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The Best Laptops Under $200 of 2023 (A Complete Guide)

The best cheap Windows netbooks & Chromebooks under $200 right now.
best laptops under 200 dollars - featured image

Gone are the days when you had to spend life’s savings to buy a computer because now you can buy a decent-performing laptop for as cheap as $200!

Although laptops under $200 do not have the processing power required for running the most intensive software or game out there, you can do all the basic everyday tasks like surfing the web, creating presentations, attending meetings, etc., without any issues.


You also get a lot of choices!

You can get a 2-in-1 laptop with a rotatable touchscreen if you wish to, or get a traditional laptop under $200 for yourself. There are also Chromebooks available under $200, which are great if you mostly work inside your browser, and if you want to use MS Office, there are also a few Windows netbooks available under $200 that offer a year of Microsoft 365 subscription for free!

But no one will tell you this!

Laptops under $200 cannot be your primary work machine.

Yes, the hardware that powers these laptops isn’t all that powerful to daily drive them for work.

Sure, as mentioned before, they are great for basic tasks, but they slow down as soon as you try to do anything more than basic on them. Like opening five or more tabs in chrome, multitasking with three or more apps at once would slow them down. Not to mention, they also have very less onboard storage.

So, it’s evident that the cheap laptops and chromebooks available under $200 aren’t suitable for serious computing needs. So if you were planning to buy it to play the latest games or perform intensive tasks like programming or video editing on these budget laptops, then these laptops wouldn’t be able to handle it.

But you can play old, less demanding games like Roblox, Minecraft, or Half-Life on some laptops (mentioned in the list of our top picks below).

That leads us to the question –

For Whom the Laptops under $200 Are the Right Choice?

The laptops under $200 are underpowered for most tasks, but that does not mean they are a waste of money.

They could be a great budget option for kids for school or if you want to buy an inexpensive travel laptop to check on your work on the go or watch movies or play indie games to kill time.

You can also purchase these laptops for home use. They could be great little laptops to use from the couch for quick google searches, paying bills, or checking recipes from the kitchen table.

So, now if you think that these cheap laptops under $200 are suitable for your requirements, then in this guide, we have rounded up 10 of the best laptops under $200 that offer the most value for money right now.

Well, if you think that laptops under $200 will be underpowered for your work, then have a look at our most recommended best budget laptops under $500 right now. They pack enough performant hardware to do most tasks smoothly and can even handle light media editing and gaming. If you can’t spend that much, consider one of the best laptops under $300 right now. Alternatively, you can also visit the budget laptops section of our website, where you’ll find all the best budget laptops right now.

Best Laptops Under $200 – Top Picks

Our Top Pick

1. Asus VivoBook L210MA 11″ Laptop

The best laptop under $200 right now

Asus VivoBook Go L210MA 11-Inch Laptop - most recommended laptop under $200


  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020 Dual Core Processor (Turbo up to 2.8GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 600 Graphics
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Display: 11.6-Inch HD Anti-Glare Display with 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs



  • Beautiful & lightweight
  • Touchpad doubles up as numpad
  • Comfortable keyboard with deep 1.4mm key travel
  • 180° hinge
  • One year Microsoft 365 (Personal) subscription worth $70 for free


  • Display is little dim for outdoor use

ASUS L210MA is our most recommended laptop under $200 for a lot of reasons. Firstly, it is a very well-built and designed notebook. We think it’s probably the best-looking laptop you can buy in the $200 price segment. Moreover, it performs well and rocks some pretty nifty features that are not available on any other laptop under $200.

Powered by a dual-core Intel Celeron processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage, the Asus L210MA is a capable everyday performer. It can handle everything from multi-tab web browsing to streaming HD videos and even some light indie games.

