Best Cheap Office Work LaptopsUpdated on: June 4, 2019
Nowadays, there are a lot of manufacturers who put out good quality laptops to the market. With more and more laptops being available every year there are many choices that can cause a lot of confusion to some. We all want to make the best possible deal when it comes to buying a laptop and that’s why we’re here to help you out.
Choosing the right machine for work is a serious task. Your chosen laptop will not only stick with you for the upcoming years but it also has to be powerful, durable and able to handle your daily work load. You’ll be investing a lot of your professional life into your laptop, so it’s wise that you invest some energy into making a well informed choice. Fortunately for you, we’re here to help you do just that.
You don’t have to be a tech whiz to find a laptop that perfectly fits your needs. Most work oriented laptops were manufactured to fully meet business and performance needs. They are much lighter and have a much sturdier case than other laptops, so that they can handle being carried around.
So if you’re the type of road warrior who would mercilessly shove a laptop into a backpack then run along to the office, you have plenty to choose from. But first, find the one that best meets your performance requirement and budget.
How to Choose the Right Laptop for Office Work
The first question to answer when you’re buying a laptop is what are you going to use it for? You’re going to use it for work, that’s a given. But what kind of work will you be doing?
Is it accounting, coding, graphic design, video editing or something else entirely? Do you want to do a bit of gaming in your spare time? The clearer picture you can paint of your everyday workload the more optimized hardware you can find for it.
If you’re into gaming as well, you’ll have an easy time finding the right machine, since gaming laptops have the most powerful hardware. They can handle any type of work you would throw at them with their powerful processors. But keep in mind that more powerful processors and GPU are more taxing for the laptop’s battery. For those who do some of their work on the go, they might not be the best solution.
So, what are all the technical aspects you should look out for? Let’s find out!
Processing Power and Memory
The CPU is the brains of the computer and has the most influence on its performance. Depending on what your task is, even the least expensive one can be good enough. Microsoft office programs don’t require much, while there are more demanding applications out there too.
Dual core processors, such as the Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 are the norm for business laptops. There are plenty of those that use quad core processors such as the Intel core i5 and i7 that provide a lot more horsepower.
Intel Core i3 are the least powerful and least expensive processors, so it’s much better to pay a few dollars extra for a machine with an Intel Core i5 processor.
Intel Core i5 laptops are the most mainstream and provide the best combination of price and performance. Processor models that have their names ending with U, like the Core i5-7200U are the most common ones. Those models that have their names ending with a Y operate on low power, which makes the battery last longer but they are also less powerful.
Those models that end with HQ operate with four cores and offer the most powerful performance.
Intel Core i7 processors are used mostly by gaming laptops and desktop replacements. Models that have their names ending with K or HQ have four cores, consume more power and offer much better performance.
Memory or RAM is one of the cheapest parts of a laptop and most machines offer RAM between 2GB and 8GB. Some go up to 16 GB, but you won’t require that much if you’re not buying your laptop to enjoy high-end AAA games.
The more RAM you have the more browser tabs and applications you can handle at once. Having 8GB of RAM is very useful, but you can do some solid multitasking with 4GB as well. If your laptop doesn’t offer as much RAM as you would want, most models have support for additional RAM.
The more you have the better. Most laptops come with a 500GB or a 1TB hard drive, which is great, but will want to have an SSD drive in yours. Solid State Drives are 20x faster than regular hard disks since they don’t have any moving parts. They’re completely electronic, which makes them incredibly fast. Having one in your laptop would add a lot of speed to its overall performance but it will also elevate the price tag.
If you can invest a bit more or find a decent model with at a 128GB, 256 GB or 512 GB SSD drive, it will be more than worth the investment. Your operating system and any data you store on it will be read incredibly fast.
If you don’t intend to play demanding games or do 3D modeling, or use video special effects, you won’t need a dedicated graphic card. An integrated GPU will work just fine.
