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Cheap laptop recommendations?


Sep 20, 2013
I didn't think making this thread was necessary, but I figured it couldn't hurt. I'm in no rush to get anything new. I'm currently using my mom's laptop which was given to me as a hand-me-down when she got a new one. It works well for what I need it to, but it's over seven years old so I'm thinking ahead here for when this one finally craps the bed, so to speak. My first ever laptop was a netbook from Walmart I got back in 2016 when I got my first job. It was only $100 if I recall, and it was great until it stopped working. I'm not sure what happened to it, except I'm pretty sure I gave it a virus. I haven't had a laptop since, not until my mom gave me my current one.

I'll only be using it for personal use and nothing that important, so it doesn't need to be expensive or anything. I don't usually take laptops with me either. I just use it when I'm at home. I thought I'd get better recommendations or advice here rather than typing "cheap laptop" on Google and browsing through the results. In fact, I think the latter would be a terrible idea since I'll have no idea what I'm getting into.

I'm not expecting anything to be as cheap as they were in 2016, but I'm open to any suggestions anyone may have. Hence the fact that I had a netbook as my first laptop, CD drives are not necessary. My current laptop from my mom has a drive, but I do not use it and I do not plan on using it. Thank you in advance.
Chromebook Laptops are extremely affordable. They go down to $100.

Great for browsing the internet as these things are very speedy, but nothing else. Mine doesn't run any games and most things can't be downloaded.

I've used mine for a few years and it hasn't deteriorated in quality. Runs at the same speed as when I first got it - which I can't say for any other computer I've ever had.
Wow, what timing with this thread. I’m kinda in the same situation as you where my laptop finally gave in after using it for over five years. Had someone look at it and said that the hard drive is done for. Cost to replace it and the labour is a little too high to justify the repair, so I’m looking to get a new laptop as well.

As SkyNight said, Chromebook laptops can’t download a majority of stuff for some reason. My sister has one too and tried to download Krita one time, but was denied from doing so. Not sure what else you’ll use your laptop for, so stay away from Chromebooks if you ever plan to have versatile uses in the future (e.g. gaming, digital drawing, etc.).

One more thing to add. Know what kind of internal hard drive that a laptop uses. I heard that solid state devices last a lot longer compared to a disc hard drive in which I have the latter. Back up your files when you can. It sucks losing absolutely everything (though I did have some files backed up before it happened) and getting stuck on the BIOS screen upon starting up the laptop.
My laptop is an Acer from 2015 and I was planning on replacing it because it was way too slow but honestly, since nothing else was wrong with it, I bought an SSD and 16GB of RAM for $90 and installed it all. My laptop now runs speedy as if I bought a new one. It's awesome! Something to think about if everything else about the laptop is totally fine.

As far as cheap laptops go, if you can hold out, definitely wait for a back to school sale.
I just got an asus vivobook (I think that's the model name) last month for $500. Not bad for a pretty decent laptop.
I'm also looking for something new, I used a 2011 Toshiba Satellite Pro, and it worked well until recently. Now it just starts up once a week and freezes all the time.
I have an Acer Chromebook, really don't like it. The build quality is nice but seems to have some software issues that Acer doesn't bother updating. But Chromebooks seem to be the way to go for cheap laptops. Haven't had any problems with HP Chromebooks so they would get my vote. Probably will eventually upgrade to an apple of some sort but those aren't cheap ;-;
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I've been using Chromebooks and Chromeboxes for a while now and for basic stuff like internet/email/photos/mp3's they work very well.I like that they do updates in the background while you use them and I haven't had any problems with viruses or malware(knock on wood).You can get a good new Chromebook for well under $200.Also,if you're willing to buy used,eBay has a ton of used/refurbished laptops that are kind of old but pretty cheap.
chromebooks like others have echoed are probably your best bet for "cheap," it depends on what you mean by cheap but i don't think ive ever seen a chromebook go over $600 unless it's got some other crazy stuff inside. theyre typically pretty snappy in terms of speed because their OS is simple and doesn't have a lot going on compared to windows or MacOS. pros is that they're affordable, pretty sleek and small, fast. cons is that usually the cheapest options have TINY storage, similar to what you'd find on a mobile phone. it has cloud backups tho so there's that. it also has it's own proprietary OS, ergo, you're (nearly) limited to what google offers for programs. not every program will run on a chromebook, like someone above said about Krita not working.

dell has inspirons for sub $300. ive known some folk that have had inspirons for years- depending on the specs, they're great little laptops for the price. on the lower end, don't expect a NASA level computer and you'll probably enjoy it a lot. i believe dell also does student discounts, ask your university or organization if you're part of one. pros is that its cheap and runs on windows if you're used to that OS already. dell also has quick and sometimes free shipping. cons is that it's dell. notoriously bad customer service- the best dell customer service i've ever had was giving it to someone else and making the laptop their problem. also, almost all windows laptops come with windows 11 which some folks do or don't like, so YMMV. again.

also, as a note: get a laptop with SSD storage over HDD if you can, it'll be faster so long as you don't stuff it full of storage and keep it at max capacity (but remember that updates and such may take up more storage.) most laptops i see come with SSDs in them by default and usually not for much more money than other models with HDD.
I wanted to thank everyone for the input! My current laptop shut down today with an error. I was able to boot it back up, but it might be time for a replacement either way. It's over seven years old, the hinge is broken, and the fan inside is making noise more often. I'm not too familiar with technology so I'm not sure what the error was, but I ended up getting a new laptop.

I checked Best Buy tonight and there ended up being a sale on some of the laptops. I'm looking forward to seeing how the new one runs. I'm glad I was able to use a laptop again thanks to my mom giving me her old one. It pushed me to get one myself. I ended up getting more of a budget laptop since I only plan on using it for browsing the internet. I don't play games on it and I have no intentions of ever playing games on it. I may post an update in a few days after using the new one.