Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-sellers on Amazon and Best Buy

Every computer enthusiast knows the conversation—the one you get from friends or family: “Hey, I need to buy a new laptop. What do you think of this Acer so-and-so? Or should I get this Dell that costs $50 less? They seem pretty similar.”

Yep, with great computer knowledge comes great responsibility. With the holidays looming, such questions are likely to ramp up as people consider laptops for gifts. 

So in the spirit of offering you the same expert advice I’d give to my nearest and dearest, I’ve combed through the best-selling budget-laptop lists from both Amazon and Best Buy, and weighed the pros and cons, taking into account the various configurations and specs. Both lists change quite rapidly, so I’m basing this on a snapshot in time—namely, the best-selling laptops on the morning of November 7, 2017.

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