This is the type of laptop that is easy to use, durable, and just plain simple.
You’ve come to the right place. Choosing a laptop can be difficult. There are so many options with strange acronyms, such as RAM, SSD, and AMD. It makes things difficult for people looking for their first laptop.
This article will help you with that. In it, I review the best beginner laptops currently on the market. I review laptops for all types of buyers, including programmers, graphic designers, budget-conscious buyers, and general buyers.
Also included is a short guide to help you make the right decision in the extremely unlikely event you don’t like any of my recommendations.
What Makes A Good Beginner Laptop?
There are many things that make a good beginner laptop. Below are three of the most important factors to consider.
Ease of Use
Taking into account ease of use is probably the most important factor. How do I define ease of use?
It’s basically how intuitive the laptop is to use. Beginner laptops shouldn’t have complicated features. For example, pressing FN and F6 to turn up the brightness is complicated.
For a beginner, it’s just complicated and non-intuitive.
My recommendation is to use a laptop with facial recognition so you don’t have to enter a password. Each laptop listed has facial recognition built in.
Every aspect of a good beginner laptop is also simple. Everything on the laptop, from the design to the layout of the keyboard, should be simple.
Simplicity is characterized by features such as no latch, a large keyboard, and a centered trackpad.
H3 Reliability and Problem-Free
A beginner needs a reliable laptop that doesn’t cause them problems. The blue screen of death is the last thing anyone wants, nor do they want to hold their breath every time their laptop starts up.
It’s difficult to judge a laptop’s reliability simply by looking at it. You can, however, get a good sense of the general reliability of a laptop by looking at the length of the warranty and the brand’s reputation.
Top 10 Best Laptops for Beginners
1) Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch
A 13-inch MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for beginners on the market. It meets all the basic criteria I listed earlier: ease of use, simplicity, and reliability.
There are a lot more benefits to it than just that. Also, this laptop is extremely fast if you purchase it with all the extra specs, which I highly recommend.
Furthermore, all MacBooks have a Touch Bar that makes using the laptop so much easier. If you’re unfamiliar with the Touch Bar, it’s a bar on the keyboard that allows for the creation of hot keys.
The volume can be adjusted or the screen can be brightened by pressing only one key. You do this by pressing the button on the Touch Bar. It looks great and is convenient.
For a laptop, the MacBook has an impressive amount of storage. The fact that this is a 13-inch laptop is even more impressive. What is the storage capacity?
Solid state drives can store up to 2TB of data. Yes, the solid state drive makes this laptop much faster. A file copy takes less than a minute, and it turns on in less than five seconds.
The MacOS operating system has even more features that make it easy to use, such as the variety of keyboard shortcuts and the large number of hotkeys.
The design and layout of MacOS are also considered by most to be more aesthetically pleasing than those of Windows 10 or the various Linux operating systems.
Lastly, all Apple computers are seamlessly integrated with the rest of the Apple ecosystem. You can easily view the pictures and videos saved to your iTunes account on an iPhone. You can also use iMessenger to send iMessages to friends and family who have an iTunes account.
All in all, this laptop is a great choice for beginners. With its smaller size and durability, it makes a great first device. Apple products are also known to last a long time.
- High resolution Retina display with True Tone technology.
- 2.8Ghz Intel processor with 4.7Ghz boost.
- Touch Bar provides ease of use.
- Up to 2TB SSD storage.
- Available with 16GB of RAM
- High-quality build and design.
2) HP Envy 17t
The next laptop is the HP Envy 17T. This laptop has everything that a beginner needs, plus a few extras if you become more advanced.
This laptop’s built-in NVIDIA video card is my favorite feature. I will admit that it isn’t necessary for a beginner, but it is helpful if you plan to play games or connect the laptop to a large display.
It is not very useful until you need a built-in video card. You will be glad that you have a video card when you need one. It’s a nice thing to have for emergencies.
Secondly, this laptop has 16GB of RAM and a 10th generation Intel i7 processor, so it’s fast. Multiple programs can run at the same time on it without any problems. If you have specs like that, you can play some of the lighter video games.
Additionally, this laptop excels when it comes to aesthetics and ease of use. The laptop has a sturdy metal frame, a full-size keyboard, and a very sensitive touchpad. The large amount of RAM and memory ensure that you will be able to use this laptop for many years to come.
