12 Best Laptops Under $700 in 2018
We are fond of saying, “There is something for everyone.” when dealing with products of any kind, especially tech. That’s never been truer than when dealing with laptops as they can range from 10 to 21” in size and some are more powerful than desktops. There is also a price for every consumer, including folks looking for the best laptops under 700 bucks.
While it’s nice to be able to shop without a limit, that is not an option for most of us. At $700, you are at a range where plenty of choices are available aside from MacBooks or machines with UHD displays. We have compiled a quick list featuring the best options for consumers on a budget along with a quick guide to help you with the finer points.
Top 12 Laptops Under $700 Ultimate Table
What Will You Use Your Laptop For?
Are you looking for a laptop that has a lot of speed or do you need one with an ample amount of storage under the hood? Those are just a few of the things you should ask yourself when looking for the best laptops under $700. At this price level, there are going to be some drawbacks although the doors are wide open when it comes to a style to suit everyone’s needs.
Specifications aside, if you are a student or plan to travel with your laptop more often than not, you will want something light. At this range, high-powered Ultrabooks are out, but Chromebooks aren’t although you’ll have to do without Windows. Regardless of which way you decide to turn, think about your needs, where you’ll use your laptop the most, and how long you plan on keeping the machine before upgrading.
For our purposes, we are just going to talk about three main areas here with the processor, the memory or RAM, and storage. The processor is what drives your PC, and the chips can range from an AMD processor to the Intel Core series. Those go from an i3 to an i7, with the latter being top of its class. That said, each chip has a “generation” as well, so a 5th gen chip i5 will not perform the same as a 7th generation processor.
With RAM, the standard is 8GB although you will still find laptops with 4GB under the hood; this allows you to handle more than one program at a time, so the more you can afford, the better if you need performance out of your PC. Storage will come in two different flavors with a hard disk drive or a solid-state drive. The former comes in larger capacities but is slower than solid-state drives, which offer up speedy access to your data.
This ties into what you plan on using your laptop for as features are what separates an average laptop from the best. While we won’t go into all you can expect, we will tell you a few things you need to look for across the board. Ports are important as they let you connect to other peripherals including mice, external hard drives, and even VR kits. The fastest port types are currently Type-C USB and USB 3.0, two options you should be able to find in this class. Consumers interested in AV will also want to look for HDMI out.
Optical drives are slowly dying out, but you can still find them on some of the best laptops under $700 and on a few above that range as well. They are important if you plan to run any legacy software on a disk or have old backups you want to install on your new PC. While those are the key areas, others include the cooling system, backlit keyboards, touchscreens and microSD card readers.
Top 5 Best Laptops Under $700 Reviews
Chromebooks have gained a lot of ground since they first sprang onto the scene in 2011. Their usage is still limited by the amount of power they provide and the OS, but newer models are head turners like the ASUS Chromebook Flip.
If you are unfamiliar with the Chrome OS, here’s the skinny. It is an Android-based operating system built by Google as a lightweight alternative that works with the cloud. Like all Chromebooks, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA relies on the cloud for storage as you are only going to get 64GB out of the box. There’s no help coming with the other components however as you’re stuck with 4GB of RAM and an Intel Core M chip. The display is listed at 12.5” and is a Full HD touchscreen.
If you’re wondering why this laptop ended up at number one, it is due to a combination of the price, performance, and battery life. Well, that and the fact it is a convertible so you can use it in tent or tablet mode. It’s best suited for students or consumers that don’t rely on Windows with the only negative being the power shortage.
If you appreciate what our top choice brings to the table in regards to its convertible sensibilities, but want something larger, hang onto your hats. The Lenovo Flex 4 laptop is considerably bigger than the ASUS Chromebook, and you’ll get the full power of Windows 10 on board as well.
Speaking of power, you will have enough to make this one your daily driver provided you don’t run high-end games. It comes with 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5-7200U, which is a current 7th generation chip. The 15.6” IPS display supports 10-finger touch and is FHD, but you’ll have to make due with integrated graphics from Intel. If the cloud is not your cup of tea, you’ll be pleased to know the Lenovo Flex 4 sports a 1TB hard disk drive. It is just as convertible as the Chromebook, only bigger and more powerful.
Convertible laptops are an acquired taste for some although that doesn’t seem to be the case with this model. The hinges are sturdy enough to handle daily use in various modes, and it has more pop than other convertibles in this range. If there is a drawback, it’s the battery life which is rated at 5-6 hours depending on your usage.
ASUS cracked our Top 5 with two machines, the second being the ASUS ZenBook UX330OUA. The moniker may not roll off the tongue, but we think you will be impressed by what this one can do and the long list of features you’ll receive straight out of the box.
The ASUS ZenBook is our first “regular” laptop as you can’t twist the lid backward or use it as a large tablet. It’s also a slim one considering it measures 12.7” x 8.7” x .05” and weighs only 2.6 pounds. That’s impressive when you factor in the 13.3” FHD display, 256GB solid-state drive and 8GB of RAM. When combined with the Core i5-7200U, it’s a mid-range laptop that won’t break the bank and has a clean design with a sleek aluminum shell. It also comes with a fingerprint reader for fast logins and safety.
The ZenBook may be thin, but it certainly has enough power to get you through the day regarding battery life and performance. It’s not going to be a beast when it comes to gaming although that’s par for the course in this class. The battery life is outstanding at 12 hours, and it will arrive at your doorstep running Windows 10.
Now we are going to take a look at something a little larger than the rest of our picks. The Acer Aspire Full HD Flagship Gaming Laptop is a beast with a 17.3” display. The innards don’t quite live up to that screen, but it does have one feature usually reserved for laptops in a higher tier.
Manufacturers are known to throw around buzzwords to entice buyers to a product, so when they say “gaming laptop” you want to take that light if it’s under $700. Acer made sure this one lives up to the hype as it sports a GeForce 940MX dedicated graphics card with 2GB of VRAM. When combined with 8GB of RAM and the popular Core i5-7200U, you will be able to run games other laptops cannot. They will good on that large widescreen display as well. A full array of connectivity options are present on the laptop with two 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, HDMI out, LAN and a media card reader.
While we dig the style and size of this particular PC from Acer, there are a few significant drawbacks with going this large. It’s heavy at over 6 pounds, and the battery life is not exactly what we would call great at around 5 1/2 hours per charge. If you don’t plan to game while you travel this one is still a fine option; it’s just not for consumers that need a svelte PC.
The ThinkPad line has been going strong since the 90s, and while things changed when Lenovo took the helm, they are still considered some of the best laptops money can buy. Some are also quite affordable, including the ThinkPad Edge E560, a machined labeled as a Business PC.
You can use almost any laptop in a business setting provided it has enough power to keep the lights on and the processor humming. Machines built for that niche are different however and tend to come with perks you may not find elsewhere. In this case, it’s a fingerprint reader and a pointing stick in the middle of the keyboard. Your files will be safe on the 500GB hard drive, and you’ll even get the ability to use disks courtesy of the optical drive. It has 8GB of RAM like most models at this price but has a slightly older processor in the Intel Core i5-6200U.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge has almost everything you could want from a laptop including a broad range of ports and a built quality that is second to none. Seriously, these laptops are tough. The battery life is also better than average at around 9 hours considering it has a 15.6” display. Unfortunately, that’s also a weakness as it only has a resolution of 1,366 x 768 otherwise known as HD.