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The 4 Best Laptops Under $700 - Spring 2023 Reviews

Best Laptops Under $700

While $700 isn't much in the laptop world, where some models cost thousands, you can still find many options around this price. $700 is about the price at which we start seeing some high-quality models with a sturdy metal chassis and a powerful CPU, especially in the thin and light laptop category, and it's also roughly the entry point for gaming laptops. Unfortunately, there aren't any mobile workstations under $700 (unless you want to use a cheap gaming laptop as a substitute), and Apple MacBooks are generally more expensive. For this article, our recommendations will mainly feature Windows laptops and Chromebooks. The list is a little short for now, but it'll grow as we test more laptops.

We've tested over 75 laptops, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best laptops under $700 you can buy. You can also see our recommendations for the best laptops, the best budget laptops, and the best laptops for college.

  1. Best Laptop Under $700

    The best laptop under $700 we've tested is the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020), a 14-inch ultraportable designed for general productivity. Its thin and light design makes it easy to carry around for school or work, and its battery lasts nearly 14 hours of light use, so you won't need to bring a charger. You can configure it with an Intel 11th Gen. Core i5 or i7 CPU and up to 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage. Intel's 11th Gen. CPUs perform well and can easily handle light tasks like text processing, web browsing, spreadsheets, and video playback. The SSD is user-replaceable, so you can upgrade it if 512GB isn't enough.

    Regarding the display configuration, you only get one option: a 1080p 60Hz IPS panel. It looks sharp and provides enough room for light multitasking, but it doesn't get very bright. It's fine for most indoor settings but not for well-lit or sunny environments. As for the keyboard and touchpad, the former feels cramped but decent to type on, and the latter is small but reasonably responsive. Its port selection includes two USB-As, one USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, a full-size HDMI, and a headphone jack. Our main gripe with this laptop is the webcam; the image looks soft and underexposed, and the audio is staticky.

    See our review

  2. Best Chromebook Under $700

    Our pick for the best Chromebook under $700 is the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022), a newer version of the popular Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020). This new model has a slightly larger 14-inch screen, allowing you to work more comfortably when multitasking split-screen. As the 'Spin' name suggests, this is a 2-in-1 convertible, which means you can set it up in tent mode for media consumption or flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. The display supports pen input and comes with a stylus that you can dock into its charging slot for transport. Unfortunately, there's no fingerprint sensor or facial recognition IR camera.

    Spec-wise, this laptop is available with various Intel 12th Gen. CPUs, ranging from a Core i3 to a Core i7. The only problem is that you might have trouble finding the configuration you want due to low availability. The Core i5 model with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage is currently the easiest to find. This configuration is more than adequate for people with a light workload, though heavy multitaskers might want to look for a model with 16GB of memory. Battery life is amazing at over 13 hours of light use, and you can charge the laptop over USB-C. Port selection is good; you get one USB-A, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, and an HDMI port.

    See our review

  3. Best Gaming Laptop Under $700

    For gaming, we recommend the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (2021), the best gaming laptop under $700 we've tested. You can get this 15.6-inch model with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, and there are tons of GPU configuration options, from an entry-level NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 to an RTX 3060. We recommend getting the 120Hz or 165Hz panel since those panels have the fastest response time and FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing. You can get up to 16GB of memory and over 1TB of storage; don't worry if you can't afford 16GB of RAM or a large storage drive upfront because these components are user-replaceable, meaning you can add more later.

    As for the overall build, this laptop feels surprisingly sturdy, especially for a model in its price range. The keyboard feels comfortable and tactile, and the webcam's video quality is good if you want to stream. There's very little thermal throttling, so you get consistent performance when gaming for an extended period, although you'll have to endure loud fan noise. Unfortunately, it isn't very portable as it's rather bulky and heavy, and like most laptops with a discreet GPU, the battery lasts only an hour when gaming.

    See our review

  4. Best 2-In-1 Tablet Under $700

    The best 2-in-1 tablet we've tested is the Microsoft Surface Go 3 (2021), a super compact and lightweight 10.5-inch tablet with a built-in kickstand and detachable keyboard. Its 1080p display looks very sharp and gets bright enough to combat glare, and above it sits an excellent 1080p webcam for video calls. There's also an IR camera for quick logins via Windows Hello facial recognition. The type cover keyboard protects the display during transport and feels surprisingly comfortable to type on. The downside is that you have to buy it separately.

    As for the configuration, we recommend the Core i3 model with 8GB of RAM, as it'll give you a smoother experience with fewer slowdowns than the base model with a Pentium Gold CPU and 4GB of memory. As it's a very compact device with a small battery, you can expect it to last about seven hours of light use on a full charge. Another downside of such a compact device is its limited port selection. You only get a single USB-C port that supports charging and video output (not Thunderbolt), an SD card reader, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connect charging port.

    Another device to consider is the flagship Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021). Since this is an older model, and there's a newer Surface Pro 9, you can often find the base Core i5 model on sale for around $700. Naturally, it's a significantly better device than the Surface Go 3. It has a bigger, sharper, brighter display, more processing power, and a second USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 port. Also, since it's larger, the keyboard feels much more spacious. The catch is that the $700 price tag doesn't include the keyboard, so if you want the whole package, you'll have to spend more, around $850 to $900.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020): The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is a good alternative to the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) if you prefer a 2-in-1 convertible. It has a better keyboard and webcam, but it doesn't support Thunderbolt or video output via USB-C, and the available CPUs aren't as fast as the Intel 11th Gen. processors you get on the Acer Swift 3. It also has shorter battery life and a slightly dimmer display. See our review
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i 15 (2023): The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i 15 (2023) is a larger alternative to the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020). It has a better keyboard and webcam and is available with newer, faster Intel 13th Gen. CPUs. However, its USB-C ports don't support Thunderbolt 4, and its battery life is much shorter at around six to seven hours of light use. See our review
  • Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021): The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021) is a good Chrome OS alternative to the Microsoft Surface Go 3 (2021). It has an OLED display with better picture quality and longer battery life than the Surface Go 3. However, the keyboard doesn't feel as comfortable to type on, and Chrome OS is more limiting, as you can only run web apps through the Chrome browser, Android apps, and Linux apps. See our review
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021): The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021) is a good alternative to the Microsoft Surface Go 3 (2021) if you need a larger, more capable device. The price has reduced considerably because it's an older model from 2021. You can likely find it for around $700, but this doesn't include the keyboard. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 31, 2023: Verified that all picks are valid and available. Added the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i 15 (2023) as a Notable Mention.

  2. Apr 04, 2023: Minor text changes. Replaced the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020) with the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022) because the Spin 714 performs better and is easier to find.

  3. Feb 03, 2023: Minor text changes to improve clarity. No change in recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laptops under $700 to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you prefer to make your own decision, here's the list of all of our laptop reviews. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it's best to see the full review for information about other variants.