Your guide to the best laptops under $700

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Most people still believe that you need to make a significant investment when buying a laptop. Not long ago, this was undoubtedly the case, as new technology and the hardware needed to go along with it were very expensive. Now you can get a high-quality machine for much less than you’d think.

Laptops have been a staple for computer users for years, and a Japanese company named Seiko-Epson introduced the first-ever laptop as we now know it back in 1982. Since then, their use has been rapidly climbing, and most people probably have laptops in their homes. Unfortunately, with the increased use, they have become quite costly, and nowadays, it’s not surprising to spend more than $1,000 on a laptop. The highest quality laptops can be pretty expensive, and if you are looking for added interests such as gaming, you may have to pay even more.

But, can you get a reasonably priced laptop? Must you spend so much on laptops? Well, the good news is that you can actually spend less on a computer and still get the value you are looking for.

So, in this review, we take a look at the best laptops under $700. Of course, it is possible, but at this price range, do not expect too much—just basic computer functions such as document editing, internet, video watching, etc.

For this price, you should expect the following features;

  • Around 128 GB SSD of storage
  • Around 8GB RAM
  • Ethernet and HDMI ports
  • A dual-core processor
  • 2 USB ports
  • An integrated graphics card.
  • Between 14 and 15.6 inch display
  • Around 1920 X 1080 resolution.
  • Windows 10

These laptops are, however, extremely reliable, although there is room for improvement in them. Luckily, you could easily upgrade their hardware if you like, such as the RAM, graphics card, and Memory card. 

Here’s our review of the best Laptops to buy under $700*

laptop

The Reviews

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Specs

  • Processor – Intel Core i3; 1005GI
  • RAM – 8GB
  • Storage – 1TB HDD +128GB SSD
  • Display – Screen size 15.6 inch HD with 1366 x 768 pixels
  • OS – Windows 10
  • Battery Life – can last up to 5 hours.
  • Extra feature – touchscreen display

This is a 10th Generation Intel Core processor with an affordable budget. It is one of the best laptops you can put your money on.

It is a heavy product with an excellent operating system. It is a great bet, courtesy of the dual storage and many other high-valued specs.

CPU

The inbuilt processor can reach a speed of up to 3.5GHz, and the 4MB cache memory associated with the dual-core perfectly complements the 8GB RAM. 

Graphics

It comes with a UHD graphics card that is highly satisfactory if you are going to play some games with the machine. 

Storage

There is a dual storage space that is way more than you could ever expect with a laptop of this price range, and the 1TB hard drive plus the 128 SSD are excellent for your everyday needs.

The Display Screen

This comes in at 15.6 inches of HD screen, and although it doesn’t have the best color accuracy or viewing angles, it still offers excellent support for you.

Ports

The ports are diversified, and you will find the USB Type-A, 2.0, 3.0, an HDMI slot, and many other slots for your connectivity.

The internet connection is strong with the Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1.

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Acer Aspire 5

This laptop is ideal for almost everyone, business owners, college students, etc. As a laptop, it practically has everything you need.

Specs

  • Ram – 8GB
  • CPU – Core i5 1GHZ Intel Core
  • Storage – 256GB SSD
  • Display – 15.6-inch FHD IPS; 1920 X 1080
  • GPU – Integrated Intel UHD
  • Battery – lasts up to 8 hours

The Display

The screen measures 15.6 inches of Full HD widescreen. It features a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and makes room for exceptional reproduction of color.

This color intelligence makes the machine vibrant and also improves the quality of the visuals. In addition, there is a Blue Light Shield intuition on the laptop from the company used as an anti-strain and anti-glare viewing.

CPU, Storage, and RAM

The processing power is a 10th Gen Intel chipset, which is a revolutionary addition to the laptop. 

The i5-1035G1 can turbo a boost up to 3.6GHz speed, allowing you to handle all sorts of demanding professional tasks with plenty of ease.

There is smart cache support of around 6MB that provides quick access, whereas the built-in 8GB RAM further bolsters the processing skill for the machine. 

The 256GB SSD is pretty decent for storage and provides faster writing, reading, transferring, and speeds up the boot-up speed.

GPU

This machine has an Intel UHD GPU that is extremely fast for graphics and has a decent user interface with battery backup for up to 8 hours. These stats make it a mid-range kind of device, ideal for handling any power outages.

Ports

This machine has plenty of other brilliant specs that includes some acoustics of TrueHarmony tech and Wi-Fi 6 Compatibility. 

This combination gives the Aspire 5 one of the fastest possible wireless connections. It also packs a responsive fingerprint reader with a much anticipated backlit keyboard that offers optimal typing performance.

