We'd all have the latest and greatest Ultrabook if we could, but the real world doesn't work that way. Lots of us can't afford to — or just don't want to — hand over thousands of dollars for a computer.

Fortunately, there are a lot of choices for the budget-conscious laptop buyer. Sure, there are compromises you have to make compared to expensive high-end machines. But you can still get a great Windows 10 experience.

Great screen

Chuwi Lapbook 15.6

Chuwi is a Chinese brand you might not be familiar with but that is putting out some really great, really affordable Windows 10 hardware. The Lapbook 15.6 has a Full HD IPS display that looks terrific along with some decent internal hardware for the price. You'll find an Intel Atom quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot to expand it. It has a full-size keyboard and a decent trackpad, too, not to mention plenty of ports and a 10,000mAh battery.

$290 at Amazon

Affordable convertible

HP x360 ProBook

A convertible laptop doesn't belong here, right? Wrong. HP's super-affordable x360 ProBook does, with its 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 resolution touch display. It's hard to deny the appeal of a touchscreen that folds around.

You'll get an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. Not only that but there's plenty of full-size USB ports, an SD card slot and an HDMI output, which makes this cheap convertible notebook great for getting things done.

$332 at Amazon

Great for school

ASUS VivoBook E203

This 11.6-inch notebook from ASUS brings some of the style of the company's more expensive models at a really affordable price. It's not all good looks, though, as underneath you'll find a quad-core Intel Celeron processor, up to 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. Despite the size, there's still a full-size keyboard, a microSD slot, HDMI out, USB-C and full-size USB ports. The display is on par with competitors at 1366 x 768. And with up to 13-hours battery life, you'll be able to head out for the day and leave the charger at home.

$212 at Amazon

Lots of options

Dell Inspiron 14 3000

Dell makes some of the hottest laptops around right now, but it also still caters to folks looking for a more cost-effective experience. You get 32GB of storage as standard, but you can also get a 500GB hard drive with 4GB of RAM, a Pentium N3700 processor, and a 14-inch LED display. Perhaps the best option, though, is a touch display. And with battery life around eight hours, it should keep you rolling all day long.

$230 at Dell

Budget style

Lenovo Ideapad 130s

The Ideapad 120s looks like a laptop that costs more than it does, but the truth is it's very good and very affordable. The Intel Celeron processor is backed up by up to 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, and you get a nice looking 14-inch anti-glare display. There are plenty of ports, including the new USB-C, and with Windows 10 S you can also upgrade for free to Windows 10 Pro if you wish.

$230 at Lenovo

Affordable Surface

Microsoft Surface Go

Surface is desirable and while it's a little more expensive, the base model is easily a match for any of these laptops, with the added bonus of a touch-screen with inking support. The Intel Pentium processor and 64GB of storage with 4GB of RAM is perfect for lighter computing needs, and while the optional type cover will get the best experience from it, it's not a compulsory purchase. It's a proper Surface for a lot a less.

$399 at Microsoft

It's no longer the norm that you need to spend a lot to have a good Windows experience, as these laptops show. It's possible to get a proper Surface for under $400, or if you're looking for something more traditional, the Lenovo Ideapad 130s might be right up your street.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.