Top Laptops for the Tinkerer

Top Laptops for the Tinkerer

So, "voiding warranties" is something you do with pride? The following systems allow you to make your own maintenance and some upgrades as needed. After all, it's much more cost-effective to add memory or storage down the road if needed.

Your options 9 top results, ranging in price from ∼ US$755 to US$1081, with accessories.

  • Dell Inspiron 15 Guillaume's pick; 16 times!

    Dell Inspiron 15" Laptop (touch) from US$5308% cheaper than usual
    ~$780 with accessories

    Balancing horsepower, a crisp and roomy touchscreen and cost-efficiency; this laptop is a good fit for productivity and multitasking.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1920×1080
    Dimensions: 37.85 x 25.81 x 2.26 cm
    Weight: 2.170 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer's site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Dell Inspiron 15 Guillaume's pick; 5 times!

    Dell Inspiron 15" Laptop from US$540;
    ~$790 with accessories

    Balancing horsepower, a crisp and roomy display and cost-efficiency; this laptop is a good fit for productivity and multitasking.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy2/5

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1920×1080
    Dimensions: 37.85 x 25.81 x 2.26 cm
    Weight: 2.170 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Dell site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Asus PRO P2540UB 15.6-inch Notebook Guillaume's pick; 6 times!

    Asus PRO P2540UB 15.6-inch Notebook from US$760;
    ~$1081 with accessories

    This laptop is all about getting the job done, with quality components but nothing extravagant... Read More about the P2540UB-XB51

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power3.5/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy2/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power3.5/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power3.5/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy2/5

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 256.00 GB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1920×1080
    Dimensions: 38.10 x 25.65 x 2.29 cm
    Weight: 2.310 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer's site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Dell Inspiron 15

    Dell Inspiron 15" Gaming Laptop from US$690;
    ~$990 with accessories

    An affordable laptop for the roaming gamer and the creative.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy1/5

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    4/5
    This should run nicely

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-7300HQ
    Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1920×1080
    Dimensions: 39.88 x 26.49 x 2.51 cm
    Weight: 2.570 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer's site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP 15

    HP 15" Laptop from US$510;
    ~$755 with accessories

    This laptop offers a little extra but remains a cost-effective product. It's worth considering if you need a computer to handle a bit more than the basics.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power2/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 2200U
    Graphics: AMD Radeon 530 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 37.60 x 24.60 x 2.25 cm
    Weight: 1.770 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Newegg site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP 15

    HP 15" Laptop from US$680;
    ~$972 with accessories

    An efficient work computer which won't break the bank, it will make a valuable companion for anyone looking to get work done on a budget.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power2/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power1/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-7200U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 2 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 38.00 x 25.37 x 2.39 cm
    Weight: 2.000 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Dell Inspiron 15

    Dell Inspiron 15" 3000 Series Touch from US$610;
    ~$887 with accessories

    This laptop is built for cost-efficiency rather than performance but still, it will handle "the usual" rather well and is worth considering for the right price.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Netbooks standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price1/5
    Power4.5/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy1/5

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i3-7100U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 38.91 x 27.48 x 2.36 cm
    Weight: 2.620 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Dell Inspiron 5000, 15

    Dell Inspiron 5000, 15" Laptop from US$740;
    ~$1055 with accessories

    A versatile laptop for work, casual browsing and playing music or video while you're busy doing other stuff.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy2.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power2/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy2.5/5

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-7200U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1920×1080
    Dimensions: 38.99 x 25.91 x 2.34 cm
    Weight: 2.330 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP 15

    HP 15" Laptop from US$630;
    ~$906 with accessories

    A cost-reduced laptop capable of handling homework, emails, social media and the web. A good fit if you'd be satisfied with "nothing fancy".

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    performance in Web & Communication

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Audio & Visual medias

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Video Games

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i3-7100U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 38.00 x 25.38 x 2.38 cm
    Weight: 2.000 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×

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