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Best Laptop for Basic Home Use [2020 Review]

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A good laptop can bring a great boost to your productivity while at home. Whether you are working from home or simply need a device to help you finish chores, plan your diet, make a budget, monitor your health or track your exercise schedule, the best laptop for basic home use will come in handy. 

Since you are busy and don’t have the time to shop around, we took it upon ourselves to research some of the best laptops you can use at home. This guide will help you to quickly find and buy mid-range laptops for the best prices. 

Our Top Laptops for Basic Home Use

We identified the following laptops as the best for use at home without breaking the bank. They are the best fit for doing basic tasks. However, some of them pack features powerful enough for gaming, video streaming, video, and image editing or doing some graphic designing while at home. 

Brand
Best Overall
HP Spectre X360
Best for the Money
Dell XPS 15
Best Cheap Pick
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
Product
HP - Spectre x360 2-in-1 15.6" 4K Ultra HD...
Dell XPS 15 laptop 15.6", 4K UHD InfinityEdge...
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS...
Processor
4.6 GHz Intel Core i7
4.5 GHz Core i7 Family
Amd Ryzen 7 3700U dual-core processor
RAM
16GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
8 GB
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
HP Spectre X360
Product
HP - Spectre x360 2-in-1 15.6" 4K Ultra HD...
Processor
4.6 GHz Intel Core i7
RAM
16GB DDR4
Rating
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Dell XPS 15
Product
Dell XPS 15 laptop 15.6", 4K UHD InfinityEdge...
Processor
4.5 GHz Core i7 Family
RAM
16GB DDR4
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
Product
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS...
Processor
Amd Ryzen 7 3700U dual-core processor
RAM
8 GB
Rating
Price

Best Overall Laptop for Basic Home Use: HP Spectre X360 

HP - Spectre x360 2-in-1 15.6' 4K Ultra HD...

The HP Spectre X360 is our top recommended laptop for basic home use. This laptop packs many powerful features most of which will do more than just basic tasks. The most prominent features of this model are the 8th gen Core i7 processor, the 16GB of RAM, the 512GB SSD storage and a 4K IPS display.

This is a perfect set of internals for home users looking for more power. The Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM will help you breeze through programs you use to make your life and work easier while at home. While 512GB of SSD storage is more than enough for storing personal files and multimedia, it also helps to make the laptop faster. 

If you love watching movies or streaming videos, you will easily fall in love with the 4K display. Although this might seem like an overkill for home use, there are some people who will find it handy.

If you are on a budget or looking for a laptop to do only the most basic tasks, this might not be a good fit for you. You would get more value for your money from our other recommendations.

However, if you plan on running some hardcore software, gaming, streaming or doing some creative work while at home, you will love the HP Spectre X360.

What We Like

  • Powerful processor and 16GB RAM for faster laptop performance and increased productivity while home.
  • Sufficient 512GB SSD storage for storing multimedia such as movies, photos, and other personal files.
  • High quality 4K display resolution with IPS technology for adventurous gaming, watching movies or streaming videos.
  • The 2-in-1 design provides for more flexible use while at home.

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive and not a good fit for home users on a budget.
  • Weighs 4.4 pounds which is slightly heavy for use at home.
HP - Spectre x360 2-in-1 15.6" 4K Ultra HD...
  • NEWEST 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U + NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (2GB GDDR5 dedicated), Windows 10...
  • 16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB), 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, HP Wide Vision FHD IR Camera with...
  • 15.6" diagonal 4K IPS eDP micro-edge BrightView WLED-backlit (3840 x 2160), HP Active Stylus and HP...

Best Laptop for Basic Home Use for the Money: Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15 laptop 15.6', 4K UHD InfinityEdge...

The Dell XPS 15 will be a great fit for basic home use. It has a beautiful design, with powerful hardware and a host of connectivity options. Just like the HP Spectre X360, this laptop is a good option for home users who are looking for more than a mere entry-level laptop.

This laptop shares most of its features with our top recommendation, the HP Spectre X360. These include a Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD storage and a 4K display. So, if you are looking for the best value for your money, the Dell XPS 15 will be a worthy pick.

With 512GB SSD storage, you will have enough space to securely store all your files and multimedia such as videos, images, and music. On the other hand, the powerful Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB will help make the laptop significantly faster when browsing, gaming, doing creative work or running different software.

As is the case with most laptops, powerful hardware sometimes means the laptop battery life will take a hit. So, you should not bet big on the XPS 15’s battery life especially when gaming, streaming videos or editing videos. However, since you’ll probably be home, you can easily recharge it.

What We Like

  • Large 4K UltraHD touchscreen for watching movies, streaming, playing games and doing some creative work.
  • Sufficient 512GB for storing your videos, photos, software, and other files.
  • Powerful Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM for faster performance.

What We Don’t Like

  • Home users on a budget may not afford the high price.
  • It has a short battery life requiring frequent recharging.
Dell XPS 15 laptop 15.6", 4K UHD InfinityEdge...
  • 15.6" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge anti-reflective touch IPS 100% a do be RGB 500-nits display
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h (12MB Cache, up to 4. 5 GHz, 6 Cores)
  • 16GB DDR4-2666MHz, 2x8G

Best Cheap Laptop for Basic Home Use: Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6' Full HD IPS...

Most laptops for basic home use are affordable. However, if you are operating with a tight budget and need an even cheaper laptop, you should consider the Acer Aspire 5. It packs powerful performance, long battery life, bright display, and sleek design.

This is one of the few budget laptops that sports a premium design. Unless you look at the price, you will easily mistake it for one of those posh models. While it has a bit of weight under its chassis, we think it is still fairly portable. However, if you want a more portable option, we recommend the pricier HP Spectre X360.

If you’re looking for a budget option, you might have to oversee the bulkiness. You are still getting a generously huge Full HD IPS display. This is the perfect screen for watching movies, gaming, and doing some creative work while at home.

The AMD Ryzen 7 3700U processor and 8GB of RAM will ensure stable performance even when running some hardcore software. Although this may not be as powerful as its Intel alternatives, you are still getting plenty of performance juices.

You will be able to painlessly browse, run various programs, use word processors and spreadsheets without significantly affecting the overall performance. To top that off, you will also get 512GB SSD space for storing personal stuff, multimedia, and necessary computer programs.

If you type most of the time, you will love the Acer Aspire 5 keyboard. It has tactile keys with decent travel and smooth texture. This will provide for speedy typing when writing emails, preparing a meal plan, writing invoices, or chatting on social media.

What We Like

  • Impressive overall performance
  • Sufficient SSD storage for storing personal files at home
  • Comfortable backlit keyboard for speedy typing
  • High-quality display
  • Budget-friendly
  • Sleek design with strong build quality

What We Don’t Like

  • Middling battery life
  • Issues with Windows 10 Home OS
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS...
  • Amd Ryzen 7 3700U dual-core processor (Up to 4.0 GHz) | 8GB DDR4 Memory | 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display | AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 mobile...
  • 1 - USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, 2 - USB 2.0 Ports & 1 - HDMI Port with HDCP support

What to Look for in the Best Laptop for Basic Home Use 

While a laptop for basic tasks doesn’t need to have powerful features, it would be imprudent to settle for mediocre options. Based on our research, we identified the following features as the most important to consider when buying a laptop for basic home use.

Display Size

What’s the perfect laptop size for home use? It depends. There is not a one size fits all when it comes to laptops. The kind of work you intend to do with your laptop while at home will largely inform how big it should be. 

Woman sitting on a couch while using a laptop

For example, if you want a laptop for watching movies or playing games, you might want it to be bigger than that for tracking your diet or exercise schedule. These are usually 15 inches and 17 inches.

On the other hand, if you fancy portability, you will want to go with a smaller laptop. That is, 12-inch and 13-inch laptops. These are thinner and easier to carry around than their big-sized counterparts. Although there are a few big laptops that are fairly lightweight, they come with staggering prices and might not be worth it for basic home use. 

Display Quality

Some of the things you need to factor in when it comes to the display quality include whether you want a touchscreen or not. While touchscreens make it easier to use the laptop at home, they may add undesirable glossiness to the display making it uncomfortable to look at for long hours.

So, if you are not looking forward to messing your vision, you might want a laptop that doesn’t have a touchscreen. This is especially important if you will be using the laptop for long hours to watch movies, play games or do some creative work.

We recommend Full HD (1920×1080) resolutions for any kind of home tasks. This helps to keep things in view making the screen more enjoyable to use. If you want more quality, you can invest in a 4K resolution display.

Keyboard quality

A good keyboard is important if you will be mostly typing on your laptop. Some home tasks that require typing include sending emails, chatting or posting on social media, making a budget, preparing a diet plan or implementing your writing hobby.

In this case, you need a simple laptop that doesn’t pack every key ever known. Look for a keyboard with a comfortable layout and full-sized keys with adequate travel. Backlit keyboards are generally more comfortable to use especially in dim environments.

CPU

A good processor will help you complete tasks at home faster. If you are using tools such as meal planning software, or exercise apps, you will have a fast CPU to enable them to run more smoothly. We recommend Intel’s Core i3 and Core i5 for basic home use.

You will find Core i3 processors in most entry-level laptops. If you will be using the laptop for watching videos, browsing, writing or reading, an Intel Core i3 processor will be good enough.

Woman sitting while using while a laptop

However, if you are using some software to increase your productivity at home, you will be better off with an Intel Core i5 or Core i7. Most mainstream laptops come with Intel Core i5 processors so you will most likely be getting these.

RAM

RAM works hand in hand with the processor to boost your laptop’s performance. We recommend anything from 4GB RAM for basic home use. However, if you are looking to do more than basic tasks, 8GB RAM will be more acceptable. If you run multiple applications at the same time, we recommend you go for more RAM.

You will probably find some 32GB RAM options while shopping around. These are good choices for professionals and power users as opposed to basic home use.

Conclusion

We hope this guide helps you find the best laptop for basic home use. Keep in mind that while you won’t need the most powerful features, we recommend you buy a versatile laptop that you can use for both simple home chores and more hardcore tasks.

A lover of MacBook Air and the Dell XPS line of laptops, Liam has been researching and writing as a guest blogger for numerous websites for over 10 years. Now, he blogs about tech trends, PCs, laptops, gadgets, and other emerging gadgets on FancyAppliance.com.