When it comes to selecting a display, the more pixels you have, the more content can fit on the screen and the sharper image it will produce. There are still many HD monitors available, but it will be much better for your eyes if you upgrade to a display with 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution and IPS technology.
If you want to connect multiple external devices to your laptop, such as cameras, microphones, mouse and so on, you’ll need enough USB ports to do it. Most laptops feature two USB 2.0 ports and a single USB 3.0. Other, higher end machines have all USB 3.0 ports, which lets you enjoy some speedy connectivity.
If you want to use an additional monitor or a projector, your laptop has to have the necessary display ports. Most laptops come with a HDMI port and a VGA port, which can get very useful.
Weight and Size
Depending on how much you want to carry your machine around with you and how much you’re going to travel, you’ll have to decide how big and how heavy you want it to be. But you’ll also have to compromise for screen size as well. Most laptops have a 13.3, 15.6 or 17 inch displays. Naturally, the diameter of your laptop will be almost the same.
Choose a laptop that best fits your portability needs. You’ll have to make a few compromises when it comes to performance and portability. Naturally, higher performance and larger screens will take more battery life and will make the laptop heavier. Gaming laptops and some desktop replacement laptops are like this.
But lighter laptops, such as Ultrabooks and many different models can still boast incredible performance and more than 7 hours of battery life. So it’s really up to your taste and lifestyle.
Best Laptops for Office Work
Here’s a top list of some of the best and most inexpensive work laptops on the market right now. All of them were optimized to provide durability and powerful performance during long work hours.
1. Asus Zenbook UX330UA
The Zenbook is an attractive all metal laptop with the Asus logo in the middle and the famous concentration rings around it. The exterior of the laptop itself is well rounded, making it look very stylish. Being just 12.5 mm (0.41 inch) thick, the UX330UA is one of the slimmest Ultrabooks currently around. It is also very lightweight, weighting only 2.45 pounds, so it can be easily carried around in a small bag.
On the sides you have two full sized USB 3.0 ports and a third type C connector along with a micro HDMI port, SD card slot and a headset jack. The keyboard is fine with a relatively positive action and a decent amount of travel time. Typing is fast and comfortable but the keyboard is made from a cheap, less sturdy material. The touchpad features a fingerprint sensor. Using it isn’t too comfortable for my taste and I think there are better options out there, but it works well enough for most people.
The Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) 13.3 inch matte display has bright colors and everything looks sharp on it. Even fine details such as hair and fur look pretty amazing. Overall its display quality is better than about 50% of the Ultrabooks out there.
The display is very wobbly, which isn’t much of a problem if you don’t push it or don’t do anything reckless.
For performance the Asus Zenbook UX330UA has an Intel i7-7500U CPU (15W, 2 cores, 4 threads, 2.7GHz base, 3.5GHz turbo). With it comes 8GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD, which makes the entire system run incredibly fast. It’s fast enough to handle any kind of work, provide fast browsing and smooth video playback and you’ll easily do graphic design or photo editing as well.
The cooling fan is active all the time, even when you’re doing moderate work, but it can be hardly heard even when the machine is under a heavy load.
The battery can hold out for 6 hours which isn’t mind blowing, but it’s just about what you would expect from an Ultrabook.
Considering its awesome specifications, the Asus Zenbook UX330UA is super cheap and undercuts the price of its competitors by a great deal.
2. Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK
The Dell Inspiron i7559 isn’t exactly the type of lightweight work laptop, but it boasts a performance that is able to handle even the most excessive video editing tasks. This model is Dell’s newest gaming laptops.
For those who want to get their load of work done and enjoy some gaming too, while being conscious about how their wallet, this is the ideal model.
It’s no surprise that the Inspiron i7559 has a black and red design, the top lid is black with the red dell logo, while the side of the laptop and the keyboard features red lighting. The entire model is a little less than an inch thick and weighs 5.7 pounds. This is quite impressive considering the incredible amount of horsepower its packing. The rubbery exterior has a smooth touch and the look of this laptop is just sexy.
