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Here's a cheap AMD laptop for the kids that isn't a Chromebook

Here's a cheap AMD laptop for the kids that isn't a Chromebook
(Image credit: Motile)

Remember the netbook era? Those laptops were cheap, sure, but also incredibly gimped when they first emerged (later generation models offered improved performance, but still nothing exciting). Netbooks have fallen by the wayside, but ultra-cheap pricing has not, at least not today. Over at Walmart, you can snag a Motile 14-inch laptop with a 1080p display and Ryzen 3 processor with Vega 3 graphics for just $209.

That's $390 below its list price. Granted, I wouldn't touch this laptop for $599, but at the current discount, you'd be very hard pressed to do any better. At this price, you're mostly relegated to Chromebooks.

Motile 14-Inch 1080p Laptop | Ryzen 3 w/ Vega 3 Graphics | 4GB RAM | 128GB SSD | IR Camera | $209 (save $390)
This one's not going to set the benchmarking scene ablaze, but for $209, it will make your neighbor's Chromebook purchase look silly by comparison. Getting a 1080p screen and IR camera with Windows Hello support is pretty rare at this price point.
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The specs are not mind blowing here—you get just 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid state drive. So no, it's not going to rival the best gaming laptops. However, multiple comments suggest it's fairly easy to pop this thing open and upgrade the RAM and storage.

"Awesome laptop. Easy to upgrade. I added 16GB RAM and a 256GB NVMe [SSD] and wow is it nice. I got during Christmas for $199 and added another 75 in parts which made this thing fast and super worth it. Before upgrades it was fast enough but afterwards it was better. Definitely worth a look," one user wrote.

I can't verify the claim since I don't have one of these in hand, but other comments offer similar anecdotes. One user said it has a free NVMe slot inside, and mentioned the RAM is not soldered to the board. That would be fantastic, if true.

Either way, it's an interesting notebook. In addition to the 1080p display, which is a rarity at this price point, it also boasts an IR camera with Windows Hello support. That's something you don't often see at this price range, either.

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).