Bottom Line: Finding the best laptop for your budget

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 6:49 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/CONSUMER REPORTS) - It’s time to go back to school or at least time to start thinking about it. To make it a little easier, a new laptop might help. And Consumer Reports has some great picks for every budget.

With almost everything costing more these days, Consumer Reports has some great news. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a good-quality laptop. One of the best options for a tight budget: a Chromebook.

Chromebooks are generally less expensive than Mac and PC laptops. They’re not the fastest computers out there, but for everyday things like browsing the web, editing documents, completing school tasks, and working, they will be fine.

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, for example, is a convertible laptop that can be folded back and also used as a tablet.

An even better bang for your buck is the 14-inch HP Chromebook. CR says it’s a solid choice for people on the go because it’s lightweight and anti-reflective, which makes it perfect for using just about anywhere.

If you need something more powerful, for a little more, CR suggests the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 with a 12.4-inch touch screen. It’s among the fastest in CR’s ratings for things like web browsing and editing text documents.

There’s also the Acer Swift 3. It’s a CR Best Buy and earns Excellent ratings for portability, performance, and display. And it has an incredible battery life of more than 23 hours.

If you’ve been saving up or just want to treat yourself to a shiny new Mac, CR recommends Apple’s 13-inch Macbook Air with the M1 processor. That’s right, Apple’s older model. But why not the brand new M2?

CR is currently testing the M2 Macbook Air, and early impressions are that it’s not a lot faster than the M1 MacBook Air. So it might make sense to get the M1 Air, save a little bit of money, and still get a very good Mac laptop.

Consumer Reports says August and September are some of the best times to buy a computer because of sales. When you’re shopping don’t forget to check for student discounts from your school, stores or computer makers.

“Consumer Reports TV News” is published by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site

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