What Is Cheaper Than A Laptop?

So you’re in the market for a new tech gadget, but you’re on a budget. You’ve considered getting a laptop, but you’re wondering if there’s something even cheaper out there that can meet your needs. Well, look no further, because we’ve got the answer for you. In this article, we’ll explore what options are available that are more affordable than a laptop, without compromising on functionality. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or simply someone who needs a reliable device for everyday use, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to discover some cost-effective alternatives that will save you money without sacrificing performance.

What Is Cheaper Than A Laptop?


In the world of technology today, smartphones have become an essential part of our daily lives. They are not only a communication device but also a gateway to the digital world. While high-end smartphones may come with a hefty price tag, there are various options available for those on a budget or looking for cost-effective alternatives. Let’s explore some categories of smartphones that are cheaper than a laptop.

Budget smartphones

If you’re looking for a smartphone that won’t break the bank, budget smartphones are the way to go. These devices typically offer essential functionalities and decent performance at an affordable price. While they may not boast the latest cutting-edge features, they still provide a reliable means of communication and access to popular apps and services. Budget smartphones often come from well-known brands or emerging companies that offer value for money.

Refurbished smartphones

Another option to consider when looking for a cheaper alternative to a laptop is refurbished smartphones. These devices are pre-owned but have been thoroughly tested, repaired, and restored to a like-new condition. Refurbished smartphones are a great way to save money without compromising on quality. They often come with warranties and manufacturer support, providing peace of mind to the user.

Older smartphone models

While the latest flagship smartphones tend to be on the expensive side, older smartphone models can offer a cost-effective solution. As technology advances rapidly, newer models are released frequently, causing previous versions to become more affordable. These older models may not have the latest features or specifications, but they can still meet the needs of many users. Whether it’s browsing the web, watching videos, or using social media, older smartphone models can handle these tasks with ease.


Tablets have gained popularity for their portability and versatility, making them an excellent choice for many users. If you’re looking for a device larger than a smartphone but cheaper than a laptop, tablets offer a compelling option. Let’s explore some options within the tablet category that provide cost-effective solutions.

Budget tablets

Similar to budget smartphones, budget tablets are designed to provide essential functionalities at an affordable price. These tablets often run on Android or iOS operating systems, offering access to a wide range of apps and services. While they may not have the same processing power as high-end tablets, budget tablets can still handle tasks such as web browsing, media consumption, and light productivity work.

Refurbished tablets

Refurbished tablets are a great alternative for those who want a tablet without breaking the bank. These devices go through a refurbishment process, ensuring that they are in excellent working condition. Refurbished tablets often come with warranties, providing peace of mind to the user. Whether you’re looking for an iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, or any other brand, refurbished tablets offer a cost-effective solution.

Mini tablets

If portability is a priority for you, mini tablets are worth considering. These compact-sized tablets offer a balance between a smartphone and a full-sized tablet. They are lightweight, easy to carry, and can fit comfortably in one hand, making them ideal for on-the-go use. While mini tablets may not have the same screen real estate as their larger counterparts, they still provide an immersive experience for media consumption, reading, and light productivity tasks.


Chromebooks are another category of devices that provide a cost-effective alternative to laptops. Powered by Google’s Chrome OS, these devices offer a simplified and secure computing experience. Let’s dive into some options within the Chromebook category that are easy on the wallet.

Affordable Chromebook models

If you’re looking for a laptop-like experience without the hefty price tag, affordable Chromebook models are worth considering. These devices come with lower-spec hardware but are optimized to run efficiently on Chrome OS. They offer access to a range of web-based applications and services, making them perfect for web browsing, document editing, and media consumption. Affordable Chromebooks often feature lightweight designs and long battery life, making them suitable for students, casual users, and those on a tight budget.

