If money is no object, then the tech world is truly your oyster. However, that’s certainly not the case for everyone. Technology can be incredibly expensive, especially for those on a budget like high school and college students. Even if you’re not in the academic world, you might simply want to avoid emptying your bank account just to get a PC.
Luckily, there are plenty of affordable computer choices on the market today that are capable of basic computing whether you want to stream your favorite shows or surf the web. Here are five reasons why affordable desktop and laptop computers are great investments. It turns out that you don’t have to sacrifice all the features on your wish list in order to get an affordable computing device.
1. Advances in memory and storage options
For budget computers and laptops, you’ll see many devices offering 4GB of memory (RAM). In terms of local storage (SSD or HDD), an average of around 500GB of hard drive space is typical. But certain models such as HP Chromebooks
feature a smaller amount of in-laptop storage, 16GB or 32GB of eMMC storage
, but make up for it with free cloud storage.
This is plenty of breathing room for the majority of users looking for enough storage to keep critical files close at hand and enough memory to power through a day without waiting around for pages to load.
2. Aesthetics to please anyone
Just because a desktop or laptop is a budget-friendly choice, doesn’t mean it lacks refinement. HP laptops
and HP desktops
feature sophisticated details that fit right at home in the classroom or your home office. With brushed silver details, fine-tuned keyboards, and quiet operational noise, these devices will seamlessly complement your lifestyle.
Say goodbye to being forced to choose between form and function. These devices marry capability, efficiency, and beauty.
3. Reliable power
If you’re worried about power when buying a lower-priced laptop or computer, you can put those fears to bed. Even affordable devices can still boast processing power to support lag-free internet browsing and streaming.
Look for an i5 processor if you plan to play PC games but be advised, triple-A (AAA) games will likely put too much stress on your system. If you do want to play a visually-intensive game
, you’ll need to look for a device with a dedicated graphics processing unit
(GPU). This means, of course, you’ll need to spend more money since a separate graphics card means a bigger price tag.
4. Battery life to get you through the day
Although the battery life on many economical devices won’t be as long as on more expensive ones, affordable laptops still regularly provide users with at least 5 hours of run time before you need to plug them in. And, of course, with desktops, you won’t need to worry about battery life at all - simply plug it in and enjoy uninterrupted computer use.
5. Ports and connections
If you’re planning to get by with a bare-bones device, there might be an opportunity to improve your device with the addition of some useful computer peripherals. For example, maybe you like using a full-sized keyboard or prefer a mouse over a trackpad on your laptop.
In order to get the most out of the device you choose, you’ll want to make sure that you have the connections you need
like USB ports to plug in a wireless receiver, etc.
Planning to use a second monitor to make up for a small display? Ensure that the device you pick has an HDMI port.
Keep these considerations in mind as you shop around. You’ll have to decide what features are must-haves and which are would-like-to-haves.
Affordable HP laptops
Need a mobile solution so you can work wherever you want? If that’s the case, you may want to choose a laptop over a desktop
. HP® offers a range of laptops for tons of different budgets. You can choose from laptops by budget or choose by feature or processing power. Check out these various budget ranges based on your needs and pocketbook:
Here are some of our top picks for devices that offer users flexibility without excessive strain on your bank account.
1. HP Pavilion x360 15t laptop (under $700)
If you don’t want to be restricted to working on your laptop in one orientation, you can invest in the HP Pavilion x360 15t laptop
. It’s a convertible laptop that can be used in traditional laptop mode, presentation mode, and tablet mode. Its thin, sleek profile makes it a portable solution for any of your day-to-day computing needs.
Processing power and audio quality
This device comes ready to take on your daily tasks with a Quad-Core Intel® Core™ i5 processor and premium Intel Ultra High Definition (UHD) integrated graphics to deliver extraordinary visuals. You can easily watch your favorite television shows, edit photos, and stay connected to your loved ones with this capable device.
Are you an audiophile? You’ll be pleasantly surprised by this laptop’s dual HP speakers with HP Audio Boost and custom tuning by the experts at B&O PLAY. Experience the layers of your favorite songs with rich, crystal-clear audio.
Stunning visuals and capable features
A roomy 15.6 inches of diagonal Full High Definition IPS micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch-enabled edge-to-edge glass boasting 1920 x 1080 resolution delivers superior visual quality without the big price tag.
6GB DDR4-2400 of SDRAM gives you plenty of memory to get everything you need done without excessive load and wait times. If you routinely multi-task and rely on multiple tabs while getting work done, you’ll enjoy a smooth, uninterrupted computing experience.
Connections and energy efficiency
Looking for ways to connect your peripherals? This device comes replete with all the essential ports including a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1, two USB 3.1 Gen 1, one HDMI, and one headphone/microphone combo.
In addition, it won’t be an unnecessary power hog with its ENERGY STAR® certification and EPEAT® Silver registration.
2. HP Stream 11-inch laptop (under $200)
The HP Stream laptop series
is a great low-cost solution for students looking to stay connected in and out of the classroom. The HP Stream 11
model, in particular, might just be the perfect fit for users looking for the most value for their money.