Its 11-inch display does not get too bright to use comfortably outdoors, but it’s perfectly fine for indoor usage, and it is anti-glare, so less reflections and eye strains. The keyboard is also very comfortable with tactile keys, and a 1.4mm key travel distance makes all the difference when typing for long hours. Its trackpad is also smooth to operate, and it doubles up as a Numpad! There are hardly any laptops under $200 that can accommodate a full-size keyboard with a numpad. That said, if you are the kind of user for whom the numpad is very important, then this “on-trackpad numpad” on the Asus L210MA works flawlessly.

The Asus L210MA also offers plenty of connectivity options ranging from a standard USB 3.0 port to a USB Type-C port, and even an HDMI port and an SD card slot which would aid to expand its less onboard storage.

Overall the ASUS L210MA is a well-rounded package that checks most of the right boxes, and hence it is an excellent Windows laptop under $200 for everyday use, be it for students or business professionals.

Read our full ASUS L210MA-DB01 11″ Laptop Review


The Asus BR1100CKA is also worth considering option under $200 especially if you are looking for a laptop for your business needs under $200. It offers the latest Intel Celeron N4500 processor, which is much faster and efficient than the previous generation Celeron processors. Also it is paired with the 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, which is decent for the price.

Although design wise it is not as premium looking device as the above-mentioned Asus L210MA 11″ laptop, it is well built and comes with a spill resistant keyboard and ruggedized chassis.

So if you would like to trade good looks for better performance and stronger built laptop, then the recently launched Asus BR1100CKA is also one of our most recommended Windows laptops under $200. | Check Current Price

Also, for those who need more versatility Asus also makes this laptop in a 2 in 1 form factor! You can check it out here.

Chromebook Pick

2. HP Chromebook 14a-na1047nr

The Best Chromebook Under $200

HP 14a-na1047nr - the best chromebook under $200 2023


  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4500 Dual Core Processor (Turbo up to 2.8GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Display: 14-Inch Anti-Glare HD Screen, 1366 x 768 pixels resolution
  • Weight: 3.24 lbs



  • Smooth performance with the latest Intel Jasper Lake CPU
  • Tactile keyboard (backlit optional)
  • Large 14-inch display
  • Storage expandable via microSD card
  • Audio powered by B&O


  • Battery life could be better

If you are looking for the best chromebook under $200, you won’t find a better-performing one than this HP Chromebook 14a. Why? It is among the very few laptops available with Intel’s latest Jasper Lake Celeron N4500U processor in this price range. So it is faster and more battery efficient than most other laptops listed here. The goodness does not end there. The HP Chromebook 14a also features many other exciting features that make it a great package overall for the price.

Starting with the display, it has a large 14-inch screen, providing more room to open multiple windows and use them side by side for increased productivity. The bezels around the screen are also comparatively small, and there’s also a built-in HD webcam which is decent enough for video conferencing. You also get an excellent keyboard with chiclet-style keys, and it also has a huge touchpad to use Chrome OS with ease.

All the ports and slots are lined up on either side of the Chromebook, including multiple USB Type-C ports for charging and data transfer, a single USB Type-A port, and there’s also a microSD card reader to expand its storage. You also get the latest and fastest Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 on this Chromebook for reliable wireless connectivity.

With lightweight chassis, decent battery backup, and loud stereo speakers powered by Bang & Olufsen, the HP 14a-na0020nr Chromebook is an excellent option for anyone to work/study from home.

Best For Kids

3. Samsung Chromebook 4

Tough design & spill resistant keyboard

Samsung Chromebook 4 - best cheap laptop for kids


  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020 Dual Core Processor (Turbo up to 2.8GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC
  • Display: 11.6-Inch Anti-Glare HD Screen, 1366 x 768 pixels resolution
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs



  • Ultraportable design
  • Strong build quality (MIL-STD certified)
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Anti-glare screen
  • Expandable storage (via microSD)


  • Small trackpad

If you are those clumsy types of person who always break things or if you are looking to purchase your kid a new laptop, then Samsung Chromebook 4 is the one you should get. It is an ultraportable Chromebook weighing less than 3 pounds that passes the MIL-STD-810G tests! Meaning, it can take a lot more beating than the standard notebook, and it features a spill-resistant keyboard too.