Used Chromebooks

Used Chromebooks can be a great way to save even more money while still benefiting from the functionality of a laptop. Many people sell their Chromebooks after minimal use, meaning you can find pre-owned models in excellent condition. By purchasing a used Chromebook, you can often get higher-end specifications at a significantly lower cost. It’s essential to ensure that the device is in good working condition and check for any warranty coverage before making the purchase.

Chromebook alternatives

If Chrome OS doesn’t meet your specific needs, there are other cost-effective alternatives to consider. Linux-based laptops, for example, offer flexibility in terms of customization and software compatibility. While they may require a bit more technical know-how, Linux laptops can provide a powerful computing experience at a fraction of the cost of a traditional Windows or macOS device. Additionally, there are also Windows-based laptops available at lower price points that can offer a more familiar computing environment.

What Is Cheaper Than A Laptop?


For avid readers or those who prioritize reading digital content, e-readers provide a cost-effective and convenient solution. Let’s explore some options within the e-reader category that offer a more affordable alternative to laptops.

Basic e-reader devices

Basic e-reader devices offer a streamlined reading experience focused on one primary function – reading digital books. These devices typically feature e-ink displays that mimic the appearance of ink on paper, making them easy on the eyes for extended reading sessions. Basic e-readers often come with sufficient storage capacity to hold thousands of e-books, ensuring you’ll never run out of reading material. They also boast exceptional battery life, lasting weeks or even months on a single charge. While basic e-readers may not offer additional functionalities like web browsing or app support, they provide a distraction-free reading experience.

Refurbished e-readers

Similar to smartphones and tablets, e-readers can also be found in refurbished condition. Refurbished e-readers are pre-owned devices that have been carefully restored and tested to ensure they are in perfect working condition. These devices often come with warranties, giving users peace of mind regarding their purchase. By opting for a refurbished e-reader, you can save money without sacrificing the reading experience. Whether you prefer a dedicated e-reader device or a more versatile tablet-like experience, refurbished options are worth considering.

E-reader apps for smartphones

If you already own a smartphone and don’t want to invest in a dedicated e-reader device, e-reader apps provide a convenient and cost-effective solution. There are numerous e-reader apps available for both Android and iOS devices, offering access to vast digital libraries. These apps allow you to read e-books on your smartphone, providing a portable reading experience wherever you go. While the screen size may be smaller compared to dedicated e-reader devices, smartphones with high-quality displays can still offer an enjoyable reading experience.

Desktop Computers

While laptops offer portability and versatility, desktop computers provide power and expandability at a more affordable price point. Let’s explore some options within the desktop computer category that can offer the functionality you need without breaking the bank.

Affordable desktop computer models

Affordable desktop computer models come in various forms, including all-in-one desktops and traditional tower desktops. These models often feature lower-end hardware specifications but can still handle day-to-day computing tasks with ease. Whether it’s web browsing, document editing, multimedia consumption, or light gaming, affordable desktop computers offer a cost-effective solution for many users. They are also easier to upgrade compared to laptops, allowing for future expansion as your needs evolve.

Used desktop computers

Used desktop computers can provide significant savings without sacrificing performance. Many businesses and individuals sell their desktop computers after a few years of use, making them available at a lower price point. By purchasing a used desktop computer, you can often get higher-end specifications than if you were to buy a new one within the same budget. It’s important to ensure that the used computer is in good working condition and check for any remaining warranty or return policies that may be available.

DIY desktop computers

For those who enjoy a hands-on approach and want more control over hardware selection, building a DIY desktop computer can be a rewarding and cost-effective option. By selecting individual components such as the processor, motherboard, memory, storage, and graphics card, you can tailor the performance and features to your specific needs and budget. While building a desktop computer requires some degree of technical knowledge, it offers flexibility, upgradability, and potential cost savings in the long run.

Gaming Consoles

If you’re a gaming enthusiast or looking for entertainment options, gaming consoles provide a wide range of experiences at a lower cost compared to laptops. Let’s delve into some options within the gaming console category that can provide affordable gaming experiences.

