If you have set a budget for the laptop you want, then you are already a step closer to the finish line. However, with so many options available, getting the best laptops under $700 may cause a dilemma – how do you know which one is right for your specific needs? And, who has the time to do so much research?
Well, we have done all the heavy lifting, and bring you this detailed review of the best laptops under $700 that you can buy. They are not the most powerful laptops on the market but can run almost every program you want to and they provide excellent versatility. After all, $700 is just above the world average price!
The top pick: Acer Nitro 5. This is a gaming laptop, but it can handle any other tasks you throw at it. The Nitro 5 has the best overall specs, including Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU, a 2.3 GHz Core i5 processor, and a reasonable RAM of 8 GB alongside an expected resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. It also supports USB Type C, comes in various configurations, and has much room for the expansion of specs.
|Top Pick||Acer Aspire 5||
|Top Versatility Laptop||Microsoft Surface Pro||
|Budget Pick||Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5577 Laptop||
|All around Laptop||Acer Nitro 5||
|ASUS ZenBook 13||
|Asus Vivobook S15 S512||
|2020 HP 15-dy 1752ms||
|2020 Lenovo Ideapad 330S||
|Acer Swift 3 SF315-41G||
|HP Envy x360||
|HP Pavilion 15 Gaming Laptop||
1. Acer Aspire 5 – Great portable laptop with a powerful processor
- Processor: 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10210U processor 1.6GHz, with Turbo Boost Technology up to 4.2GHz
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX 250 with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5
- Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Display: 15.6″ Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display
- RAM: 8GB DDR4
- Battery Life: Up to 9.5 hours
- Weight: 6 lbs
- Price: $745
Any true budget-friendly laptop places most emphasis on internal components. That’s exactly what you get with Acer’s Aspire 5. With 1.6 GHz, there is nothing fancy about its 10th generation core i5 processor. However, the 8GB of RAM is pretty solid and matches every other laptop on this list. The full HD IPS display provides great viewing angles and a matte finish backs this up by distracting reflections.
It features a decent low-end GPU (GeForce Mx 250) which is capable of providing acceptable frames per second at low-to-medium details such as 1080P. That being said, this is hardly a gaming laptop, particularly when you factor in the 1.6GHz processor. For gaming, you may want to consider other laptops on this list, such as the 2020 HP Pavilion x360 or the Dell Inspiron 5.
Externally, the Aspire 5’s build is mostly plastic, but they’ve classed it up a bit with a thin sheet of aluminum. That’s not to say it doesn’t look and feel great for this price range. And at 3.8 pounds, it is also quite lightweight. You’ll also find four USB ports, two of which are USB 3.0 Gen 1 and one is a USB 2.0 port. There’s also a USB-C port, though it’s a 3.1 Gen 1 which doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3.
2. Microsoft Surface Pro – The versatility of both a laptop and a tablet. Ideal for students
- Processor: 8th-gen Intel Core i5 with a Core i7 option
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Storage: 128 GB SSD with a 256 GB option
- Display: 12.3 in (2,736 x 1,824 pixels)
- RAM: 8GB with a 16GB option
- Battery Life: 9 hours and 20 minutes
- Weight: 3.50 lbs
- Price: $738
Although most 2-in-1 laptop buyers love the Microsoft Surface Pro series, its short battery life is always a disadvantage. However, the new Surface Pro 6 performs significantly better than previous models. It lasts at least 2 hours longer than its predecessors. At 1.3GHz, the processor is faster than previous models too. Compared to other laptops on this list, the Surface Pro 6 also boasts the best display.
Beyond battery life, speed, and the new black look however, the Surface Pro 6 shows no significant improvements on its predecessors. It still doesn’t have USB-C and features the same body with rounded edges (great for hand-held comfort). The dimensions, weight, screen size (12.3”), and front-firing speakers have not changed either.
Furthermore, just like other 2-in-1’s from Microsoft, the Surface Pro 6 comes with Windows 10 and has a kickstand, which allows you to place it on a table. However, the TypeCover keyboard and pen come separately, which takes this tablet out of the best laptops under $700 category when considering purchasing all the necessary components.
3. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5577 Laptop – Economical gaming laptop
- Processor: Intel Core i5, clocked at 3.5 GHz 8032
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB VRAM
- Storage: 1 TB HDD or 256 SSD
- Display: 15.6 inches (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)
- RAM: 8GB
- Battery Life: 2 hours
- Weight: 5.66 lbs
- Price: $799
Thanks to its 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, the Inspiron 15 5000 is a great budget gaming laptop which gives good overall performance. It meets the minimum requirements for most modern and demanding games at medium detail settings.
For example, games such as Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto V pose no problems for the Inspiron 15 5000. With Apex Legends, however, you will need to lower the settings. This is to be expected with a budget gaming laptop. It can run about 600 of the top 1,000 PC games, so you could use that fact to rate it as 60%.
The 1TB HDD is ample but slow, although there is an option of 256 SSD. Also, there’s no optical drive. Its display features an anti-glare LED backlight. In addition, the black rubberized lid is fingerprint-resistant and soft to the touch. You also get USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, Kensington lock, and a 2-in-1 card reader. However, it lacks a USB Type C or Thunderbolt 3 port, and at just 2 hours, the battery life is barely adequate.
4. Acer Nitro 5 – Best all-round PC, ideal for gaming but can handle business and learning too
- Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300H (2.30GHz, up to 4.00 GHz, 4 cores, 8M Cache)
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB
- Storage Space: 256GB SSD
- Display: 15.6-inch (1,920 x 1,080)
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM (expandable to 32GB)
- Batter Life: up to 7 hours
- Weight: 5.95 lbs
- Price: $718
Acer’s Nitro 5 ticks all the right boxes that a budget-minded gamer will be looking for. It has no flashy emblems or multi-colored LEDs, but the stylish cooling vents and red-glowing keyboard are enough to set it apart from business laptops (visually, at least). The keyboard is spacious, feels stylish, and is comfortable enough to play on for several hours.
It also features a user-controlled dual-fan cooling system, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB graphics card, and an 8th gen mid-tier processor, clocking 2.3 GHz. In addition, there is a USB Type-C port. There are also varied configurations of the Acer Nitro 5, some of which include a core i7, 16 GB of RAM, and a 1TB HDD, alongside 128 GB SSD.
Generally speaking, this is the best gamer-inspired laptop on the list, and the design is not bad either – it features distinguishable angular corners. It can take on the most demanding games such as Far Cry New Dawn, with at least 40 fs.
5. ASUS ZenBook 13 – Sleekest design
- Processor: GHz Intel Core i5 3.9
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 8 GB
- Storage: 512 GB flash memory solid state
- Display: 13.3 inches (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)
- Batter Life: up to 11 hours 23 minutes
- Weight: 2.7 lbs
- Price: $699
The ZenBook 13 comes with an Intel i5-8265U and 512GB PCIE SSD or Intel i5-8250U and 256GB SATA SSD or Intel i7-8565U and a 512GB PCIE SSD. Other than these properties, everything else is the same in all three configurations.
Asus once claimed that the ZenBook 13 was the world’s thinnest laptop with discrete graphics. It is one of the pioneering ultraportable laptops which doesn’t sacrifice battery life, graphics performance or demand a ton of money when purchasing. It weighs 2.7 pounds and is 0.7 inches thick, which is slightly thicker than its closest competitors (such as the Dell XPS and HP Envy 13t) of a similar weight.
Overall, the Zenbook 13 is a great budget laptop which is ideal for moderate gaming, business, and studying. It has very few deal-breakers, although it is worth mentioning that the keys are quite shallow, which may be uncomfortable for those who hit hard when typing. Furthermore, the special mirror-like finish that Asus have used for this laptop is extremely difficult to keep clean from fingerprints.