From design, it still looks pretty much like a standard notebook, though. The exterior is entirely made of plastic, and it has an aluminum lid, lending it a premium feel. Its 11-inch display is nothing to boast of — it’s dim but good enough for home usage, and it’s anti-reflective, so your eyes will thank you for it.

If we talk about the performance, it feels just like every other Chromebook under $200 since it also has a dual-core Intel Celeron inside paired with 4GB RAM. That is, you’ll be fine as long as you don’t open too many Chrome tabs or apps at once. For storage, it has only 32GB of space, but you’re saved by a microSD card reader provided on the left-hand side.

With all the other essential ports, a full day’s worth of battery life, and a price tag that wouldn’t leave a dent in your wallet, the Samsung Chromebook 4 is a terrific value for under $200, and if you don’t mind older specs we have seen it selling refurbished for less than $100!

Best Seller

4. Lenovo IdeaPad 1i 14

A well-balanced Windows laptop

Lenovo IdeaPad 1i 14


  • Processor: Intel Pentium N5030 Quad-Core (1.1 – 3.1 GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 605
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch HD (1366 x 768) anti-glare LED display
  • Weight: 3.0 lbs



  • Quad core processor
  • Lot of storage space
  • Anti-glare display
  • Great ports selection
  • Slim and sleek
  • Long battery life


  • Build quality could be better

The Lenovo IdeaPad 1i 14 is one of the most popular laptop among buyers in this price range and for a reason. It offers a very well-balanced specs for the price, with equally great display and keyboard, making it an excellent value overall.

It is powered by a quad-core Intel Pentium processor that can boost up to 3.1 GHz. The processor is paired with an adequate 4GB RAM and a spacious 256GB SSD storage, which is pretty rare at this price range.

So it has got an excellent hardware and it is complimented further by its large 14-inch HD display, which is anti-glare, and its keyboard is also very comfortable to type on.

Overall, it is a delight to work on this laptop and the conveniency of varied connectivity options (both physical ports and wireless), long battery life and good quality webcam and microphone makes it one of the best Windows laptops you can buy under $200 right now.

Though its build quality isn’t all that great with its exterior being all plastic, the design of the laptop is pretty modern and good looking. Also, it is the recently launched model and comes with the latest Windows 11 pre-installed and Lenovo is also offering a year of Microsoft 365 subscription free with it!

So if you want to buy a Windows laptop that does not suffer from the low on-board storage problem and offers all the latest and greatest hardware and software for $200, then the Lenovo IdeaPad 1i 14 should be your choice.

2 in 1 Pick

5. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11″

The best 2 in 1 touchscreen laptop under $200

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11 Inch Convertible Laptop Under $200


  • Processor: MediaTek MT8183 2.0GHz 8-Core CPU
  • Graphics: Integrate ARM Mali-G72 MP3
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Display: 11.6-Inch HD IPS Touchscreen with 1366 x 768 pixels resolution (glossy)
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs



  • Versatile design
  • Responsive multitouch IPS display
  • Good ports selection
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Long battery life
  • Stylus included


  • Large display bezels
  • Chunky design

If you have done even a little bit of research about laptops under $200 on your own, then you’ll know that there aren’t many convertible laptops available under $200, especially if you are looking for one with Windows operating system. There are few options from some lesser-known brands, but they are not worth the risk. So, either you’ll have to spend more, or you’ll have to settle with a 2-in-1 Chromebook.

If you are okay buying a convertible Chromebook, then Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11″ is the one we recommend. It’s powered by a MediaTek MT8183 processor, which is similarly capable as the Intel Celeron processor, and it is accompanied by 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, which is adequate for a Chromebook. It can handle moderate multitasking and tasks like web surfing, video streaming, and likes without any problem. Moreover, you can also install Android apps on it and enjoy playing games on its touchscreen display.

