Picking a new laptop can be hard. The technical terms can get quite confusing. It can be challenging to get the best for your money. Taking this into account, I thought that I would keep things simple. Here are 3 different styles of laptops which excel, and all are below £400.
Lenovo have built a reputation for building solid laptops which stand the test of time. My last Lenovo laptop lasted 6 years, and I ended up upgrading out of boredom.
The Lenovo Yoga 520 comes with a nice Full HD screen for binge watching Netflix. Interestingly, it also comes with a built-in fingerprint scanner for logging in to your computer. This rare for a budget laptop.
Lenovo bundled an Intel Pentium Gold processor. This processor is designed for multi-tasking. Therefore, you would be able to get similar performance to the previous generation’s premium laptops. I tested it out in a store and managed to get a Skype session, Youtube HD video and Microsoft office running without a hitch. I can compare the experience to opening apps on a high end smartphone. It is buttery smooth and apps seem to open as you click.
Under the hood you will find 4GB DDR4 RAM which can be expanded to 16GB. RAM plays a big part in how many apps you can have open at the same time.
There is also a built in memory card reader and HDMI port.
Last but not least, the 14” display is touchscreen, and the laptop is convertible. Therefore, you can take notes and use it as a tablet. Unlike other convertible laptops, this manages to strike the balance between power and portability.
At £379.99, this has everything you might want from a Windows 10 laptop.
Imagine the only thing you had on your laptop was a web browser- that is Chrome OS. This might seem limiting, but is actually more of a strength.
The Acer Chromebook R13 keeps things simple. You can boot up in less than 10 seconds, and login using your Google credentials. Any work you do offline is synced silently once you get an internet connection.
The Acer Chromebook R13 uses cloud apps; therefore, you never have to worry about updates. You always have the latest version of your favourite apps. Plus, you also get security updates in the background.
I have a different model of Chromebook at home, and it is refreshing to avoid annoying popups asking me to upgrade.
Interestingly, you can also install more than a million Android apps on the Acer Chromebook R13.
The chromebook’s low resource requirements means that they don’t usually come with the greatest specs sheet. Saying this, you still get an HD screen, HD webcam, 4 GB RAM and a silent design.
The USB 3.0 port can charge up your smartphone and other devices while the Chromebook is powered off. It does this by intelligently ‘turning on’ just the port. This enables this laptop to act as a powerbank.
With 12 hours of battery life, you would have to be an internet addict in order to wear it down.
Did I mention that the Acer Chromebook R13 is convertible? The 360 degree hinge enables you to work and entertain at a position which suits you.
The all aluminium design reminded me of my MacBook Air, and was a joy to hold. It felt more like a £1000 device.
LINX 12" Windows 10 tablet & keyboard - Source: Currys
The Microsoft Surface Pro series of hybrid laptops is one of the best in the world. However, it is also very expensive, with one of the latest versions costing £1000 with the pen and keyboard.
Linx have managed to create something quite remarkable. Their tablet & keyboard combo runs Windows 10, comes with a full HD display and a quad core processor, yet it costs less than a mid range smartphone.
This device is perfect for students who need to be doing research one second and then laying back to enjoy a movie the next. It also helps that this actually costs less than most premium tablets.
You are certainly not missing out on anything, because you can install desktop apps such as Microsoft Office. Plus, if you need a larger screen, there is a micro HDMI port.
At £229.99, this is a good alternative to a one-trick-pony tablet.
Smartphones are powerful pieces of kit, but sometimes a bigger screen is better. Moreover, it can be challenging to do serious work on a smartphone. There is still a need for laptops and hopefully this post gets you thinking about what you want from one.
Abdul - giffgaff blogger
Abdul loves all things to do with tech, money and his pet goat Diego.Click hereto join the waiting list of his personal finance website launch.