The CHEAP Laptop Challenge

The CHEAP Laptop Challenge

Hey guys, this is Austin and have I got some deals for you In front of me. I have four brand new laptops, all purchased for $ 300 or less. Are you going back to school Or maybe buying your very first laptop, Or do you wan na give your kids something that they won’t be able to destroy the bank with
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So first up we have an HP laptop. So this is the smallest of the group at 14 inches, It’s a cheap laptop, but it’s not a “ craptop”.

As the kids say, There are lots of laptops which are available for significantly less than this say Chromebooks and what not. But, generally speaking you take a huge hit to the specs. I mean they’re, very much meant for like Chrome and maybe a second Chrome tab.
Whereas all of these laptops actually have real specs

We’Re talking Ryzen processors, we’re talking Core i3s, we’re talking stuff, which you can actually use for everyday use. Next up, we have the Acer Aspire.

5. Another system which comes in at exactly $ 300. This is a larger laptop, so it’s a 15 inch display.
However, there’s a couple things that really jump out, including this is powered by a Ryzen processor If it’s IPS and 1080P, this actually looks to be pretty solid. Next up, we have the ASUS VivoBook F510QA at an incredibly wallet busting $ 313

Another 15 inch laptop, So that’s uh, very plastic, but it’s got USB-C.

We also have an AMD A12 processor, which is a little bit um older, shall we say, But I will give it a fair try, nonetheless, Not bad, not bad, And if you really want to push the limits of budgets, you’ve got this guy. The Lenovo at $ 220
I will say definitely the cheapest, looking laptop here. It’S the only one with an optical drive, though Bet you didn’t see that one coming Now the real test will be which of these are actually good, Which of these are terrible.
And which of these should you spend your hard-earned or maybe more importantly, your parents’ hard-earned money on [ Ken ]? The answer is yes,

So after some time with these laptops, the hardware is one of the real areas that these jump out And in last place is certainly the Lenovo Now to be fair.

This is the cheapest laptop here.
The downside is, it actually feels like it, So the entire thing is just made out of very cheap feeling plastic, I’m sure it’ll be reasonably durable, but I mean there’s a lot of flex on like the screen. It just doesn’t really feel super well put together. Now that being said, there are some advantages:
The keyboard is completely fine. The track pad is solid.

It has okay ports as well as that DVD drive. However, it cannot measure up to the other laptops in its class In third place. We have the ASUS
Now this one actually looks really nice, although it is still made out of fairly cheap-feeling plastic

It does feel reasonably durable and it’s the only one with a fingerprint sensor, which is a legitimately big plus. The only thing that really pulls this ASUS down is the keyboard. It feels very cheap.

In fact, I spent a little bit of time with a $ 200 ASUS a little while ago, and it had almost the exact same keyboard.
It’S fine, it’s usable, but it’s dead last in this comparison, which puts it in third place for hardware In a very close second place. We have the HP Now. This is another laptop that definitely looks more expensive than its price tag suggests, and there’s not a lot to complain about. So you have a good keyboard, a solid track pad plenty of ports included again, you have USB-C.

Really. The only issue here is that there’s another laptop that just does everything a little bit better.
Spoiler alert it’s that one. It’S clear that Acer is using the same design for more expensive laptops, because this feels awesome. Not only do you have the aluminum lid importantly, you also have the back lit keyboard.

The only one of these cheap laptops that does

It’S really nice to type on You’ve got a solid touch pad.
And you also have a good selection of ports, An all around win for the Acer. Now, when it comes to buying a $ 300 laptop, something which is important is, can you actually upgrade it And to start out with, let’s see, what’s inside this Acer, So number one thing I notice is that we can very easily upgrade the memory
So standard all of these have 4GB of DDR4. However, it should be very easy to do which I think you should do, because not only is Ryzen going to be faster with more memory, but also 8GB is just nice and it’s pretty cheap right now.

Besides that, though, this seems to be pretty solid, We have a 48Wh battery.