Speaking of the display, it comes with an 11.6-inch touchscreen IPS panel with a 360° hinge, so it can be used in the stand, tablet or normal mode, typical of a 2-in-1 laptop. The display produces decent colors, has good viewing angles, and it’s also bright enough to use comfortably under the shade, but it is glossy, so it shows a lot of reflections and makes it hard to use the laptop outdoors.

Still, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11″ is one of the best convertible laptops you can buy for under $200 right now. With a decent amount of ports, up to 16 hours of battery life and an ultraportable design, it could be a great little 2-in-1 for students to take to school or a laptop/tablet combo for professionals to complete basic tasks on the go.

DEAL ALERT: Lenovo Chromebook Duet Detachable with MediaTek Helio P60T processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage for $279.99 $299.99 from Amazon

If you are looking for a 2 in 1 laptop under $200, this deal is sure to excite you. Lenovo Chromebook Duet, one of the best detachable Chromebooks is $100 OFF right now at Lenovo. It offers an excellent 10.1-inch full HD display along with detachable keyboard that connects to the tablet via magnetic pins. It weighs just 2 pounds with keyboard and its performance also feels smooth with most tablet-intended tasks. So overall, it makes up for a great versatile device to use on the go.

Best Display

6. Asus L410MA 14-inch Windows Laptop

Has a Full HD Display!

Asus L410MA - best windows laptop under $200


  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020 1.1GHz Dual-Core (Turbo up to 2.8 GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4 RAM (Expandable up to 8GB)
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Display: 14-inch Full HD Anti-Glare Display, 1920 x 1080 Resolution
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs



  • Premium design
  • Sharp Full HD 14″ display
  • Trackpad doubles up as numpad
  • Upgradable RAM
  • Storage expandable via microSD card slot


  • Fan less design makes it a bit warm under load

Before you start calling this a Chromebook biased list, here’s another Windows laptop that we recommend to buy under $200. The Asus L410MA features a large 14-inch display, on trackpad numpad like the Asus L210MA 11″ (our top pick), and decent performing specs to get you through your everyday computing needs.

It has the exact same specs as the Asus L210MA 11″ — an Intel Celeron N4020 processor with 4GB RAM. So, performance would feel mostly similar, meaning you’ll be fine as long as you don’t tax its hardware too much by opening a lot of browser tabs or having multiple applications running in the background. However, a bigger 14-inch display makes all the difference here. Its larger size gets you that extra screen real-estate so that you can work comfortably by opening two apps side by side, and it’s also sharper with Full HD (1920 by 1080) resolution, so watching YouTube or Netflix would be a better experience on this laptop. However, its speakers does not get much loud, so you’ll have to use headphones with it.

Apart from that, everything else from design to keyboard and trackpad feel is more or less the same as the Asus L210MA, just stretched out to fit the larger chassis.

So, if you want to buy a Windows laptop under $200 that feels like a “standard notebook” than a “netbook,” then Asus L410MA is the one for you.

Also Great

7. Acer Chromebook 512

With tall 16:10 aspect ratio display

Acer Chromebook 512


  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020 (Dual Core, 1.1GHz – 2.8GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC
  • Display: 12-inch HD+ IPS Anti-Glare Display
  • Weight: 3.0 lbs



  • 12-inch display with tall aspect ratio
  • Storage capacity expandable via microSD card
  • Long battery life
  • Boots Chrome OS fast and offers smooth performance
  • Tough build quality MIL-STD certified


  • Very large bezels around the screen

If you are looking for a work-oriented Chromebook, one that does not have a flashy colored exterior or look like a kid’s laptop, then Acer Chromebook 512 should be your choice. Its all-black exterior and textured lid looks premium and fits well in professional environment.

While it boasts pretty similar hardware as the other laptops under $200—Intel Celeron N4020 processor paired with 4GB RAM, the main USP of this Chromebook is its 12-inch display with a tall 3:2 aspect ratio.

It has a resolution of 1366 by 912, meaning it provides slightly more vertical space than standard 16:9 wide displays so that you can see more content on screen at a time. The display also uses an IPS panel, so it has pretty wide viewing angles and the brightness and color reproduction are also adequate.

