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$640 to US$1190, with accessories.

  • Dell Inspiron 15

    Dell Inspiron 15" 3000 Series Touch from US$420;
    ~$640 with accessories

    A cost-efficient laptop built to handle "the usual." An option worth considering, especially if waiting for stuff to load is an acceptable compromise for you, a... Read More about the i3567-3408BLK-PCA

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    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 i3-7130U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 37.85 x 25.91 x 2.36 cm
    Weight: 2.20 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 Best Buy site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Dell Inspiron 15

    Dell Inspiron 15" Laptop from US$680;
    ~$989 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 Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    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 i5-8250U
    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: 2.17 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;
    ~$760 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
    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
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    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: 1.77 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 Staples site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Dell Inspiron 15

    Dell Inspiron 15" Gaming Laptop from US$720;
    ~$1040 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 Price4.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

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

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    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: 2.57 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" Laptop from US$790;
    ~$1139 with accessories

    Cost-effective but equipped with a powerful processor and a crisp and roomy screen, this laptop is a good fit for productivity and multitasking.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    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 i5-8250U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1920×1080
    Dimensions: 38.00 x 25.80 x 2.27 cm
    Weight: 2.20 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 7000 15

    Dell Inspiron 7000 15" Laptop from US$830;
    ~$1190 with accessories

    Sold as a gaming laptop, this particular model does indeed pack quite a bit of muscle for the price and can run, almost any game (see the compatibility chart be... Read More about the i7559-5637BLK

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy2/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power3.5/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy2.5/5

    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 i7-6700HQ
    Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1920×1080
    Dimensions: 38.30 x 26.49 x 2.54 cm
    Weight: 2.55 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 Best Buy 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$760;
    ~$1099 with accessories

    Well-suited for homework, Email, social media and streaming media, this laptop includes cost-cutting features without sacrificing its ability to get work done.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Netbooks standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power5/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    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 i5-7200U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 2 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 38.00 x 26.01 x 2.38 cm
    Weight: 2.25 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$760;
    ~$1101 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 Price1.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy0.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    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: 2.00 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 17

    HP 17" Laptop from US$5804% cheaper than usual
    ~$860 with accessories

    This laptop might not be the fastest or fanciest out there, but it makes for a comfortable temporary workstation and can be neatly stored away when not in use... Read More about the 17-AR007CA

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power1/5
    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
    Storage5/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy0/5

    by Large Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability5/5
    Autonomy3/5

    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 A12-9720P
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    Memory: 12.00 GB
    Storage: 2 TB
    Screen Size: 17.3"
    Screen Resolution: 1600×900
    Dimensions: 41.50 x 27.66 x 2.49 cm
    Weight: 2.79 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 Staples site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×

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