The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is a very attractive laptop inside and out. On the outside, you get a design that feels more solid than the budget competition and that comes in a fetching red hue. When you turn the system on, you'll enjoy snappy performance courtesy of a Core i3 processor, as well as a refreshing lack of bloatware. Add in surprisingly powerful speakers, and you have a value-priced laptop that rises above the rest.
Lenovo's 2.2-pound, 11-inch laptop combines solid performance, an attractive design, a bright screen and over 9 hours of battery life. The Windows 10-powered Ideapad 100S even comes with a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal.
If battery life and price are your top concerns, the $330 Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35 is just the laptop for you. It's the only budget laptop we've tested that lasted more than 10 hours, and it has a bright, accurate 13.3-inch 1080p display. Add to that an excellent keyboard, and you've got a low-cost system that's worth more than the sum of its parts.
Versatile and vibrant, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 sports the most colorful display in its class along with zippy Intel Pentium performance. Other highlights include 6 hours of battery life, surprisingly loud speakers and an attractively slim design that makes it easy to transform from laptop to tablet mode (or tent or stand mode).
For basic, mostly cloud-based computing, the stylish HP Stream 13 is the ticket. Its Intel Celeron CPU is fine for surfing the Web, checking Facebook and streaming music, which will sound great through the quality speakers. The 6 hours of battery life isn't best in class, but you'll have plenty of time between recharges.
If you want the longest battery life for your buck, the Asus X555LA delivers, lasting nearly 6 hours on our test. This 15-inch laptop also offered speedy performance in various benchmarks, as well as strong audio. Plus, Asus doesn't pack as much bloatware as other brands in this price range. We just wish the design felt more solid.