Since this is a laptop targeted towards corporates, the ports selection is also very good on it. It has two USB Type-C ports and two USB Type-A ports, and it also has a microSD card reader which would aid to extend its 32GB of built-in storage.

While we do not like the large bezels around its screen, everything else from its keyboard to trackpad and up to 12 hours of battery life are laudable things about this laptop. Not to mention, its chassis is also military standard tested to withstand drops and its keyboard is also spill resistant!

Old is Gold

8. HP Stream 11

Great typing experience

HP Stream 11 - windows laptop under $200 with free Microsoft 365 subscription


  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020 Dual Core Processor (Turbo up to 2.8GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Display: 11.6-Inch HD WLED-backlit Anti-Glare Screen (1366 x 768 pixels resolution)
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs



  • Tactile ergonomic keyboard
  • Varied ports and connectivity options
  • Good looking design
  • Comes with latest Windows 11 OS
  • One year Microsoft 365 subscription free


  • Requires switching out of S mode in Windows to install third party apps

Finally, after the long wait, one of the most popular budget laptops under $200 — the HP Stream 11 is updated with a newer-generation Intel processor. That makes it support the latest Windows 11 operating system, and it now comes pre-installed with it! Although no changes are made to its design, it still manages to entice buyers with its clean minimal design, unique color options, and excellent keyboard in such a small device.

So, it comes in two color options, Diamond White and Royal Blue; the former goes well in a professional environment while the latter is well-suited for students. What we love most about the HP Stream 11, though, is its design. It is clean on the outside, and the keyboard deck has a slight texture that feels good on wrists while typing.

Speaking of typing, its keyboard is just phenomenal. It has a great layout, keypresses feel precise and tactile, and it’s comfortable to type for long hours. The trackpad also feels smooth, and since it uses Windows Precision drivers, you can use multi-finger gestures on it.

If all you want to do on your laptop is surf the web, stream media, and do light work on MS Office apps, you’ll find HP Stream 11’s performance more than adequate. Only when you have more than two apps opened you’ll start seeing it slowing down, which is typical of every Windows laptop under $200.

So overall, the HP Stream 11 is yet another worth considering option if you are looking for a Windows laptop. Performance-wise it is mostly similar to other notebooks, but the USP of the Stream 11 is you can buy it in unique color shades, and its keyboard is also one of the best you can get on 11-inch laptops in this price range. Plus, HP includes a free year of Windows 365 subscription with it, which alone makes it a great deal.

Cheapest Option

9. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 11″ Chromebook

The Cheapest Laptop Under $200

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 11 Chromebook - cheapest laptop under $200


  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020 1.1GHz Processor (Dual Core, Up to 2.8GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Display: 11.6-Inch HD (1366 x 768) Anti-Glare Screen
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs



  • Good looking premium design
  • Decent performing specs
  • Excellent feeling keyboard
  • Good ports selection
  • Nice 720p webcam


  • Loose trackpad but works fine

The Lenovo Chromebook 3 is also an equally great option as other 11-inch laptops under $200. We would not talk about its performance since it is also powered by the same specs as most laptops do, so you get the idea about its capabilities. It’s good enough for regular internet-based jobs.

The unique aspects of this laptop that make it worth considering are its design and the display’s 180° hinge. So, the laptop comes in an Onyx black color, but the left part of its lid has a gray-textured finish, and there also lies a subtle Chromebook branding. That adds a premium vibe to this Chromebook and looks unique from other mostly plain-looking laptops in this price range. Apart from that, it features a 180-degree display hinge, which sometimes can be helpful to share the content on the screen with a group of people.

Rest everything is more or less similar to other laptops in this price category, but its keyboard is right in league with the best ones in this price range, and its 720p webcam is also better than VGA cameras on most other cheap notebooks.