6. Asus Vivobook S15 S512 – Best laptop for business and learning
- Processor: Intel Core i5 3.9 GHz
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 8 GB
- Storage: 256 PCIE SSD
- Display: 15.6 inches (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Battery: over 8 hours
- Weight: 3.97 lbs
- Price: $699
The 15.6-inch Vivobook S15 from Asus is a remarkable laptop for this price range. At 3.6 lbs (1.6kg), it is quite lightweight and portable, although not as much so as some of its competitors, such as the 15 inch Samsung Notebook 9 or the 15.6 inch LG Gram. However, it costs less than both of those other laptops, even though the specs don’t vary particularly much.
The full HD display has excellent color quality and contrast for entertainment and office work, although it is not good enough for tasks which demand a lot of precision. Its matte finish is great for deflecting light, but not bright enough for outdoor use.
Its keyboard is spacious, and the touchpad responds well to all the Windows 10 gestures. It also has several USB ports, including two USB 2.0s, a USB 3.1, and a USB 3.1 Type C (gen 1) port, although it doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3.
The design is also very sleek and resembles that of a MacBook. It can easily handle most moderate tasks, including average games and not so demanding applications.
7. 2020 HP 15-dy1751ms – an excellent mid-range laptop
- Processor: Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G1 1.0 GHz up to 3.6 GHz
- Graphics: Intel UHD graphics integrated
- Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD
- Display: 15.6 inches in WLED HD touchscreen (1,366 x 768), 10-finger multi-touch support
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 2666 MHz
- Battery: up to 11 hours and 30 minutes
- Weight: 3.75 lbs
- Price: $709
HP’s 15-dy1751ms is an excellent mid-range laptop with a fast 10th gen Intel Core i5 processor and a decent RAM of 8GB, alongside the capacious 512 GB SSD. It can multi-task comfortably for both home and office users, and offers a smooth user experience.
The Core i5-1035G1 chip can handle demanding tasks such as video editing with ease. However, the integrated Intel UHD graphics only allows you to play light PC games and a few heavier ones using low in-game graphics detail settings.
The single most annoying downside to this HP is its display, which features a 1,366 x 768 resolution and lacks the sharpness of full HD. Furthermore, as the display is based on TN technology, you get much narrower off-angles compared to IPS screens.
8. 2020 Lenovo Ideapad 330s – A perfect balance of affordability and specs
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor
- Graphics: Integrated Radeon Vega 8 graphics
- Storage: 1TB HDD + 512GB PCIe SSD
- Display: 15.6” FHD (1,920×1,080)
- RAM: 8GB DDR4
- Battery: up to 5.5 hours
- Weight: 3.96 lbs
- Price: $650
The Ideapad 330s features a simple yet elegant design, reminiscent of the premium Thinkpad Carbon X1 notebook from the same brand. The Lenovo logo is unnoticeably tucked away in a corner. The 15.6-inch display is nestled behind narrow bezels, although the chin is a bit thicker.
The build is great too. It is a mix of aluminum (the lid) and plastic (the body) and feels quite sturdy.
Its 15.6-inch display has a matte finish, which reduces glare, and the resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels is expected. If you are looking for something along the lines of a core i7 laptop under $700, you might be glad to know that the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor beats Core i7. As for the ports, you get a single USB Type-C 3.1 port, two USB 3.0s, a 4-in-1 card reader, and HDMI.
It allows you to play Fortnite on medium settings, Asphalt 9 runs at full tilt, and Rise of the Tomb Raider plays at about 35 fps. If you are a gamer, you could find a more powerful laptop in this price range, but it will most likely be thicker and heavier. Having said that, the Ideapad 330S is one of the best everyday use notebooks and is adequate for both students and professionals.
9. Acer Swift 3 SF315-41G – Most durable chassis
- Processor: 3.8 GHz AMD Ryzen 7
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 540 (2 GB)
- Storage: 256 GB flash memory solid state
- Display: 15.6 inches (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Battery: up to 5.9 hours
- Weight: 3.64 lbs
- Price: $799
The Swift 3 SF315-41G is an all-round multimedia PC by Acer. It combines a Raven Ridge APU and a dedicated graphics unit, rather than having an integrated one. The keyboard is backlit and the storage is solid state. At 4.64 pounds, however, it is not among the lightest laptops on the list, although it strikes a perfect balance of internal components and design.
