The CHEAP Laptop Challenge

– Hey guys, this is Austin, and have I got some deals for you In front of me, I have four brand new laptops all purchased for $300 or less

Are you going back to school? Or maybe buying your very first laptop? Or do you wanna give your kids something that they won't be able to destroy the bank with? Well I've got the deals Speaking of deals, this video is sponsored by Raid Shadow Legends Raid is one of the best-looking mobile games I've ever played It really isn't too far off from PC and console games And to top it off, it is free

Raid is an RPG with a great story line, awesome 3D graphics, giant boss fights, as well as PvP battles and hundreds of champions to collect and customize The game is growing super fast as well Almost ten million people worldwide have already downloaded it, and they've just launched a big new update There's also a rewards program for new players You get a daily login reward for the first ninety days you play, and who knows? You might just find me on there as ProbablyAustin

I mean, I'm probably ProbablyAustin So what are you waiting for? Definitely be sure to go check out the link in the description, where you'll get fifty thousand silver, as well as a free epic champion as part of the new player program to start your journey And of course, a huge shout out to Raid Shadow Legends for sponsoring this portion of the video So first up we have an HP laptop So this is the smallest of the group at 14 inches

It's a cheap laptop, but it's not a "craptop" as the kids say There are lots of laptops which are available for significantly less than this, say Chromebooks and what not, but generally speaking you take a huge hit to the specs I mean, they're very much meant for like, Chrome, and maybe a second Chrome tab Whereas all of these laptops actually have real specs We're talking Ryzen processors, we're talking Core i3s, we're talking stuff which you can actually use for everyday use

Next up we have the Acer Aspire 5 Another system which comes in at exactly $300 This is a larger laptop, so it's a 15 inch display However, there's a couple things that really jump out, including, this is powered by a Ryzen processor If it's IPS and 1080P, this actually looks to be pretty solid

Next up we have the ASUS VivoBook F510QA at an incredibly wallet busting $313 Another 15 inch laptop So that's, uh, very plastic, but it's got USB-C We also have an AMD A12 processor, which is a little bit, um, older, shall we say? But I will give it a fair try nonetheless Not bad, not bad

And if you really want to push the limits of budgets, you've got this guy The Lenovo at $220 I will say, definitely the cheapest looking laptop here It's the only one with an optical drive, though Bet you didn't see that one coming

Now, the real test will be, which of these are actually good? Which of these are terrible? And which of these should you spend your hard-earned, or maybe more importantly, your parents' hard-earned money on? [Ken] The answer is yes So after some time with these laptops, the hardware is one of the real areas that these jump out And in last place, is certainly the Lenovo Now to be fair, this is the cheapest laptop here The downside is it actually feels like it

So, the entire thing is just made out of very cheap feeling plastic I'm sure it'll be reasonably durable, but I mean, there's a lot of flex on like, the screen It just doesn't really feel super well put together Now that being said, there are some advantages The keyboard is completely fine

The track pad is solid It has okay ports, as well as that DVD drive However, it cannot measure up to the other laptops in its class In third place, we have the ASUS Now this one actually looks really nice, although it is still made out of fairly cheap-feeling plastic

It does feel reasonably durable, and it's the only one with a fingerprint sensor, which is a legitimately big plus The only thing that really pulls this ASUS down is the keyboard It feels very cheap In fact, I spent a little bit of time with a $200 ASUS a little while ago, and it had almost the exact same keyboard It's fine, it's usable, but it's dead last in this comparison which puts it in third place for hardware

In a very close second place, we have the HP Now this is another laptop that definitely looks more expensive than its price tag suggests, and there's not a lot to complain about So you have a good keyboard, a solid track pad, plenty of ports included, again you have USB-C Really, the only issue here is that there's another laptop that just does everything a little bit better Spoiler alert: it's that one

It's clear that Acer is using the same design for more expensive laptops because this feels awesome Not only do you have the aluminum lid, importantly you also have the back lit keyboard, the only one of these cheap laptops that does It's really nice to type on You've got a solid touch pad And you also have a good selection of ports

