The Most Popular Laptops of Late 2017
Amazon's bestsellers provide insights into what users prefer for their daily computing needs. Although its all nice to have great ultraportables and high-end gaming notebooks, we find that a majority of users opt for a laptop that just gets the job done without breaking the bank. These ratings also help OEMs in ensuring that this majority audience is being catered to in their respective portfolios. This year, apart from the traditional Windows/Mac based notebooks, it is interesting to see that a lot of Chromebooks have made it to the list. We have discussed in depth as to what a Chromebook is capable of so if you're leaning towards one, be sure to check out that article. For the current article, we are focusing on traditional Windows/Mac notebooks that are frequently brought on the Amazon marketplace. So without further ado, let's have a cursory glance at the notebooks that have made it to the bestsellers list.
Do note that the prices listed for each notebook and the positions of the notebooks in the bestsellers list are reflective of those listed at the time of publication and are subject to change often.
Acer Aspire E 15 E5
The Acer Aspire E 15 E5 series comes in two variants on the Amazon marketplace. The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM tops the list of bestsellers on Amazon for good reason. The laptop comes with decent specs for everyday computing. The Intel Core i3-7100U 15W CPU should power most productivity apps with ease while being soft on the battery. The notebook comes with 4 GB of RAM by default, which can be expanded up to 32 GB. A 1 TB 5400 RPM HDD provides the needed storage. Those looking for faster storage options will be pleased to know the availability of an M.2 SATA slot for adding an SSD. There is no dedicated GPU available on this notebook but the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 should provide enough juice for hardware acceleration in apps, watching 4K video, and enable light gaming on the full HD display. Other niceties like a full backlit keyboard and MU-MIMO WiFi add to the value. Going by user reviews, this model seems to be a hot favorite right now in terms of a good value for money proposition. Prices start from US$349.99
Buy the Acer Aspire E15 E5-575-33BM on Amazon.
Those who prefer having a more capable notebook can take a look at the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4. This notebook comes with an Intel Core i5-7200U CPU paired to 8 GB DDR4 RAM, which is a fair upgrade over the Core i3-7100U of the ES-575. It also comes with a dedicated GPU in the form of the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX. The included 256 GB SATA SSD should ensure quick boot times and there's room for another M.2 SATA SSD. Otherwise, the laptop's build is identical to the ES-575. If you are factoring in hardware updates to the E5-575, the E5-575G could be a worthy consideration at US$549.99.
Buy the Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4 on Amazon.
HP Stream Laptop PC
The HP Stream Laptop PC is a lightweight no-frills notebook that is more suited to the casual college goer or someone who relies more on internet apps and Netflix. The Stream Laptop is styled accordingly and comes in 11 and 14-inch variants. The internals can be very limiting even for casual use as it is powered by the Intel Celeron N3060 CPU coupled to 4 GB RAM. The storage provided is just 32 GB of eMMC storage with the ability to add more storage via the card reader slot. It, however, comes bundled with a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal that includes popular Office apps along with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage. Since the CPU is on the weaker side, its really not an ideal notebook for multitaskers. The onboard storage is mostly used up by the Windows installation so you might need to use an SD card for installing apps and storing personal data. The notebook is sold by various retailers on Amazon at different price points starting from US$219.99 depending on the storage configuration.
Buy the HP Stream Laptop PC on Amazon.
Acer Aspire 1
The Acer Aspire 1 is one of the best no-frills notebook available. The notebook features an Intel Celeron N3450 quad-core CPU, a full HD display, 4 GB RAM, and 32 GB storage along with Windows 10 Home all housed in a chassis with decent build quality. You also get close to 9 hours of rated battery life and a Precision Touchpad — a rarity in this price.
The Aspire 1 does cut corners and quite frequently at that. The RAM and in built storage are not upgradeable, although you get a slot for SD card expansion. The Celeron N3450 will struggle at multitasking but is good for general Office use. The full HD screen has reportedly lackluster color profiles and bad viewing angles. Still, for US$199.99, there are few notebooks that come close to the Aspire 1 and it is easy to see why it is ranked higher than most other laptops despite having low-end specs.
Buy the Acer Aspire 1 on Amazon.
Acer Predator Helios 300
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a preferred gaming notebook in the sub-US$1000 mark. The red accents and black chassis gives a distinct gamer look and feel. The keyboard is also backlit by red LEDs with the WASD keys highlighted. The Helios 300 comes with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, and a 256 GB SSD. The VR-ready NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB GDDR5 VRAM helps push pixels on the 15.6-inch FHD display. The 4-cell 3220 mAh Li-ion battery promises up to 7 hours of battery life. This configuration will set you back by US$1,169.11. The notebook is also available with an option of an Intel Core i5-7300HQ CPU and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU.
