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Similar to desks and desk chairs, there has been a shortage of inexpensive laptops as both parents and schools try to provide affordable tech for students as they head back to school virtually. According to reports, top laptop names like Lenovo, HP, and Dell are experiencing a delay in production leading up to the school year, putting many at a disadvantage for online learning. In fact, the phrase “affordable laptops” has become a breakout search, according to Google Trends.

Chromebooks and other low-cost PCs are currently some of the most sought-after laptops right now and can be incredibly hard to find in stock. However, there are still a few available at select retailers for a reasonable price. 

Our electronic expert, Emily Rameriz, says that when looking for a laptop for high school and middle students you should look for a midrange processor and at least 8GB of RAM to handle “any stressful, tab-heavy nights and for chilling back with their friends on game night.” Younger elementary students, on the other hand, don’t need as much power or more than 4GB of RAM. Rameriz also recommends not spending more than $400 on a laptop for kids as they are more prone to damaging them. 

The best laptop for students we’ve ever tested is the HP Envy x360 for its great battery life and impressive performance. Our runner up is the Asus Chromebook Flip for its flippable screen and zippy performance. Both are a little more pricey and hover around $500, depending on the retailer, but they’re both still in stock if you want one of our favorites.

Below you’ll find a list of impressive and inexpensive laptops based on our expert’s recommendations that are great for students this virtual school year. Most are under $600, but stock is very limited, so if you see something you like, we suggest acting sooner than later. 

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Inexpensive laptops you can still get

1. Samsung Chromebook 3

2. Acer Chromebook Spin 11

3. HP Stream 14

4. Lenovo Chromebook Duet

5. Acer Aspire 5

6. HP Envy x360

7. Asus Chromebook Flip

8. Lenovo Flex 5

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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