There’s no shortage of choice when it comes to buying a new laptop. At one end there are plenty of cheap laptops available. But many fail on basic specification needs. Then there are numerous reviews telling you to spend thousands on the latest kit. Whatever your budget, the specifications are bewildering and reviews contradictory. Verum has crunched the specifications and consumed opinion to give you a shortlist of the best Windows laptops, ranked by price. Alternatively, Chromebook do the basics well, are secure and best of all, they’re cheap. If you want to know more about Google laptops, take a look at the Verum guide to best Chromebooks.
Do you need Microsoft Word & Excel?
However, if you’re familiar with Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc., then a Windows laptop makes good sense. Verum has considered hundreds of models and compared numerous specifications. Nobody wants to hear why a £300 laptop doesn’t perform like a £2000 device, so the Verum verdicts (below) are grouped and ranked by price.
Fortunately, a good Windows laptop doesn’t need to cost a fortune. There are good ‘do-everything’ models for under £500. However, it’s possible to spend less and still get a decent notebook that ticks all your boxes. Save time and money by matching your budget to the recommendations below. The cheapest model costs under £300.
Best Laptop under £300 – Asus E406MA
This is a well-balanced laptop, for a remarkably low price. Physically, it’s small, light and highly rated by owners. Internally, the hardware specification is designed for Windows 10 S mode. This is a light version of Microsoft Windows 10, that requires less memory and less processor power, meaning a cheaper laptop.
Windows 10 S mode gives you performance that lasts and superior security. As you’d expect there are a few limitations. Essentially, you can only download Microsoft verified software from the Microsoft store and your web browsing is with Microsoft Edge. This restriction is no bad thing. Yes, you’re tied to Microsoft approved software, but it also means no dodgy downloads. The Microsoft Store includes all the normal stuff, including Netflix, Minecraft, Spotify etc. This works for most people and could make it an excellent choice if you’re buying this laptop for your son or daughter.
The screen is HD, which works well on a 14-inch display and the connectivity is good at this price. The keyboard is liked by the majority of users, as is the trackpad. Although a mouse (Bluetooth or USB) is always a good edition.
Adding to the appeal of this Windows laptop is that it comes with Microsoft 365, pre-installed. Essentially, this is a 12-month subscription giving you the full functionality of Word, Excel and Powerpoint. This Asus laptop is a great alternative to a Chromebook, it gives you all the capability of Microsoft Office and it’s cost less than £270!
DISPLAY: 14” 1366×768 | WEIGHT: 1.3kg | DIMENSIONS: 326x227x18 | CPU: Intel N5000 | RAM: 4GB | STORAGE 64GB | USB-3.0 x2 | HDMI x1 | MicroSD | Audio Jack
Asus E406MA | Verdict price £275 | Check the best price on Amazon
Best Laptop under £400 – Asus M409DA – EK124T
This Windows laptop from Asus is perfect for everyday computing. The lightweight, well built design gives an impression that it’s expensive. And it certainly compares well to numerous more expensive laptops, but what’s important here is that it’s a great notebook for a very affordable price.
Is this a good laptop for students?
The AMD Radeon R3 processor is perfectly suited for most jobs. And it’s a great pick for students. It’s not the right choice for playing the latest games or editing video. But realistically you need to spend over a grand to do this. Most UK schools, colleges and universities use Microsoft and for this reason a Windows specification is the right place to start.
The overall design, keyboard and screen represent excellent value at this price. Plus, the number of ports instantly removes any connectivity issues.
For everyday multitasking, this Asus laptop performs well. However, should you want to run a laptop with a dozen tabs open, while updating spreadsheets with a video running in the background, it may be worth considering more RAM and the R5 processor – see below.
There are plenty of amazing £1000 laptops to choose from. But if you want a light, well designed laptop that has a technical specification equal to most tasks, then the Asus M409DA with the AMD R3 processor is a great choice.
DISPLAY: 14” 1920×1080 | WEIGHT: 1.6kg | DIMENSIONS: 325x216x23 | CPU: AMD R3 3200U | RAM: 4GB | STORAGE 256GB | USB-2.0 x2 | USB-3.1 x1 | USB-C x1 | Micro SD | HDMI | Audio Jack
Asus M409DA EK124T | Verdict price £380 | Check best price on Amazon
Best Laptop under £500 – Asus M409DA-EK076T
Powerful and lightweight – the Asus M409DA does everything it should, plus a whole load more. Yes, there are quicker and lighter laptops to buy, but they either cost a load more or lack in other areas.