So, all in all, if you are looking for a premium-looking ultraportable laptop, then Lenovo Chromebook 3 11 is one of those beauties in this price range that manages to fool people into thinking it is a much expensive device.

Also Great

10. Dell Chromebook 3100

Strong build quality

Dell Chromebook 11 3100 - good laptop for kids


  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020 Dual Core Processor (Turbo up to 2.8GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • Storage: 16GB eMMC
  • Display: 11.6-Inch HD Anti-Glare Screen (1366 x 768 pixels resolution)
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs



  • Tough kid-proof design
  • Reinforced ports
  • Superb warranty coverage
  • Long battery life


  • Less on-board storage
  • No SD card slot

Last but not least, if you are looking for a laptop for your kid, then here’s another excellent option for you to consider besides the previously mentioned Samsung Chromebook 4. This Dell Chromebook offers the best warranty you can get in a $200 price range laptop, which includes unlimited accidental damage claims! Plus, it also features a highly kid-proof design.

So, it has an all-plastic body, but it is tough enough to meet MIL-STD standards. Apart from that, it features rubber edges which means less impact to the critical internals of the laptop during accidents. The kid-proof design features do not end here, it also features a spill-proof keyboard, and its ports have reinforced protection so that they can take more beating than usual.

Now, despite such strong build quality, if your kid still manages to break the laptop or if it stops working after an accident, then Dell would allow unlimited accidental damage claims!

However, it’s not all roses. Although the Dell Chromebook 3100 offers a reasonably powerful Intel Celeron N4020 processor paired with 4GB RAM, the onboard storage on the model that costs under $200 is just 16GB. That’s very less even for even school-going kids’ requirements. What’s even more disappointing, though, is it does not have an SD card slot to expand its low storage!

Of course, you can get more storage capacity by paying extra, but Samsung Chromebook 4 offers well-balanced specs and a kid-proof design for under $200. However, the warranty on this Dell is too good to be true, so if you can spare some more money, then this Dell Chromebook 3100 is a great pick for kids.

So, these are the best laptops under $200 you can buy right now. As you can see, the sub-$200 price segment is mostly flooded with Chromebooks, and there are very few Windows laptop options. But there’s nothing wrong with that because Chromebooks make a lot of sense at this price range. However, depending upon the programs you want to run on your laptop, you might need a Windows laptop.

So if you are still confused and can’t decide which laptop to get, choosing between Chromebook or Windows laptop could be a great starting point. Below are some comparisons between Chromebooks and Windows laptops which shall help you to decide on one, and then we have also enlisted and briefed on the must-have features and things to look for when shopping for a laptop under $200.

Go through it to get all your questions answered, and if you still have any questions after that, feel free to ask us in the comments section below or contact our experts for laptop advice.

Windows Laptop vs Chromebook: What should you buy under $200?

As mentioned earlier, Chromebooks make a lot of sense in this price range because Chrome OS is a more lightweight operating system than Windows, meaning it does not require much powerful hardware to run. So Chromebooks with low-end hardware feel smoother to use than Windows laptops.

Now, Microsoft did launch Chrome OS competitor – Windows 11 S, which does not allow users to install apps outside of the Microsoft Store in order to make it more fast and secure, but it took away the number one reason for which people opted to buy a Windows laptop over Chromebook – “App Compatibility.” Thankfully, if you want to install any third-party software on Windows 11 S laptop, it is very easy to switch to full Windows 11 Home from stripped-down Windows 11 S, but it’s still one more thing to do.

Whereas on Chromebooks, you can install all the apps available on the Chrome Web Store, and they now also support Android apps, meaning you can install all the apps and games available on the Android Play Store on your Chromebook. That’s great, but those apps are made and optimized for Android smartphones and tablets, so the experience of using them isn’t great on Chromebooks, especially the ones with “non-touch” displays.

