Top Picks for the Casual Worker

Top Picks for the Casual Worker

​​When at the computer, you don't usually accomplish much. There are exceptions, however, and you occasionally have to work on a text document or organize your finances.

The following recommendations aren't "workhorses", but if you need to do a little bit of work, they will accommodate that.

Your options 9 top results, ranging in price from $500 to $820, with accessories.

Let's start with a broad search. The following offer the best value for the lowest price regardless of format preference. As a result, you will most likely see stationary computers down here and maybe a few portable options. You have the option to look for a specific kind of device at the bottom of the page.

  • HP Pavilion Desktop PC

    HP Pavilion Desktop PC from $53012% cheaper than usual
    ~$820 with accessories

    A cost-efficient computer for homework and even quite a bit of creativity.

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage2/5
    Portability5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in LibreOffice

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

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    4/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    4/5
    Meets recommended specs
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A10-9700
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Dimensions: 17.00 x 27.70 x 33.80 cm
    Weight: 5.15 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. ×
  • Asus M32BF Tower Computer Guillaume's pick; 13 times!

    Asus M32BF Tower Computer from $500;
    ~$790 with accessories

    A great computer for productivity and a little more. Not a bad product if you don't have any great plans for your computer but don't want to be too restricted.

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability3/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power2/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck1.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability4/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in LibreOffice

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

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A10-7800
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 2 TB
    Dimensions: 17.52 x 37.99 x 40.84 cm
    Weight: 8.26 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. ×
  • Dell Inspiron 15 Guillaume's pick; 5 times!

    Dell Inspiron 15" Laptop from $60020%, Best price yet!
    ~$855 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
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy2/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

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

    by Portable Laptops standards

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

    performance in LibreOffice

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

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

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

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    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 Pavilion 15

    HP Pavilion 15" Laptop from $65010% cheaper than usual
    ~$740 with accessories

    A no-frills laptop for everyday needs, it's worth considering for common homework and going online for social media, emails, etc.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage2/5
    Portability3/5
    Autonomy2/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

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

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage2/5
    Portability3/5
    Autonomy2/5

    performance in LibreOffice

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

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 2200U
    Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 256.00 GB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 36.16 x 24.56 x 1.79 cm
    Weight: 1.85 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. ×
  • HP 14

    HP 14" Laptop from $6505% cheaper than usual
    ~$748 with accessories

    A budget-conscious laptop for productivity and everyday tasks.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability3.5/5
    Autonomy3/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability3/5
    Autonomy2/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power2/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability4/5
    Autonomy3/5

    performance in LibreOffice

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

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 14"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 32.40 x 22.59 x 1.99 cm
    Weight: 1.43 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 $5006%, Best price yet!
    ~$590 with accessories

    Sometimes, all you need is something to handle the basics for the lowest price possible, and this is your situation, this might be the perfect laptop for you... Read More about the 15-db0018ca

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power0/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy1/5

    performance in LibreOffice

    4/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    2/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    2/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A9-9425
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R5 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 Best Buy site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP 15

    HP 15" Laptop from $600;
    ~$690 with accessories

    This laptop's designed to be relatively versatile for a modest cost. It'll handle productivity and online activities like Social Media and Skype as long as you... Read More about the 15-DA0007CA

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    performance in LibreOffice

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

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i3-7020U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    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: 1.91 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. ×
  • Asus K555LA 15

    Asus K555LA 15" Laptop from $600;
    ~$690 with accessories

    A stylish laptop with enough power to get quite a bit of work done while being small enough to be carried around with relative ease... Read More about the K555LA-Q32-CB

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy2/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy2/5

    performance in LibreOffice

    4.5/5
    This should run nicely

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    2.5/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    2.5/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i3-4030U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4400
    Memory: 6.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 38.10 x 25.40 x 2.30 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. ×
  • Asus VivoBook Max 15

    Asus VivoBook Max 15" Laptop from $470;
    ~$594 with accessories

    This laptop's primarily designed to be as inexpensive as possible so don't expect impressive speeds, however, if you're looking for a computer to handle "the ba... Read More about the X540BA-RB94

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy2.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck1.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power0/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    Autonomy2/5

    performance in LibreOffice

    4/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    2/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    2/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A9-9425
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R5 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 38.10 x 25.15 x 2.79 cm
    Weight: 1.90 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. ×

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Looking for a specific kind of device?

Looking for a laptop, tablet, smartphone or desktop computer specifically? Here are the product families in which we found options matching your needs: