My Emergent Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Top 10 Budget Laptops for Working From Home

Find the best, affordable laptop from our top 10 list to help start and grow your side hustle by balancing power and functionality against any budget.

Top Windows Laptops Roundup

Check out the best Windows laptops for work and home use.

HP 15.6″ Touchscreen Laptop

Comes with 10th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5 1035G1 and 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, AC WiFi + YZAKKA External DVD Drive.

For Business

  • Performance

    Plenty of power, speed and storage for every day use. DDR4 memory makes light work of serious multi-tasking.

    For Everyday Use

    Multi-touch display, plenty of connectivity and lightweight build makes this suitable for work, streaming and gaming.


    A 10th Gen Intel quad core processor delivers highly efficient eight-way processing up to 3.6 GHz.

    Check price on Amazon Add VPN*

The Best Cheap Windows Laptops

Explore a list of the top-rated low cost Windows laptops for under $300.

  • Windows 10 Home

    Everything you need to work from home with new features to make you more productive.

    Office 365 Personal

    Manage your small business in the cloud with email, documents and spreadsheets.

Starting a new side hustle can be expensive. It’s important to save money buying a good, affordable laptop with everything you need to run your business without spending too much on unnecessary bells and whistles.

To help out we’ve scoured hundreds of budget laptops with a special focus on ones that provide serious “value for money“.

Depending on the needs of your small business we have tried to include a range of laptops that are the cheapest in their class, while still offering excellent quality, functionality and power.

1. Samsung Chromebook 3

Samsung’s Chromebook 3 has been around for a little while – mainly because of its incredible popularity – so it’s not necessarily going to have the latest hardware.

That said, you can expect some seriously impressive performance from this lightweight laptop, such as 11 hour usage on a single battery charge – predominantly due to the fact that this runs the lightweight Chrome OS and not Windows. The Samsung Chromebook 3 requires no initial setup or long load times.

Basic Specs

  • 11.6″ ( 1366 x 768), 16:9
  • Intel Celeron Processor N3060, 1.6 GHz to 2.48 GHz
  • 4 GB Memory
  • Spill Resistant : Yes
  • Google Chrome operating system
  • Brightness: 220 units
  • Bluetooth 4.0

Because this a Chrome OS machine, it comes with built-in security features to ensure you’re protected from viruses and malware and offers the best of Google, Gmail, Maps, Docs and Pics with everything backed up safely in the cloud. Comes with automatic updates to keep the software safe, secure and cutting edge.

Perfect for working and integrating with online, Web based apps products and services without necessarily requiring traditional Microsoft products, like Office.

What People Say

In general people are surprised and impressed by how much power and functionality this Chromebook offers – almost as if it were a full blown laptop.

2. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Acer’s Aspire 5 delivers a surprising amount of performance compared to the price tag. It’s a workhorse that might not have all the bells and whistles but has good quality components that will ensure you are able to get your work done easily. The Aspire 5 delivers desktop-class performance with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Mobile Processor.

The screen has a nice feature called Acer BlueLightShield to help protect your eyes from straining during long sessions of work. Plus the keyboard has temporary backlighting that fades away, making it easy to start up in the evening (i.e. watching a movie) without being annoyed by a constant glow.

It’s thin and light enough to travel easily and you’ll get just shy of 8 hours of battery life on a full charge.

Basic Specs

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to 3.5GHz)
  • 4GB DDR4 Memory
  • 15.6″ Full HD
  • 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port, 2 USB 2.0 Ports & 1 HDMI Port with HDCP support
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Up to 7.5 Hours Battery Life

What People Say

Most people think this laptop offers an incredible deal for the asking price. A lot of people also comment on the fact that it is very portable and feel like it offers features that actually beat laptops with far heftier price tags.

3. Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6″ HD

Lenovo’s 15.6″ HD IdeaPad comes with enough power to get your day-to-day work done and sports a bright, large screen and comfortable keyboard (for those of you tired of hitting multiple keys with one finger). The Lenovo 15.6″ IdeaPad is a stylish and durable offering for virtually any office.

Another big plus (mentioned by a wide range of owners) is that it doesn’t come stuffed with bloatware (apps that you don’t need or use, but slow the machine down) making it quick and easy to boot up and get running.

Due to its relatively large size (and bright screen) the battery life is not as long as some of the more lightweight models featured in this list – around 5 hours on a full charge.

Basic Specs

  • 15.6″ (1366×768) NON-Touch anti-glare LED backlight display
  • 7th Generation AMD A9-9425 Processor (Dual-Core, 3.1 GHz up to 3.7 GHz)
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Intel Wireless 802.11 ac + Bluetooth v4.1 Combo
  • 4-in-1 Media Card Reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC)

What People Say

Most buyers are pleased that they got everything they wanted out of this laptop with a quick and easy setup and a long battery life.

