Windows 8.1 Laptop Best Buy
Where it falls short: By default, some configurations of the Aspire 5 (A514-54) ship with Windows 11 S mode, which only allows apps from the Microsoft Store and limits you to Microsoft Edge for web browsing. But you can switch it to Windows 11 Home for free to install any program you need. And like many inexpensive Windows laptops, our pick comes with a ton of unnecessary bloatware that takes up space and slows down performance. Follow these steps to remove those programs and make your laptop feel faster and be more secure. The Aspire 5 (A514-54) also lacks a fingerprint reader, which some of our other picks have.
windows 8.1 laptop best buy
Why we like it: Depending on how you use a computer, you might not need a laptop at all. An Apple iPad (9th generation) with a Bluetooth keyboard or a keyboard case makes for a lighter and more portable system than any of our picks. If you primarily browse the web, make video calls, write, and take notes, an iPad provides a smoother, less painful experience than the Windows options in this price category.
Then we tested the Windows laptops and Chromebooks that met our criteria by using each for at least a day of ordinary work and video calls to get a feel for their performance, screens, keyboards, and trackpads. For Chromebooks, we had at least 20 browser tabs open, including Google Docs, Google Sheets, streaming music, Slack, and a variety of other sites. For Windows, we had five to 10 tabs open at a time, as well as the Spotify and Slack applications. We also tested the laptops by opening large Excel spreadsheets, 100-page Word documents, and 200-page PDF files.
Are you going to be taking your laptop outside your home, to school, to work, or perhaps to meet with clients? In that case, the best laptop would be one that is lightweight and portable. If your laptop is going to spend most of its time at home on a desk, you can browse larger models with bigger screens.
Windows laptops are powerful and have the widest range of available applications. MacBooks are known for their sophisticated, stylish design and ease of use. Chromebooks are extremely affordable and portable, and work their best when connected online.
Microsoft offers different accessories you can use with your Surface laptop or PC. You can choose accessories matched to your Surface hardware including Surface Pen stylus, Surface Hub, and Microsoft Surface headphones. You can also choose PC accessories including Microsoft Webcams for easy web conferencing, Microsoft Ergonomic keyboards to make long work hours more comfortable, and the Microsoft Arc Mouse that conforms to the shape of your hand.
While it's aimed at gamers, there is plenty here for students who need a powerful allrounder laptop. It's got an 12th Gen i5 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card and 512 GB SSD. We think this is great choice if you're looking for one of the best student laptops, and it's even got the power to be one of the best laptops for coding and programming on a budget too.
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Windows 8 was released back in 2012 and since October 2014, Microsoft no longer distributes licenses for Windows 7 Home editions. If you prefer Windows 7 and you're in the market for a new laptop, you'll be pleased to know that you can still choose from a lot of Windows 7 Professional laptops.
Dell offers a number of laptops available with Windows 7 Professional. The main draw here is their Inspiron 15 and 17 series. Although they do offer their Alienware laptops, these are generally considered overpriced for what they are; you can get better bang for your buck elsewhere.
Apart from the Alienware gaming laptops, they all have integrated graphics cards, which isn't ideal if gaming is your jam. But there's a good variety of Intel processors on offer, meaning you can still get a relatively high-end Windows 7 laptop for a decent price.
HP is still very much supporting Windows 7 laptops. In fact, when you visit HP's operating system overview, the section for Windows 7 is front and center. They have a whole range of different laptops available, including EliteBooks, ENVY, and Pavilion series.
Whichever you go for depends on a variety of factors, including the appearance of the laptops and the performance they offer. If you're looking for something light, thin, and powerful, then check out the EliteBook laptops, but bear in mind nearly all of these will set you back over $1000.
If you're after a laptop that's more affordable, but still has a bit of oomph, head for the Pavilions. The great thing about HP is that you can customize most of the laptops to upgrade the components. You can add in a dedicated graphics card, for example, or double the size of the hard drive. It's worth playing around with the customization options so you can create the perfect laptop for you.
At time of writing, Toshiba has 41 Windows 7 laptops available. Actually, some of them come with Windows 8 by default, but the great thing is that all of the systems are customizable, meaning you can switch out the operating system for what you prefer.
Although other manufacturers only offer Windows 7 Professional by default, Toshiba actually has a pre-built laptop that comes with Home Premium. The Satellite C50-BST2N02 has an i3 processor, 500GB of storage, and 4GB of RAM, all currently for the great price of $399.99. There's also a webcam and HDMI port, making this a great choice for those after an affordable laptop.
Elsewhere, there are laptops with a variety of screen sizes and designs, some with dedicated graphics cards and SSDs for quicker data access. There's certainly no limit on choice. However, be careful with some of the higher priced systems because they're definitely overpriced for what they are, especially when compared to other manufacturers.
Of course, there's no obligation to go directly to a manufacturer. You may find better deals at a retail store like Best Buy, which offers laptops from companies like Lenovo, Acer, and Panasonic (among others), so be sure to shop around. With over 1000 Windows 7 laptops available at Best Buy alone, some actually refurbished or available from third parties, you can certainly strike a deal.
Before buying the laptop, be sure to check out the reviews on Best Buy and elsewhere on the web to ensure you're going for a reliable system. And don't forget to hunt around for the best price, too. Best Buy offers a price match guarantee on some of their laptops and you might be able to get the price down even more.
Pro Tip: If you find a great deal on a Windows 8 Professional laptop, note that you have the option to downgrade to Windows 7 Professional on those devices. How-To Geek explains how to downgrade to Windows 7.
It's never easy to know when the best time to buy a new computer is, but don't hold off doing so if you're just waiting for Windows 10. Everyone running Windows 7 and above will get a free upgrade to Windows 10 during its first year of existence.
Whether you're looking for a tablet on a shoestring budget or dying to replace your laptop, today you're in luck. We've rounded up five Editors' Choice tablet deals to help you make the right choice. Opt for the cheapest Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 we've seen, score a $30 price low on a Kindle Fire HD, or save $381 on a Microsoft Surface Pro. 041b061a72