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The 4 Best Laptops Under $700 - Summer 2024 Reviews

Updated May 22, 2024 at 03:07 pm
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. Here, 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 115 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 Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023), a 16-inch Windows convertible model. Its all-aluminum chassis is very sturdy, and this unit is relatively thin and light, given its 16-inch frame. Equipped with AMD Ryzen 7000 series mobile processors, this laptop can easily handle general productivity tasks like spreadsheets or word processing and even more demanding workloads like programming. Its 16-inch FHD+ IPS display is bright enough to use in most indoor settings. You also get up-firing speakers like you find on more premium models, a large touchpad, and a good (albeit slightly mushy-feeling) keyboard. Finally, battery life is excellent, lasting up to 10 hours of light use. As a final note, this laptop normally costs more than $700, but it's available at a special clearance price, making it a great choice while supplies last.

    The Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020) is also a great option. Its regular price is $999, but since its discontinuation, Walmart and Best Buy are selling their remaining stock for less than $700 USD (base model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage). The build quality is industry-leading, and Apple's M1 SoC still feels snappy almost four years after its debut. You also get Apple's amazing haptic touchpad, an excellent webcam, and full-sounding speakers. Unfortunately, port selection is where it falls short, as it only has two USB-Cs with support for a single external monitor.

    See our review

  2. Best Chromebook Under $700

    Our best under-$700 Chromebook pick is the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022). As the 'Spin' name suggests, this is a 2-in-1 convertible, so you can set it up in tent mode for media consumption or flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. This laptop sports a thin and light design, an FHD+ display with pen input support, and Thunderbolt 4 support. The display supports pen input and comes with a stylus that you can dock into the side of the laptop. Battery life is amazing at over 13 hours of light use, and you can charge the laptop over USB-C.

    Spec-wise, this laptop is available with various Intel 12th Gen CPUs, ranging from a Core i3 to a Core i7. Performance isn't a problem; these CPUs are more than fast enough for anything you'd need to do on a Chromebook. The problem is availability. The Core i5 model with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage is the most widely available, and even that model is getting hard to find. There's a newer version available, which we haven't tested but expect will perform similarly. It has faster Intel 13th Gen CPUs and a higher-resolution 1440p webcam. You can see the 2023 model on Amazon or Best Buy.

    See our review

  3. Best Gaming Laptop Under $700

    The HP Victus 15 (2022) is our best gaming pick. For under $700 USD, you can get a model with an Intel Core i5-12500H CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and a 60Hz FHD display. This CPU/GPU combo provides a relatively solid 60 fps gaming experience at 1080p, though you'll have to tweak the graphical settings a bit to get there. Its 8GB RAM amount isn't ideal for gaming, as it'll significantly impact performance, but thankfully, you can upgrade the memory yourself. Doing so might end up being cheaper, anyway. You'll also want to upgrade the storage drive, as 512GB isn't much these days. The biggest downside is the 60Hz display—you're better off plugging it into an external monitor.

    As for the overall build, this laptop feels sturdy despite its all-plastic construction. The keyboard feels spacious and reasonably tactile, and the port selection is varied, including a true HDMI and Ethernet port. There are no biometrics like a fingerprint sensor or facial recognition camera, though we don't really expect it at this price range. Unfortunately, this laptop 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 or so 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 3.5 mm 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 port with Thunderbolt 4 support. Also, the keyboard feels more comfortable to type on because it's 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.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Acer Swift 3 14 (2020): If you want a smaller laptop, the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) is a good alternative to the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023). It offers longer battery life, better portability, and Thunderbolt 4 support. However, the webcam isn't as good, and its CPU is an older and slower 11th-gen Intel Core i5 model. It can also be difficult to find as it is an older model. 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 a 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

Recent Updates

  1. May 22, 2024: Replaced the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) with the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) due to availability and hardware; moved the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) to the Notable Mentions. Removed the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i (2023) from the Notable Mentions. Updated text for clarity and accuracy.

  2. Mar 25, 2024: Replaced the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (2021) with the HP Victus 15 (2022) because the Lenovo is discontinued and harder to find. Minor text edits to provide more information regarding the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020) and Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022).

  3. Jan 26, 2024: Verified that all picks are valid and available. No change in recommendations.

  4. Nov 24, 2023: Minor text changes to include the HP ENVY x360 15 (2023) as a second alternative to the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) because it's heavily discounted for Black Friday. No change to recommendations.

  5. Sep 25, 2023: Small text changes to provide more information about the 2023 version of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3's under-$700 configurations. Added the HP Victus 15 (2022) as a Notable Mention.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laptops for less than $700 and the best gaming laptops under $700 to buy for most people. In addition to the test results, 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. 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.