Other than all that, there is a USB Type-C port and lots of different functional slots for you to use.

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Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Specs

  • RAM – 12GB
  • Storage – 256GB SSD
  • CPU – Intel Core i5 – 1035GI, IGHZ, 
  • Display screen – 15.6 inches touch screen HD; 1366 X 768
  • GPU – Integrated Intel UHD
  • Battery – lasts up to 4 hours.

This laptop is an excellent and affordable solution for professionals and students looking for a machine to handle their daily chores. It can help with programming, managing documents, listening to music, and even watching movies.

The price is also affordable and will not put a dent in your wallet.

GPU and CPU

The machine has four cores – the Intel Core i5 1035GI clocking the base frequency of 1GHZ. It can handle standard productivity jobs that require surfing and editing documents. 

Its turbo boost speed is 3.6 GHz, which means that it can handle some serious CPU-Intensive tasks aided by the Intel UHD graphics.

Storage and RAM

This machine eases through programming IDEs, streaming music and videos, editing multiple documents. 

With a RAM of 12GB, it has a fast read/write speed in the 256GB SSD.

The windows 10 Home edition comes with part of the package. In addition, the built-in camera with IR minimizes the issues of remembering passwords as it has facial recognition options.

Display

It has HD Truebite technology powering the 15.6-inch touch screen with lots of clarity and color profiles. 

The resolution of 1366 X 768 pixels is pretty great.

The touchscreen is an excellent added advantage for students who wish to use laptops for sketching and illustrations.

This IdeaPad comes in a minimalist grey chassis that weighs around 4.07lbs.

Trackpad and Keyboard

The arrow keys are a little cramped, but it has a full-sized keyboard with ample room for a numeric pad.

It also has sufficient key travel that keeps long typing sessions extremely pleasant due to the adequate spacing of the keys. This ensures minimal errors. 

The touchpad is also spacious and can accommodate huge hands, plus it has a smooth control and response.

Ports

This laptop has one HDMI port, three USB ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a media card reader. These help you to stay connected with any external displays. 

You can also extend your memory and keep connected with multiple accessories. In addition, the Lenovo support to Wi-Fi will give you access to wireless internet connectivity.

The battery will last you up to 4 hours of usage, and this is a 10th generation quad-core multi-threading processor with the power to take care of your everyday chores.

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Acer Swift 3

Specs

  • CPU – 2.1 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
  • RAM – 8 GB
  • Storage – 256 GB SSD
  • Display – 14-inch FHD IPS: 1920 x 1080
  • Battery life – up to 11.5 hours
  • GPU – Integrated AMD Radeon

This new and improved Acer Swift 3 is highly eye-pleasing with an Aluminum –clad chassis.

The sleekness of this machine stands out at 0.59 inches, and it is incredibly light, weighing 2.65 pounds, which makes it one of the perfect choices for homeschoolers and travelers.

The metallic aesthetic components have a premium look, and they deserve all of the accolades.

The display

The Swift has a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 X 1080 pixels. It boasts of an infectious clarity with the sharpest possible view angles. 

Additionally, it has a vibrant IPS panel that features color intelligence technology from the Acer Company, which is further complemented by the super-slim bezels.

There is a configured Windows 10 home OS that bolsters an intuitive user interface.

CPU, RAM, and GPU

The Acer brings forth an AMD Ryzen 5 4522 U chipset that can clock speeds up to 4GHz. 

These specs can handle many computing tasks, including running GIS Software, streaming on Twitch, and much, much more.

The 8 GB DDR4 RAM is highly decent for a machine, and it further accentuates this computer’s processing skills.

It has a graphics rendering that is more decent when used with an integrated AMD Radeon graphics.

Storage capacity

The 6MB cache memory is what stands out most in this machine. It allows the users to indulge in various extremely productive tasks that require very little access time.

The storage of 256GB SSD supports the faster boot-up, and other than that, this device can run non-stop for up to 11.5 hours without requiring a re-charge.

Ports

The other excellent specs of this machine are the acoustic support that is courtesy of True Harmony technology.

Acer has a backlit keyboard, USB ports, which include a Type-C 3.0 port, an HB webcam, and much more.

The Gigabit Wi-Fi tech display makes way for one of the fastest possible connections.

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Chuwi GemiBook 13

Specs

  • CPU – 1.8 GHz Intel Celeron J4115
  • RAM – 12GB
  • Storage – 256GB SSD
  • Display – 13-inch 2KIPS: 2160 X 1440
  • GPU – Integrated Intel UHD 600
  • Battery life – up to 9 hours.

