While there are thousands of cheap laptop computers in the market, most of them would not last long in the hands of freelancers or students. Most laptops are not built rugged enough to be carried around or put in and pulled out of bags. They are not also made strong enough to occasionally and accidentally be bumped up against surfaces while in a backpack. That said, and against conventional reasoning, you do not have to spend too much money to get a laptop ragged enough to carry around while still giving you incredible performance and longevity.
Today, we are going to look at three amazing laptops that are inexpensive, look great, offer good performance and can serve for a long time under day to day handling. These laptops are not competitors by any means. Each has its unique characteristics and will serve different people in different ways depending on what you do.
Editors choice for the best laptop computers for students and freelancers
Acer Aspire 5
The Acer Aspire 5 is an excellent laptop for students who are looking for something with quite a bit of power, enough for both work and play. It comes in two variants, and the differentiator of the two is the processor. The cheaper model has a Core i5-7200U, and the higher-end model comes equipped with a 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7500U. Both of them come with 8GB of DDR4 SDRAM memory, 256GB SSD and Windows 10 Home. You can upgrade to Windows 10 pro if you like later.
The 15.6-inch screen has enough brightness for use both indoors and outdoors. It will not strain your eyes while you type, consume some media content or have some down time playing games. Speaking of games, the combination of a GeForce 940MX graphics chip and the 8GB of provided RAM is excellent. It should see you crush both your enemies and competitors while keeping your game settings at medium to high.
You might be disappointed to find that the battery life is an average of 5 hours if you have a full day of classes or work. However, that does improve a bit when you are not doing CPU- and GPU-intensive tasks. Another caveat is that this laptop is about 2.2 kg in weight. Although it is not thick or heavy by any means, it is possible to get a lighter alternative but not without sacrificing some performance or getting a much more expensive option.
Those who are looking for a thinner alternative to the Acer Aspire 5 can go with the Lenovo 320S. The Lenovo 320S comes in 4 different options, with screen sizes ranging from 14 to 17 inches. That said, we are going to look at the 14-inch model. This model strikes the sweet spot between portability, price and performance.
The Lenovo 320S has a LED-Backlit Display and comes equipped with an Intel i5-7200U Processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB of SSD storage and windows 10. The included SSD is snappy and the Core i5 CPU should be enough for both school and some light gaming.
The keyboard is built very really well for typing and gaming. The display can be a little dim for those who like their screens very bright. That said, images, media and games still come out crisp and sharp so that should not be too much of a worry. The Lenovo 320S is 1.7 kg and is therefore ultraportable.
Lastly, we have the Asus UX330. Right off the gate, this is a gorgeous and well-built laptop, but it can be a little more expensive than the two options above. It does offer a little bit more than the others as it has a USB-c port and a micro HDMI port for when you want to connect to an even bigger screen.
Speaking of screens, this one has a 13 inch one, of course, smaller than the other two options. It is 1080P in resolution and has a matte finish. This ensures it has no reflections and excellent viewing angles. The display does get very bright and the keyboard, which is very comfortable or a laptop of this size, is backlit. The trackpad is also excellent and accurate.
So, the Asus UX330 is a 13.3-Inch wide-view Full-HD laptop computer with Windows 10 Pre-installed. It comes with a 7th generation Intel i5-7200U 2.5 GHz Processor with a turbo boost of up to 3.1 GHz. It has fast storage and memory featuring 256GB SSD with 8GB DDR3 RAM, both very good for work, classes, media consumption and gaming. For media consumers, the speakers are perfect and combined with the excellent screen, this laptop is very well-rounded.
All three laptops we discussed are in the mid-range, both in pricing and performance. It is understandable that most people would want the latest hardware in their laptops. But it is important to keep in mind that there are some excellent laptops with 6th generation processors. These are a lot cheaper and are capable of both work and light gaming. It is a fact that laptops have come very far regarding looks and performance. If can you overlook the looks and can sacrifice a bit performance to go for a 6th generation laptop, it might help you save some money especially if you are a student.