Top 7 Affordable Laptops of 2024: Thoroughly Tested and Reviewed

"7 best cheap laptops of 2024, 2024, reviewed, tested, Tested and reviewed" Tags: cheap laptops

How we Tested and Selected the Best Laptops

In order to provide you with the most accurate and informative recommendations, we at Mashable have carefully tested and evaluated a range of laptops. Our objective was to assess their build quality, performance, battery life, and overall value for money. Throughout the testing process, we used the laptops for daily tasks, such as document handling, email management, video streaming, webcam usage, video calling, music listening, gaming, and experimentation with unique software features.

To further enhance our testing approach, we incorporated industry-standard benchmark software to evaluate the performance of some of the newer laptops included in this guide. Specifically, we conducted benchmark tests on the Lenovo Yoga 7i 14, Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3, HP Chromebook Plus 15.6-inch, and Acer Nitro V 15. These benchmarks provide comprehensive insights into the laptops’ performance capabilities and aid in comparing their efficiency.

Performance Benchmarks

In our performance benchmarks, we utilize Primate Labs’ Geekbench 6, which measures CPU performance across various common tasks. To ensure accuracy, we used the Windows version for Windows laptops (including gaming laptops) and the Android version for Chromebooks. The resulting multi-core scores offer a reliable measurement of each laptop’s performance, with higher scores indicating better performance.

To assess the graphical capabilities of gaming laptops, we played Cyberpunk 2077 on each device. For laptops equipped with a discrete/dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card, we conducted tests with its DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) technology both enabled and disabled. This allowed us to evaluate the raw GPU power of the laptops and their performance with AI upscaling. Additionally, we employed 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark for gaming PCs to record and compare their scores, with higher scores indicating superior gaming performance.

Battery Life Benchmarks

Determining the laptops with the best battery life requires a thorough assessment of their endurance. To achieve this, we conducted battery benchmarks on the loaned laptops. For Windows laptops, we aimed for a battery life of approximately nine to ten hours, considering anything above 12 hours as exceptional. Gaming laptops, on the other hand, were assessed based on a minimum battery life of two hours per charge, with additional recognition given to those surpassing the four-hour mark. Chromebooks were expected to offer a minimum of eight hours, with nine to ten hours being the ideal benchmark.

To evaluate battery life, we utilized UL Solutions’ PCMark 10 battery life stress test for the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go and Acer Nitro V 15. This test involved running a series of demanding apps and functions until the laptops ran out of battery. For the HP Chromebook Plus 15.6-inch, we employed Principled Technologies’ CrXPRT 2 battery life test, which assesses battery life by running multiple Chrome OS tasks. Finally, for the Lenovo Yoga 7i, we conducted a video rundown test that involved playing a looped 1080p version of Tears of Steel, a short open-source Blender movie, at 50 percent brightness. This method guarantees consistent and accurate evaluation of battery life across all tested laptops.

Based on the results obtained from these extensive tests, we finalized our recommendations by considering the laptops’ overall performance, value for money, and suitability for specific user needs. For the purposes of this guide, we categorized a “cheap laptop” as one with a price tag below $1,000. However, we made an exception for the Framework Laptop 13, priced at $1,049, as investing in this laptop upfront can save users money on repair and replacement costs in the long run.

It is important to note that the laptops included in this guide are not the only ones we have tested. We continuously evaluate and assess new models across various categories, but only the top contenders make it to our final recommendations. Therefore, you can expect this guide to evolve and be updated regularly as we discover new laptops that meet our high standards.

In conclusion, our comprehensive testing process includes a thorough evaluation of build quality, real-world performance across various tasks, industry-standard benchmark tests, and assessments of battery life. By considering these factors, we provide you with reliable and informed recommendations for the best laptops available in the market.

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