We also have a WD 128GB NVMe drive.
This actually might be the cleanest easiest to work on laptop I’ve ever seen. This is wow. It’S gon na be tough to top this one. So as I’m taking apart the HP, I immediately have a note.

This is not as easy as the Acer
Not only do you have to take off the two rubber feet which, to be fair, is kinda easy to do. You also have to kinda disassemble this entire bottom piece. We do have what looks to be a SATA based drive. It looks like a SATA drive, but it is a M.2 style module.

We have an entirely empty 2
5 inch drive, So this is easy to jump up to 8GB of RAM throw another SSD in there. In fact, you can even swap out the stock one. The only real downside here is that it’s just not as easy to access It’s doable, but you’re gon na have to be a little careful. So next up we have the ASUS
Now this is well unnecessarily challenging.

Not only do you have a series of exposed screws on the back, but you also have screws underneath the feet, so you have to tear them up, which always is a pain.

Yet again we see a very similar case here We have 4GB of RAM, which you can easily upgrade that to 8 or I guess theoretically, 16, if you want, We do have an empty 2
5 inch drive bay,

As well as we have an SSD, which I assume is SATA Yes, So this is a Sandisk X600, so another 128GB SSD. My main gripe here is that this one is by far the most difficult to do.
Just because they’ve kind of added a bunch of hurdles with the different sizes of screws and removing the feet, But still very easily upgradable. The Lenovo is also not particularly easy to do Similar to the HP. It is kind of like a unibody style shell.

The first thing I notice is that, unlike the other systems we’ve been taking, a look at this is using a full 2
5 inch SSD, which means that there’s no to my knowledge, easy way of upgrading the drive here. You either have to replace your optical drive or you have to replace your optical drive, ( laughs, ), That’s pretty much! It There’s also no easy way of upgrading the RAM We have 4GB in here, and I think this is a very, very obvious last place.

Oh – and it only has a 30Wh battery again, the smallest of this entire comparison, Yeah Lenovo, is hard to get into not much upgradability tiny battery Thumbs down. Our next test is an incredibly demanding gaming benchmark known as Minecraft I’m just kidding that runs on everything.

We’Re gon na be trying Fortnite today, [ Ken ], Great (, laughs, ). First off we have the Acer, and this actually seems to have the best specs on paper, with a Ryzen, 3 processor and Vega graphics. However, it wants us to run at 480p and everything set to low

That’S not good
Yeah, If this can’t play at 720p, these other laptops certainly are not going to be capable. This is certainly not the best looking Fortnite experience in the world. However, the Acer is capable of playing it So running at 600p, with everything set to low yeah, I know, but it’s a $ 300 laptop, I’m actually getting reasonable frames.

I’M getting somewhere in the 40ish range, usually kind of bottoming out

That’S a that’s playable. It actually feels reasonably responsive, (, laughs, ). Look how bad that looks So uh 600p, even on low settings not remotely playable at all.
Well, when we drop the resolution to 360p, we get like 30ish frames per second Now I will say one thing with all of these systems: is that because they’re only using single channel memory, there are some more performance gains if you jump up to 8GB, But that’s Bad Not good. I don’t like that at all.

Let’S try the other systems. This is also bad. Now we have the Lenovo

Now this to be fair, is the cheapest system here, and it also is the least powerful, with an AMD A9 processor, (, laughs, ). Well, maybe don’t play Fortnite with this one.
I’M seriously so impressed with the Aspire 5.

I ended up spending $ 20 to upgrade it to 8GB of RAM and honestly, it has actually made a surprisingly big difference.

Purely by jumping to dual channel memory, we’re getting nearly 10 % better CPU performance and almost 20 % better graphics performance For $ 20. I mean that’s about the best bang, for your buck, upgrade that I’ve ever seen For significantly less than $ 400 you’re. Getting a solid laptop with a great 1080p IPS display, good keyboard touch pad, and importantly, you actually get pretty solid performance.
I mean if you’re looking for a laptop on a budget.

Read More: The Best $200 Laptop?

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