For a beginner to the laptop world, I recommend this laptop. It has everything you could possibly need. With the additional specs, it will remain relevant for 5-7 years.
- NVIDIA GeForce MX250 video card (4 GB )
- Intel Core i7 processor
- 17.3″ display
- 16 GB memory; 1 TB SSD storage
- Fairly light at only 6.14 pounds.
3) Apple MacBook Air
What if you wanted a MacBook without spending the money on a MacBook Pro?
You should consider the MacBook Air if you fall into this category.
It has all the same features as a MacBook Pro, but at a much more affordable price. It’s also much more portable than a MacBook Pro.
First, the MacBook Air has up to 16GB of RAM and an i7 processor, so it’s plenty fast. It has the kind of speed you rarely find in bigger laptops.
MacBook Air has a 13-inch display and weighs 2.8 pounds, as its name implies. Don’t worry about the speed.
Even the screen isn’t a problem thanks to the sharp Retina display with a resolution of 2500 x 1600 (4 million pixels). This high resolution on a small screen actually makes everything look even sharper.
I can’t complain about that.
Lastly, this laptop has a huge trackpad – it’s the same size as the trackpad on the MacBook Pro, so when you’re using it on your lap, it’s very easy to use.
All things considered, I recommend this laptop to someone looking for a more affordable alternative to the two laptops listed above. This is especially helpful if you want a MacBook Pro but don’t have a MacBook Pro budget.
Also, this laptop is very portable. This laptop is a great choice if you’re looking for portability above all else.
- Intel i7 processor and 16GB of RAM.
- Up to 2TB of storage (SSD) available.
- Retina display (2500 x 1600 resolution).
- Touch ID for maximum security.
- More affordable than the MacBook Pro.
- Extremely light at 2.8 pounds.
- 12 hour battery life.
4) Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Due to one reason, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen is different from the others listed so far:
It can also be used as a tablet.
This laptop can be turned into a tablet by flipping the screen 360 degrees. Samsung has even included a stylus pen for easy use.
This extra feature makes it super easy to use for beginners. In addition, you don’t have to buy a separate tablet.
This laptop to tablet still works perfectly fine as a regular laptop. A 512GB solid state drive and 16GB of RAM are sufficient.
The built-in graphics card also enhances the picture quality. You can easily screenshare with your Smart TV as well.
It’s hard to find anything I don’t like about this laptop. The device is light, doubles as a tablet, has plenty of RAM and processor speed, and is affordable.
Beginners looking for an affordable laptop that can also be used as a tablet may find this useful.
- Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics card.
- Spill resistant.
- 9 hour battery life.
- Weighs 3.43 pounds.
- 360 degree tablet mode with a touchscreen and built-in pen.
- i7 Processor
- 16 GB RAM and a 512GB solid state drive.
5) HP 15.6 Inch
HP Pavilion 15 is another excellent first laptop that offers a lot to like.
I especially like the large amount of RAM, large solid state drive, and ergonomic design of this computer.
This laptop comes with a lot of RAM – 12GB to be exact. The laptop comes with a pretty fast i7 processor, so you won’t have to worry about it freezing up.
A solid state drive of 1TB is included with this laptop. The storage should last the average user for five to ten years. Honestly, you probably won’t use all that storage, but it’s good to have.
Moreover, the solid state hard drive makes the laptop start up quickly. Solid state drives are basically a requirement on a laptop in 2020, in my opinion.
Finally, this laptop is quite ergonomic and light. For your eyes and hands, it has a backlit, elevated keyboard. The laptop is also easy to transport because it weighs only 4 pounds.
There is a touch screen on this laptop, which you rarely find on 15 inch laptops.
The HP Pavilion has a touchscreen, and that’s one of the main reasons it made the list.
The specs, touchscreen, and overall comfort of this laptop make it a great starter laptop.
- 15.3 inch screen.
- Lightweight at only 4.23 pounds.
- 8.5 hour battery life.
- 81% screen-to-body ratio.
- 12GB of RAM (up to 32GB available) and 1TB of storage (SSD).
- 10th gen Intel i7 processor
Read: Best Laptops For Kids
6) ASUS VivoBook 15
My favorite laptop under $500 is the ASUS Vivobook 15. This laptop offers a lot for such a low price.