Entry-level gaming consoles

Entry-level gaming consoles offer a great starting point for those wanting to explore the world of gaming. These consoles are often priced lower than their high-end counterparts while still providing access to a vast library of games. With options such as the Nintendo Switch Lite or the Xbox Series S, you can enjoy popular games, multiplayer experiences, and entertainment features without breaking the bank. Entry-level gaming consoles offer an excellent balance between performance, affordability, and gaming enjoyment.

Previous generation gaming consoles

If you’re not concerned with having the latest gaming technology, previous-generation gaming consoles can be a smart choice. As the gaming industry releases new console iterations, the previous generation tends to become more affordable. This means you can still access a vast library of games and immersive experiences at a lower cost. Whether it’s the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Wii U, previous-generation gaming consoles offer excellent gaming capabilities at a fraction of the price of the latest models.

Handheld gaming devices

For casual gamers or those who prefer gaming on the go, handheld gaming devices are a cost-effective option. Devices like the Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo Switch Lite offer a portable gaming experience without the need for a dedicated gaming setup. These devices come with built-in screens, controllers, and a wide selection of games. Handheld gaming devices provide entertainment during long commutes, travels, or whenever you have some downtime. They are typically more affordable than gaming consoles, making them an enticing option for gamers on a budget.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers that offer a range of possibilities at a low cost. These versatile devices can be used for various projects and applications, making them an excellent option for tech enthusiasts and hobbyists. Let’s explore the world of Raspberry Pi and its affordability.

Introduction to Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that packs a surprising amount of power. It features a system-on-a-chip (SoC) design, combining processing, memory, and input/output capabilities into a compact footprint. Raspberry Pi boards run on various Linux-based operating systems and can be customized to suit different projects and tasks. Whether it’s retro gaming consoles, home media centers, or even home automation systems, Raspberry Pi offers an affordable platform to bring your ideas to life.

Low-cost Raspberry Pi models

Raspberry Pi models come in different iterations, with each offering unique features and capabilities. As technology advances, newer models are released, making previous iterations more affordable. These low-cost Raspberry Pi models still provide excellent performance for a wide range of applications. From the Raspberry Pi Zero to the Raspberry Pi 4, there is a model to fit different budgets and project requirements. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced maker, these affordable Raspberry Pi models allow you to experiment and learn without breaking the bank.

Projects with Raspberry Pi

One of the most exciting aspects of Raspberry Pi is its versatility and the endless possibilities it offers for projects. From creating a home security system to building a smart mirror, Raspberry Pi can be the foundation for various DIY projects. With a vibrant community and ample online resources, there are project ideas and step-by-step guides available for all skill levels. Raspberry Pi projects provide a cost-effective way to learn about electronics, programming, and problem-solving while having fun along the way.

Smart TVs

Smart TVs have revolutionized the way we consume media, offering enhanced connectivity and a range of streaming options. If you’re in the market for a new TV and want smart features without the need for a laptop, affordable smart TV models are worth considering.

Affordable smart TV models

Affordable smart TV models combine traditional television functionalities with built-in smart capabilities. These TVs often feature popular platforms like Android TV, Roku, or Fire TV, providing access to a plethora of streaming apps and services. While they may not offer the same premium features or picture quality as high-end models, affordable smart TVs still provide an immersive viewing experience for TV shows, movies, and online content. They are a cost-effective solution for those looking to upgrade their entertainment setup without needing a separate device.

Refurbished smart TVs

If you want a smart TV but are trying to save some money, refurbished smart TVs offer a cost-effective alternative. Refurbished TVs go through a rigorous inspection and testing process to ensure they meet quality standards. They often come with warranties, providing peace of mind to customers. By opting for a refurbished smart TV, you can enjoy the benefits of a smart TV without paying a premium price. Whether it’s for streaming your favorite shows or playing games, refurbished smart TVs can provide an affordable entertainment solution.

