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Manufacturing Team

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Edward Rams
Edward Rams

Best Buy Customized Laptop

While premium laptops have gotten more expensive over time, cheap and budget options have improved significantly in quality. You can easily find some great devices that provide a satisfying user experience, from dirt cheap under $300 Chromebooks to budget gaming laptops with a dedicated GPU costing up to $1,200. The list is short for now, but it'll grow as we review more laptops.

best buy customized laptop

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We've tested more than 65 laptops, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best cheap and budget laptops you can get. You can also check out our recommendations for the best laptops under $300, the best laptops under $400, and the best laptops under $500.

The best budget laptop we've tested is the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020), a 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook. This 15.6-inch model feels very well-built and has a battery that lasts over 12 hours of light use. You can get it with an Intel Pentium Gold or a Core i3 CPU; both are powerful enough to provide a smooth experience on Chrome OS. The downside is that you can only get up to 4GB of memory, so you'll likely experience slowdowns if you have many applications or Chrome tabs open simultaneously.

If you need or prefer Windows and don't mind paying more, the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) is a good alternative. It's a smaller 14-inch laptop, so it's more portable; however, you don't get as much screen real estate. It has longer battery life than the Lenovo, and its port selection is also better as its USB-C supports Thunderbolt 4. The main tradeoff is the webcam; the image looks extremely underexposed, and the microphone sounds staticky. You can get this laptop with an Intel 11th Gen. Core i5 or i7 CPU and up to 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage.

Our best budget gaming laptop pick is the Lenovo Legion 5 Gen 6 15 (2021). This 15.6-inch laptop has a sturdy build, a spacious full-size keyboard, and a wide port selection, including an HDMI 2.1 port. You can configure it with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, both powerful enough to provide smooth gameplay, and there are multiple GPU options, ranging from an entry-level NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 to a high-end RTX 3070. We recommend getting either the 1080p 165Hz or the 1440p 165Hz display, as they have the fastest response time and support variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing.

Build-wise, this laptop has a sturdy chassis with a finish that doesn't scratch or smudge easily. It's a little bulky and heavy, so it isn't the best option for on-the-go use, and you'll also have to carry the charger because the battery lasts only around an hour when gaming. The keyboard feels great to type on, and there are plenty of ports, including four USB-As, two USB-Cs, an HDMI 2.1, and an Ethernet port. It doesn't support Thunderbolt 4, though, since this is an AMD system. The webcam is pretty decent if you want to stream; it's only 720p, but it captures a fair amount of detail, and the microphone sounds loud and clear.

If you need something cheap to get the job done or are shopping for a grade school student, the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) is the best cheap laptop we've tested. It's portable despite being a 15-inch laptop, and its battery lasts easily through a full day of light use with plenty to spare. You get a full-size keyboard with a Numpad on the right side, a reasonably large touchpad, and a good port selection that includes two USB-As, two USB-Cs, and an SD card reader. The USB-C ports support charging and video output.

Naturally, as this is a budget-friendly model, there are a few downsides to know about. First, the screen only gets bright enough for indoor use, and even then, you might have some visibility issues in well-lit rooms. Second, the available CPUs (Intel Celerons) can only handle light workloads, so this might not be the best option if you're a heavy multitasker. Lastly, you can only get 128GB of storage, although that isn't a big issue if you use cloud storage, and you can also expand your storage space with an SD card.

If you're looking for a cheap gaming laptop, we recommend the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (2021). It's a 15.6-inch laptop with either an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, and you have multiple GPU options, from an entry-level GTX 1650 to a mid-range RTX 3060 with ray-tracing and DLSS support. The memory and storage drive are user-upgradeable, meaning you can get less to start and upgrade it yourself later on. You can allocate more of your budget toward a better GPU and display.

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cheap and budget laptops you can get. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

As rumors persist that Apple is looking to introduce a hardware subscription service, Best Buy has partnered with finance firm Citizens Pay to do it. The new Upgrade+ service is specifically meant to finance Mac laptop computers for monthly fee.

Instead of buying their laptop in that 37th month, however, users can return the machine and continue in the program with a new one. Of course, if an upgrade option is chosen, monthly prices will be higher.

