a memory card. NICE!

    This is also a Windows laptop rather than Chrome OS, which I’m sure will be a decision-maker for a lot of folk who don’t want to go Android. 

  7. 7. HP Stream 11

    Pros:
    • 32GB eMMC hard drive
    • Attractive, lightweight appearance
    • Built-in camera
    • Keyboard is decent quality
    • Very affordable
    Cons:
    • Hard drive space is going to be limited thanks to Windows
    • Performance is weak
    • Display is low resolution

    For those who need a Windows PC, but want to spend as little as possible, the HP Stream 11 achieves just that.

    Let’s be clear: this is not nearly as fast as a Chromebook, but it does run a complete version of Windows 10 and that’s very impressive at this price. If you need apps like Microsoft Works or even light Photoshop use, the HP Stream can get the job done – just don’t expect it to be quick or super smooth.

    This laptop boasts a 1366 x 768 resolution screen which isn’t a ton of pixels, but it’s fine for most use cases; that said, you wouldn’t really be able to use multiple applications at the same time on a system like this.

    In addition, it has pretty good IO, including 1 USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0, an HDMI out, and an SD card reader. Not bad for the price! It’s a machine with real compromises, but if you need Windows and you’re a patient person, this is a very affordable device that can get the job done.

Further Reading

In today's world, laptops under $250 can be incredibly productive devices that aren't just practical, they're long-lasting as well. There are three kinds of laptops on this list: dated Macbooks, Chromebooks, and Windows laptops. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

For most people, a Chromebook is a superb way to go. These devices are much faster than their Windows counterparts even if they have the specs; Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system and it can run much more effectively than Windows can on a similar machine.

For those who need Windows for whatever reason, affordable laptops with Windows installations are usable but not as smooth or pleasant as Chromebook. Still, their value is pretty undeniable as you won't be pigeon-holed into using only web apps.

Finally, there's an older Macbook model on this list. Buying used Macs can be a good idea if that Mac has a replaceable hard drive and you can throw in an SSD. If you do this, you can be off to the races with a dependable machine - but with some limitations; for instance, some software won't work.

That said, I personally own and use the Acer Chromebook on this list and I enjoy it greatly for word processing and basic browsing. If you love ChromeOS and tinkering, this can be an option worth looking at.

What Is an SSD?

Rather than dumping a load of tech jargon on you, let's instead look at why you should care about SSDs. 

SSDs speed up, well, everything. Your laptop will boot up faster, your apps will load quicker - literally everything is affected by the SSD in some way. 

So if you see a laptop at this price point that doesn't feature an SSD, expect it to be run much slower. 

The drawback of SSDs, however, is the cost involved. You can get away with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, but anything more than that and the price is going to jump some, simply because they cost more to put together than regular hard-drives. 

In terms of which SSD size to go with, that's a little more complex. 

The more the SSD becomes filled, the more the machine will struggle. Especially on ChromeOS.

16GB is perfectly fine so long as you're online and aren't saving to the SSD directly. Google Drive is great for alleviating the need to store files offline, and streaming services don't take up much space to have installed. 

For me personally, I think 32GB is the sweet spot. Grab a micro SD card for music files, then only keep the important apps and files on the laptop (or Chromebook in my case). 

If you can get 64GB, of course, go for it, because it's a lot harder to fill. Just, as I say, 32GB is my personal recommendation for the minimum if you can avoid going lower. 

See Also:

Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs and may receive a commission if you purchase a product via a link on this page.