I get it. Amazon Prime Day is a brilliant time to get a cheap laptop. It's also a great time to get a cheap laptop even cheaper, but there's one big mistake I don't want anyone to make.
DO NOT buy a laptop with 4GB of RAM in it. No matter how cheap it is, no matter how good the deal looks, walk away. The price or the savings doesn't matter nearly as much as how much you're going to enjoy using the laptop. If it only has 4GB of RAM, you're not going to have a very fun time at all.
Best Buy currently has an enticing deal on a 14-inch HP laptop that's now just $150. But I'm here to steer you away from it, and any other deals at Amazon, Walmart, or any retailer joining in on Prime Day that only have 4GB of RAM instead. And to offer a better alternative for the cheap laptop hunter.
ASUS VivoBook 14-inch: was
$429 now $229 at Best Buy
This is a better buy hands down for only $70 more than Best Buy's enticing $150 laptop offer. It has a better CPU, for starters, but importantly it has 8GB of RAM, the minimum I'd ever recommend in 2023 for a Windows 11 laptop. It also boasts SSD storage over the eMMC of the cheaper deal, which is much faster, and twice as much of it. This is a far superior cheap laptop to buy.
Price check: Walmart $290
✅Pros: 8GB of RAM, SSD storage
❌Cons: Display resolution only HD
This 14-inch ASUS VivoBook is a better cheap laptop to buy in every way. Sure, it costs $70 more, but the benefit to anyone who buys it is orders of magnitude more than that extra cost.
There's a reason that 8GB is essentially the norm across laptops in 2023. 4GB just doesn't cut it anymore. Windows 11 needs resources, and RAM is one of those that I will always recommend you get the most you possibly can in your budget. As I sit writing this now my web browser (admittedly with quite a lot of tabs open) is using 2GB of RAM on its own. Imagine if I only had 4GB in total?!
The VivoBook also has SSD storage going for it compared to the eMMC offered on the HP, as well as twice as much capacity. SSD is always preferable to eMMC as it's faster and almost always upgradeable, affording you more flexibility in the long term.
And the icing on the cake is the 11th Gen Intel Core i3 CPU inside. It won't set any records, but it's a better option than an underpowered Intel Celeron every time.
There may be more laptop deals spring up over the next couple of days that look almost too good to be true. If they have 4GB of RAM listed in the specs, then they are. Walk away and find something better like the laptop suggested here. Even if it costs a little more, you deserve, no, you need, to have 8GB of RAM on your Windows laptop.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine
Don't forget the largely identical computer that has been on sale at Micro Center for several months for $200. You need to walk into the store to get it, though.Reply