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Best budget Windows 10 laptops 2015

Expert Reviews logo Expert Reviews 26-10-2015 Michael Passingham

Best budget Windows 10 laptop 2015© Expert Reviews Best budget Windows 10 laptop 2015

Netbooks are back. And they're nowhere near as bad as you'll remember them being. Today, netbooks come with usable quad-core Intel Atom and dual-core Celeron processors. They're not quick by any means, but as long as you know what you're getting in for, a netbook can be a seriously good secondary device when you're out and about.

Want something more expensive? Take a look at our complete Best Laptops list

There are limitations, though. Contemporary netbooks don't come with DVD drives, typically only have 32GB of storage and no more than 2GB of RAM. The uninformed will tell you that there's no way you can run Windows in this way, but as you'll see from our reviews, as long as you temper your expectations and don't expect to use a netbook as your primary device, they're incredibly effective and offer some serious value for money.

It is true that 2GB of RAM is tight, but Windows scales its RAM usage nicely to allow you to open programs and web pages without running out. 32GB of storage is mostly eaten up by Windows, which is a problem if you store a lot of files locally. However, these machines always come with SD or MicroSD card slots so if you really need more local storage, you can slip a card in for a permanent boost.

Net's in the name, though, and using cloud-based tools such as OneDrive and Google Drive are what these devices are meant for. Both free, both effective, you'll hardly miss traditional desktop productivity software once you're used to it.

What you lose in performance you are rewarded with in battery life; these tiny devices can go all day on a single charge, which gives them by far the best battery life of any laptop you can buy for under £800.

Let's take a look at the 3 best budget Windows 10 laptops you can buy today:

1. Asus EeeBook X205TA

© Provided by Dennis Publishing Limited

From £160

When the EeeBook X2505TA hit the market in 2014, we were blown away by its build quality, weight and performance. Not only that, back then it came with a year of Office365 and cost just £180. It's now dropped to just £160 and, if you search around, you might find it with Office365.

At under 1kg, it's  perfect as a secondary laptop to take with you on the road when you don't want to take your main desktop with you. Its quad-core Atom processor is hardly quick, but if you moderate your expectations and don't open too many web browser tabs at a time, you shouldn't have many issues. We've tested the laptop with Windows 10 installed and everything works as expected, so there's no reason not to upgrade.

Read our full Asus X205TA review

Processor: Quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735F, RAM: 2GB, Size: 286x193.3x17.5mm, Weight: 980g, Screen size: 11.6in, Screen resolution: 1,366x768, Graphicsadaptor: Intel HD Graphics , Total storage: 32GB eMMC

2. HP Pavilion x2 10-n054sa

© Provided by Dennis Publishing Limited

From £220

The HP Pavilion x2 has a similar technical specification to the Asus EeeBook shown above. However, its party piece is a docking system that lets you use it as a 10.1in tablet. As a result, it's a bit more expensive than a conventional laptop, but if you're looking for a tablet that you can also get a little work done on, this is a great shout.

It's worth bearing in mind that other specs have been cut in order to keep the price low. Some buyers will be put off by the low resolution 1,200x800 pixel screen, for example. You also only get 32GB of storage, but this can be expanded with a microSD card if you wish.

Read our full HP Pavilion x2 review

Processor: Quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3736F, RAM: 2GB, Size: 20x173x264mm, Weight: 1.6kg, Screen size: 10.1in, Screen resolution: 1,200x800, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics, Total storage: 32GB eMMC

3. Toshiba Satellite C40-C

© Provided by Dennis Publishing Limited

From £200

A common complaint about cheap laptops is that they cut the size to cut the price. The Toshiba C40-C addresses this issue, slotting in a reasonable set of components into a 14in chassis. This has two key benefits: First everything on screen is larger, meaning you won't have to squint at the 1,366x768 pixel panel if you're hard-of-sight. Secondly, the keyboard is larger and includes a proper number pad, giving your fingers more room to type.

Even the chassis looks decent, with a black, brushed metal-style plastic that looks very classy indeed. Superb battery life rounds off an excellent little laptop that's well worth the cash.

Read our full Toshiba Satellite C40-C review

Processor: Dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3050, RAM: 2GB, Size: 344x244x23mm, Weight: 1.7kg, Screen size: 14in, Screen resolution: 1,366x768, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics, Total storage: 32GB eMMC

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