10 best laptops under £250

Looking to buy a good-value, efficient machine? IndyBest finds portable tech that won’t explode your Christmas present budget

Click to follow
The Independent Online

As technology has got better and cheaper, budget laptops have become not just cheap, but good too. Spending under £250 on a portable computer doesn’t mean compromising performance, and if you are using your laptop for normal, non-taxing tasks like email and web browsing, a budget laptop could be everything you need. Here’s our pick of the best.

{1} Acer Chromebook 13: £200, amazon

AN58452032acer-chromebook-1.jpg

Chromebooks use Google’s operating system – basically a browser window – which means that it’s best if you’re already using Google’s apps. The screen is nice, but matte, and the colour is a bit white. It’s the perfect laptop for working and writing on, though not as versatile as others.

Buy Now

{2} Dell Inspiron 15: £250, Dell

AN58452031dell-inspiron.jpg

While cheap laptops have often meant choosing between build quality or features, or specs or look, Dell’s Inspiron range fits everything in. It’s not especially spectacular or exciting — but everything works, and is good.

Buy Now

{3} Lenovo S20: £170, amazon

AN58452080lenovo-s20.jpg

Lenovo was doing cheap but very reliable laptops for longer than most, with the ThinkPad range that it bought from IBM in 2005. This is slightly cheaper than those, but packed with much the same quality.

Buy Now

{4} HP Stream: £179, John Lewis

 

AN58453771HP-Stream.jpg

The Stream is HP’s answer to the Chromebook: built to be online, which helps it be cheap and slim. It’s thin, light and sleek but also rugged. And comes in a range of sizes and colours.

Buy Now

{5} Asus Transformer T100: £249, Currys

 

AN58452030asus-transformer.jpg

This isn’t just a great budget laptop, but a good tablet too – the screen pops away from the keyboard, giving it its name. It couldn’t be your primary computer (the hard drive is very small, among other things), but if you’re after something compact in addition to an existing device, this could be it.

Buy Now

 

More tech: 11 best electronic toys
12 best gifts for tech lovers

 

{6} Toshiba Satellite C50D-B-120: £230, amazon

 

AN58452083toshiba-satellite.jpg

This has a 15.6ins screen, much bigger than many computers in this price bracket, but doesn’t compromise on the rest of the specs while doing it. If you’re after something big, well-built and light, this has it all.

Buy Now

{7} Asus EeeBook: £220, John Lewis

AN58452075asus-EeeBook.jpg

This tiny computer doesn’t make many of the mistakes that ultra-portable laptops do, like feeling flimsy and difficult to type on, but it’s still small and light.

Buy Now

{8} Lenovo Flex 10: £200, amazon

AN58452077lenovo-flex.jpg

Lenovo, which has built a niche in building bendy laptops, has made this computer, which can bend its keyboard all the way round to hide it away. It’s not a fully hybrid laptop – but if you like using a touchscreen, this could be the one.

Buy Now

{9} Acer Aspire ES1-311: £249, amazon

AN58452029acer-aspire-es1-3.jpg

This is a real workhorse – budget, but as good as many laptops that go for a much higher price. If you’re after a simple but trustworthy machine, this has great specs (including a 1TB hard drive) but at a good price.

Buy Now

{10} Dell Chromebook 11: £193, Currys

AN58453678dell-chromebook-1.jpg

But if you’re after a smaller Chromebook – what used to be called a netbook – this can do the job. It’s light and easy to use despite the size, and its battery lasts for ages. Again, be sure that a Chromebook is the right thing; but if you are, this is a great portable one.

Buy Now

Verdict: 

If you’re happy to use a Chromebook, then Acer’s is a great computer — but you should be sure that you’re happy with Chrome OS. Our favourite bigger budget laptop is Dell’s Inspiron, and if you want something smaller then we prefer the Asus EeeBook.

More for him: 19 best menswear gifts
10 best gifts for teenage boys
12 best gifts for tech lovers
13 best gifts for sports fans
More for her: 14 best jewellery and watches
23 best perfumes
10 best beauty gifts
17 best womenswear gifts

10 best Christmas party clutch bags
17 best beauty gifts under £50

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

Comments