It is truly impressive that a laptop that costs less than $500 comes with 8GB of RAM. To go with it, ASUS even offers an AMD 2.0Ghz processor.
Especially for its price, this laptop has an impressive amount of storage. One terabyte is a lot, but ASUS even threw in an extra 128GB solid state drive for quick startup.
It’s also nice that this laptop only weighs 3.5 pounds. That’s impressive considering this laptop has a 15.3 inch screen.
Furthermore, this laptop stands out because of its extra features. For nighttime use, the keyboard is backlit and has a metal frame for extra durability. Neither of these features are common on laptops in this price range.
Considering everything, I recommend this laptop for someone on a smaller budget since it has many of the features found on more expensive laptops. The laptop should also last for many years.
- 1TB spinning hard drive and a 128GB solid state drive.
- Available in 4 colors.
- Built-in fingerprint access.
- Backlit keyboard.
- Weighs 3.5 pounds.
- 8GB of RAM with a 2.0Ghz AMD processor.
- 2 degree keyboard tile lift.
7) Acer Aspire 5
Another excellent laptop under $500 is the Acer Aspire. The ASUS is a little better than the Aspire, but it’s still very good.
With 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive, it is fairly standard. That’s plenty of storage to last you a few years, and you can upgrade it at a later date.
The Acer stands out for its lightweight – it weighs under 4 pounds. What’s more impressive is that it has an 11-hour battery life despite its lightweight design.
That’s not something I can complain about. It is rare to find a lightweight laptop with a good battery life.
This laptop also features an impressive Acer TrueHarmony sound system. Speakers on most laptops at this price range sound pretty bad. Well, these speakers have a very deep bass and very little distortion.
I recommend purchasing this laptop. However, keep in mind that you might need to expand the storage at some point since 256GB isn’t that much. For not much more money, you can purchase an Aspire with slightly more storage.
- Acer TrueHarmony sound system.
- 11 hour battery life.
- Weighs under 4 pounds.
- 8GB of RAM and 256GB solid state drive.
- 15.6” full HD screen.
8) HP 17 laptop
Again, HP makes the list with their 17z laptop, which is essentially a budget version of the 17t. However, the 17z still comes with 8GB of RAM and 1TB of hard drive space.
This laptop has a huge 17.3-inch screen, so I really like it. It’s perfect for watching movies and writing papers.
With a 17.3 inch screen, you might think this laptop is more of a tabletop, but it’s not really. You can easily put it on your lap since it only weighs 5.62 pounds. While it might be uncomfortable in economy class on a plane, you can definitely put it on your lap in other scenarios.
The extra space allowed HP to put a full numeric keypad on the keyboard. That’s right, this laptop has a full keyboard on it.
Finally, I appreciate the laptop’s 11-hour battery life. You can use it without a power outlet.
There are no negatives to this laptop. Although it’s big, most people don’t actually use their laptop on their laps, so it isn’t a problem.
The enormous screen is definitely a plus. In essence, you get the portability of a laptop and the screen of a normal computer.
I’m in. This laptop is excellent for someone who isn’t overly concerned about using a laptop on their lap, but still needs the ability to move their computer from one table to another.
- Built-in numeric keypad.
- Weighs 5.62 pounds.
- Huge 17.3 inch screen.
- 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.
9) Dell Inspiron 15 5000
For laptops, Dell has a pretty good reputation. They are known for making quality laptops at a reasonable price.
This is the case with the Inspiron 15 5000.
The laptop has 4GB of RAM, which isn’t that much compared to other laptops. Due to the 3.4GHz processor, this laptop still runs fast enough.
One hundred and eighty-two gigabytes of storage isn’t much. It is, however, a solid state drive. This is a wonderful feature.
There is also a backlit keyboard and a relatively light weight of 4.03 pounds on this laptop. It has a decent battery life of 7 hours.
In general, I recommend this laptop, but only to certain people. You should buy this laptop if you plan on doing nothing but browsing the web. However, users who download a lot of pictures or play light videogames will find that this laptop struggles.
There is a laptop for everyone, so don’t worry.
- 15.3” full HD display.
- I3 processor with 3.4Ghz.
- 4GB RAM and 128GB solid state drive.
