Good and cheap notebook: how to choose the best option for what you need?

Notebooks are a good PC choice for anyone who prefers a lightweight device that's easy to carry around and use in any situation. But what about choosing a good and cheap notebook that meets your specific needs, whether for studying, working or playing video games?

this question in mind, the Technology Refugee created a list of specs to keep an eye on to find the ideal notebook for you.

o choose a good and cheap notebook?

1. Check the data processor

The processor is basically the computer's brain, and its specifications will define the notebook's performance for the desired tasks. 

Intel Celeron and Pentium processors, for example, are an economical option for more basic uses, surfing the internet and using apps from the computer's own operating system, which makes them suitable for students.

Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 chips are more suitable for work notebooks, offering good performance for using text apps (or Word Online), spreadsheets and basic image editing.

Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 already allow for more advanced image editing and multitasking, and run current and future games.

Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 are ideal for gaming and streaming.

Another issue to be aware of is the processor generation. Manufacturers regularly change the architecture and purpose of each series of CPUs from generation to generation, and internal specifications can also change, adding cores and threads. Chips from different generations may also have differences in cache and clock memory.

2. SSD hard disk notebooks are a good option

SSD notebook hard drives are thinner and ideal for lighter notebooks. SSDs also provide peak boot performance and high read performance for computers that require advanced concurrent tasking capabilities. In terms of HD disk, SSDs are five times faster, more durable and have low power consumption.

There is also the option of SSHD for notebooks, that is, the PC is already equipped with SSD and HD. In these cases, the SSD has a minimum capacity, around 8 GB or 16 GB, and is responsible for booting the operating system. The HD is responsible for applications and file storage, and can reach up to 1 TB of capacity.

The eMMC storage (embedded multimedia card) can be found in more affordable notebooks, and can be a valid option for less demanding uses. Still, SSD is designed specifically for computers and uses more advanced controllers, offering greater performance, security and durability.

3. Pay attention to storage capacity

Checking the storage capacity is important for those who need to download special programs specific to study and work tasks. Storage is also critical for gaming laptops, as many of today's big games are often over 100GB. The more programs and games, the more storage capacity you need.

Best brands to find good and cheap laptops

The main brands to search for good performance and cheap notebooks are Samsung, Lenovo, Impact, Acer e Dell🇧🇷 These brands have been offering good options for machines aimed at study, work and gamers in recent years.

Good and cheap laptops for what you need

To study

Storage is important for anyone looking for a notebook to study with. Depending on the area, the student will need to download several files or even specific programs for research, for example.

However, entry-level notebooks should already do the job, and the user can always resort to a portable HD or SSD to expand the memory.

Battery life is another point to consider for those who take their notebook to classes or for group work. Depending on the age of the user, another thing to keep in mind is the device's sturdiness, spillage protection, and sturdier chassis. 

See suggested notebooks for studies below.

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

Good and cheap notebook: how to choose the best option for what you need?
Lenovo Ideapad S145. Image: Lenovo / Disclosure

The Lenovo Ideapad S145 notebook has an anti-glare screen that can be opened up to 180 degrees. The model has speakers Dolby Audio specific modes for watching movies, listening to music, playing video games and customizable equalization.


  • Chip: Intel Celeron N4020
  • Screen: 15,6 inches HD resolution
  • Storage: HD
  • Battery: 35Wh up to 9 hours of battery life
  • Memory: 4GB of DDR4 RAM
  • Internal storage: 500 GB HDD
  • Video Card: Integrated
  • Weight: 1,85 kilograms

Samsung Flash F30

Good and cheap notebook: how to choose the best option for what you need?
Samsung Flash F30. Image: Samsung / Disclosure

A differential of the Samsung Flash F30 is the design, with a keyboard in retro style and a surface that imitates fabric. The model also has a fingerprint sensor to unlock the device. The inputs are: 1 HDMI; 1 USB-C; 1 USB 3.0; 1 USB 2.0; a good UFS and MicroSD card; and headphone.


  • Chip: Intel Celeron N4000
  • Screen: 13 inches Full HD
  • Storage: SSD
  • Battery: 39Wh
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM LPDDR4
  • Internal storage: 128 GB e.MMC
  • Video card: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • Weight: 1,3 kilograms

Acer Aspire 5 A514-54-385S

Acer Aspire 5 A514-54-385S. Image: Acer / Disclosure

Acer's Aspire 5 comes with Windows 11 as standard and has an 11th generation Intel processor. The model has a screen with thinner edges, of 7,82 mm. The notebook offers 1 RJ-45 port, 1 HDMI 2.0 port, 2 USB 3.2 ports, 1 USB-C 3.2 port, 1 USB 2.0 port and headphone jack. The computer also has Acer TrueHarmony Audio technology.


  • Chip: Intel Core i3
  • Screen: 14 inches FHD
  • Storage: SSD
  • Battery: up to 8 hours of autonomy
  • Memory: 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 256 GB SSD PCle
  • Video card: Intel UHD Graphics

notebooks to work

If productivity is your focus, it's worth considering a more advanced processor, which allows you to multitask faster.

Weight can also be something to keep in mind. many people are now moving from home office to hybrid work, a lighter laptop is always a good idea considering public transport.

It is worth noting that here we are not talking about professional notebooks aimed at editing photos and videos, for example. This type of PC requires more advanced specs and shell out a hefty sum.

See notebook suggestions for work below.

