Computers & Electronics

Recommendations for a cheap laptop or tablet?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 22nd, 2021 12:15 am
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 23, 2008
36 posts
6 upvotes

Recommendations for a cheap laptop or tablet?

I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a cheap laptop (<$400 maybe)? I was hoping to do mostly web-based stuff on it such as watching Youtube, watching Twitch, watching streams, surfing, searching. It doesn't need to be large or anything. I was looking for something that I can use when I'm at home but away from my PC.

I tried a couple of tablets many years ago (~5 - 6 years ago) but my experience with them was that they weren't that great. Lots of interactive user response time issues / sluggish response. I'm open to trying a tablet again though.
9 replies
Member
Feb 9, 2008
407 posts
329 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
For new, off the shelf products, the only usable ones in that price range would likely be Chromebooks.
They run Google's ChromeOS (not Windows) and should be able to handle your intended uses.
Best Buy has a large selection of them for $200-400 depending on your preferred screen size.
i.e. https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/asus-c523-15-6-touchscreen-chromebook-silver-intel-celeron-n3350-64gb-emmc-4gb-ram-chrome-os/15299573

There are also Windows laptops in that price range, "Windows 10 in S mode" but they have the same hardware specs as the chromebooks (32-64GB storage, 4GB memory) and will be very slow, unless you upgrade the memory.

For tablets, there's the regular iPad for $413.99 at Costco.
Amazon also has their fire tablets, HD 8 for $109.99 or HD 10 for 199.99.
The Amazon tablets might have instances of sluggishness, so I'd go for the iPad.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 23, 2008
36 posts
6 upvotes
Ah thanks! I have considered a Chromebook before so I'll have a look into those.
Member
Feb 9, 2008
407 posts
329 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
I just saw the Walmart flyer and they seem to have an Acer Chromebook on sale with more storage than the Best Buy ones (128GB).

The Source also has some on sale. If you have BCAA or some other membership with discounts, you might be able to get it cheaper.
BCAA get 20% off regular and sales-priced items from The Source.

Normally, I'd say go with one brand over another, but I think they're all flimsy plastic laptops at this price point.
Sr. Member
Jan 7, 2006
603 posts
174 upvotes
For general media consumption tablets have come a long way. iPads have always been great my mom still uses her iPad 3rd generation over her M1 Macbook (we should have just got her the iPad pro...)

For Chromebooks the Lenovo Duet is great one if you can find it for around $300. For more than that? it's an okay buy this late in 2021.

I'd say you should go for an iPad. iPad OS has come a long way, but if you need that PC like experience then you should check out a chrome book. If you can find an i3 laptop or ryzen 3 laptop for around $400 to $450 with an SSD that would be better buy than a chromebook.

Searching I did find this laptop. It's @ bestbuy you can try it for 2 weeks and if you don't like it return it. The bad is it only comes with 4GB of ram.

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/ac ... x/15550653 Still, it should suit your needs perfectly. You can also upgrade the ram (single channel only?) and add more storage if you need it later or if you have spare parts laying around.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
9779 posts
2034 upvotes
Toronto
Above your budget but decent specs for an entry level laptop that will be able to do everything you need.
SSD and lot's of storage.
Chromebooks have come a long way and half the price, but still not sure how powerful those n celerons are for streaming Netflix etc.

https://www.thesource.ca/en-ca/computer ... lsrc=aw.ds

ASUS X415JA-TS31-CB 14" Notebook with Intel® i3-1005G1, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Intel UHD Graphics & Windows 10 Home - Slate Grey

$499.99
INTRO OFFER
After Sep. 8, 2021 the Price is $599.99

Product Highlights
Intel Core i3-1005G1 1.2GHz (Turbo up to 3.4GHz)
Wi-Fi 5(802.11ac); Bluetooth 4.1
French Bilingual, Chiclet
14.0"//250nits//FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9//Anti-glare//NTSC: 45%
VGA camera//Without privacy shutter
37WHrs, 2S1P, 2-cell Li-ion
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 24, 2003
19070 posts
6436 upvotes
Toronto
Personally, I would look for a used laptop. Bring the ram up to 8 GB and add an SSD myself.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 3, 2006
4994 posts
1685 upvotes
zerod above covers a lot very well.

Tablets are so good when your primary use is consumption. You have the iPad and the Galaxy Tab as fantastic options.
If you require inputting like typing on a keyboard more often than not then the Chromebook is an option. Though for a few hundred $$$ more you could get a Macbook Air or Ryzen laptop that would be a better user experience.

I have an iPad, two laptops, a desktop PC and an iPhone. My usage is news/web/videos/media consumption like 80% of the time. Because of this I've ended up using my iPad more than any of my other devices and it's been this way for the past 3-4 years.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 14, 2014
2846 posts
562 upvotes
I have a really old tablet. Asus Nexus 7... Its VERY slow. like so slow i dont even really use it. even though it works fine, the apps just seem to run slow like the cpu is outdated

What would you recommend me look at next..?
Member
Feb 9, 2008
407 posts
329 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
westnylefx wrote: I have a really old tablet. Asus Nexus 7... Its VERY slow. like so slow i dont even really use it. even though it works fine, the apps just seem to run slow like the cpu is outdated

What would you recommend me look at next..?
I have a refurbished iPad Air 2, which was released in 2014, still very usable (non-gaming) and receiving security updates.
I have Samsung and Amazon tablets bought after the iPad, which can't compare to the iPad in speed today.
The Samsung's basically useless, since they stop updating the android version and many apps drop support for older android versions. No working third-party OS, either (for mine).

So if you want the longest usage tablet, iPad's your best bet.

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