Best & Most Reliable Laptop Brands
There are dozens of laptop brands, but not all of them are equal in terms of quality and reliability. Below are some of the most reliable laptop brands on the market.
In my opinion, Apple makes some of the most reliable laptops on the planet. Apple products that are 20 years old are not uncommon.
Therefore, you can’t go wrong with an Apple laptop. MacOS is generally regarded as one of the best operating systems available. There are no viruses to worry about with MacOS.
In addition to making excellent cellphones, Samsung also makes excellent laptops. Their laptops are known for their quality and cost less than many other options.
You can’t go wrong with a Samsung laptop if you want a budget laptop that performs well.
HP has been making computers since the beginning – they were one of the original Silicon Valley technology companies.
They have a lot of experience making computers.
Anyway, HP has a reputation for making more affordable laptops that still have plenty of quality, similar to Samsung. But HP has a much longer history in the computer industry.
Because of the Windows operating system, Microsoft is ubiquitous in the technology industry. With their Surface line of laptops, they recently entered the laptop and tablet industry.
It’s a great job they’re doing. The Surface Book 2 is one of the most powerful and reliable laptops available today. Plus, it’s Microsoft, so it’ll run Windows just fine.
Beginners Guide To Buying a Laptop
Be sure to get at least 8GB of ram
A laptop should have at least 8GB of RAM. I recently bought a laptop with 4GB of RAM thinking it would be fine.
No, it wasn’t. Even YouTube videos crashed the laptop.
I was able to add 4GB of RAM, but you may not be so lucky.
Get a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM. When doing anything other than browsing the internet or watching YouTube videos, I recommend a laptop with 16GB of RAM.
My laptop with 8GB of RAM gets pretty loud when I open too many tabs in Chrome, and it will crash if I have too many programs running in the background.
You need at least 256GB of storage. Imagine all the videos, pictures, applications, and games you have on your laptop.
Well, they take up quite a bit of space. With 256GB of storage, you will run out of space much faster than you think.
I recommend 500GB of storage because of this. You will probably need at least 1TB of storage if you take a lot of pictures (or especially videos).
Solid state drives are also worth the extra cost. Solid state drives literally load files instantly. Your laptop will also start in under five seconds.
When it comes to display size, there are a few options, but it mostly boils down to 13 inches and 15+ inches. You can even get a 17-inch display if you want to. However, a 15-inch display provides a good balance between portability and size.
For me, a 15-inch display is always recommended. The added weight isn’t that significant, but bigger is better. It’s usually less than a pound.
It is true that if you travel a lot, a smaller display might be more comfortable to use on your lap. Keep in mind that switching from a large display to a 13 inch display can be challenging.
It is likely that you will have to zoom in to read the text, which means that you will have to scroll horizontally and vertically. Inconvenient.
Keep things simple by choosing a larger display. Your eyes will thank you.
Look at Recent Reviews From Other Buyers
You should always read recent reviews before purchasing a laptop. The reviews left by customers often provide information about a laptop’s long-term reliability.
Check out the 3 and 4 star reviews as well. Those reviews often mention the laptop’s minor flaws. Reviews with 5 stars and 1 stars are often too one-sided to be of much use.
FAQ’s Most Beginners Have When Buying Their First Laptop
These are some of the most commonly asked questions that beginners have when looking for their first laptop
I agree. The cost of a solid state hard drive is definitely worth it for two reasons:
Loading and startup are nearly instantaneous.
With a solid state drive, startup occurs almost instantly. Similarly, moving files and opening applications occur almost instantly.
Hard drives are also more durable since they don’t have any moving parts.
Because of those two reasons, I highly recommend buying a laptop with a solid state hard drive. Once you have an SSD, you will never go back to an HDD.
Yes. For gamers, I recommend at least 12GB of RAM, an i7 processor, and a graphics card.
Some of the laptops listed above have those options. If you meet those specs, both the MacBook Pro and HP 17t would make decent gaming laptops.
Unless you want to play games, you don’t need a graphics card. Gaming requires a laptop with a built-in graphics card.
A graphics card can rarely be added to a motherboard. This is especially true for laptop motherboards.
Beginners who purchase their first laptop may wonder just how they can go about using it. This video goes over all of the basics you need to know.