These specs make for an impressive and high-quality machine with copious amounts of memory and an SSD. This gives the CHUWI GemiBook machine an upper hand regardless of the lack of multi-thread capability.

GPU and CPU

The Intel Celeron J4115 has got an operating base speed of 1.6GHz with four single-thread cores. Its Turbo frequency is 2.5GHz, and it is available for intensive CPU operations.

The UHD Graphics integrated Intel processing unit uses the RAM, and its performance boosts the machine while rendering images and videos of high quality.

Storage and RAM

This machine is way ahead of its competition with its combination of the 256GB SSD and the 12GB RAM. 

Chuwi laptops usually add comfort for the user with the Windows 10 Home Edition and access to a wide selection of software and applications.

Display Screen

This machine has a 13-inch screen with a 3.2 aspect ratio and thin bezels. 

A comprehensive 70% color gamut of NTSC with a resolution of 2160 X 1410 pixels will take you on a top-notch visual experience.

The machine weighs around 2.8lbs, and Chuwi keeps it lightweight with a magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis.

Touchpad and Keyboard

The machine has a full-sized keyboard that will get you comfort from the backlight, which is a true rarity with this price range.

Do not let the lack of a numeric pad bother you at all, as the spacing depth is adequate and comfortable for complete error-free typing.

Chuwi makes a cheap device with a large touchpad and adds comfort to the machine’s operations.

Ports

The laptop has Type – C and Type-A – USB ports, each with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Micro-SD Card Reader.

The port limitation should not overshadow the utility of this machine, as you can enjoy the Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5 that offers a high-speed wireless connection.

This machine’s low-energy design extends the battery life by up to 9 hours without needing a re-charge. If you are a homemaker, then you will undoubtedly enjoy the detailed visual experience it brings.

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Bonus Review 

If you’re willing to spend slightly more for a laptop, this machine is a great option:

Asus VivoBook 15″

Specs

  • RAM – 8 GB
  • CPU – Intel core i5, 1.1 GHz 1035GI
  • Storage – 512 GB SSD
  • DISPLAY – 15.6 inches, FHD IPS; 1920 X 1080
  • GPU – Integrated Intel UHD
  • Battery Life: Can Last up to 8 hours.

This is the new and improved laptop from ASUS, and it is indeed one of the best you can find for under $700. 

Despite its lightweight chassis, it weighs 3.5 pounds and has some incredibly innovative design elements at its helm. It keeps the durability intact.

CPU, RAM, Storage, and GPU

The 10th Generation Intel Core i5 machine is clocked at 1.1 GHz, although it can reach up to 3.6GHz when turbo processing is required.

This processor works together with 8GB of RAM.

They work in unison to ensure that the device does not experience any lagging. In addition, the storage support of 512GB is solid enough and helps to speed up the booting process.

Display

You get a screen with 1920 X 1080 pixels of Full HD. This resolution accounts for excellent display. The screen also measures 15.6 inches which is broad enough and innovative.

This laptop is perfect for screen-to-body ratio and has got slimmer bezels on display. Additionally, it is a standard edition with new features such as an edge browser, complimentary upgrades to the Pro Version, and a start menu.

Ports

It has a continuous 8 hours backup which covers medium to heavy use. The other innovative features include USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. These ports are ideal for increasing productivity.

There is also an integrated fingerprint reader for security purposes and Bluetooth support with a backlit keyboard for added and optimal typing performance.

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Buying Guide for the Best Laptops under $700

What are some things to look out for when buying a laptop?

When looking for a machine that can save you some money, it doesn’t hurt to have a list of specs you should look for.

We have come up with a few guidelines that will help you make this decision quickly. Here’s what you need to look for;

Display Size

Before even looking at specifications, it is good to decide beforehand what you need regarding the machine’s portability and the scope of its display.

Laptops come in a variety of screen sizes, from 11 inches to 18 inches.

The 11 – 12 Inch laptops tend to be the lightest and the thinnest. They are highly portable, and they tend to weigh less than three pounds, which means you should consider them if you will be carrying the laptop around a lot.

The 13 -14 inch laptops have similar portability, but they have added usability due to their wide keyboards and large screens.

With the 15-inch, the weight is usually on the high side of between 4.5 and five pounds. These factors should be considered when looking for a laptop for desk or table users rather than moving around with them.

Resolution

Typically measured in pixels, the higher the resolution in a machine, the clearer and sharper the images and details on the screen.

Usually, a resolution is supposed to match the screen size to achieve optimal image quality.

