June 2, 2023

Best budget laptops 2016/2017 UK

1. HP 250 G4

HP 250 G4

  • Rating:
  • Reviewed on: 24 June 16
  • RRP: £329 inc VAT

Those after something flashy may not find an awful lot of appeal in the HP 250 G4. But it’s one of the best-value, low-cost laptops you can find right now. As well as having a very good CPU for an affordable machine, it has loads of storage, good build quality and plenty of RAM. Spend a bit more and you’ll get a surprisingly fast machine with a good-size SSD.HP’s upgrades are keenly-priced too. You’ll need to spend considerably more to get good screen quality, though. While the display here is practical, poor colour and contrast don’t make it a good fit for an entertainment device.

2. Asus X555LA-XX290H
Reviewed on: 28 July 15
RRP: £300 inc. VAT
Asus has restricted build and component quality to fit the attractive £300 price point, but all the essentials work well together. The Haswell Intel chip means overall performance is better than any Celeron-based competition in the Asus X555LA-XX290H.

Asus X555LA-XX290H

3. Dell Inspiron 11 3000

Reviewed on: 23 June 16
RRP: £249.99 inc VAT
If you’re after a budget laptop that’ll let you work on the go and last all day, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 is one of your best options. It’s comfortable to type on, has a practical screen and its battery life is great among Windows laptops. Just make sure you’re ready for its humble performance first. If you can’t put up with a bit of lag, consider getting a Chromebook instead.Windows 10 does feel quite slow, making the Dell Inspiron 11 3000’s best-fit use as a typewriter for checking your emails as you nip between free Wi-Fi spots across town.

Dell Inspiron 11 3000

4. HP Stream 11
Reviewed on: 2 April 15
RRP: £179 inc. VAT
The HP Stream 11 is using the cheapest Intel chip that can run Windows comfortably, has a very limited eMMC storage card with just 20 GB available space, and includes a free version of Windows given away to PC makers to keep Google Chrome OS at bay. But the result is a surprisingly useful compact laptop, attractively styled for anyone that likes bold bright colours. It runs quick enough to surf and type, and always remains cool and silent. To use HP’s own bizarrely chinglish marketing prose, that’s got to help you ‘work from happy place’.

HP Stream 11

5. Asus X553SA
Reviewed on: 30 May 16
RRP: £279.99 inc VAT | USD $265
The Asus X553SA is a lesson in the sacrifices you need to accept when buying a bottom-rung laptop. Parts of the build are basic, the screen has some issues and — the real kicker — it doesn’t feel fast. Cheap phones and cheap tablets can often feel almost as fast as their expensive relatives, but the X533SA is unmistakably slower than a Core-series laptop. Those who don’t need to buy on the high street would do better by searching online for a Core i3-powered laptop from an earlier generation. Haswell and Broadwell i3 laptops can often be found online at similar prices, and will get you much less compromised performance. At this price, buying ‘old’ is often better than buying new. Of course, much of this is not Asus’s fault. Considered among its peers, the Asus X553SA is a serviceable laptop whose design covers most low-end use bases, and its look happily swerves between serious and fun depending on which colour you go for.

Asus X553SA

6. Chuwi HiBook Pro
Reviewed on: 14 October 16
RRP: £172.69 inc. VAT
Buy from GearBest
Chuwi’s tablets are not the fastest Windows machines you can buy, but they make excellent portable computers if you’re on a budget. With its Quad-HD screen and fast USB-C charging, the HiBook Pro is a very good cheap option. We recommend you also buy the optional keyboard that turns this Windows/Android tablet into a laptop.

Chuwi HiBook Pro

7. Lenovo Yoga 300
Reviewed on: 23 June 16
RRP: £299 inc VAT
The Lenovo Yoga 300 hinge and size earn it plenty of flexibility points, but it pays a bit too much attention to its interior decor, and not quite enough on screen and keyboard quality.

Those considering a purchase also need to bear in mind that the entry-level Yoga 300 is also likely to feel very slow thanks to its baselines specs.

Lenovo Yoga 300

8. Chuwi Hi10 Pro
Reviewed on: 3 October 16
RRP: £128.53 inc. VAT
Buy from GearBest
The Chuwi Hi10 Pro is an excellent value Windows 10 laptop-tablet hybrid with the addition of Android (albeit old Android) and a pleasing build for the money. We take issue with its fingerprint-prone screen and tinny, poorly placed speakers, but in all other respects this is a very decent device for the money. It’s not a fast device, and we wouldn’t recommend it to gamers, but it’s fast enough for most daily Windows tasks.

Chuwi Hi10 Pro

9. Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA
Reviewed on: 13 January 16
RRP: £309.99 inc VAT
Whether the Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA is a good buy or not depends entirely on your priorities. If you want to open up loads of browser windows and have plenty of apps open at once, this isn’t for you. The Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA only really runs well with an app or two running, and no data-intensive background processes going on. In laptop terms it’s a whelp. However, good stamina, a smart design and good, non-cramped keyboard make it a great low-cost choice if you want something to do some writing/emailing/browsing while you’re away from home.

Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA

10. Jumper EZBook Air
Reviewed on: 27 September 16
RRP: £230.44 inc. VAT
Buy from Geekbuying
For £230 the Jumper EZBook Air is something of a bargain if you’re looking for a cheap Windows 10 laptop. While it isn’t powerful enough for playing intensive games or much in the way of multitasking, it is easily portable and has good battery life. For casual use it’s a good buy, provided you can live with the poor connectivity.

Jumper EZBook Air