The Swift 3 can take on moderate daily tasks that a student or professional may have to deal with, but gamers might want to look elsewhere. It can handle over 450 of the top 1,000 games, which is just below average. However, you won’t be able to run games such as Fortnite, Minecraft PUBG, Apex Legends or GTA V.
Although its successor, the Swift 3 SF315-51G (equipped with a Core i5-8250U processor and GeForce-MX150 GPU), provides a better overall performance, you can barely feel the difference with day-to-day tasks. It only becomes significant when you require a lot of CPU and GPU performance for long periods.
10. HP Envy x360 15.6” – Most affordable convertible laptop
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3.9GHz
- Graphics: Radeon RX Vega 8
- Storage: 128GB SSD
- Display: 15.6″ FHD touch display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)
- RAM: 8GB DDR4
- Battery: over 8 hours
- Weight: 4.50 lbs
- Price: $734
HP has kept the Envy x360 interesting by adding more snazzy features and offering a wide choice of configurations. This one comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 3.9GHz processor and Radeon RX Vega 8, although some succeeding models come with an Intel Core i7 and AMD Radeon R7 M265 graphics.
For this 15-inch x360, you can expect an exceptionally rich audio experience, 178o wide-viewing angles, and excellent multi-threaded processing. It can breeze through most day-to-day computing and office tasks, tackling even the most intensive applications. For example, database and video processing tasks run without a hitch.
128 GB of storage is not much, although you can always go with the 256 SSD. HP left out the Ethernet and there is only one USB port, which is a Type C Gen 1 port. There’s no Thunderbolt 3, but you still get n HDMI port which can output to a native 4k60 external monitor. Generally, this is a great portable laptop which is ideal for anyone who wants an affordable 2-in-1.
11. HP Pavilion 15 Gaming Laptop – Best gaming laptop on the list
- Processor: Intel Mobil Quad-Core i5-8300H (4GHz)
- Graphics: NVIDIAGeForce GTX 1050Ti (4GB)
- Storage: 1TB HDD
- Display: 15.6 inch (1,920 x 1,080)
- RAM: 8GB SDRAM
- Battery: 5 hours
- Weight: 4.85 lbs
- Price: $749
The HP Pavilion 15 is undoubtedly a gaming rig in terms of its design. It is not an overwhelming or overdone design like you find with most gaming laptops. It features sharp edges and unique design patterns, such as the angular lid. The fan vents at the bottom end of the rear have an aggressive look while the lime green touch completes its gamer-centric look.
You get a 15.6 inch FHD IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit display with 1080P resolution. However, as with every other laptop in the $600-$700 price range, there’s always a little sacrifice with display quality, particularly in terms of brightness. Otherwise, it delivers accurate and crisp colors and contrast as well as decent off-angle views.
On the other hand, you get an 8th generation Intel Mobil Quad-Core i5-8300H processor, which is capable of clocking up to 4 GHz. You can enjoy most of your favorite games without much inconvenience. However, the 8GB RAM is not sufficient for extensive gaming and can prove troublesome when loading games.
Its GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU is more powerful than the 1050, but you may still have to dial down the settings for some games. The battery life lasts for at least 5 hours, which is quite commendable for a gaming PC in this category.
What to Consider in the Best Laptop under $700
The features which matter most to you in a budget laptop ultimately boil down to your own specific needs. Are you a gamer? Then the processor, graphics, and RAM should matter most to you. On the other hand, most students will want something which is portable and convertible and has pen and touch functionalities. A businessperson may require a mixture of both performance and portability.