With 768p and 900p, you are okay, but the best is usually 1080p. This is also known as FHD. Anything higher than this will be costlier and general overkill. 

CPU

A Processor is the brains behind your machine, and to give you an idea of what we are talking about, here’s what you are likely to find on the market when searching for a laptop;

Celeron/Intel Pentium

The Pentium is the slowest CPU which in turn means that your machine will have the slowest performance. You don’t want this, of course. So, choose this type if you are only looking for a device for basic tasks without any heavy multitasking. But, unfortunately, it cannot handle it.

AMD A, E Series, or FX

This one will provide you with decent performance when web surfing, media viewing, and performing basic tasks.

Intel Core i3

This is the best for do-it-all chipsets. It can handle multimedia, web browsing, intermediate workload without any hitches, and entry-level gaming.

Intel Core i5

Of all the Cores, this is the most reliable in speed and can handle multifunctioning workstations and even some hard-core gaming. If you can get a machine with this CPU speed at this price, you should consider buying it.

AMD Ryzen

This one is equivalent to core i5 CPUs, and although the later – Core i5 still holds a bit of an edge to it when it comes to gaming laptops, the Ryzen series is the most affordable for this high speed.

The RAM

The RAM is used to store information that your laptop needs at the moment. This makes it easy for you to retrieve the information quickly. 

It, therefore, affects the speed of your system and its functionality as well. 

The more programs you run on the machine, the more RAM you will need. The budget laptops will come with between 4GB and 8GB RAMS. 

The 4GB is ideal for light users, but if your work is more demanding such as video editing and photo editing, you could opt for the 8GB capacity.

Storage

You could either use a Solid State Drive – SSD or a Hard Disk Drive – HDD with storage. Skipping the technical side of the meaning of these two, know that they are both different forms of storage.

However, the SDD is faster and stores more data instantly accessible by the memory chips.

Affordable laptops with 500GB HDD storage are pretty sufficient for most people other than power users and gamers.

You’d better get an SSD if space is less as it will make your laptop almost three times faster.

The Battery Life

We all would love a laptop that can work for hours without the need to be charged, which doesn’t always happen, probably because we are never keen on this specification to start with.

Now, if you are buying a new machine, do not skimp on the battery life. If you are someone that sits on your desk working on your device all day, then look for a battery that can last at least 8 hours without needing a power source connection.

However, note that the high battery rating – Whr, does not always mean a long battery life.

GPU

The GPU is a great matter of concern for video editors and gamers. However, if you happen to create 3D objects, do high-resolution video editing, or play heavy games, then you will undoubtedly be happy with the Intel UHD Graphics that is built into most machines.

The GPU unit is available on machines of this price range. 

Conclusion

Wow. It’s hard to believe that you can find great laptops without a $1,000 plus price tag. Some of the laptops we have reviewed above even come with a price below $400 and can still provide the required functionality.

Look at the buying guide to see what you should look for when choosing a good laptop for everyday use. We hope that this was helpful information—all the best as you select your next laptop. 

*Amazon prices can fluctuate. So we can’t guarantee that the price will be under $700 when you are looking to buy, but all these laptops will be very close to it!

This article originally appeared on Gamer Investments and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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Great tech holiday gifts for under $50

Great tech holiday gifts for under $50

Gift-giving is one part of the holiday season that can be both enjoyable — but also sometimes a bit stressful. It’s wonderful to find gifts that a loved one and friend will appreciate, but making sure you stick to a budget can be wonderful too. Every one of these 12 ideas come in at under $50 — some far more affordable than that — and we’re sure one of these will be perfect for someone on your holiday list.

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As a basic device, the $49.99 Lenovo Smart Clock Essential just works. Take a walk back in time and return to simple bedside devices that divulged basic details in square, blocked-off LED numbers. They’re easy to read, and deliver just enough information to get you out of bed in the morning. You can certainly set an alarm on your smartphone, and access Google Assistant from that handheld as well. But the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential brings up Google Assistant on request, and also doubles as a USB charger, small speaker and nice little alarm clock, too. It’s covered in gray fabric, giving it a nice home-like feel, too.

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Who doesn’t like to write on the wall? That’s the idea behind the Rocketbook Think Board X2, a slim sticker that is a white board-like surface allowing you to use dry erase markers and wipe the board clean each time. With a reusable backing, you can install the rectangular sheet in seconds and also reposition it where you want (that also means you can orient it anyway you want as well). With Rocketbook Beacons embedded on the Think Board X2, you can also send the image to multiple locations and people at the same time — and even broadcast it live during a meeting or class. And all of this is starting at just $12 for an 8 x 11-inch sheet and $40 for a 2 x 3-foot option.

