Portable laptops provide convenient web browsing to those who go on business trips overseas, upload entertaining videos for their viewers, or stay home button-mashing their controllers. When you can’t bring a bulky desktop outside in a carry-on, then it’s time to pick up a laptop with cutting-edge tools and features, so you can get right back to doing what needs done.
It can be a daunting task to sift through hundreds of laptops listed on the hardware market. With the release of newer models, buying a laptop tends to be complicated, especially when you’re struggling to pin down a particular set of specs or features. Screen size, resolution, adaptor ports, and amount of memory is just the tip of the iceberg.
That’s why we recommend you do some research before you buy from your local retailer. There are plenty of affordable laptop deals, with powerful processors, upgradable components, and long-lasting battery storage worth checking out. This laptop buying guide will walk you through choosing the best PC builds to meet your high-performance, web browsing needs.
If you’re trying to find the best budget gaming laptop, you’re in luck because we have two gaming PCs that are not only compact but also packed with performance capabilities to keep you preoccupied with beating a hard level, to help you navigate those confusing system requirements.
· AMD Ryzen 5 5600H 3.3GHz Processor
· NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
· 8GB DDR4-3200 RAM
· 512GB Solid State Drive
· Microsoft Windows 11 Home
· Multi-Format SD Media Card Reader
· 10/100/1000 Network
· Realtek Wi-Fi 6 (2x2)+Bluetooth 5.2 Combo
· 15.6" Full HD IPS Micro-Edge Anti-Glare 144Hz Display
The HP Pavilion 15 is a super portable gaming laptop, capable of running even the most modern games thanks to a high-powered Ryzen 5 CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650. Bring your A-game to esports titles, even on the go, with help from this Platinum Collection powerhouse!
· Intel Core i5 10th Gen 10300H 2.5GHz Processor
· NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 4GB GDDR6
· 16GB DDR4-2933 RAM
· Microsoft Windows 10 Home
· Killer Ethernet E2600
· Dual Band Intel Wireless W-Fi 6 AX201
· Bluetooth 5.0
· 15.6" Full HD Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display
The Acer Nitro pulls no punches with its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30050 graphics and Intel Core i5. Add onto that a 144Hz refresh display, stereo-quality audio, and advanced cooling system and you’ll be blasting through esport games at 100+ frames.
Whether you’re a part of the 9-to-5 grind or just looking for a casual home laptop, you might want to aim for laptops that offer a 2-in-1 convertible, taking advantage of touchscreen features and high-speed web surfing. Here is a rundown of our top two picks for work or play.
· Microsoft SQ1 Processor
· 8GB LPDDR4x RAM
· 128GB Solid State Drive
· Microsoft SQ1 Adreno 685 Graphics
· Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac
· 13" PixelSense Display
The Surface Pro X 2-in-1 comes equipped with a blazing fast SSD, meaning everything you do with it, from powering it on, to prepping for that meeting, to just browsing the internet will be ultra-responsive. It also comes with a removable keyboard and touchpad, so you can customize your Surface for exactly what you need, when you need it.
· Intel Celeron 3965Y Processor 1.5GHz
· 4GB LPDDR3 Onboard RAM
· 32GB eMMC Storage
· Intel HD Graphics 615
· Chrome OS
· MicroSD Multi-media Card Reader
· 2x2 802.11ac Wireless
· Bluetooth 4.0
· 12.2" Full HD Widescreen LED-backlit Touchscreen Display
Chromebooks are perfect for both students and professionals who prefer an extended battery life and aren’t looking for a max-power machine. Though the Samsung Chomebook Plus is fairly minimal, it is still a great tool for those looking to just check their email, write up a report, or browse the internet. The laptop also has a 13-megapixel webcam, perfect for those impromptu business calls.
Whether you are a video editor, copywriter, or graphic designer, you’ll have to rely on a laptop to serve as your creative outlet where you can make content that inspires your audience. Since you might be staring at the screen for a while, a display with brighter pixels that’s still easy on the eyes is probably your best bet.
· Intel Core i5 11th Gen 1135G7 2.4GHz Processor
· 8GB LPDDR4X Onboard RAM
· Intel Iris Xe Graphics
· microSD Card Reader
· Killer Wireless-AX 1650i
· Bluetooth 5.1
· 13.3" WUXGA Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Multi-Touch Display with AES Pen Support
The Acer Spin 3 is equipped with a quick-charging stylus and a flexible, rotating screen. Packing a punch with its Intel 11th Generation Core i5 CPU and a 2-in-1 flexibility, the Spin 3 delivers a fantastic experience at a fantastic price. It even features a next-gen Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless adaptor, which connects to any LAN network inside a home office.
· Apple M1 Chip
· 8GB Unified RAM
· 256GB Solid State Drive
· 7-core GPU
· 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6
· 13.3" Retina LED-backlit Display with IPS Technology
The Apple MacBook Air is super slim and super fast, boasting an improved Apple M1 Chip and 7-Core GPU, capable of juggling complex workloads. One of its main highlights is the brilliant display resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio powered by a gorgeous Retina LED. The newer M1 MacBook’s have one of the longest battery lives in MacBook history, perfect for video editing, long writing sessions, and drawing digital art.
Laptop components are nice to have as add-ons for any custom laptop enthusiast. To put the finishing touches on your PC setup, you might want to get your hands on some peripheral devices, such as a printer, hard drive enclosure, or a wireless mouse.
It all boils down to what you’re using it for--sharing files on the cloud, editing creative visuals, or gaming with AAA titles. As long as you have enough space to plug in your accessories, it will be a straightforward process to complete this setup, knowing that you can enhance many functions baked into a standard laptop.
The next steps are to run all the necessary system updates, download your favorite internet browser, and enable anti-virus software to protect your PC. Just don’t forget to sync up the keyboard and trackpad.
When scouting for the best budget laptops, a balance between power, efficiency, and portability is a surefire way to go. At Micro Center, we bring you laptops on a wide range of models --personalized and built to last.
Uncover some amazing laptop deals on our site by selecting a product category to see what we have in store.
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Looking for more computer buying guides? We’ve got a full section dedicated to reviews and buying guides as well as The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Gaming Laptop, How to Choose Parts for you Custom PC Build, and reviews of the Maingear Vector Pro Series. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to post a new discussion and the Community will be happy to help!
Hard to justify buying the hp 15 when the price just went up $100 and black Friday is starting at most stores.
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