Actually, it makes sense to just lease it because we keep upgrading every few years. What's the point of having a laptop outright if you just keep upgrading your new hardware every two years to get ahead? You can always buy it full with partial payment if you decide to keep it.

Every gaming laptop here is one that we have personally tested. That means writing on them, browsing on them, watching video, and most importantly gaming on them. That experiential take on how good a machine is to actually use is vital when it comes to making recommendations on the best gaming laptop.

To get a holistic view of how good an actual gaming laptop is, it's this mix of the subjective experiential view and the objective benchmarks that give us our final list of the top notebooks for gaming.

For our money it's a toss-up between the Razer and Asus machines for top gaming laptop honors. The Blade series from Razer are clean-cut, stylish notebooks that have a matte black gaming MacBook aesthetic that we really dig. And Asus is a brand that knows how to do all the important hardware stuff; can deliver on style and technological substance, but can also offer better value than the more premium-focused Razer laptops.

That really depends on what you want to do with your laptop. An 8-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen chip will allow you to do a whole load of productivity on the road, but honestly, it will have little benefit in gaming. That's one of the reasons Intel has launched its Tiger Lake H35 chips; they're quad-core, 8-thread CPUs, but they're clocked high to deliver high-end gaming performance when paired with something like the RTX 3070.

This will arguably have the most immediate impact on your choice of the build. Picking the size of your screen basically dictates the size of your laptop. A 13-inch machine will be a thin-and-light ultrabook, while a 17-inch panel almost guarantees workstation stuff. At 15-inches, you're looking at the most common size of the gaming laptop screen.

Nah. 4K gaming laptops are overkill; they're fine for video editing if you're dealing with 4K content, but it's not the optimal choice for games. The standard 1080p resolution means that the generally slower mobile GPUs are all but guaranteed high frame rates, while companies are slowly drip-feeding 1440p panels into their laptop ranges.

The best gaming laptop is a thing of beauty. A piece of PC gaming hardware that's as sleek and portable as it is powerful. We're at a point in PC tech where you can genuinely have desktop gaming performance in a notebook less than an inch thick and small enough to pack in a backpack.

You've decided to buy a gaming laptop at the right time. The next generation of mobile GPU and CPU is only just hitting the shelves, offering the best Nvidia, AMD, and Intel has to offer. I've already tested the alternatives, and the best gaming laptop is the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (opens in new tab). It makes the best RTX 4090 gaming laptops , including the Razer Blade 16 (opens in new tab) and Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, and even the frankly ridiculous MSI Titan GT77 HX (opens in new tab), look like overkill with similar gaming performance and a far lower sticker price for its RTX 4080 power.

But we know even these new chips will mostly be wrapped into the same chassis we've grown to love over the past year. And the price on last-gen offerings ought to come down in the short term, too, which makes this inflection point between two hardware generations a good time to start looking for a new gaming laptop.

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8) Intel Core i9 13900HX Nvidia RTX 4080 (150W) 32GB DDR5 1TB NVMe SSD (opens in new tab)The RTX 4080 model is our absolute favorite version of the Legion Pro 7i. That's the same one we've tested ourselves. This awesome chassis delivers enough headroom for the RTX 4080 to shine in games, and it often matches laptops with more restrained RTX 4090 GPUs inside. Tough to argue with that.

The final part of the package is the 1600p 240Hz screen. Which is fine. I fear I've been spoiled by the joy of the mini LED backlights used in the last few laptop displays I've tested, because this one lacks the punch that I now want from a gaming panel. What it does have, however, is the 16:10 aspect ratio (opens in new tab) I never knew I needed in a gaming laptop until I started using them on the regular. The 2560 x 1600 native resolution is a great match for the 16-inch screen size the Legion Pro comes rocking.

The latest spin of the Razer Blade 15 once again improves on one of the best gaming laptops ever made. It has the same gorgeous CNC-milled aluminum chassis as its predecessor, only this time it can house one of Nvidia's latest RTX 40-series GPUs and an Intel 13th Gen Core i9 CPU. 041b061a72


Moments from the production line.


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