The 14” Full HD screen has a tiny bezel, which not only enhances the quality feel but also dictates the overall size of the laptop – It’s super compact and weighing only 1.6kg, it’s small and light enough to carry around. Adding to this, Asus states that the battery will last up to seven hours, although this clearly depends on what you’re using it for.
The specification is balanced and at its core, this laptop is powered by an AMD R5 processor which performs at similar speeds to Intel i5 CPUs. As a reference, the R5 chip is over 50% faster than the AMD R3 used in the model above. Multitasking is quick due to the 8GB of RAM and with 256GB SSD, onboard storage is taken care of.
There’s no shortage of ports on this laptop, making connectivity a breeze. Four USBs (including a USB-C), an HDMI socket along with a Micro SD means you can charge stuff, transfer pictures and connect easily to a projector or big display.
The only downside of this laptop is its popularity! This means that it sells out fast! But if this is your price point, you want a laptop to do everything and it’s in stock – buy it!
DISPLAY: 14” 1920×1080 | WEIGHT: 1.6kg | DIMENSIONS: 325x216x23 | CPU: AMD R5 3500U | RAM: 8GB | STORAGE 256GB | USB-2.0 x2 | USB-3.1 x1 | USB-C x1 | Micro SD | HDMI | Audio Jack
Asus M409DA-EK076T | Verdict price £480 | Check the latest price on Amazon
Best Laptop under £750 – Asus ZenBook UX333
This laptop does everything brilliantly. Small, light and powerful, it compares favourably to everything in its class and numerous laptops costing more. Head to head with the MacBook Air, this Asus ZenBook is lighter, smaller and quicker. Plus, it costs a fraction of the price.
Smaller than a magazine, the ZenBook is designed to go everywhere. It’s light, has a battery capable of lasting all day and is built to last. Asus uses the military standard, MIL-STD-810 to demonstrate the product is reliable and durable. The tests cover everything from temperature extremes to vibration and drop tests – in short, this laptop is designed to go beyond everyday use. If you’d like to know more, take a look here, to see what the ZenBook has to endure before making the grade.
The Intel Core i7 CPU is fast and reliable. Plus, with 512GB SSD onboard storage, every task is doable, even when you’re offline. Other features include facial recognition sign-in, backlit keyboard and great connectivity, with every port option covered.
If you want a powerful, robust, lightweight Windows laptop with a ‘last all day’ battery, then the Asus ZenBook UX333 is for you.
DISPLAY: 13.3” 1920×1080 | WEIGHT: 1.1kg | DIMENSIONS: 303x189x17 | CPU: Intel i7-8565U | RAM: 8GB | STORAGE 512GB | USB-2.0 x1 | USB-3.1 x1 | USB-C x1 | Micro SD | HDMI | Audio Jack
Asus ZenBook UX333 | Verdict price £750 | Check the latest price on Amazon
Windows 7 Update
Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows 7. There will be no more patches and security updates for the operating system. Hackers will undoubtedly target the huge numbers of Windows 7 systems, knowing that their activities will largely go, unchecked.
It’s important to use a different device to access anything online. For clarity, do not use Windows 7 for internet banking, sensitive data, email or anything similar.
It is possible to upgrade an old system, but do make sure that your hardware goes beyond the Microsoft minimum.
Great budget option
Asus E406MA | Verdict price £275 |
See price on Amazon
Perfect for students
Asus M409DA-R3 | Verdict price £380 |
See price on Amazon
Powerful and lightweight
Asus M409DA-R5 | Verdict price £480 |
See price on Amazon
This laptop does everything brilliantly
Asus ZenBook UX333 | Verdict price £750 |
See price on Amazon
Most of us use our laptops for work and play. This includes everything from Word and Excel to emails, surfing and watching videos. However, video editing and playing the latest blockbuster games require much higher specifications. A good gaming laptop can cost over £2000 and even at this price, it will struggle to compete with a PC of the same budget. If you don’t need Microsoft software and use a laptop predominantly online, then do consider a Chromebook. Alternatively, if you like your iPhone, take a look at the best MacBooks. However, if you’re after a new Windows 10 laptop, choose any of the models above – spend more for faster speed, more storage and less weight.
Verum recommended products sell out quickly. Especially at the moment. If the very finest laptop has sold out, either check back soon (we’re constantly updating) or take a look at the current Amazon best sellers.