4. Dell Inspiron 14″

Dell’s latest 14″ Inspiron gives you significantly more power than the cheaper models in our list.

While it’s still not going to give you the performance of top-end gaming laptops it has plenty of juice to help run your business.

Think of it as a middle of the road type laptop. It’s not quite as budget as cheaper models, but not quite as accomplished as full fledged laptops. The Inspiron’s 10th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5 provides serious multi-tasking power.

While a lot of laptops with the same specs tend to get a bit clunky and cumbersome to carry around, the same is not true here. Weight in at only 0.8″ thick and under 4 pounds, it’s pretty compact and lightweight.

It’s also garnered some pretty respectable reviews from top PC sites, making it a safe choice for any entrepreneur who needs a machine that can grow to meet the demands of their business into the future.

Basic Specs

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G4 (Beat i7-7200u i7-7500u) Processor
  • 14.0″ HD (1366 x 768) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Display
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory for full-power multitasking
  • 256GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit English
  • EST 500GB External Hard Drive

5. Lenovo 130S 11.6″ HD

Lenovo’s 130S 11.6″ HD laptop sits at the far end of the budget spectrum. With that said, Lenovo has ensured that it has enough processing and memory to comfortable allow work on a few different apps concurrently.

Perfect if your work requirements are minimal and highly recommended as a good value item on the low end of the pricing spectrum (unless you move to Chromebooks). The 130S’s Intel Celeron N4000 processor is an entry-level dual-core processor designed for general productivity tasks.

At 0.7″ thick and weighing 2.5 pounds it is truly lightweight and portable. Plus it comes with a Microsoft Office 365 Personal subscription for the first year, with 1TB of cloud storage. This will serve to get you up and running straight away.

Since it comes with Windows S you will need to take the OS out of S mode if you want to install new apps or generally have more control over what you can and can’t do.

Basic Specs

  • Intel Celeron N4000 1.1GHz up to 2.60GHz with 4M Cache
  • 4GB system memory for basic multitasking
  • 11.6” display with 1366 x 768 HD resolution
  • 64GB eMMC flash memory
  • Windows 10 in S Mode
  • Office 365 Personal 1-Year Subscription Included
  • Intel UHD Graphics 600

What People Say

By far and away the biggest draw-card people found was the fact that this laptop is so lightweight and east to travel with. Given the low price it also offers reasonable processing power allowing you to do a range of jobs – often at the same time.

6. HP 15.6″ HD Touch-Screen Laptop

HP’s 15.6″ HD Touch-Screen Laptop comes with a built in front facing HD camera and mic with enough processing to run complex software and store huge amounts of data with ease.

Perfect for any business that requires some heavy lifting in the visuals (i.e. images and video editing) department. HP’s 15.6″ Touchscreen rocks an Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Quad-Core Up to 2.7GHz processor for increased reliability.

With the heavier duty processing and storage comes a hit in terms of size and space. At 4.4 pounds and 0.9″ thick it’s one of the clunkier laptops in our list.

On a full battery charge under a reasonable amount of load you can expect around 4 – 5 hours of usage. Not bad considering the relatively higher performance specs of the machine.

Basic Specs

  • Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Quad-Core Up to 2.7GHz
  • 15.6″ diagonal HD SVA WLED-backlit touchscreen display
  • 8GB system memory
  • 1TB hard drive
  • Front-facing HP Webcam with integrated digital microphone
  • Windows 10
  • Basic Intel UHD 605 integrated graphics

What People Say

A lot of people commented on how this laptop can handle heavier use. Owners feel that this particular model is an all round quality laptop. A good option if, like me, you tend to have a whole bunch of apps and browser windows open at once.

7. ASUS VivoBook 15

The VivoBook 15 from ASUS offers a sleek and stylish understated design that houses a 128GB solid state drive and an Intel Core i3 processor to give you really good power and performance (for the price tag).

The Lithium ion battery also allows for super quick charging and you’ll get a respectable 60% charge in around 49 minutes. VivoBook’s NanoEdge bezel display with stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio and still fits an HD camera.

Middle of the range performance is offset by plenty of connectivity, which can often come in handy for entrepreneurs attending whirlwind pit-stop type meetings – on-the-go.

All in all this laptop punches above its weight with some interesting features not commonly found on other offerings – especially not in laptops this affordable. I really like is the ergonomic lift hinge that changes the angle of the keyword as the screen opens up in order to make typing a lot more accessible and comfortable – something that generally bugs me when using laptop keyboards.