On the left side we have the power connection, exhaust vent, a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack. On the right side, we have the SD card slot, another USB 3.0 port, a full size HDMI 1.4 and the Ethernet jack.
You can open the laptop up smoothly with one finger and the hinge is very sturdy, so it has zero wobble when you’re typing. The screen is pretty flexible, but I wouldn’t try to bend it too much. Visuals on the 3840×2160 matte finish 15.6 inch display didn’t blow me away but thanks to the IPS panel, it produces beautiful colors and great viewing angles. On top of it is a surprisingly decent 720p 30fps webcam, which is perfect for conducting interviews or Skype calls.
Thanks to the nice grip texture and the decent amount of travel time, the keyboard is very comfortable to type on.
For performance, the Inspiron i7559 has an Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz Processor, giving the machine an incredible amount of horsepower. The 8 GB of DDR3 RAM ensures that you can do some heavy multitasking and still enjoy lag-free work.
Boasting an incredible video performance is the NVIDIA 960M 4GB graphic card, which will ensure that you can play even the newest AAA games.
This model will serve all of your computing needs for both work and gaming for a long time.
3. HP Laptop 15-Ay011nr
If you’re looking for a decent office laptop that doesn’t break the bank yet offers a solid performance, you’ve found your match. The Ay011nr is excellent for work, casual gaming, web browsing, watching and editing video or image files and other types of content creation.
My first thought about it was that it’s some kind of cut down budget machine, but it really isn’t. It is a 15-inch desktop replacement laptop, powerful enough for any type of work and can also endure 7 hours of work on a single charge. Perfect for travel or any job that requires a lot of movement. You can also buy an extra battery or find a replacement if you need.
The exterior is made to look like metal, but it is actually textured plastic. This texture gives it a very firm grip, thus making it easy to carry around when you switch workplaces or desks. It isn’t as light as an Ultrabook, but being 2.14 kg (4.73 pounds) makes it still very lightweight. It is also pretty thin with 10.02 inches of thickness.
On the right side we have an 8x DVD-RW drive, an SD Memory Card reader and a single USB 2.0 port. On the right side there is a HDMI port for external monitors, two high speed USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack and the power connector.
The 15.6 inch screen has a 1920 x 1080 resolution, which gives a beautiful image for Full HD videos. The keyboard has a smooth touch and makes typing very comfortable.
For performance the HP 15-Ay011nr has an Intel Core i5 6200U 2.3GH dual-core processor that can you push up to 2.8 GHz with turbo. 8GB of RAM ensures that you can have a bunch of stuff run at the same time without experiencing any slag. And the Intel HD 520 graphic card is excellent for work and good enough for some casual gaming as well.
Finally, the 1TB HDD is plenty enough for keeping a ton of files on your machine, and you also have a 128 GB SSD to make some of your stuff read faster and your browser run at high speed.
The HP 15-Ay011nr doesn’t step into any new features and doesn’t bring any stellar performance, but it is an outstanding work laptop. It is very inexpensive yet boasts very powerful hardware, making it a near perfect choice for work.
4. Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG
One of the highest selling laptops right now is the Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG because of its low price and the high value it offers. It’s most valuable part is the NVIDIA graphics card that lets it be more than just a powerful laptop and allows a solid gaming performance as well. A lot of people call it the best budget laptop out there. What makes it even more compelling is that it has more than 10 hours of battery time.
The Aspire E5-575G-53VG looks very handsome, sleek and sexy. Its exterior is covered by matte black plastic that features a kind of unique, thatched pattern. This makes the laptop look pretty unremarkable and solid, which is what most productivity users would want.
This model is thicker and heavier than the other ones we’ve reviewed so far and has a 1.19 thickness and a weight of 5.27 pounds. Its size is just about the same as other laptops with 15.6-inch monitors have. It is 15.0 x 10.2 x 1.2, which will fit into any regular sized bag.