Streaming devices for conventional TVs

If you already own a traditional TV and want to add smart capabilities, streaming devices are an affordable option. Devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast, or Apple TV can transform your regular TV into a smart TV. These streaming devices connect to your TV’s HDMI port and provide access to various streaming apps and services. They often offer similar functionalities to built-in smart TVs and can be a cost-effective solution if you’re not ready to invest in a new TV.

2-in-1 Devices

Combining the functionality of both a tablet and a laptop, 2-in-1 devices offer versatility and portability. Let’s explore the world of 2-in-1 devices and their cost-effective options.

Tablet-laptop hybrids

Tablet-laptop hybrids, also known as detachable or convertible laptops, provide the best of both worlds. These devices feature a detachable or foldable design that allows them to switch between tablet and laptop modes. They often come with touchscreens and can also be used with traditional keyboards for a laptop-like experience. Tablet-laptop hybrids offer flexibility and portability, making them suitable for various tasks, such as web browsing, content creation, and media consumption. While high-end models can be expensive, there are affordable options available that provide the essential functionalities without breaking the bank.

Convertible laptops

Convertible laptops are another category of 2-in-1 devices that offer flexibility and versatility. Unlike tablet-laptop hybrids, convertible laptops have screens that can rotate up to 360 degrees, allowing them to transform from a traditional laptop to a tablet-like form factor. These devices often feature more powerful hardware, making them suitable for demanding tasks like photo editing, video rendering, or even gaming. Convertible laptops cater to users who prefer a more traditional laptop experience while still enjoying the convenience and portability of a tablet.

Portable 2-in-1 devices

If portability is a top priority, portable 2-in-1 devices offer a slim and lightweight design that is easy to carry around. These devices often feature smaller screen sizes, making them highly portable and ideal for on-the-go use. Whether it’s taking notes in meetings, browsing the web in coffee shops, or watching movies during travel, portable 2-in-1 devices provide a convenient solution. While they may not have the same processing power as larger devices, their compact form factor and long battery life make them perfect for users who prioritize portability and versatility.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way we store and access our data, as well as the way we use software and implement solutions. Let’s explore some cost-effective options within the cloud computing category.

Cloud storage solutions

Cloud storage solutions offer a convenient and cost-effective way to store your files and data securely. Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive provide generous free storage plans and affordable premium options for additional space. With cloud storage, you can access your files from anywhere with an internet connection, making it a convenient solution for backing up important documents, photos, and videos. Cloud storage also allows for easy file sharing and collaboration, enhancing productivity and eliminating the need for physical storage devices.

Cloud-based productivity tools

Cloud-based productivity tools like Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Microsoft 365, and Zoho Workplace offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional office software. These web-based suites provide access to various productivity applications like word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and more, all stored and accessible from the cloud. Cloud-based productivity tools offer real-time collaboration, automatic saving, and seamless synchronization across devices, making them ideal for individuals, businesses, and educational institutions.

Virtual machines on the cloud

Virtual machines (VMs) on the cloud provide a cost-effective solution for running software applications and testing different operating systems. Services like Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Compute Engine, and Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines allow users to create and manage virtual servers on the cloud. Running virtual machines on the cloud eliminates the need for expensive hardware and provides scalability, flexibility, and reliability. Whether it’s testing software, hosting web applications, or running machine learning algorithms, virtual machines on the cloud offer cost savings and convenience compared to traditional physical servers.

In conclusion, there are numerous cost-effective options available that are cheaper than a laptop. Whether it’s smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, e-readers, desktop computers, gaming consoles, Raspberry Pi, smart TVs, 2-in-1 devices, or cloud computing solutions, there is a device or service to suit every budget and need. By considering these alternatives, you can still enjoy the benefits of technology without breaking the bank. So, go ahead and explore these options to find the perfect device or solution that meets your requirements and saves you money. Happy tech hunting!