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Amazon updated their entire line of Alexa-enabled Echo smart speakers this year with cool new designs, including the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen). The rounded, globe shape is great for sound, and you can stream music from a slew of popular services including Spotify, SiriusXM, Amazon Music and even Apple Music. Plus, of course, you can call up Alexa for assistance when needed from the smart speaker, and still tap into all the regular features you can expect including the ability to mute the microphone when you just want some privacy.

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This cute, red Flashlight Powerbank is a diminutive device — but it also doubles as a power bank for your mobile phone. On the bottom is a USB port that connects to the smartphone via a cable — and that’s also how you can recharge this flashlight battery as well. Just 5.25 x 1.25-inches in size, this is small enough to toss into a bag or even a pocket. Even better? It’s on sale for just $9.95.

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The new Chromecast immediately connects to most streaming services, from YouTube (owned by Google), Netflix and HBO Max, to Disney+ and more. It plugs into your TV’s HDMI port, and sports HDMI pass-through of Dolby audio content. It’s the first entry device to show off Google TV, a new system that is designed to help organize the way you search and find content to watch.

New to Chromecast is also a remote control, with a dedicated button for Google Assistant, meaning you can pull up shows and search via voice. And of course since you have access to the voice assistant you can use it to access other information, including devices you have installed in your home. The remote also has a dedicated button for YouTube and Netflix as well. The new Chromecast comes in three colors including snow, sky and sunrise, a deep pink, all for $49.99.

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The C by GE Wire-Free Dimmer + Color Control Smart Switch has a number of cool features. The device, a little over $20, can turn the light on and off, it can dim and brighten lights and it can also shift the color temperature from warmer tones to cooler ones, all from the switch and the app. You can also control lights from outside of a room.

But of course the main feature is you can add a smart switch and dimmer without having to re-wire. This solves a massive pain point that has been a hindrance for many who want to add smart switches to their homes. It’s a great device that creates options to put a switch anywhere they want in someone’s home, and a great option for any friend.

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Sometimes you just need to belt out a song or two wherever you are. That’s where the Karaoke Microphone Speaker comes into play, which connects to your music app or library via a Bluetooth connection, so the microphone can amplify your voice and also act as a speaker. Plus, you can recharge this $50 Karaoke device, which holds eight hours of charge, with a USB charging cable.

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If there’s one item that almost everyone has grown more comfortable using, it’s a webcam — and the $49.99 Aukey Webcam is one of our favorites. It has a small field of view, but when you’re checking in with grandparents or friends who are still some distance away, the webcam does a great job of keeping you or your loved ones in the frame — which is the most important element. You also get noise-reducing stereo microphones, a clip for attaching to your screen, an industry-standard ¼-inch screw mount for attaching to tripods and — this works with all popular video chat applications.

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The holidays typically come, for many us, during the colder weather months. And the X-Cap Light Up Hat is a great accessory that’s both practical, and has a tech edge. The $35 acrylic cap lights up, and this 120-lumen light pops out from the hat, meaning you can wash the hat. Plus this makes it easy to recharge the light itself through a USB port, giving it about four hours of use per charge.

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This stylish scale reads nine metrics and integrates with Apple Health and Google Fit. The Wyze Scale has a digital display for showing the basics, then connects to a smartphone over Bluetooth, where the Wyze apps give a more detailed look at body composition. The scale is also attractive and feels well-made, is easy to set up and use — and it’s just under $25, making it one of the most affordable gifts we can recommend this year.

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The Automatic Illuminator is one of those devices that everyone has needed at least once in their life — a light in their backpack, luggage, bag or purse. The just-under $30 LED light turns on by touching it or just by sensing motion around it. And the Automatic Illuminator doesn’t stay on for a long time, but just for a few moments, long enough to find what you’re seeing inside your bag, and not so long that it drains the battery. It should work 6,000 times before needing to replace the two AAA batteries.

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A heavy duty power bank is never a bad idea, especially one that can recharge not only your smartphone, but also several others. (Who doesn’t like to share?) The one-pound Anker PowerCore Lite 20,000mAh can actually recharge a smartphone up to five times on one charge, and it has two regular USB A ports so someone can charge their phone, and a friend’s, too. And you can get all of that for just $45.99. 

And if you’re looking for more ideas, check out our 2019 holiday tech gift ideas under $50 with ideas that are still available this year.

Also, check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with smart devices.

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Featured Image Credit: Michael Krinke.

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