On the sides, there’s a HDMI port, three USB 3.0 ports, an USB Type C connector and an Ethernet port.
The 15.6 inch display produces great colors and really makes watching Full HD videos engaging. It’s perfect for viewing any kind of multimedia content. On top of it is a good but not too great webcam. It’s only good for making Skype calls and you can’t really use it for much else than that. Not like you would anyway.
You have a 4.1 x 3.0 inch touch pad and a beautiful backlit keyboard for input. Its touch has a rubbery feel and it has good travel time. While the touchpad feels a bit sloppy and dragging the cursor across the display is very slow.
Performance is where the Aspire E5-575G-53VG really shines. It has an Intel Core i5-6200U 2.3 GHz dual-core processor that is capable of handling even the heaviest work-loads. It also has plenty of memory to run many applications at once with 8GB of ram and even your operating system and most demanding applications will run at high speed if you use the 256GB SSD. It’s a huge plus to have one of those implemented into the system.
One of the Aspire E5-575G-53VG’s most outstanding features is the inclusion of the Nvidia 940MX 2GB discrete graphic card. It was capable of handling GTA V and the Witcher III at maximum graphic without any trouble. Under constant use, the battery life lasted 9 hours and 43 minutes, which is simply mind-blowing. Most laptops aren’t able to take their battery through an 8 hour work-day but this one goes even further. So taking all of this into account and ignoring the sloppy touchpad, the Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG is a very decent model and a more than capable workstation. It provides plenty of power for working through tasks and 10 hours of battery life to take you through the long hustles.
5. ASUS F556UA-AB54
The ASUS F556UA-AB54 is a notebook computer that is built to be used as a desktop replacement computer. It packs the power necessary for doing everyday computing tasks such as browsing the internet, making video calls and being productive with office work. Both the laptop’s exterior and hardware make it valuable for anyone who intends to buy a laptop for functional purposes and for enjoying a bit of multimedia.
Yet, this machine proves to be a bit more than an everyday laptop and provides all the speed and features necessary to provide for your everyday computing needs.
Thanks to its sleek and easy to tote around design, it is very comfortable to carry around in a backpack, while making it have a very luxurious look. The metallic grey color and a well curved frame never get old.
The laptop has a weight of 2.3 kilograms and a measurement of 6.6 x 52.3 x 11.8 centimeters. Its fine shapes and metallic construction makes it much sturdier than you would expect from a notebook-like system. The entire system is as slim and as light as possible.
On the sides, it has plenty of USB ports. There is an USB 2.0 port, one of the latest USB 3.1 Type-C port and an USB 3.0 port. You can also connect external displays through the HDMI and VGA ports and you’ll have all of your wireless needs sorted with the 802.11 AC-type WiFi and the Bluetooth 4.1 card. There’s also a DVD burner and an SD card reader for other types of portable media.
Giving it a really compelling look is the backlit keyboard with its Chiclet style keys. They are very comfortable and leave enough room for a 10-key number pad. So, the keyboards are pretty comfortable to type on but they aren’t close to what you would get from more high-end laptops. The touch pad right beneath the keyboard is responsive and smooth with every touch.
For performance, the ASUS F556UA-AB54 has one of the latest generations of processors. The ‘Kaby Lake’ Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz processor and 8GB of RAM, which makes it up to date with the demands of today’s applications. You can clock the processor up to 3.1 GHz if it isn’t performing well enough. It also boasts a very good picture quality with the Intel HD 62 graphic card and its Full HD display. It’s enough to play even big games on low settings, if you’re not that much of a gamer.
The 256GB SSD provides high speed storage space for your most important files, applications and your operating system. A 1TB Hard Drive will provide plenty of space for the bulk of your work and multimedia files.
With excessive use, you can enjoy 5 hours and 47 minutes of battery life with this model. It is more than decent for any productivity user.
