Looking for a low-cost laptop? Here’s what you’ll get – PCWorld

With prices hovering around $150, a low-end laptop could be a tempting buy this holiday season, if all you want to do is surf the web, view streaming video and draft documents. But be aware that PC makers have stripped down the features to make these devices affordable. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping.

Operating system

Your options include Microsoft’s Windows 10 or Google’s Chrome OS. Windows 10 is a fully functional OS that can run a wider range of programs, and these laptops typically have more storage. Laptops with Chrome OS, also called Chromebooks, have a usage model similar to tablets and smartphones, and are good for web surfing, e-mail and online file storage. For video and gaming, Windows 10 is a better option.

Screen

Low-cost laptop displays are likely to offer resolutions of 1366 x 768 or 1280 x 800 pixels — not as sharp as the high-def screens on higher priced laptops. You won’t be able to watch full HD movies from Netflix on these low-resolution displays, which will support 720p videos.

Hard drive

You’ll likely get a hard drive for main storage in a low-cost laptop; don’t expect the faster and more power-efficient solid-state drive. Hard drive prices have been crashing, and PC makers are cramming 250GB or 500GB drives in low-cost laptops.

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