Furthermore, you may want to run demanding applications such as CAD as well as games. But that’s not all – you will also want good value for money, which is only possible if you know the trends in hardware and performance. This is exactly what you get from this review. Here are the factors to consider:
- CPU (processor)
- GPU (graphics)
- Storage space
- Display quality
- Battery life
- Keyboard and touchpad
Currently, Intel’s 10th-gen mobile processors are the hottest, and this has seen 8th gen chips move into the discounted laptops category. Look out for anything with Core i5-8250U and the revamped i58265U with a pair of quad-core processors.
Sure, 9th and 10th gen processors are sneaking on to the list as well, but currently, 8th gen chips offer better value. Furthermore, you are likely to see 7th and 6th gen processors on the best laptop under $700 in 2020 list, but this should be a big turn off as you can get a much better deal for more or less the same price.
Other remarkable processors to look out for are the AMD Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5, which compete more than adequately against Intel’s Core i7 in terms of performance. They are clocking speeds of up to 3.8 GHz – similar to what you get with the Acer Swift 3 SF315-41G.
Learn More: The Best laptops under $800
Integrated graphics (shared system memory) hold up well when it comes to managing everyday imagery, but not gaming. If you are looking for a laptop which can chew through games, create 3D objects, or be used for high-resolution video editing, you will want to go with discrete GPUs from NVIDIA or AMD. The higher a GPU’s memory, the better.
If you are paying anywhere between $600 and $800, you should never settle for anything less than 8GB of RAM, or it will be a rip-off. A laptop which allows you to upgrade your RAM down the line is a plus, just in case your performance needs change.
Learn More: Best 17-inch Laptop under $1,000
Another key component you must consider is the storage drive. If you don’t need much space, consider going for a solid-state drive (SSD) rather than a hard drive (HDD). SSDs are about three times faster than HDDs and result in a faster PC overall. Also, the recent PCIe x4 (aka NVME) units are three times as fast as traditional SATA drives.
If you require a lot of space and are on a budget , HDDs are much cheaper and offer more storage capacity. Another plus in this rea is a laptop which has room for both, even if one doesn’t come pre-installed. Most SSD laptops with low storage space leave enough room for the installation of a hard drive.
This is the single most difficult need to satisfy on a budget s most vendors often sacrifice display quality in order to meet a target price. Among the best laptops under $700, almost everything you get will come with an FHD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, which is more than adequate. Those which offer a better resolution often sacrifice other features.
You can’t expect to get a maximum brightness spec, but an average of 250 nits will suffice for this category, so you may want to stick to something around that level. Anything less will provide poor visibility in bright environments, such as outdoors.
Learn More: Best Laptops for Kids
When shopping for a gaming rig or a bulky notebook that will sit on a desk near a socket, you don’t need to worry much about battery life. Otherwise, you want a minimum of 7 hours of endurance. Anything above 8 hours is a great deal.
Don’t always take the manufacture at their word, as some test battery life under lower performance conditions than you’ll be using. Trust third party opinions instead.
Keyboard and touchpad
Investigate to find out just how responsive the keyboard and touchpad are. There is no point getting the most impressive specs in the world if they are combined with poor ergonomics – you’ll just end up hating your laptop.
If you plan on doing a lot of work which involves typing, make sure that your keyboard offers solid tactile feedback as well as adequate key travel, particularly if you type hard. Ample space between the keys is also crucial.
The touchpad should be accurate, without a jumpy cursor, and respond consistently to all the gestures which come with modern operating systems, such as pinch-to-zoom. A pointing stick (aka nub) is not a bad idea either, particularly if you don’t like taking your fingers off the keyboard’s home row.
Learn More: Best 2-in-1 Laptops under $600
Technology is advancing so fast that yesterday’s high-end laptops (or at least some of their specs) are in today’s budget categories. When looking for the best laptop under $700, you will want to ensure that it does not fall at the bottom of the budget bin by conducting your background research in order to find out what the most trusted vendors have to offer.
Start by specifying your needs and the minimum specs you want from a laptop, and the rest will fall into place swiftly. However, quite often, you will have to sacrifice at least one feature when on a budget. The key is to compare all the candidates before choosing a winner. On this list of best laptops under $700 2020, the Acer Nitro 5 takes first place.