The budget laptop is undergoing a radical makeover. This week's best laptop deals include some of the most popular budget systems, including the HP Stream 14, a cloud-based Windows laptop that's going head-to-head against the Chromebooks of the world. Also on sale this week is the value-priced Acer Aspire E5, Dell's entry-level Inspiron 15, and — for our well-heeled readers — Lenovo's high-end Yoga Pro 2.
Acer Aspire E5-571-5552 Intel Core i5 1.7GHz 15.6" Laptop
Store: Newegg via eBay
Price: $359.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $75
Is It Worth It?: Don't be fooled by its budget pricing. The Acer Aspire E5-571-5552 is a very capable laptop with enough muscle to satisfy most computer users. The 5.5-lb. machine packs a current-gen Core i5-4210U 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. Its 15.6" LCD tops out at 1366x768 resolution, but keep in mind, this low-cost machine isn't competing with the XPS's of the world, but rather other bargain bin laptops which traditionally pack Pentium or Atom CPUs for the same price.
Dell Inspiron 17 7000 Series Haswell Core i7 2GHz 17.3" Touchscreen Laptop
Store: Dell Home
Price: $1,077.99 via coupon code "TRQ3ZW?$J6HQ2T" with free shipping
Lowest By: $22
Expires: October 31
Is It Worth It?: At 7.3 lbs., the Inspiron 17 7000 Series wasn't meant for the road. But if it's power you want, this machine won't disappoint. It packs a Core i7-4510U 2GHz Haswell dual-core processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive with 8GB SSD. Unlike previous deals we've seen for this laptop, today's configuration also packs an NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2GB video card and features a 17.3" 1080p touchscreen LCD, both of which help make this package a true desktop replacement.
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Intel Haswell Core i7 2GHz 13.3" Touchscreen Convertible Laptop
$1,409 via coupon code "USPSAVLENY2P6" with free shippingEXPIRED
Lowest By: $340
Is It Worth It?: The successor to Lenovo's popular Yoga laptop, the Yoga 2 Pro is a "an excellent ultrabook, even without digging into its hybrid capabilities," says CNET. The 3.1-lb. Yoga 2 Pro masquerades as a thin ultrabook, but its lid folds back a full 360 degrees to form either a thick tablet, or a stand/kiosk device when folded back partially. The machine's rockstar feature is its 13.3" 3200x1800 touchscreen LCD, which is a higher resolution than the MacBook Pro's and allows for crisper text and more screen real estate for editing images, says CNET. Other features include an Intel Haswell Core i7-4510U 2GHz dual-core processor, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
HP Stream 14-z010nr AMD A4 1.8GHz 14" Laptop
Store: HP Home & Home Office
Price: $284.99 via coupon code "15HPDEALNEWS" with free shipping
Lowest By: $15
Is It Worth It?: Make no mistake, the Stream is competing in the lower end of the laptop market. It was designed to take on Google's Chromebook, while still offering the power of a full-fledged OS, in this case Windows 8.1. In terms of features, the 3.9-lb. notebook packs an AMD A4 Micro-6400T 1GHz quad-core processor, 14" 1366x768 LCD, 2GB RAM, and a 32GB flash storage (100GB of OneDrive cloud storage is also included for two years). Spec-wise, that may make you cringe, but keep in mind this laptop was designed for remote cloud-based apps and services. The $285 laptop also includes audio by Beats.
Acer Aspire Signature Edition Intel Pentium 2.16GHz 11.6" Touchscreen Laptop
Store: Microsoft Store
Price: $329 with free shipping
Lowest By: $45
Is It Worth It?: Not all ultraportables come with a premium price tag and the Acer Aspire V3 Signature Edition is proof. At $329, the 2.9-lb. notebook is the second-cheapest machine in our roundup, featuring an Intel Bay Trail Pentium N3530 2.16GHz quad-core processor, 11.6" 1366x768 touchscreen LCD, 4GB RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. Laptop calls it a "lightweight touch-screen laptop that offers solid everyday performance and excellent audio for a very affordable price."
Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series Intel Haswell Core i3 1.9GHz 15.6" Touchscreen Laptop
Store: Dell Home
$449.99 with free shippingEXPIRED
Lowest By: $200
Expires: October 16
Is It Worth It?: Like the Acer E-Series, the Inspiron 1500 3000 series was designed for the budget shopper who doesn't need a powerful system. To cut costs, this laptop features modest specs starting with an Intel Haswell Core i3-4030U 1.9GHz dual-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD, 4GB RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.