An all around win for the Acer Now when it comes to buying a $300 laptop, something which is important is can you actually upgrade it? And to start out with, let's see what's inside this Acer So number one thing I notice is that we can very easily upgrade the memory So, standard, all of these have 4GB of DDR4 However, it should be very easy to do, which I think you should do, because not only is Ryzen going to be faster with more memory, but also 8GB is just nice, and it's pretty cheap right now

Besides that, though, this seems to be pretty solid We have a 48Wh battery We also have a WD 128GB NVMe drive This actually might be the cleanest, easiest to work on laptop I've ever seen This is, wow

It's gonna be tough to top this one So as I'm taking apart the HP, I immediately have a note This is not as easy as the Acer Not only do you have to take off the two rubber feet, which, to be fair, is kinda easy to do, you also have to kinda disassemble this entire bottom piece We do have what looks to be a SATA based drive

It looks like a SATA drive, but it is a M2 style module We have an entirely empty 25 inch drive So this is easy to jump up to 8GB of RAM, throw another SSD in there, in fact you can even swap out the stock one

The only real downside here is that it's just not as easy to access It's doable, but you're gonna have to be a little careful So next up we have the ASUS Now this is, well, unnecessarily challenging Not only do you have a series of exposed screws on the back, but you also have screws underneath the feet so you have to tear them up, which always is a pain

Yet again, we see a very similar case here We have 4GB of RAM which you can easily upgrade that to 8, or I guess theoretically 16 if you want We do have an empty 25 inch drive bay As well as we have an SSD which I assume is SATA

Yes So this is a Sandisk X600, so another 128GB SSD My main gripe here is that this one is by far the most difficult to do Just because they've kind of added a bunch of hurdles with the different sizes of screws and removing the feet But still very easily upgradable

The Lenovo is also not particularly easy to do Similar to the HP, it is kind of like a unibody style shell The first thing I notice is that unlike the other systems we've been taking a look at, this is using a full 25 inch SSD, which means that there's no, to my knowledge, easy way of upgrading the drive here You either have to replace your optical drive, or you have to replace your optical drive

(laughs) That's pretty much it There's also no easy way of upgrading the RAM We have 4GB in here, and I think this is a very, very obvious last place Oh, and it only has a 30Wh battery, again the smallest of this entire comparison Yeah, Lenovo is hard to get into, not much upgradability, tiny battery

Thumbs down Our next test is an incredibly demanding gaming benchmark, known as Minecraft I'm just kidding, that runs on everything We're gonna be trying Fortnite today [Ken] Great

(laughs) First off we have the Acer, and this actually seems to have the best specs on paper, with a Ryzen 3 processor and Vega graphics However, it wants us to run at 480p and everything set to low That's not good Yeah If this can't play at 720p, these other laptops certainly are not going to be capable

This is certainly not the best looking Fortnite experience in the world However, the Acer is capable of playing it So running at 600p with everything set to low, yeah, I know, but it's a $300 laptop, I'm actually getting reasonable frames I'm getting somewhere in the 40ish range, usually kind of bottoming out That's a, that's playable

It actually feels reasonably responsive (laughs) Look how bad that looks So, uh, 600p, even on low settings, not remotely playable at all Well when we drop the resolution to 360p, we get like, 30ish frames per second Now I will say one thing with all of these systems, is that because they're only using single channel memory, there are some more performance gains if you jump up to 8GB

But, that's bad Not good I don't like that at all Let's try the other systems This is also bad

Now we have the Lenovo Now this, to be fair, is the cheapest system here, and it also is the least powerful with an AMD A9 processor (laughs) Well, maybe don't play Fortnite with this one I'm seriously so impressed with the Aspire 5 I ended up spending $20 to upgrade it to 8GB of RAM, and honestly, it has actually made a surprisingly big difference

Purely by jumping to dual channel memory, we're getting nearly 10% better CPU performance, and almost 20% better graphics performance For $20, I mean, that's about the best bang for your buck upgrade that I've ever seen For significantly less than $400, you're getting a solid laptop with a great 1080p IPS display, good keyboard, touch pad, and importantly, you actually get pretty solid performance I mean, if you're looking for a laptop on a budget, the Aspire 5 gets two big thumbs up

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