Virtual Reality (VR) is a rapidly developing technology that thrusts users into exciting different worlds with almost no limit to the experiences. VR is computationally intensive and requires a powerful computer to fully realize its amazing potential. Laptop computers which are VR capable can be very expensive—however, not everyone can afford to shell out thousands of dollars for a top of the line laptop.
Fortunately, there are several laptops which are powerful enough to run VR technology without breaking the bank. This article features three such computers; all three come in under $500. While these computers are ‘inexpensive’, that doesn’t mean they’re ‘cheap’ or poorly made. Insert random comment about user reviews here.
Acer Aspire E15
The Acer comes with a 15.6” HD quality screen, a 1 TB hard drive, an 8th gen i3 2.2 GHz processor (with Turbo technology up to 3.4 GHz) and weighs just over five pounds. It also features 6 GB RAM, several useful USB ports and has a super battery, lasting over 13 hours.
Users were impressed with the performance level of this laptop right out of the box, and many commented on the easy accessibility for repair and upgrades. Indeed, many users suggested installing an inexpensive aftermarket SSD (128 or 256 GB) to truly turn this laptop into a powerfully fast and responsive system. Users also suggested upgrading the RAM (again, at a moderate cost) to unlock the true performance of this computer.
The Acer is a magnificent entry-level VR-capable laptop that’s easy on the wallet. Full HD, super battery life, lightweight with plenty of storage. The Acer was slowed by the lack of memory and the mechanical hard drive; two minor inconveniences that are readily overcome.
Like its less expensive cousin, the Acer C910-54M1 delivers exceptional bang for your computer buck. It features many of the same specs (15.6” HD quality screen, an 8th gen i5 (not i3) 2.2 GHz processor with Turbo technology up to 3.4 GHz) as the E15, but it also has a 32 GB SSD instead of the HDD that the E15 users found slowed down with time. The C910 also comes with 4 GB of RAM and the battery lasts for approximately eight hours.
This Acer comes in at less than five pounds and features the Chromebook OS. The Acer is the first Chromebook to feature a full HD display, Intel processor and exceptional wireless capabilities. Add in the ability to suitably process VR programs, and you have a wonderful laptop platform for around $500.
The only knocks against this system were the lower RAM amounts (though easily and inexpensively overcome) and the smaller SSD (32 GB). The SDD did perform better than the HD of the Aspire, but the storage amounts were often viewed as insufficient. Again, for a moderate sum, an upgrade to 128 or 256 GB would turn this laptop into a top-shelf computer.
The least expensive VR capable Chromebook on the market, the Acer C910 will perform like a much more expensive model yet leave your wallet feeling fine.
Lenovo Ideapad 320
Coming in at less than five pounds, the Lenovo packs a punch into a lightweight design. A 1 TB HD, 4 GB RAM, with a fast Intel 2.4 GHz dual processor makes the Lenovo a wonderful computer with a price of less than $400.
Users loved the speed of the laptop, its lightweight design, lightning fast USB ports and overall utility. They weren’t enamored of the 4 GB RAM and the occasional slowness from the HD/RAM combination. However, both of these limitations are readily overcome with a few inexpensive modifications/upgrades to each. Even those upgrades won’t push the total price above $500; the end result of such minor upgrades yields a top-shelf laptop that can play anything in your VR world!
Even if your budget doesn’t include a comma in the price tag, you can find a VR quality system without needing to spend the money necessary for a high-end laptop.