Basic Specs

  • 15.6″ full HD
  • Intel core i3-8145U processor (4M Cache, upto 3.9 GHz)
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB M.2 SSD
  • Windows 10 in S mode (switchable to windows 10 home)
  • Ergonomic backlit chiclet keyboard
  • USB 3.1 Type-C , USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 2.0
  • Gigabit Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)

What People Say

The general consensus is that this is a great, light weight laptop that is easy to travel. Common praise also goes to the long lasting battery making this a great option for people who need to travel a lot.

8. HP Stream 14″

HP’s 14″ Stream is designed to make your life more connected. It’s super nimble and lightweight and is a crossover offering between relaxing with streaming video and work.

Not surprising since it comes with a bright, clear HD picture with the detail of 1 million pixels. The Stream’s improved 802.11 ac 2×2 Wi-Fi antenna delivers a stronger, more reliable Internet connection.

Like most of HP’s offerings this comes with a full year of Microsoft Office 365, including 1TB storage. Super useful for startups looking to grow quickly without having to pay expensive fees. However, it comes with Windows in S mode so be sure to turn this feature off if you need additional control and more freedom.

Basic Specs

  • 14.0″ diagonal HD SVA bright View WLED-backlit Display (1366 x 768)
  • Intel Celeron N4000 Processor, Dual-core, 1.1 GHz up to 2.6 GHz burst frequency
  • 4 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (not upgradable)
  • Office 365 personal for 1 year with 1TB storage
  • 64 GB eMMC
  • Windows 10 Home in S mode
  • Battery life up to 14 hours

What People Say

Another laptop that attracts a lot of overall great reviews – in other words, good, solid quality. A few people also commented that its pretty easy to use despite being quite small.

9. Lenovo Thinkpad E590 15.6″ HD

Lenovo’s Thinkpad E590 15.6″ HD business laptop is our top end offering and, sure, while a price tag of over $700 is not necessarily cheap in the real sense of the word, it is a high value for money offering.

In particular, it’s reliable. So reliable it was able to undergo rigorous testing – shocks, drops, and other extremes – to garner the MIL-STD-810G military certification The ThinkPad E590’s Intel Core i5-8265U processor delivers speed of up to 3.9 GHz.

Despite it’s impressive array of specifications and connectivity (something that’s also really useful for side hustlers needing to work on-the-go), it’s size and weight aren’t bad at all – weighing in at 4.7 pounds and 0.8″ thickness.

One useful feature is the device’ management software that makes the chore of keeping the operating system and devices drivers up to date quick and painless.

Basic Specs

  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • 15.6″ Anti-Glare (1366×768) Display with Front Facing HD Webcam
  • Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Intel Quad Core i5-8265U 1.6 GHz (Turbo 3.90 GHz, 4 Cores 8 Threads, 6MB SmartCache)
  • Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
  • HD Webcam

What People Say

The higher purchase price doesn’t seem to have diminished most people’s enthusiasm for this item. More technical users seem to enjoy the higher specs this machine offers, so a good option for anyone who is on their machine constantly.

10. HP ProBook x360 11.6″ 2-in-1 LED Touchscreen

HP’s ProBook x360 11.6″ 2-in-1 LED Touchscreen comes with Windows 10 Pro – as opposed to the Home edition the other Windows devices in our list come with.

Windows Pro is specifically designed with businesses in mind – offering enhanced security and plenty of useful management features that don’t come standard with the Home edition. The ProBook’s 360° hinge allows the device to flip and fold into notebook, stand, tent, and tablet modes.

The ProBook is actually quite rugged and comes with chock absorbent rubber trim, reinforced power ports and Gorilla Glass 3 for the touchscreen. Useful if your business requires you to move around a lot.

Thin and lightweight (2.7 pounds), you can expect to enjoy everything Windows 10 Pro has to offer in terms of helping to run and manage a startup while benefiting from some pretty decent processing and multi-tasking power.

Basic Specs

  • Intel Quad-Core Celeron N4100 with 1.1 GHz base frequency, up to 2.4 GHz burst frequency
  • 11.6″ diagonal HD SVA anti-glare WLED-backlit touch screen
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM for full-power multitasking
  • 256GB SSD
  • Realtek RTL8822BE 802.11ac (2×2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo
  • Windows 10 Professional
  • 720p HD camera (user-facing)

What People Say

A lot of people commented on the fact that they lover the touch screen and tablet mode that make it super easy to use despite its relatively small size – that also makes it perfect for use on-the-go.

So that’s our round up of the top ten cheap laptops for side hustlin’ entrepreneurs. Hopefully it’s given you a great bird’s eye view of what laptops are available to power your startup to the next level without costing an arm and a leg.