Want to know the best 2023 laptop for £500 in the UK? The possibilities can be overwhelming; you could end up spending days researching the best one (I know I have!). In this simplified 2023 guide, I’ve reviewed the best Windows laptops in 2023 to suit your budget. Whether you’re spending £300, £500, or £1000, I sift through the noise and have done the research for you.
Here’s the headlines of my findings on the best Windows laptops for your budget in 2023. Read on for more details about each…
|£300||Acer Swift 1, 14 inch, 15hr battery|
|£500||HP 15.6 inch Full HD, i5, 8GB|
|£1000||ASUS Vivobook Pro 15 inch, 1TB|
Laptops are generally a great choice over desktops. Their manoeuvrability from office to café to working-from-home (sofa or bed!) are far more attractive than a desktop PC, keyboard, mouse and screen setup. I’ve even switched my Photoshop workflow to my Samsung laptop and never looked back!
So I hope you find the following laptop general buying guidance helpful, along with the top 3 laptops that follow in this blog.
Before We Dive In: ‘Holy Trinity’ Buying Guide for Laptops
Before we dive in, there’s things to look out for when seeking the best all-round laptops for home and business. Here’s the ‘holy trinity’ of laptop spec features that should give you a good 4-5 years future-proofing. By all means go higher if you have the money!
- 8GB RAM: This your laptop’s working memory, so determines how fast your laptop will load up and run things. 8GB is plenty for most users.
- 256 SSD: The solid-state drive (SSD) refers to your laptop’s total storage capacity, which includes all apps and operating systems. 256 is enough for most, but going higher will save you the expense of additional external hard drive storage.
- i5 Intel processer: An i5 processor or above will do for most purposes, whether working on Microsoft Office, doing emails, going online, social media, or watching videos.
If you get all these and focus your spend there, everything else tends to fall into place (screen resolution, battery life, graphics card, and endless other specifications that can devour your time to compare). Then it’s just a case of choosing the size and style you like.
In terms of costs and expectations, £500 should cover you for a decent Windows laptop with 8GB RAM, 256 SSD, and i5 processor or higher. Add an extra £500-£800 though for Apple MacBook laptops with similar specifications!
It’s important to go for trusted brands like Dell, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, ASUS, Acer, and HP. I really like the Samsung laptops as a premium MacBook-like feel; particularly if you already have other Samsung kit. Best to steer clear of cheap Chinese brands and things like ‘eMMC’ (poor man’s SSD) memory; it won’t work as well, it won’t last, and your information security is compromised from day one with data-harvesting Chinese tech.
13-15 inch screens are a nice size to work with on laptops. Don’t be scared to go for a ‘refurbished’ option from a trusted supplier (normally includes same 1 year warranty) to save £hundreds and/or achieve a higher spec.
Gone are the days when Microsoft Office was wildly different or a pain to use on Mac operating system compared to Windows. I use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and Outlook on both a Windows PC and MacBook Pro. The difference is minimal, congruence is good, and performance on both devices is exceptional for what I need. I enjoy having the best of both worlds. But this blog is clearly for the Windows users!
Best Windows Laptop for £300 Budget
What’s the best laptop on the market for under £300? That spot is taken by the Acer Swift 1, with current model number SF114-34. This is currently priced at a bargain £299 on Amazon (discount of 21% applied to the £379 RRP) and the ratings are fantastic at 4.4 out of 5.
This sleek looking 14 inch, Full HD screen laptop is a great all-rounder whether you’re writing your next novel, managing your finances, browsing online, or working from home on general office tasks and reports. There’s 4GB of RAM and an Intel N6000 processor; not massive but fine for what most people need a laptop for. While it doesn’t pack the biggest punch, it does boast an epic 15 hour battery life! While also being lightweight, that’s ideal to take it with you wherever you go.
The 128GB of SSD memory and coming with Windows 11, it will be fast and suitable for your documents, files, and a bunch of photos. However, you might need to use an external hard drive though if you’re thinking of storing videos or other large file types. But with a fast USB-C connector, the data transfer will take no time at all.
Also, with the built-in Windows 11 security (no need for McAfee, Norton, etc.), plus the ‘smart access’ fingerprint reader, this should give you peace of mind while doing online banking and managing other sensitive matters.
Best Value Windows Laptop for £500
What’s the best laptop for a £500 budget in the UK? Take a bow Hewlett Packard, with its sizeable HP 15.6 inch, Full HD laptop. It’s currently retailing on Amazon for £550.
It comes with the ‘holy trinity’ of 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and an Intel Core i5 processor. This is more than capable of dealing with a range of office work and leisure activities, with plenty of room to store your stuff. The Intel Iris X graphics card will also enhance your gaming experience.
There’s hundreds of ratings on Amazon for this laptop, with a superb overall score of 4.5 out of 5. It too comes with Windows 11 and inbuilt security for peace of mind. In terms of connectivity, you have various ports to choose from: USB Type-C and Type-A, HDMI, and SD / MicroSD.
The inbuilt HD camera and speakers are half decent and will serve you well for conference calls, watching videos and listening to music or podcasts. As slight downsides, the battery lasts “only” 7 hours and it’s a little heavier than the £300 Acer, at 1.7kg.
If you can push the budget to £699, the Dell Inspiron 3511 is another appealing option.
Best Windows Laptop for £1000
What’s the best Windows laptop for £1000 budget? The ASUS Vivobook Pro 15 certainly suits any more advanced user willing to push the boat out a bit further. While the RRP is £1199, it’s currently a whopping 25% off on Amazon at just £899! The reviews are also positive at 4.4 out of 5.
With a fast 16GB RAM, it’ll start like a dream and breeze through your busy work. The powerful Intel Core i7 chip will easily do any heavy lifting in terms of processing power for years to come. Meanwhile having 1TB of SSD storage means plenty of space for your work, photos, and even videos. As with the others, it also comes installed with the latest Windows operating system.
It’s ‘OLED’ screen boasts stunning and vivid visuals on a 16:9 display ratio. Whether you’re working on some serious graphics or just want an enhanced viewing experience for videos and gaming, you’ll be impressed. Plus you’ll have all the ports you need to connect to other devices, be it USB, HDMI, or SD/MicroSD.
Seriously, if you’re looking to spend more than £1000 on a Windows-based laptop, you don’t need this guide!
I hope you’ve found this blog helpful and it saves you heaps of time. Let me know what laptop you decided on in the end, and why, in the comments! Watch this space for an upcoming blog reviewing the top Apple MacBooks for the £1000, £1500, and £2000 budgets…
Kind Regards, Adrian
I hope this guidance is supportive and saves you days of overwhelming research and comparisons! Subscribe to my blog and EATO YouTube channel for more useful info. Liking the content? Please like and share with friends and colleagues who may also find it useful. If so inclined, supporting my work helps keep free content flowing. Want fantastic, time-saving templates or dashboards tailored to you and your business? Then please get in touch to arrange a bespoke quote. Finally, please feel free to leave your feedback below, including what tutorials or templates you’d like created.
Really helpful Adrian, thanks.
Most welcome Mike, glad you found it helpful! So many people are bamboozled by the millions of options, so I aim to simplify complex info. All the best, Adrian.