The 5 Best Laptops Under $200 in 2023

Laptops have become essential devices for work, school, and entertainment. However, premium laptops can be expensive for those on a tight budget. Thankfully, there are quality options available for under $200.

While these affordable laptops lack some features of high-end models, they can reliably handle basic tasks like web browsing, document editing, video streaming, and communication. Students, children, seniors, and casual users are perfect candidates.

In this buyer‘s guide, we will cover:

  • The top 5 laptop recommendations with key features and pros/cons
  • What to look for when choosing a sub-$200 laptop
  • Tips for getting the most out of an inexpensive laptop
  • Frequently asked questions on lifespan, performance, brands, and more

Let‘s get started!

Reviews of the 5 Best Laptops Under $200

1. HP Chromebook 11 – Best Overall

HP Chromebook 11

Key Specs:

  • 11.6" HD Anti-Glare Display (1366 x 768)
  • Intel Celeron N3060 Dual-Core Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 16GB SSD Storage
  • Chrome OS
  • Up to 10 Hours Battery Life
  • 2.53 lbs.

Overview: As one of the top-rated Chromebooks under $200, the HP Chromebook 11 strikes a perfect balance of performance, portability, and value. It can handle everyday computing like web browsing, document creation, streaming media, and more thanks to its capable Celeron processor and 4GB RAM. The anti-glare HD screen makes viewing comfortable indoors and out. While internal storage is limited at 16GB, Chrome OS is cloud-centric so you can leverage Google Drive. At just 2.53 lbs, it‘s easy to toss in your bag. Battery life is also impressive – up to 10 hours on a charge. For the price, the HP Chromebook 11 delivers solid bang for your buck.

Pros: Lightweight and portable, long battery life, good performance for the price, anti-glare screen

Cons: Small amount of local storage, limited compared to Windows laptops

Best For: Students, children, general home/office use

See Price on Amazon

2. Asus Chromebook C202SA – Best Battery Life

Asus Chromebook C202SA

Key Specs:

  • 11.6" HD Anti-Glare Display (1366 x 768)
  • MediaTek MT8173C Quad-Core Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB eMMC Storage
  • Chrome OS
  • Up to 14 Hours Battery Life
  • 2.2 lbs.

Overview: With a marathon battery life of up to 14 hours, the Asus Chromebook C202SA is a perfect companion for all-day use whether in the classroom, office, or on the couch. It also boasts military-grade durability to withstand bumps and drops. The rubber guards, textured exterior, and spill resistant keyboard make this Chromebook ideal for children and accident-prone users too. Performance is reliable thanks to the quad-core MediaTek ARM processor and 4GB RAM. While the 32GB onboard storage runs small, it‘s par for the course with Chrome OS. For maximum uptime away from an outlet, the Asus Chromebook C202SA delivers.

Pros: Amazing battery runtime, durable and kid/spill-friendly build, decent performance

Cons: Small storage capacity, screen a bit dim

Best For: Students, children, travelers/commuters

See Price on Amazon

3. Lenovo 100E Chromebook – Best for Students

Lenovo 100E Chromebook

Key Specs:

  • 11.6" HD Anti-Glare Display (1366 x 768)
  • MediaTek MT8173C Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB eMMC Storage
  • Chrome OS
  • Up to 10 Hours Battery Life
  • 2.6 lbs.

Overview: As one of the best Chromebooks for students under $200, the durable Lenovo 100E Chromebook was designed with young learners in mind. It features rugged construction that can withstand bumps, drops up to 2.3 feet high, and even spills without blinking. The water resistant, tamper proof keyboard locks out curious fingers from components too. An anti-glare HD screen promotes eye comfort during long study sessions. Overall performance stands up thanks to 4GB RAM and the quad-core MediaTek chip. While onboard storage is just 32GB, Lenovo offers 100GB of Google Drive space free for one year. For maximum classroom uptime, the 100E also touts 10 hour battery life.

Pros: Kid/classroom-friendly durable build, anti-glare screen, robust performance and battery life

Cons: Small storage capacity, screen somewhat dim

Best For: Grade school to college students

See Price on Amazon

4. Samsung Chromebook – Best Portability

Samsung Chromebook

Key Specs:

  • 11.6" HD LED Display (1366 x 768)
  • Intel Celeron N4000 Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB eMMC Storage
  • Chrome OS
  • Up to 12.5 Hours Battery Life
  • 2.54 lbs.

Overview: Weighing just 2.54 pounds with a slim, compact footprint, the Samsung Chromebook delivers serious portability. It slips easily into backpacks and bags to accompany you anywhere – school, work, travel, etc. But this lightweight machine is more than just portable. Thanks to its energy efficient Intel Celeron processor and 4GB RAM, performance stands up to daily tasks. The sharp 11.6" HD screen makes viewing comfortable indoors and out too. As expected with Chromebooks, local storage comes in at only 32GB but Samsung sweetens the pot by including 100GB of Google Drive space free for two years – a nice perk! With the potential for over 12 hours of use per charge, you can work confidently without carrying a charger everywhere.