Samsung Book Intel Dual Core

Samsung Book Intel Dual Core. Image: Samsung / Disclosure

Samsung's Dual Core notebook offers an Intel Celeron processor and comes with Windows 11. The notebook has USB-A, Micro SD, USB-C, LAN and headphone ports. The user can choose between SSD, HD or SSHD (hybrid). According to Samsung, the user can expand the HD memory easily and without loss of warranty. Note thickness is 18,8 mm.


  • Chip: Intel Celeron 6305
  • Screen: 15,6 inches FHD
  • Storage: SSD, HD or Hybrid
  • Battery: 43Wh
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 256 GB
  • Video card: Intel UHD
  • Weight: 1,81 kilograms

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go

Good and cheap notebook: how to choose the best option for what you need?
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go. Image: Samsung / Disclosure

The differential of the Galaxy Chromebook Go is the lighter operating system, Chrome OS, which has more basic but efficient settings for day to day work. The notebook is 1,59 cm thick and opens 180 degrees. The putador has support for Google Assistant that allows you to send emails, organize your schedule and control smart devices by voice control. The keyboard is spill resistant.

If you are interested in this type of notebook, check out this guide to the best chromebooks.


  • Chip: Intel Celeron N4500
  • Screen: 14 inches HD LCD
  • Battery: 42,3 Wh for up to 11 hours of use
  • Memory: 8GB of LDDR4 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Video card: Intel UHD
  • Weight: 1,45 kilograms

Acer Aspire 5 Ryzen 7 processor

Acer Aspire 5 processor Ryzen 7. / Acer

The Aspire 5 has a slim design that is only 17,95mm thick. The notebook comes with Windows 11 and offers RJ-45 ports, 1 HDMI 2.0 port, 2 USB 3.2 ports, 1 USB-C 3.2 port, 1 USB 2.0 port and headphone jack. The model offers HD and SSD upgrade options. The screen also has the fyView technology, which optimizes the brightness, contrast and color curve of the displayed content.


  • Chip: AMD Ryzen 7-5700U
  • Screen: 15,6 inches FHD
  • Storage: SSD
  • Battery: up to 12 hours of autonomy
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Video card: AMD Radeon RX 640

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laptops to play

One of the most important specifications for gaming notebooks is a dedicated graphics card, which means that the card is separate from the processor. The processor itself needs to support a frame rate of at least 60 fps, i.e. serve a new image generated by the video card every 16 milliseconds. 

A RAM of 8 GB is already enough to run current games and should not promise the system to run new titles. A Full HD screen offers quality images for recent games. Also pay attention to the notebook's cooling system, which prevents games from crashing due to excessive heat.

See gamer notebook suggestions below.

Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3i

Good and cheap notebook: how to choose the best option for what you need?
Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3i. Image: Lenovo / Disclosure

The Ideapad Gaming has an anti-glare Full HD WVA screen and a keyboard designed especially for gaming. The cooling system has dual ventilation and four enhanced heatsinks supporting higher CPU and GPU temperatures. The Q Control system allows you to adjust the fan speed between silent mode, for battery saving, and balanced mode, for daily use. The note lets you play solo or online AAA titles thanks to the chip's 6 cores and 12 MB of Intel Smart Cache. The notebook has passed military endurance tests for high and low temperatures, temperature shock, dropping and vibration.


  • Chip: Intel Core i5
  • Screen: 15,6 inches Full HD
  • Storage: SSD
  • Battery: 45Wh for up to 9,6 hours of battery life
  • Memory: 8GB SO-DIMM DDR4
  • Internal Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Weight: 2,2 kilos

Dell G15

Good and cheap notebook: how to choose the best option for what you need?
Dell G15. Image: Dell / Disclosure

The thermal design of the Dell G15 incorporates a dual air intake at the top of the keyboard and the bottom of the G15. Hot air is expelled through four outlets located on the sides and rear. The dual speakers are Nahimic 3D Audio for Gamers. Inputs are 1 USB 2.0 HiSpeed, 1 USB 2.0 HiSpeed ​​PowerShare, 1 USB 3.2 SuperSpeed, 1 HDMI input and XNUMX headset input.


  • Chip: Intel Core i5-10500H
  • Screen: 15,6 inches Full HD
  • Storage: SSD
  • Battery: 56Wh
  • Memory: 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 256 GB PCIe NVMe
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Weight: 2,5 kilos

Acer Aspire Nitro 5

Acer Aspire Nitro 5. Image: Acer / Disclosure

Acer's Aspire Nitro 5 gaming notebook features DTS X: Ultra Audio surround sound technology. The cooling system is dual-fan CoolBoost and the operating system is Linux Endless. The keyboard is backlit and the chassis has a textured finish with red accents. The note offers RJ-45 inputs, 2 USB 3.2 inputs, 1 powered USB 3.2, 1 USB-C 3.2, 1 HDMI 2.0 and a headset input.


  • Chip: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  • Screen: 15,6 inches IPS FHD
  • Storage: SSD
  • Battery: up to 10 hours of autonomy
  • Memory: 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Internal storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650


the above tips should make it easier for you to choose a notebook that meets your needs, whether for studying, working or playing, and fits in your pocket.

It is also worth pointing out that the suggestions can also provide satisfactory entertainment resources for watching videos, series and movies, listening to music and even playing some lighter games on notebooks with lower specifications.

See also our guide to the best headsets for gaming, studying or working.

*Main image credit: Antoni Shkraba / Pexels

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