It features 4GB of memory and 32GB of eMMC storage so you can enjoy plenty of functional space and capability for basic computing needs. The included Intel Celeron® processor is a workhorse that’ll keep your programs and software running smoothly.
An enhanced visual experience
Embrace 11.6 inches of the HP Stream’s diagonal High Definition (HD) display and enjoy optimized screen real estate that enhances all of your multi-tasking and daily to-do list needs. Intel Ultra High Definition (UHD) Graphics provide you with incredible visual quality to make the most out of all your Skype sessions, streaming, and browsing. The SVA AntiGlare WLED-backlit display with 1366 x 768 resolution won’t let you down, even if you’re working outside on a sunny day.
In addition, a front-facing HP Webcam with an integrated digital microphone means you can stay connected with your friends and family. The included stereo speakers are tuned for a perfect sound.
A dependable internet connection and useful software
A new and improved 802.11 ac 2x2 WiFi antenna delivers a strong, reliable connection to the internet complemented by 12 hours and 30 minutes of battery life. Streaming sessions can be all-day affairs with an estimated 10 hours of battery life for video.
The Windows 10 Home in S mode and Office 365 Personal is included with the HP Stream 11, which is designed to provide you with the highest levels of both security and performance. You can expect full access to Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, and 60 Skype minutes per month for one year. Plus, you’ll enjoy 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage for one year.
Color options as interesting as you are
Need something different from your standard-issue black or gray laptop color choices? Stand out from the crowd by choosing a bright, vibrant color to shake up the traditional technological aesthetic.
Energy-efficient options come standard
Keep your power consumption low with this device which boasts ENERGY STAR certification, EPEAT Silver registration, low halogen, mercury-free display backlights, and arsenic-free display glass.
3. HP Chromebook notebook (under $400)
Looking for a laptop that can do it all? Search no further. The HP Chromebook x360 11 G1 EE
is the answer - especially if you’re a student.
What’s a Chromebook?
An HP Chromebook
is built to be a basic powerhouse that can access applications with minimal startup time. They lack a robust amount of internal storage and processing power, instead focusing on web-based processes and storage. This makes them not just light in your backpack or briefcase, but light on the wallet as well.
These laptops act as a physical extension of a Chrome browser. Instead of plentiful internal storage, they rely on the cloud to provide users with adequate storage and access to different Google services.
Features to please everyone
The HP Chromebook x360 11 G1 EE is a great choice because it offers an impressive 8GB of memory with 32GB of eMMC storage. In addition, the 11.6-inch diagonal HD touch display provides you with ample opportunity to get everything you need to get done.
Durable with a battery life of champions
Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3, co-molded industrial rubber and a spill-resistant keyboard will stand up to anything life (or you) throw at it.
Affordable HP desktops
If you’re looking to make a permanent addition to your home office, there are plenty of HP desktops that allow for competent computing at low prices. Desktops offer a few advantages over laptops.
In general, they’re usually cheaper than laptops and offer a larger variety of features. They also typically have more powerful processors than laptops, so this is an important consideration if you’re looking for a more robust device for more intensive computing
Here are some of our favorites below.
1. HP All-in-One desktop computer (under $400)
The HP All-in-One - 20-c410
is a simplified, sleek solution for your home office requirements. This modern, low-profile system boasts a Windows 10 Home 64 operating system, an Intel Celeron processor, and Intel Ultra High Definition (UHD) Graphics 600.
Memory and storage
With 4GB of memory and 1TB of HDD storage, you’ll enjoy fast loading times and enough space to keep your important files conveniently close. This capable desktop is ready to help you conquer all of your home office tasks. From surfing the web to research to document creation - the sky’s the limit with this device.
Stunning visuals without a hefty price tag
19.5 inches of diagonal High Definition Plus (HD+) display means you can easily have multiple windows open simultaneously. This allows you to multi-task so you can spend less time toggling and more time getting through your to-do list.
2. HP Slimline desktop computer (under $400)
Don’t want a huge desktop tower ruining the look of your office? Opt for a model like the HP Slimline Desktop - 290-a0035z
which boasts plenty of high-powered features to keep you productive.
The AMD® Dual-Core® A-Series processor delivers plenty of power whether you need to create documents, research, or just watch your favorite shows. With the included AMD Radeon™ R4 Graphics, you’ll be impressed by the level of visuals that’ll whisk you away to a new world.
Small but mighty
This space-saving device easily tucks under your desk or can live right on it. A desktop shouldn’t impede your workflow, it should enhance it. And the HP Slimline desktop does exactly that.
Connections for everything you need
With six USB ports, you’ll have plenty of room for all of your essential external peripherals. You can add multiple displays, a keyboard, mouse, and anything else you can dream up.
Affordable laptops and desktops by HP
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get what you want and need. Budget-friendly HP® devices come with a variety of features that can complement your lifestyle and simplify your daily computing tasks. Whether you need the portability of a laptop or the power of a desktop, there are plenty of choices for everyone’s price and list of requirements.
About the Author: Michelle Wilson is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Michelle is a content creation specialist writing for a variety of industries, including tech trends and media news.