My final verdict is that the ASUS F556UA-AB54 is great for any user that wants to have a lot of power, portability and battery life at an affordable price.
6. HP Notebook 15-AY011NR
Offering good processing power and enough features while still maintaining a low price isn’t always a pretty compromise. Yet there are laptops such as the HP Notebook 15-ay011nr, which manage to double down on both while still keeping the price low for a desktop replacement laptop. It is a decent Windows 10 laptop that will be great for learning to handle the operating system and getting office work and school projects done. It’s an excellent model to handle day-to-day computing tasks.
This notebook has a 15 inch screen and had a body that is much thinner than most of its rivals’. It has a measurement of 2.4 x 38.40 x 25.45 centimeters and a weight of 2.38, which is about average for most laptops.
The 15.6 inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution provides a crisp clear image when playing Full HD videos.
On the sides, there are two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, a single HDMI port, an Ethernet port and a headset jack. It also has a Bluetooth 4.0 port, an SD card slot and integrated 802.11 AC wireless, along with a DVD burner, which isn’t a necessity but can still come handy.
For performance, there is the Intel Core i5 6200U dual-core 2.3 GHz processor and 8 GB of RAM, ensuring that you go full throttle while doing your work. The 8GB RAM will let you have plenty of applications and browser bars opened without ever running out of memory.
The system doesn’t have a dedicated graphic card, so you won’t be doing too much hardcore gaming. But if you’re buying this machine for productivity purposes only, then the Intel HD 520 integrated graphic card will be enough, even for video editing. You’ll have plenty of storage space for all of your documents and files with 1 TB, but it’s a shame that this model doesn’t have an SSD.
My final verdict is that this model won’t tear the roof off with its performance and graphic quality, but it is excellent for casual users who want a good stable system to carry out their day-to-day tasks.
7. Dell Latitude 7000 E7450
The Dell Latitude 7000 E7450 is a 14-inch business Ultrabook that was made to satisfy a wide range of users. It is a light work laptop that you can carry around seamlessly and enjoy its powerful performance on the go. It was designed to handle bumps and coke spills without suffering any damage whatsoever.
It has the black color scheme that you’re used to, yet manages to look modern with sleek and well-rounded edges. Its high-quality doesn’t mess around, since it has valuable feature such as a carbon-fiber lid and a magnesium-alloy chassis. Its weight is only 1.6 kilogram and it has a dimension of 33.78 x 23.11 x 2.03 cm.
This machine is incredibly functional, offering a 360-degree hinge, a detachable screen, a dual pointing stick and a touchscreen as well. The textured keyboard and touchpad with separate mouse buttons are incredibly robust, letting the user type comfortably and at a high speed, thanks to the low travel time of the keys.
On the left side you have an SD Card reader, a headset jack. On the right side there is only one USB 3.0 port and you have two more USB 3.0 ports on the back of the machine, along with a mini DisplayPort, an HDMI port and the Ethernet and power port. Just about everything you would expect from a productivity machine.
Even for being such a lightweight machine, the Dell Latitude 7000 E7450 Ultrabook doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to performance. It has an Intel Core i5-5200U 2.2-GHz CPU and 8GB of RAM for handling all your tasks and a high speed 256GB SSD for storing your most important files and the operating system.
The 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 resolution display produces a crisp clear image and the Intel HD Graphics 5500 integrated graphic card is more than good enough for watching Full HD movies and some light gaming in your off time.
The Dell Latitude 7000 E7450 has an 8:36 hour battery life, which is just about enough to last during a regular work day.
My final verdict is that the Dell Latitude 7000 E7450 will work perfectly for heavy productivity users who want the most functionality out of their machine. You can also carry it around as much as you like and do your work on the go.
8. HP ENVY 13-AB016NR
One of the thinnest laptops that were ever made finally hit the market. The HP Envy 13 features a very slick and elegant look with its aluminum cassis that also makes it very durable. This machine hasn’t made compromises when it comes to performance either, since it features an i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, which is plenty enough for accomplishing your day to day tasks.
