While jaded tech writers and reviewers have become accustomed to seeing $1,000-plus price tags on laptops, the reality is that the vast majority of the rest of the world’s buyers aren’t ready to pay such lofty prices. For years, the average selling price of a Windows laptop has hovered around a mere $500, according to NPD Group, a number that is unlikely to move significantly.
Those aren’t the kind of computers that companies like to send to publications to write about, because they don’t have all the bells and whistles that the expensive machines have and which give you something to put into the “get-gadget” section, and they’re slow and heavy. And yet they sell like mad, so manufacturers have no choice but to keep grinding them out.
Lenovo’s budget laptop for the Windows 8 era is this, the IdeaPad Z400 Touch. For your modest investment, you get a 14-inch (1366 x 768-pixel) touchscreen, a 2.6GHz Core i5 CPU, integrated graphics, 6GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. There’s even a dual-layer DVD burner.
All of this will set you back 600 bucks, squarely in the wheelhouse of ultra-budget laptops.