The Best Cheap Business Laptops 2024
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 emerges as a standout choice for budget-conscious professionals seeking reliable computing. Running on Windows 11, it delivers a seamless user experience, devoid of pre-installed bloatware or trials, except for a Microsoft Office trial. Unlike many third-party Windows machines, it excels in maintaining consistent performance, free from common hiccups like sleep issues.
Windows 11’s contemporary interface harmonizes effortlessly with the compact laptop’s design, with noticeable refinement over time through regular updates. Priced competitively, the base model starts at £529 ($599), featuring 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, providing a cost-effective option for entrepreneurs.
Strengths of the Surface Laptop Go 2 include its enhanced speed, improved cooling, quieter operation, superior webcam, and enhanced repairability. This iteration is not only more efficient but also comes at a more fitting price point, setting it apart from its predecessor.
In comparison, competitors like Dell and Framework offer similarly specced models at a comparable starting price, emphasizing the Surface Laptop Go 2’s compelling value proposition. For professionals seeking an economical yet powerful business laptop, the Surface Laptop Go 2 stands as a commendable choice, combining affordability with robust features.
Acer Aspire 5
The Acer Aspire 5 (A515-58M) emerges as a versatile choice, coupling a 15.6-inch Full HD display with Intel’s latest 13th-gen processors. While currently unavailable in the UK, its $799.99 price tag in the US prompts scrutiny of its overall value. Functionality takes precedence in the Aspire 5’s design, featuring a dark plastic exterior that, while not visually striking, offers an ergonomic advantage with a slightly elevated keyboard for enhanced typing comfort. The laptop impresses with its array of ports, including USB Type-A, Type-C (supporting USB4 for swift data transfer), and a full-size HDMI connection. Although lacking an ethernet option, it compensates with the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard. The 15.6-inch display provides Full HD resolution, maintaining a classic 16:9 aspect ratio. However, its matte coating falls short in reducing reflections, with a modest brightness of under 250 nits. Notably, color reproduction may not meet the demands of graphic work or video editing. Powered by Intel’s 10-core Core i7-1355U processor, the Aspire 5’s performance is commendable for most tasks. While it lags behind higher-end chips in benchmarks, it excels in everyday usage. The device truly shines in battery life, enduring nearly 12 hours on a single charge. The Acer Aspire 5 stands as a well-rounded companion, offering a solid design, reliable performance, and impressive battery life. It caters to various user requirements, although it lacks standout features for specific needs. For specialized tasks or a more stylish alternative, other options may be preferable.
Lenovo ThinkBook 15
The Lenovo ThinkBook 15 emerges as a versatile and efficient laptop, equipped with a 4K display and dedicated GPU VRAM. Priced at $999.98, it boasts a blend of luxury and style in its design, with a silver aluminum chassis exuding a bold, solid look. Despite some plastic components like hinges and display bezels, it offers sturdy functionality, allowing the lid to open up to 180 degrees. The 15.6-inch 4K UHD display provides crisp, colorful visuals with wide viewing angles and reduced reflection, encircled by slim bezels. The chiclet-type backlit keyboard offers well-shaped keys, though with a short key travel. A sizeable touchpad ensures responsive navigation.
With a 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10870H processor, the ThinkBook 15 excels in processing power, handling tasks with ease. It scored impressively in Cinebench R15 benchmark tests. The laptop’s memory configuration of 16 GB RAM proves ample for multitasking, offering smooth performance even with numerous Chrome tabs open.
Storage-wise, the PCIe SSD of up to 1 TB provides fast read and write speeds, outperforming competitors.
The ThinkBook 15 offers a choice between dedicated GPUs, with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q providing excellent graphics performance for both gaming and graphics-intensive applications. It outperformed rivals in benchmark tests. The 3 Cell 57Wh Li-Polymer battery lasts approximately 7 hours during video playback, slightly edging out competitors. Although a tad heavy, and with a keyboard featuring short key travel, the Lenovo ThinkBook 15 impresses as an all-purpose laptop, offering exceptional overall performance for its price.
HP Envy 13
The HP Envy 13 enters the ultraportable laptop arena with an enticing price point, aiming to compete with high-quality rivals. It boasts a sleek aluminium design, weighing 1.3kg and measuring 17mm thick. While the keyboard offers comfortable typing with a bright backlight, the layout feels slightly cramped due to its large keys. The trackpad is serviceable but falls behind competitors.
The 13.3-inch IPS touchscreen display provides a Full HD resolution with exceptional quality and contrast. Its 2,009:1 contrast ratio and 422-nit backlight offer vibrant visuals. The Envy 13 incorporates an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD, supplemented by an Nvidia GeForce MX450 GPU for decent everyday performance.
Battery life is commendable, lasting over 10 hours in work scenarios. Connectivity is reasonable, featuring USB ports and a microSD card reader. However, it lacks HDMI and Thunderbolt ports, and the trackpad could be improved. Overall, the HP Envy 13 offers solid performance and a superb display, though it faces tough competition in the ultraportable category.