Pros: Extremely lightweight and portable, very long battery life, includes bonus cloud storage, good performance for the price

Cons: Small local storage capacity

Best For: Students, business travelers, commuters

See Price on Amazon

5. Acer Chromebook 311 – Best Budget Pick

Acer Chromebook 311

Key Specs:

  • 11.6” HD LED Display (1366 x 768)
  • MediaTek MT8183 Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB eMMC Storage
  • Chrome OS
  • Up to 15 Hours Battery Life
  • 2.2 lbs.

Overview: As one of the most affordable Chromebooks under $200, the Acer Chromebook 311 delivers solid value without breaking the bank. Performance stands up to basic daily tasks thanks to its MediaTek processor and 4GB RAM. The HD anti-glare display allows comfortable viewing in various lighting conditions. Weighing just 2.2 pounds, it strikes a nice balance between portability and screen size. Battery life is also impressive – up to 15 hours ensures all-day productivity. As is typical with Chrome OS, internal storage is limited at 32GB but Acer provides 100GB of Google Drive space free for one year. If you want a reliable, name brand Chromebook on a tight budget, the Acer Chromebook 311 fits the bill.

Pros: Very budget-friendly price, excellent battery life, portable and lightweight, comfortable anti-glare display, decent performance for basic tasks

Cons: Small local storage capacity, slightly underpowered versus Windows laptops

Best For: Cost-conscious shoppers, light users, students on a tight budget

See Price on Amazon

What To Look For When Buying a Laptop Under $200

While $,200 laptops meet basic computing needs, they do come with limitations versus more expensive machines. When choosing your budget laptop, keep the following factors in mind:

Operating System – Most affordable laptops run Chrome OS or a version of Windows. Chromebooks excel at web-based tasks but compatibility with Windows apps can be limited.

Processing Power – Look for an Intel Celeron or comparable processor with multiple cores to smoothly handle web browsing, Office apps, streaming, and more.

RAM – 4GB is standard in this range. Make sure to avoid 2GB or less.

Storage – Expect 32GB or 64GB for the OS, apps, and some files. You‘ll need to utilize cloud storage for additional capacity.

Display – HD or 720p resolution is suitable on 11”-14” screens. Touchscreens can increase functionality. Anti-glare prevents eyestrain.

Battery Life – Shoot for at least 8 hours to last through classes or the workday on a single charge.

Durability – Spill resistance and drop protection add peace of mind and extended lifespan.

Weight/Size – Look for less than 3 pounds to easily transport your device without shoulder pain or fatigue.

Prioritize the features that align with your needs and use cases. Compromising on certain specifications will likely be necessary at this price point, so choose wisely!

Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Laptop Under $200

Here are some tips to improve performance and lifespan when using an inexpensive laptop:

  • Stick to lightweight apps and limit multitasking to avoid slowdowns
  • Use cloud storage instead of taxing limited internal capacity
  • Manually update software and drivers to keep things running optimally
  • Invest in protective accessories like a bag or sleeve for durability
  • Disable background processes and visual effects in system settings when possible
  • Keep usage moderate for better device health – avoid overheating constantly
  • Maintain battery life by limiting brightness, turning off features like Bluetooth when not in use, and calibrating battery periodically

With reasonable expectations and some performance tweaks, it’s possible to get years of reliable usage out of a sub-$200 laptop!

FAQs About Laptops Under $200

How long do budget laptops last?

With proper care and maintenance, a laptop in this range can last 3-5 years on average. Their affordable components typically lack the longevity of more durable (and expensive) business-oriented machines.

Can you play games on a $200 laptop?

Basic web-based, mobile, or older titles may run decently. But most modern AAA games require dedicated graphics that inexpensive laptops do not have. Manage expectations for anything graphically intense.

Is a Chromebook or Windows laptop better?

This depends on your usage and software needs. Chromebooks are oriented for cloud apps and browsing. Windows provides much broader desktop application support if required. Evaluate which environment best fits your workflow.

What are the best laptop brands under $200?

Quality options exist from top brands like HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, and Dell. See our top picks outlined above. Avoid lesser known manufacturers with limited track records.

Can you get a 15 inch laptop for under $200?

While less common, 15-inch screen sizes are available on select budget machines. However, you may need to accept lower resolution displays or other tradeoffs to keep costs reasonable with the bigger screen.

The Bottom Line

Finding a good laptop for under $200 takes some savvy shopping but is definitely achievable. Prioritize the features most important for your intended use like ample battery life for school or an anti-glare screen for work when outdoors.

Compromises in storage, computing power, graphics capability and physical durability are typical in affordable machines. But they can still deliver excellent value, reliability and productivity within their limitations.

We hope our top recommendations, advice and answers have helped identify great budget laptop options to suit different needs and preferences!

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