Currently being HP’s thinnest laptop, the entire model is just 12.9 mm thick. Being a 13 inch laptop, its size is relatively small and it weighs only 1.27 kilograms.
The top surface is aluminum, featuring a mirrored HP logo. It feels premium, durable and is overall comfortable to hold. The bottom of the device is also aluminum and has a couple of intake vents and a rubber footing. Both the keyboard and the screen have a little bit of flex, which is expected from such a thin machine. The hinge feels sturdy and it raises the back of the laptop a little bit when you open it up.
On the left side, there is a nice and deep SD card slot, a high speed USB 3.0 port and an audio jack. On the right, we have the power socked, an HDMI port and two USB 3.0 ports.
The backlit keyboard and touch pad follow the same design as the rest of the laptop. Each strike on the keyboard feels comfortable and it allows for fast typing with a limited amount of friction, but I don’t like the layout of the arrow keys.
The 13.3” (3200 x 1800) screen, combined with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 graphic card provides a clear image that’s perfect for productivity purposes and for enjoying some multimedia content. It isn’t a touch screen but it’s bright and produces good colors overall.
For performance, this slick beauty has a 6th generation 2.3 GHz i5-6200U processor and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. For storage, there’s a 256 GB SSD which lets you load all files 20x faster than a regular hard drive.
Finally, it has about 7 hours of battery life which I wouldn’t consider a long battery life but it’s good enough.
My final verdict is that the HP ENVY 13-ab016nr is a decent machine for anyone who wants to take some solid computing power everywhere they go, but I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who wants to play new gaming titles.
9. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E560
The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E560 is aimed at value-conscious users and companies that require powerful productivity machines that have lots of ports and a long battery life combined with a comfortable keyboard.
The exterior of the laptop has a pretty boring but sturdy plastic which gives it a very old-school look but gives the feeling that it’s a machine made for some serious productivity. It has 2.4 kg of weight and a thickness of 2.7 centimeters. The build is stable overall and the display has a mid-level torsion resistance, so you can safely carry it around as much as you want.
On the sides, there are three USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI 1.4b port a VGA port and a Gigabit-Ethernet port as well. If you need some extra slots, you can use the OneLink connector to add more USB and Ethernet ports.
The TinkPad series is famous for its outstanding keyboards and this model doesn’t spoil their reputation one bit. It provides an outstanding typing experience that far outmatches any laptop you would put your hands on. When you get used to the long travel time and heavy stroke of the keyboard you will not want to put your hands on another laptop ever again. For the cursor, you have the TrackPoint and the touch pad, with two mouse buttons integrated on top of its 10x 5.6 cm surface.
The display is the basic 15.6 inch Anti-glare HD display with a 1366×768 resolution, but you can also have this same system with a Full HD display with an IPS panel if you want it. For accomplishing your day-to-day tasks, the HD display of this model is more than enough.
Performance is where the ThinkPad Edge E560 really shines for such a lightweight laptop, thanks to the 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7-6500U processor and 8GB of DDRL3 RAM. We didn’t expect a more powerful graphic card then the HD Graphics 520 inside this machine and it serves its purpose pretty well.
The 6-cell 47520 mWh battery ensures about 6-7 hours of battery life without a single recharge.
My final verdict is that this machine was built for heavy productivity users. People who are looking for robust features and performance instead of a flashy design will be more than satisfied with this ThinkPad.
10. Apple MacBook Air
There you have it. The most competent laptops in the productivity contest. Almost every one of these machines will provide reliability and stability during your longest work days, so be sure to check out the one that best suits your taste.
This year has brought us a few technological changes and a bit of added performance, but it has managed to pump out the latest generation of productivity laptops. Some managed to keep the price tag really low while offering the same performance as pricier models.
Hope we helped you find the most outstanding productivity machine and that you’ve enjoyed reading through this article! Cheers!