Buy the Acer Predator Helios 300 below:
Asus VivoBook F510UA
The Asus VivoBook F510UA is currently one of the best selling ultrabooks on Amazon. The notebook features a NanoEdge FHD display (Asus-speak for narrow bezels) and weighs just 1.7 kg. The 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U helps breeze through most tasks and the 8 GB DDR4 RAM bodes well for multitasking. In the age of high speed SSDs, the 1 TB HDD might be limited in terms of speeds but thankfully, Asus has provided an M.2 SATA slot for popping in an SSD. For an asking price of US$499, the VivoBook F510UA is not a shabby ultrabook and can be easily considered for day-to-day computing.
Buy the Asus VivoBook F510UA on Amazon.
Dell Inspiron i3162-0003BLU
The Dell Inspiron i3162 is Dell's answer to the HP Stream PC. It has a 11-inch screen with literally the same specifications as the HP Stream, including the CPU and RAM. However, unlike the HP Stream this notebook (or netbook?) does not come bundled with an Office 365 subscription, which explains the US$189 price point. The storage is anemic at 32 GB. Thankfully, the microSD card slot provides some respite. Like the HP Stream, for those just wanting to check email and browse the web along with light Office work, or even for those looking for a standby to their production PC, the Dell Inspiron i3162 should fit the bill quite nicely.
Buy the Dell Inspiron i3162 on Amazon.
Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch
The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch is popular notebook that appeals to the student crowd who need just the basic essentials of a MacBook without needing to splurge too much. The current best selling version of the MacBook Air comes with an Intel Core i5 dual-core CPU at 1.6 GHz, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 128 GB of PCIe flash storage, 1400x900 screen resolution, and comes installed with OS X El Capitan, which can be updated to macOS Sierra via the App Store. There is an updated version of the MacBook Air that offers a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5-dual core CPU. The MacBook Air retails from US$899.99 depending on the seller.
Buy the Apple MacBook Air 13.3 inch below:
HP Notebook with AMD E2-7110 APU
This unassuming HP notebook seems to have somehow found its way to the bestseller's list. The notebook comes with the AMD E2-7110 quad-core APU at 1.8 GHz with Radeon R2 graphics, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, and a 15.6-inch HD screen. The specs are nothing to write home about but should be enough for basic computing and very light casual gaming. There are not many user reviews available for this notebook but at a price of US$285.90, the notebook seems to do fairly well as a good value for money proposition.
Buy the HP Notebook with AMD E2-7110 APU on Amazon.
Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6-inch
Another AMD notebook has made it to the bestsellers list, this time it is the Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6-inch. The IdeaPad is powered by an AMD A6-7310 quad-core APU with Radeon R4 graphics. It comes with 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB HDD along with a DVD writer and a multi-format card reader. There are many versions of the IdeaPad available in both Intel and AMD offerings. For a price of US$307.66, the Lenovo IdeaPad makes for a more compelling entry-level option compared to the HP Notebook with AMD E2 APU.
Buy the Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6-inch on Amazon.
Microsoft Surface Book
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 turned heads around when it was announced last month. Its predecessor, the Microsoft Surface Book, is still a bestseller on Amazon and comes in a bevy of configuration options. The Surface Book is seen as a premium device for those who require the kind of versatility it provides. Its build quality is top notch and the internals do not disappoint. With an Intel Core i7-6600U and a dedicated NVIDIA GPU, the Surface Book can switch roles between a powerful laptop and a capable tablet with ease. The 3000x2000 PixelSense touch display provides a great canvas for inking and touch interaction. Storage options range from 128 GB to 1 TB SSDs and so does the RAM, from 8 GB to 16 GB. Prices start from US$810 for the Core M model with integrated graphics and tops at US$2,529 for the fully loaded configuration with a dedicated NVIDIA GPU. If you're looking at a more modern detachable, the Surface Book 2 would be a better option. Otherwise, the original Surface Book, which is now available at reduced prices, still has the power to run Windows 10 and content creation apps without major hiccups.
Buy the Microsoft Surface Book below:
The Amazon bestsellers list features many of the notebooks we have reviewed along with a few rare models. We find the domination of entry-level notebooks on the list suggesting that most of the population is looking for a no-frills, maintenance-free notebook. We have not factored-in Chromebooks in this article, but the presence of many Chromebook models from various OEMs displacing popular Windows notebooks seems to corroborates this fact. Gauging by this metric, it seems that software makers and hardware OEMs will have to push towards more ease of use and beginner friendly technologies if they wish to capture a slice of the bestseller pie.