Best Cheap Laptops for Minecraft

ADVERTISEMENT

Best Cheap Laptops for Minecraft

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2
Photo: Philip Tracy/Gizmodo

Buying a laptop for a child is not easy. Review sites (including this one) tend to focus on flagship devices and those with unique features rather than basic budget products. This is due in part to the interest of readers, but also because vendors don’t like to send us cheap, low-margin devices that they don’t put much effort into. I’ve found that to be especially true in the laptop segment, where budget devices they are not so good. Fortunately, some valuable options have entered the market in recent years.

It is these recent economic releases that I will be recommending to reader Ben in this week’s article”Which device should you buy??” Ben, a business analytics project manager, is looking for a $400 or less laptop for his son. He only has two requirements: that the system boots fast and he can play Minecraft.

Can my son play? Minecraft on a Chromebook?

Whenever someone tells me they want a good budget laptop, my mind immediately jumps to Chromebooks. They typically offer better specs for the same price as Windows PCs. Unfortunately, Minecraft it is not compatible on Chrome OS unless you are an educational user who can access the Play Store and download the Android app.

What’s the matter with him Acer Aspire 5?

Journal. That leaves Bob with Windows laptops (we have a price outside the territory of Mac here). Finding a decent $400 laptop that works Windows 11 isn’t an easy task, but it’s possible if you’re willing to compromise on a few things. My first pick for Ben is the acer aspire 5. It’s not the most premium device, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find better specs for the price.

For just $379, the suck 5 It comes with a 14-inch 1080p display, an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. And since it uses an 11th generation chip, the Aspire benefits from Iris Xe graphics, which will be more than enough to run Minecraft at decent frame rates.

So what’s wrong with it? Well, in typical budget PC fashion, the Aspire 5 comes with a ton of bloatware. The webcam is also awful, and the design, with its thicker screen bezels, isn’t exactly modern. The biggest issues are its relatively large size (0.7 inches thick and 3.2 pounds isn’t exactly thin and light anymore) and the plastic touchpad.

Perhaps an HP Stream?

A lot of people like to recommend an HP Stream, but not a lot of people like to play games on an 11-inch screen, so I’ll turn it down. There is a 14 inch version, but the screen is very low resolution and the processor is underpowered. Instead, I would try to make a deal (like this) on the Lenovo IdeaPad 3. It may be more portable than Ben and his son need, but it’s hard to complain given the $330 price tag.

Minecraft on the surface?

Ben mentioned that he had been looking at Surface devices and would love the Surface Laptop SE if it were sold to the public (not just purchasable through CDW). I’ll be countering the SE with the Surface Laptop Go, which currently costs $350 for the base model. Specs aren’t great (4GB RAM, 64GB storage), but you won’t find a more premium-feeling laptop at this price. If Ben can swing it, the new Go 2 Surface Laptop It starts at $600 (I know, that’s a bit more) and comes with double the storage and a faster processor.

Would you recommend anything else? Tell us in the comments! And if you need help deciding which device to buy, complete our easy questionnaire.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT