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Best Laptops Under 250 USD
The holiday season is right around the corner, whether it feels like it or not, and you are likely looking for some gifts for the photographer in your life.
I recently wrote an article about why it’s important for photographers to have a great monitor, which you can read here, but it’s also important for photographers to have cheap laptops that they can bring with them on the go. I won’t take my computer worth thousands with me just anywhere, but my laptop that cost a few hundred dollars isn’t a huge deal.
The problem is that, as laptops become more and more technologically savvy, it can be difficult to find cheap laptops under $250 with only the specs you really need. Plus, if you aren’t a photographer, you’re just shopping for one, you likely have no idea which inexpensive laptops would work.
So, we created the best laptops under $250 list. In order for a laptop to be considered one of the best cheap laptops 2020, it had to be under $250, it had to be a laptop that is ultra-portable (meaning it has a good battery life and is lightweight/compact), and it had to have a high-quality screen so you have a good viewing experience..
Let’s get started.
2020 Lenovo IdeaPad Laptop
Some iteration of the Lenovo IdeaPad has made it onto every single cheap laptop list I’ve written this year, and two of them have actually ended up on the best laptops under $250 list. This is the first.
The 2020 Lenovo IdeaPad comes with a Windows 10 operating system, a 14-inch display and 4GB of memory, making it the perfect laptop for on-the-go editing.
This laptop measures 14.02” x 10.20” x 0.82” and weighs 4.4 lbs, so you can throw it in your backpack or camera bag and forget it’s there.
The 14” LED display features a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768, which obviously isn’t wonderful, but this resolution is paired with a power-saving backlight so that you can use this laptop for editing for up to 6 hours on one charge.
But, my personal favorite thing about this laptop is the fact that it comes with a free 1-year Microsoft Office 365 subscription, which typically costs $70 a year anyways. If you’re a small business owner that already uses Microsoft Office 365, then this laptop technically costs less than $200.
I know this list was created so that you could find a laptop under $250, and technically the 2020 Lenovo IdeaPad does not meet this criteria since it is $259 on Amazon right now, but the extra $9 is so worth it I had to still include it on our list.
Samsung XE310XBA-K02US Chromebook 4
Cheap chromebooks rarely make lists like this “best laptops under $250” one because Chromebooks are rarely cheap.
But, if you are specifically looking for cheap chromebooks under $250, this Samsung Chromebook 4 is currently on sale on Amazon for exactly $250, so we knew we had to include it.
Like the Lenovo IdeaPad above, this Samsung Chromebook comes with a 4GB RAM, but its screen size is a bit smaller at 11.6-inches.
The full laptop measures 11.33” x 7.96” x 0.66” and weighs 3.69 lbs.
Some of the specs on this laptop makes me think that diehard chromebook fans know what they’re doing. For instance, as compared to the 6 hours of battery life you get with the Lenovo IdeaPad above, you can get 12.5 hours of battery life with this laptop.
This computer also comes with a few extra specs you may or may not find you like. For example, it comes with Google Assistant, so you can talk to your laptop to set appointments in your calendar or reply to messages.
Of all the laptops on this best laptops under $250 list, this Chromebook is also the most durable.
HP Stream 14-Inch Laptop
Next up, we have the HP Stream 14-Inch Laptop, which costs $249.
The HP Stream 14-Inch Laptop comes with 4GB memory size, a 14-inch HD display with 1-million pixels, the free Office 365 subscription I talked about above, and a battery life that lasts up to 14 hours.
This laptop measures 13.27” x 8.90” x 0.70” and weighs just over 3 lbs.
While you obviously aren’t likely to get the full 14 hours out of its battery life, considering photographers typically use up battery like it’s going out of style, you aren’t going to find a longer lasting battery out of any of the other best laptops under $250 on this list.
Lenovo IdeaPad 1
I told you that the IdeaPad was going to show up again on this “best laptops under $250” article. In actuality, the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 has actually been considered one of the best budget laptops under $250 by just about every tech reviewer out there this year.
It comes with 4GB memory size, a 14-inch LED display, and weighs just over 3 lbs. Its display resolution is 1366 x 768 and it runs on Windows 10 S. You can use the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 for up to 8 hours on a single battery charge.
Of course, it isn’t built incredibly well. This laptop is mostly made of plastic, and I wouldn’t trust it to be dropped.
But, still, it’s only $222, which is a great price for a fully-featured laptop.
HP Stream 11.6-Inch HD Laptop
The HP Stream 11.6-Inch HD Laptop is the last laptop on our “best laptops under $250” list.
The HP Stream 11.6-Inch HD laptop sits right at $245 on Amazon. It features a 4GB RAM, like most best laptops under $250 do. It features an 11.6-inch display, comes with the free Office 365 subscription, and features a battery that will last you up to 12 hours.
I personally refuse to purchase a laptop, if it features less than 10 hours of battery life because I know that I’m going to find myself away from a power source sooner rather than later. Since there are very few inexpensive laptops under $250 with this sort of battery life, I’ve included multiple on this list to make it easy for you.
You’ll also be super excited to know that this is the only laptop on this “best laptops under $250” article that comes with a maximum display resolution of 1920 x 1080, so you can edit all of your images in Full HD.
The laptop measures 11.08” x 7.59” x 0.66” and weighs just 2.37 lbs.