Affordable, 4GB RAM laptops are up to the task
When shopping for a new laptop, you'll notice that part of the price difference between models is related to the amount of RAM that's installed. RAM is the memory that holds the computer's most frequently accessed data, such as operating system files. It helps keep your computer running quickly and efficiently. Without enough RAM, performance can slow down.
Most laptop buyers consider price as one of the key factors in their buying decision. Some of today's most affordable laptops -- including many Lenovo Chromebooks and IdeaPad laptops -- offer a comparatively small RAM allotment of 4 GB. You can buy models with more RAM, but for many consumers, the question arises: is 4 GB of RAM enough for me?
The answer, as with many technology questions, depends on how you plan to use your laptop.
What can you do with a 4 GB RAM laptop?
With the exception of high-end PC gaming, statistical number-crunching and advanced video editing, there's almost nothing a 4 GB laptop can't do, with some limitations. From word processing and budgeting to social media, movie streaming, eBay shopping and online banking, a 4 GB laptop is usually up to the task. The issues are how many tasks you can do at the same time and how many different software programs and applications you can keep open at once.
We'll get to the limitations in a minute. First, here are some of the many things a 4 GB laptop can do as well (or nearly so) as a system with more memory:
- 4 GB RAM laptop in the office – A 4 GB laptop can run all of today's popular word processing, spreadsheet, and chart-drawing software. It can support the common web browsers, so you can access cloud-based business applications and file storage. Likewise, it will run important business tools such as email, video calling, instant messaging, and so on.
- 4 GB RAM laptop at school – A 4 GB laptop works in the dorm room for things like editing photos and posting on social media. It works in the library for online research, writing term papers, etc. It works on the go, too -- 4 GB is plenty of RAM for wireless connectivity and streaming.
- 4 GB RAM at home – A 4 GB laptop is useful at home, too. You can use it for online shopping, mobile banking, or controlling in-home smart devices such as lights and door locks. Making video calls to relatives, viewing family photos, listening to music, even playing some simple PC video games -- it's all possible on a laptop with 4 GB of RAM.
But there's a catch. A 4 GB RAM laptop can do everything listed here -- just not at the same time.
With less memory to store common system and program data, a laptop with 4 GB RAM cannot keep multiple different software programs running at once, at least not optimally. You may also notice slowdowns if you open too many separate browser tabs. For example, the Chrome browser, while strong in many ways, is said to consume more memory than other browsers, so users of 4 GB RAM laptop often choose to limit the number of tabs they open in one session.
If affordability is a chief concern, then don't hesitate to consider 4 GB laptops in your search. Just be aware of the limitations. Particularly for PC gaming and other advanced activities, if you've got specific titles that you must run on your new PC, check the manufacturer's RAM requirements before buying. You won't be able to run today's most exciting multi-player PC games or do complex video encoding, but for virtually everything else, a laptop with 4 GB of RAM can be a good choice.
4 GB DDR3 laptops from Lenovo
As a leading global PC manufacturer, Lenovo strives to offer laptops for every type of consumer. This includes buyers on a budget. Lenovo laptops -- even those with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM -- are top quality, high-performing machines.
Two of our PC lines include multiple 4 GB RAM options:
- Chromebooks with 4 GB RAM – These small, ultra-light systems are prized by those who value portability above all else. They're great for light computing activities and are highly affordable, with several models featuring 4 GB of RAM.
- IdeaPad laptops with GB RAM – Known for stunning designs and extreme versatility, IdeaPad laptops -- including laptop/tablet 2-in-1s -- are popular around the globe. There are multiple RAM options, with 4 GB models usually the most affordable.
Depending on what's in stock, you may also find 4 GB RAM options in our Lenovo Flex series and in our various e Series options (100e, 300e, 500e, and so on).