If we try to see the overall picture, besides app compatibility, there’s no other reason to not opt for Chromebooks. Most people buy a laptop under $200 for basic stuff like surfing the web, attending zoom meetings, watching videos on YouTube or maybe editing a word document. Chromebooks can handle that all. You can’t use MS Office apps on Chromebook, but Google Docs and other productivity apps in Google’s suite are great too. If you haven’t tried them yet, this could be a great opportunity to switch, and in case you don’t like them, you always have an option to access MS Office online from the web browser.

However, if you must use Windows-specific apps or MS Office, Windows is the only option for you since it is impossible to install proprietary third-party software on Chrome OS right now.

This in no way was the most comprehensive comparison between both the operating systems. Still, these critical differences will give you a good overall idea to decide between Chromebooks and Windows laptops when shopping for a laptop under $200.

If you have decided between Chromebook and Windows laptop, then below is the buying guide with all the things that you should check when shopping for a laptop under $200. You don’t need to go through it if you purchase any of our recommended laptops mentioned above, but if you like any laptop that’s not on our list, then before you purchase it, make sure to check it for the things that we have mentioned below.

Things to Check When Buying a Laptop under $200

Buying a laptop is not easy, but when you are buying a laptop on a shoestring budget like this, there are certain things that you must check. We have listed all the essential things to check below in the form of a handy buying guide for you. Go through it as it would be helpful if you buy any laptop that’s not on the list of our top picks.


You’ll find most laptops under $200 powered by Intel Celeron and MediaTek processors, but those are just the CPU makers’ names. You need to pay attention to the specific model numbers of CPUs. For instance, Intel Celeron N4000 was launched way back in 2017, whereas N4020 and N4500 are comparatively recent CPUs launched in 2019 and 2021, respectively. In the same way, MediaTek MT8183 is the recent one from the brand launched in 2019 and MT8173 is older launched way back in 2015. So, as a general rule of thumb, you should avoid buying any laptop in 2023 with a CPU launched before 2019.


Most laptops in this price range come with only 4GB of RAM, which is not enough if you want to work on multiple apps simultaneously. Having at least 8GB of RAM in a laptop is a must these days. But, for under $200, that’s not possible. For basic tasks, though, 4GB RAM is enough, and that’s what you should aim for your laptop under $200. Anything less than that is a big NO. You’ll find many old and refurbished laptops with 2GB RAM in this price range—avoid them at all costs.


You’ll get at most 64GB of onboard storage in the laptop for under $200. Anything less than that is generally not advisable, but if the laptop has a memory card slot, 32GB is also acceptable. Don’t buy laptops that offer only 16GB of onboard storage because more than half of it is occupied by the operating system, and then there’s hardly any room left for you to install apps.


Most laptops under $200 compromise on display quality, so finding a cheap laptop with a good screen is a task in itself, but it’s not impossible. Look for laptops with IPS panels. They generally are better in quality in terms of viewing angles and overall vividness and brightness. Also, if it has higher than HD (1366 by 768) resolution, consider it a home run. But, if you are getting it at the cost of performance, you should probably prioritize the key hardware like processor, RAM and storage more.

Build Quality

This happens to be another area where manufacturers tend to compromise a lot with budget systems. However, we have seen few extremely well-built machines under $200, one that passes rigorous military standard tests and comes with spill-resistant keyboards. If you are buying a laptop for your kid, buying a laptop with rugged design and waterproof keyboard would make your life as a parent a thousand times easier.

Apart from that, checking how the keyboard feels while typing and the trackpad’s smoothness and responsiveness are also important. You should also look at the number and types of ports a notebook has and assess its overall weight and size by taking in hands. If possible, go to Best Buy, Walmart, or Target near you to have a look at the laptop in person and use it for a few minutes.

Lastly, don’t forget to compare prices at different online and offline retailers. That would help you find a better deal, or sometimes get you a gift with your laptop at no extra cost.


So, that’s all you’ll need to check if you are planning to purchase a laptop under $200. Again, if you are buying any laptop from our top picks, you don’t need to check for these things.

