Great news! If you only have $200 to spend on a laptop, your options are far better than they used to be. While these machines aren’t built for hardcore gaming or video editing, they’re more than enough for web browsing and writing papers.
These days, sub-$200 laptops commonly ship with HD displays, full Windows 10, but some great options use Google’s ChromeOS instead. Many also come with a free year of Microsoft Office 365 or bonus Google Drive storage—perfect for the students they’re targeting.
To find the best of this affordable bunch, we researched and went hands-on with the best cheap laptops we found. While some picks remain more or less the same from when we did our original guide in 2016, we found plenty of fresh models to choose from this year. Granted, some models have an MSRP higher than our $200 target, but everything we recommend can usually be had at or around $200 from popular retailers.
The result? After months of testing, our top pick is the Acer Chromebook 11 (available at Amazon for $269.99), with a separate recommendation for the Asus Chromebook C202SA-YS02 as our favorite Chromebook. These two, along with a handful of others that we like, prove that you can get quite a bit for your money these days.