Our top picks pass all these checks and more. We have carefully picked laptops by keeping the requirements of all types of users in mind, and accordingly, we have all kinds of laptops on our list (touchscreen, 2 in 1, and traditional laptops). We also have different sizes of notebooks (11-inch, 14-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch), and if you are buying it for your kid, then we have options for that as well.

So, we hope that this budget laptop buying guide helps you buy the best laptop under $200 for yourself. If you found it helpful, tell us about it in the comments section below, and consider sharing it with someone who might find it useful as well.

If you have any questions/doubts about our laptop recommendations or anything else that we mentioned in this guide, feel free to ask about it in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by.

  1. I need help I am planning to get a computer for my birthday soon the Direkt-Tek 11.6 I saw the reviews and it worries me if I get it it will be bad is it a bad model or not I need help, please.

  2. If I am a student with a limited budget looking for a laptop/Chromebook/notebook/other only for studies, which one you would suggest? I would prefer that I can store some files in the actual hard drive and have enough space to install Microsoft office. Can you help me?

    1. Hi Joze,
      I would recommend you to get the Chromebook and use the Google’s suite of productivity apps like Google Docs and Sheets for your work. That would be better option as after installing MS Office on Windows Netbook, there’s hardly any space left to store other files in it.

  3. Could you please suggest a budget laptop for video editing ?
    Will these above-mentioned ones be good for basic video editing?
    Thank you for your help.

    1. Don’t even mistakably buy any of these laptops for video editing. They are made for just basic usages like surfing web and editing word documents. To buy laptop for editing videos, I would recommend you to check out our guide to buy video editing laptops. The cheapest laptop that you can buy for video editing right now is Acer Aspire E 15, you will find it in our guide.

  4. Hi
    I’m looking for the laptop just to use internet (Ex: search, chat, find some information…) but I don’t know which one the best for that with the price under $200. Can you please help me?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Francesco,
      Acer Aspire one is better because of its slightly better hardware specifications and full HD display.

  5. I’m looking to buy the HP Stream 14 but not sure if it suits me. In a few weeks, I’m going to canada for like a week and need a laptop for my personal stuff. I’m not sure because I have seen alot of people saying things like “It’s So slow I had to return it” and stuff like that. Please Help!

    1. Hi,
      HP Stream 14 is a good machine for basic productivity tasks such as checking emails, typing word documents, managing medium-sized excel sheets, etc. You can play some flash based games on it and even watch Netflix and YouTube at your leisure. But, I think the Acer Aspire 1 provides good value overall. The processor on Acer is faster with quad-cores, and it even has a better display with full HD resolution. It will be much better machine than HP Stream 14.

  6. any thoughts on either getting HP 14-inch stream versus the Acer 11.6 convertible laptop for a 10 year old?

  7. I had Acer Cloudbook 14 but the issue with this mode is it get heat up very soon. But now after reading you post I’m planing to get HP Stream 14-ax010nr Notebook. Hopefully it will be good decision.

      1. Hi how do u compare the hp stream 14 and dell inspiron 3162 11.6? Need for 12 yr old roblox musically player. My other question is the dell 3162 I’m looking at days it has 500gb hdd. Is that better or the same as 32 gb sad? Also what processor is better Intel quad core Pentium or Intel Celeron dual core? Please help..

        1. Hi Jaclyn,
          Go with HP Stream if you need bigger display and can work with low 32GB of inbuilt storage. If smaller display is fine and if you want more storage then go with the Dell Inspiron 3162. SSDs are faster than HDD, they allow the laptop to boot up faster and open apps more quickly. Performance wise SSDs are good but if you want more storage then Dell will be better choice overall. And, among Intel quad-core pentium and Celeron dual-core, Pentium is more powerful.

          I hope this helps.

    1. Hi Earl,

      If you are going to travel and use your laptop on the go then I think 11″ would be better and If you are going to use it on your desk and travel occasionally only then 14″ would be better choice because it will give you more desktop like feeling while using it.

      I have just replied to you expert advice email and I have sent few best laptops recommendations for you in it. Please check.

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